Should you buy HSBC Holdings plc & Just Eat plc following today’s updates?

Today I’m running the rule over two newsmakers in Tuesday business.

A tasty growth treat

Takeaway specialist Just Eat (LSE: JE) rewarded investors with a bubbly set of trading numbers in Tuesday trading, the company recently dealing 8% higher from last week’s close.

Just Eat saw total orders leap 57% during January-March, to 31.5m, or 41% on a like-for-like basis. The restaurant-to-consumer middleman saw orders in the UK rise by four-tenths in the period, although the business also reported terrific growth overseas — indeed, the firm’s iFood joint venture in Brazil saw orders jump 160% during the quarter.

And Just Eat prompted further cheer by announcing that the reception to a 1% commission hike on what it charges British restaurants “has been positive.” The changes introduced last month are now expected to power revenues to £358m in 2016, up from the prior estimate of £350m. And underlying EBIDTA is expected in at £102m-£104m, up from previous guidance of £98m-£100m.

Just Eat is clearly a company on the move, and the City has pencilled-in earnings growth of 51% and 48% for 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Sure, these figures may produce heady P/E ratings of 38 times and 26.1 times. But I expect these multiples to keep on toppling as the bottom line explodes.

Bank gets bashed

Things aren’t quite as rosy over at HSBC (LSE: HSBA), however.

‘The World’s Local Bank’ saw adjusted pre-tax profits tank 18% between January and March, to $5.43bn. HSBC advised that “market uncertainty led to extreme levels of volatility in January and February, which affected our ability to generate revenue in our Markets and Wealth Management businesses.”

On top of this, HSBC reported a huge rise in loan impairments thanks to ongoing difficulties in the oil, gas and metals markets. Indeed, these charges clocked in at $1.16bn for the first quarter versus $570m a year earlier.

In more positive news, HSBC’s ongoing cost-cutting programme continues to deliver the goods, and the bank saw adjusted operating expenses dip 1% during January-March to $7.87bn. And the bank didn’t report further crippling provisions for the ongoing PPI mis-selling scandal, either.

Meanwhile, dividend hunters breathed a sigh of relief after HSBC elected to keep the quarterly dividend on hold at 10 US cents per share.

But the ongoing jitters surrounding the global economy mean that HSBC isn’t quite out of the woods. Revenues in critical Asian marketplaces continue to disappoint, while the prospect of additional financial penalties continues to loom over HSBC’s balance sheet.

The City expects HSBC to endure a 5% earnings slip in 2016, resulting in an über-low P/E rating of 10.5 times. And an anticipated 8% bounceback for next year pushes the reading to just 9.9 times.

It could be argued the bank’s low earnings multiples more than price in its current difficulties. And while HSBC’s fragile balance sheet may put a dividend yield of 7.7% for 2016 under increased scrutiny, I believe the firm remains a solid selection for long-term investors thanks to its terrific emerging market presence.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended HSBC Holdings. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.