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Why are Begbies Traynor Group plc, Xcite Energy Limited & Arria NLG plc among today’s major movers?

Shares in consultancy specialist Begbies Traynor (LSE: BEG) have soared by over 7% today despite the company releasing no significant news flow. In fact, its most recent release was last week when it announced the acquisition of Pugh Auction Group for an initial consideration of £2m. The deal seems to be a logical one for Begbies Traynor since it follows its strategy to expand its property services division through a wider service offering and greater geographical coverage.

Looking ahead, Begbies Traynor has upbeat earnings growth forecasts. In the current year it is expected to report a rise in net profit of 38% and this puts it on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 10.7. This indicates that there is considerable upward rerating potential on the cards and with Begbies Traynor having a yield of 4.7% from a dividend which is set to be covered twice by profit next year, it has appeal as an income as well as growth and value play.

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While Begbies Traynor is among today’s top risers, shares in Xcite Energy (LSE: XEL) are down by around 9% despite a number of resources companies being favoured by investors. The key reason for Xcite Energy’s share price fall is uncertainty regarding the repayment of bonds which are due at the end of this month. This has caused Xcite Energy’s share price to fall by 38% in the last three months alone.

Although Xcite Energy’s Bentley field has considerable long term potential, it has been unable to find a suitable partner through which to develop it. And while there is still time for it to do so, the company’s future appears to be highly uncertain. Failure to repay monies owed this month could lead to the dilution of equity in the business as bondholders swap their debt for equity. As such, Xcite Energy seems to be a stock to avoid at the present time – especially when there are a number of more financially sound companies operating within the oil and gas sector.

Meanwhile, shares in Arria NLG (LSE: NLG) have risen by around 17% today despite the natural language generation technology company not releasing any significant news flow. Of course, its shares are still down by 32% since the turn of the year, which is clearly hugely disappointing for its investors.

However, last week Arria NLG announced that it has converted a proof-of-concept trial into two pilot applications. This is positive news for the company and it believes that it will help its customer to become more efficient by delivering smarter, faster and improved outcomes from its existing business processes.

Clearly, Arria NLG has considerable long term growth potential and investor sentiment appears to have improved dramatically today. However, with it expected to remain loss-making in each of the next two years, there may be better options available elsewhere and long term investors may wish to await further news flow before piling in.

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