Today’s update from Pagegroup (LSE: PAGE) shows that the global recruitment company endured a somewhat mixed Q2. While its performance in southern Europe and Benelux was impressive with gross profit growth of 25% and 30% respectively, elsewhere it struggled to deliver positive growth.
For example, in the UK Pagegroup’s gross profit fell by 2.3%, affected by pre-referendum uncertainty. Similarly, Asia Pacific saw a fall of 3.3% and the Americas also recorded a decline of 1.1%. However, this wasn’t enough to cause a decline in Pagegroup’s overall gross profit, with it rising by 3.7% versus the same period last year.
Looking ahead, Pagegroup is forecast to report a fall in earnings of 2% this year, followed by a further decline of 7% next year. This could hurt investor sentiment and with Pagegroup trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 15.2, its shares could continue to come under pressure following their 35% fall since the start of the year.
Good time to buy?
Also reporting today was Dechra Pharmaceuticals (LSE: DPH). Its trading in the most recent full year was strong, with revenue rising by 21%. It was aided by acquisitions, but even when they were excluded, Dechra’s top line still increased by 11%.
Encouragingly, the mood around Dechra’s North American business has been upbeat. Revenue rose by 37% versus the same period of last year, while the integration of the company’s three acquisitions has been in line with its expectations. This provides Dechra with a stronger platform for future growth and with the pharmaceutical company having an excellent pipeline of new treatments, its long-term future seems bright.
With Dechra trading on a P/E ratio of 29.5, many investors may see it as being grossly overpriced. After all, the FTSE 100 has a rating of about half that of Dechra’s. However, with Dechra forecast to increase its earnings by 20% next year, it appears to offer growth at a reasonable price. For example, it has a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 1.5, which indicates that now could be a good time to buy it.
Wait and see
Meanwhile, RhythmOne (LSE: RTHM) also released an update today, with the company formerly known as Blinkx seeing a share price rise of 16%. The key reason for this is RhythmOne expecting Q1 2017 performance to exceed previous expectations, based on preliminary results.
This was due to programmatic platform volumes more than tripling year-on-year, with over 1trn requests processed per month in the period. Furthermore, there were notable improvements in both fill rate and pricing, as mobile now represents the majority of volumes processed. And with core products continuing to ramp up during the period, RhythmOne’s future appears to be rather bright.
With RhythmOne due to remain lossmaking over the next two years, however, it may be prudent to await more news on the company’s financial performance before buying. Certainly, today’s news is positive, but it concerns a relatively short time period and so should be viewed cautiously.
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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.