The Motley Fool

Should you buy Capital & Regional plc, Manx Telecom plc and Gama Aviation plc after today’s updates?

Shares in real estate investment trust (REIT) Capital & Regional (LSE: CAL) have risen by 2% today after the company released a positive trading update. Contracted rent rose by 9.5% to £63.6m, primarily due to the acquisition of The Marlowes in Hemel Hempstead. However, even on a like-for-like (LFL) basis, Capital & Regional’s contracted rent increased by 3.2%, with it experiencing a high level of leasing activity in the first half of the year.

For example, there have been 27 new lettings and 11 lease renewals totalling £3m, with leasing momentum continuing after the EU referendum. Whether this continues over the medium term is, of course, difficult to predict. However, it seems likely that the UK economy will endure a slowdown to some degree, which could impact on occupancy rates and the valuations of Capital & Regional’s assets.

With Capital & Regional trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 13.7 and yielding 6.5%, it appears to offer good value for money following its recent share price fall. However, with the outlook for UK commercial property and the wider economy being uncertain, it may be prudent to wait for further news flow before buying it.

Dividend play

Also reporting today was Manx Telecom (LSE: MANX), with the Isle of Man communications solutions specialist confirming that trading in the first half of the year has been in line with expectations. Sales were slightly behind the same period of last year owing to an anticipated reduction in low-margin kit sales. However, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were in line with last year and free cash flow grew year-on-year.

Looking ahead, Manx Telecom is forecast to record a fall in earnings of 3% this year, followed by a rise of 4% next year. Its P/E ratio of 13.5 seems to represent fair value, while a yield of 5.6% has appeal for income-seeking investors. As such, while Manx Telecom may be a sound dividend play, its shares may tread water due to a lack of earnings growth prospects over the medium term.

Buy for the long term?

Meanwhile, Gama Aviation (LSE: GMAA) also reported today. The business aviation service provider said revenues will be no less than $205m for the half year to 30 June, while EBITDA will be at least $7.5m.

These figures have been recorded during a challenging period for Gama, with Europe in particular proving difficult for the company. In the short run, the company doesn’t think that this situation will change, but believes the initiatives launched earlier in the year to optimise and right-size the European business and its cost base are already beginning to have a positive impact on its performance.

With Gama trading on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.6, its shares offer growth prospects at a very reasonable price. And while its outlook is uncertain, such a wide margin of safety indicates that now could be a good time to buy it for the long term.

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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.