Today’s update from business critical software and services company Microgen (LSE: MCGN) shows that it made encouraging progress in the first six months of the year. Its sales increased by 23%, while its adjusted operating profit rose by 16%. Furthermore, Microgen continues to have a strong balance sheet with cash of £12.7m and with it enjoying a high degree of recurring revenue, Microgen appears to be well-placed to continue to grow.
The company’s shares have already risen by 34% year-to-date and with Microgen now trading on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of 2.2, it may be prudent to await a more attractive share price before piling in.
Good time to buy?
Also reporting today was Conviviality (LSE: CVR), with the convenience store chain’s share price rising by 10% following an upbeat set of full-year results. They show that the Bargain Booze operator has increased sales by 137%, with adjusted pre-tax profit rising by 124%. Key to this was a new organisational structure, while Conviviality’s integration plan is ahead of expectations for both Matthew Clark and Bibendum PLB.
Looking ahead, Conviviality is expected to continue its upbeat growth figures. Its bottom line is due to rise by 39% this year and by a further 15% next year, which puts it on a PEG ratio of 0.5 and indicates that now is a good time to buy it.
Meanwhile, today’s contract win at Ultra Electronics (LSE: ULE) shows that the company is continuing to move in the right direction. The defence and aerospace business has been awarded a firm one-year contract valued at just over $4m from the US Navy for the continuing production of the ADC MK2 Countermeasure. Options to extend the contract for a further four years could increase the initial value to just under $34m.
Despite this positive news, Ultra Electronics is expected to increase its earnings by just 5% this year and by a further 6% next year. This is rather low given the company’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 13.5, which indicates that now may not be a perfect time to buy it.
Could do better?
Also releasing news today was Finsbury Food (LSE: FIF), with the bakery company reporting that strong trading has continued in the second half of the year. It’s therefore confident of delivering profits in line with market expectations, which were upgraded following the strong first half of the year.
Finsbury Food believes it’s well-placed to cope with any impact from Brexit due to it being a well-diversified and strong multi-channel business. But with earnings growth of just 4% pencilled-in for the current year and Finsbury having a P/E ratio of 12.6, there may be better value options available elsewhere.
Seeing (almost) double
Meanwhile, Seeing Machines (LSE: SEE) has stated today that it expects to report figures for the year to 30 June 2016 that are in line with market expectations. In terms of sales, Seeing Machines expects to report a figure of A$33.6m, which may not be quite double but is 77% up on the previous year’s total and shows that its business is moving from strength to strength.
Looking ahead, the company is forecast to remain lossmaking next year. Although it has a bright long-term future and could turn around its 26% fall in value since the turn of the year, there may be better options elsewhere in the small-cap space.
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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.