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Should you buy these three after today’s updates?

Not all the great opportunities out there are big FTSE 100 companies, and there are plenty occupying the lower levels of the stock market indices that you might not have considered so far. Results day is a great time to put that right, so here are three possibly overlooked companies reporting today.


Non-Standard Finance (LSE: NSF) is a sub-prime lender, only listed on the stock market in February 2015. Since then the shares have lost 39%, but they’re up 9% today to 66.7p after the release of first-half results.

The doorstep lender reported a normalised adjusted operating profit of £3.9m, compared to a £0.9m loss at the same stage last year. We still saw a reported loss per share of 1.67p, but that didn’t stop the company offering a maiden interim dividend of 0.3p per share. The firm’s loan book had risen to £146.8m by 30 June, including the effect of acquisitions.

Chairman John van Kuffeler said that “we remain on-track to achieve our targets of 20% annual loan book growth and a 20% return on assets in 2017.” The P/E drops to 10 on forecast 2017 earnings, so it could be a profitable punt if you’re happy investing in this kind of business.

Farming profits

NWF Group (LSE: NWF), a specialist agricultural and distribution business delivering feed, food and fuel, reported a 5.4% drop in first-half revenue today, to £465.9m, but got from that a headline pre-tax profit of £8.3m (up 2.5%) and headline earnings per share pf 13.6p (up 3%). Net debt in the period rose sharply, by 67.8% to £9.9m, though the agricultural and distribution firm did invest £10m “in development capital including three acquisitions.

Chief executive Richard Whiting told us: “We continue to see opportunity for further strategic and operational progress and performance to date in the current financial year has been in line with our expectations.

That suggests a modest full-year EPS fall close to the market forecast of 2%, putting the shares on a P/E of 12.4 and with a dividend of 3.6%. The shares were down 1% to 164p at the time of writing, and could well provide a steady long-term investment.

Financial services

Shares in StatPro Group (LSE: SOG) have soared by 44% since the middle of May, including a 7% hike today to 106p on the back of first-half figures. The “leading provider of portfolio analysis and asset pricing services for the global asset management industry” reported a 14% rise in revenue to £17.55m, with its StatPro Revolution service seeing a 64% revenue rise to £4.02m. Adjusted EBITDA is up 19% to £2.05m, leading to a 10% rise in adjusted earnings per share to 1.1p and an interim dividend of 0.85p per share.

Chief executive Justin Wheatley said: “Our strategy to convert our portfolio analytics and risk services to the cloud has secured us a significant technological lead in our market,” as the firm reported a 19% increase in its order book of contracted revenue to £44.13m.

After today’s price rise, StatPro shares are on a forward P/E of 37, dropping only to 29 based on 2017 forecasts, so we’re looking at a seriously demanding growth valuation for this £73m company — but it could be on the verge of great things.

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Alan Oscroft 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.