Should you buy these climbers after today’s results?

Friday is usually a pretty quiet day for company results, but we’re in a busy period for updates this month and we shouldn’t overlook any. It’s especially nice when share prices respond positively. Here are two doing that today.

Building rebound

If you want to see a great example of the kind of buying opportunity that can come from irrational over-selling, just look at housebuilding products supplier Marshalls (LSE: MSLH).

Marshalls shares plunged by 36% after the EU referendum, but a surge since then has seen them recover all bar a couple of pence of their pre-vote 324p share price. In fact, if you’d bought on 7 July when the price hit its lowest, today you’d be smiling at a 56% profit! That includes a 2.6% rise to 322p after interim figures were released today. So what do they say?

Revenue only rose slightly, by 2%, but pre-tax profit is up 21% to £25.1m, with earnings per share up 22% to 10.36p, and the interim dividend has been lifted by 29% to 2.9p per share. The full-year dividend should yield a bit under 3%, with 2017 forecasts suggesting a rise to 3.2%, so levels aren’t high compared to some out there — but a strongly progressive dividend can be worth a lot more in the long run.

Chief executive Martyn Coffey spoke of the EU referendum uncertainty, but assured us it “has not impacted underlying trading to date.

The shares look perhaps a bit pricey on their current valuation, with a P/E multiple of 18, but strong expectations for earnings growth would drop that to 15.8 for 2017. While Marshalls looks like an attractive company and should provide reasonable long-term returns, I can’t help feeling the shares are fully valued now and that there are better bargains out there.

Power profits

Lavendon Group (LSE: LVD) shares have been in a bad patch, losing nearly half their value since March 2014. But they’ve been creeping back in anticipation of today’s interims from the supplier of powered access equipment, and are up a very nice 8.5% to 136p on the day.

We saw double-digit rises in underlying figures across the board, with revenue up 13%, pre-tax profit up 10%, earnings per share up 12%, and the halfway dividend got an 18% boost. It was nice, for a change, to see a company report not warning about post-referendum uncertainty — Lavendon does get some of its business from EU countries, but around half comes from the UK and it’s big in Africa and the Middle East.

A rise in net debt to £149.7m (from £119.9m) does concern me, though the company says that reflects its investment programme over the half. Still, such a high level compared to annual revenue does take a bit of the shine off an otherwise very low forward P/E of 7.3 this year, rising a little to 7.5 for 2017.

But on the plus side, in addition to that lowly P/E, we’re seeing 4.3% and 4.5% dividend yields forecast for this year and next, which would be more than three times covered by earnings. Lavendon is also a strongly cash-generative business, which is a good indicator that it should be able to handle its debt level. I’m inclined toward bullishness on Lavendon, and I can see the shares continuing their recovery over the next couple of years.

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