We’re still getting a number of intriguing company updates coming through, and they provide timely opportunities to take a look at investment possibilities that might otherwise pass us by. So which shares are on the up this fine September morning? Here are some early risers that I reckon are definitely worth a closer look.
Shares in Kainos Group (LSE: KNOS) climbed by 6% this morning to 166p, after an upbeat trading update told us of “good growth in the public sector” in its Digital Services division, and the company maintained its guidance for the full year.
Kainos offers enterprise computing software and IT services, and counts both public and private organisations among its customers — the firm has secured new contracts with the Home Office and the National Offender Management Service, and with Tullett Prebon.
Expectations for the year to March 2017 currently include a modest 7% fall in earnings per share, which would put the shares on a prospective P/E of a bit under 17. That’s more highly valued than the long-term FTSE average and might not seem like a screaming bargain, but on top of that, there’s a dividend yield of 3.7% expected — and forecasts for the next year would lift that yield to 3.9% while dropping the P/E to just 14.8.
In its last full year reported in May, Kainos (which only floated on the stock market in July 2015) reported no debt, £15m in cash, and net assets of £25.9m. It’s a strongly cash generative business, and it seems to be attracting good approval ratings from customers.
There’s little in the way of independent broker recommendations, but I reckon Kainos could be a bit of an overlooked growth candidate, especially after it said that “although the outcome of the UK’s referendum on Europe brings with it some uncertainties, the group continues to see immediate opportunities for growth.“
There were plenty of screaming bargains in the post-referendum rout, and it looks like Smurfit Kappa Group (LSE: SKG) might be one of them. The packaging firm saw its shares drop 11% just after the Brexit vote, but since then we’ve seen a 24% rise to 1.995p, including a 2% lift today — the price is now actually 10% up since the eve of the momentous event.
The company’s first-half results appeared on the Monday after the vote and they looked pretty strong with decent pre-exceptional EBITDA growth of 8%. At the time, the firm pointed out that it’s a “UK-based business that is broadly self-sufficient with UK mills and UK corrugated plants servicing the local economy,” adding that any Brexit effect is likely to be indirect via possible hits to overall GDP and business confidence.
Smurfit Kappa has recorded years of strong earnings growth, and though forecasts suggest that growth should slow down this year and next, we’re still looking at forward P/E multiples of only around 11.5 this year, dropping to 11 next, with dividend yields around the FTSE average at 3.2% to 3.4%.
The City’s analysts seem to think the shares are cheap, putting out a pretty strong buy consensus — I agree with them, and I see Smurfit Kappa shares as a solid long-term investment.
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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.