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Should you buy Brammer plc and Vodafone Group plc following today’s news?

Industrial maintenance specialist Brammer (LSE: BRAM) has taken a walloping in end-of-week trading, the stock 31% down on Thursday’s close after releasing a shocking trading update. Brammer saw group sales per working day slip 2% during July-September, to £2.8m, with revenues falling across all of the company’s territories.

And chief executive Meinie Oldersma believes there may be more trouble to come, warning that “in the near term, we are anticipating continuing decline in sales in our more profitable core products, which, combined with our drive to reduce levels of stock, has led to reduced levels of supplier support and a significant impact on our margins.”

These problems caused Brammer to book an operating loss during the third quarter, and the business no longer expects to report a pre-tax profit for the current financial year, it advised.

But the horrors don’t end here, with Brammer advising that it’s looking to raise £100m through a rights issue, with the cash call expected to be launched before the firm’s full-year results due for publication in the first quarter of 2017.

In addition, Brammer is aiming to hold discussions with lenders “to seek appropriate amendments to the current facilities, including the operation of certain financial covenants, to ensure the group has the appropriate level of committed debt facilities for its medium-term requirements.”

Today’s heavy share weakness leaves Brammer dealing on a forward P/E rating of 10.6 times, based on a predicted 42% earnings slide. And this ropey projection is now due for a downward revision, naturally, as well as 2017’s expected 45% bottom-line recovery.

I reckon Brammer’s escalating top-line troubles and fragile balance sheet makes it a risk too far at present.

Star of India

The sales outlook is far rosier at telecoms titan Vodafone (LSE: VOD), in my opinion, as the revenues recovery continues in Europe and data demand in emerging markets streams higher.

And Vodafone’s position in these hot new regions has just become even better, the firm announcing on Friday that it has paid $2.74bn to purchase spectrum in India, the company acquiring “a total of 2 x 82.6 MHz FDD and 200 MHz TDD spectrum.

Vodafone commented that “the new spectrum significantly enhances the coverage, capacity and speed of Vodafone India’s 4G data services in its key circles, complementing existing high-quality 2G and 3G voice and data capabilities.”

India is a key market for Vodafone, where the company enjoys a customer base of 200m and where 69.7m people use its data services. And the business is putting itself in the box seat for splendid growth in the coming years through heavy investment like that announced today.

The City expects Vodafone to bounce from three successive bottom-line dips to record earnings expansion of 29% in the year to March 2017. While this may result in a high ‘paper’ valuation of 34.4 times, I reckon the mobile operator’s exciting growth strategy merits such a premium.

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Royston Wild 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.