Lighting systems supplier FW Thorpe (LSE: TFW) updated the market on Thursday morning with its full-year results.
The Worcestershire-based business revealed that trade of late has been improving. Despite ongoing competitive pressures of its road tunnel and street lighting business, the group is seeing excellent revenue and operating profit growth at its retail and display business Thorlux and Lightronics in the Netherlands, which continues to drive double digit growth for the group as a whole.
Annual revenues for the year to 30 June grew by 18.6% to £105.4m, following a particularly strong performance from its overseas operations. And this helped annual pre-tax profits to grow 12.8% to £18.4m and earnings per share to increase by 11.6% to 12.54p.
Meanwhile, cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year had risen to £24.7m from £18.3m a year earlier, paving the way for a 0.3p increase in the final dividend to 2.85p – and bringing the ordinary full-year dividend up from 3.75p in the previous year to 4.20p.
Shareholders in lighting specialist have enjoyed bumper returns over the last couple of years as the firm moves on from its past troubles, but is there further room to run?
Going forward, Chairman Mike Allcock is cautious about the company’s outlook, as he warned investors that a repeat of this year’s performance will be difficult given “ongoing economic uncertainty from Brexit, government instability and exchange rate variations”.
FW Thorpe also sounds very much still in the market for acquisitions, although nothing seems imminent. “We continue to review options for further acquisitions. We have the financial capacity, so it could be said that it is easy to acquire, and there are indeed frequent options for us to review,” added Mr Allcock.
And from a valuation perspective, with shares in the company trading at 22 times next year’s expected earnings, things aren’t looking too demanding given the rapidly expanding bottom line.
Elsewhere, Nigeria-focused small cap oil explorer Eland Oil & Gas (LSE: ELA) may be a better pick for investors looking for a turnaround play.
Eland recently reported a positive start to its Opuama-7 sidetrack operations, with production expected to ramp up to 5,900 barrels of oil a day by October. As increasing crude shipments flow to the market, the firm is on course to improve its cash position and deliver high potential rewards to its shareholders.
Following a successful equity raise earlier this year and growing operational cash flow, the company is set to deliver further progress with its pipeline of development assets. As such, City analysts expect the significant upside in its financial performance in the coming year, after a number of operational difficulties in recent years.
Its shares are up 31% year-to-date, but Eland still seems very attractively valued, with shares trading at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 5.9, based on analysts’ 2017 forecasts.
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Jack Tang has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of FW Thorpe. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.