StatPro Group (LSE: SOG) found itself on the defensive in mid-week business following the release of half-year trading numbers. The stock was last 3% lower from Tuesday’s close.
But rather than reflecting a less-than-enthusiastic reception to the latest update, I reckon this signals nothing more than light profit-taking following recent hefty gains. The Wimbledon-based firm rose 16% in value in the three weeks to today’s release, topping out at 137p per share in the process.
Statpro, which provides portfolio analysis and asset pricing services to the global asset management sector, announced that revenues detonated 23% during the six months to June, to £21.62m. As a result, adjusted EBITDA rose 35% to £2.78m. And free cash flow registered at £3.52m versus an outflow of £2.44m a year earlier.
The company saw organic revenues edge 2% higher during January-June, although this was an improvement from the first half of 2016 when organic sales flatlined. And the software star saw demand for its standout StatPro Revolution product continue to swell — sales here rose 16% in the period.
Statpro also had sterling weakness to thank in large part for the half’s revenues improvement, with positive currency effects boosting the top line by 11%.
On cloud nine
City analysts certainly believe it has a very bright future, and this comes as little surprise to me. Not only does the firm’s transformation into a ‘Software as a service’ (or ‘SaaS’) star continue apace, but the acquisition of UBS Delta during the spring provides it with a better product suite, while the increased scale should also help margins to trek northwards.
So the Square Mile is predicting earnings increases to the tune of 41% and 44% in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Many share pickers may be put off by the company’s elevated forward P/E ratio of 27 however, a figure that sails above the broadly-considered value benchmark of 15 times. I would argue though that a sub-1 prospective PEG reading of 0.7 suggests that StatPro is actually very-attractively priced relative to its growth prospects.
Intertek Group (LSE: ITRK) is another stock anticipated to report blistering bottom-line growth by the City’s army of analysts.
The product testing play is predicted to report an 8% earnings advance in 2017, and to follow this with a 7% improvement next year.
Intertek has been no stranger to rampant price strength in recent sessions either, the share shooting to new summits just short of £47 yesterday after brilliant half-year numbers of its own. The London company announced that revenues rose to £1.37bn during January-June, up 13.7% from the same 2016 period.
The FTSE 100 company continued to enjoy solid organic growth across its core divisions, it noted, with sales at its Products and Trade arms — collectively responsible for more than 90% of group revenues — rising 5.8% and 4.6% in the period.
It is hard to argue that Intertek can be considered decent value going on conventional metrics, the firm currently changing hands on a prospective P/E ratio of 25.4 times. Having said that, I believe the testing titan remains a very-attractive stock right now thanks to the brilliant revenues opportunities as the global quality assurance market continues to expand at a titanic rate.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Intertek. 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.