Finding shares to buy can be hard, with so many out there. That’s why I keep my eye on company results as they come round. It often highlights shares that I’d otherwise probably overlook. This week I have three that would make in into my shortlist with £10,000 today.
Shares in recruitment specialist Hayes (LSE: HAS) have faded over the past 12 months. I’m not surprised, with such a gloomy economic outlook.
But results released Thursday were anything but disappointing. For the year to 30 June, net fees rose by 30%. And operating profit soared by 121%.
The company more than doubled its ordinary dividend, to 2.85p per share. That’s only a 2.4% yield. But thanks to strong cash generation, it added a special dividend of 7.34p and lifted its share buyback programme to £75m.
Chief executive Alistair Cox spoke of “long-term structural opportunities, acute skill shortages and strong markets.” It seems there’s some significant upside when we’re in times of economic turmoil. And Hayes might be just the kind of investment to profit from a recovery.
We’re looking at a modest trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of around 13.
The share price has been picking up in the past couple of months, and barely moved on results day.
The year so far has all been about clinical development. In the words of chief executive Daphne Zohar, “the first half of 2022 has been an exceedingly strong period for PureTech.”
Phase 3 trials of schizophrenia treatment KarXT appears to have gone very well, without the serious side effects that apparently come with existing treatments. Zohar adds: “It is now poised to potentially be the first new class of medicine in over 50 years for patients living with schizophrenia.“
The balance between long-term potential and current liquidity is key. Though PureTech recorded a loss again, it had $341m cash and equivalents at 30 June. That looks good enough to me.
CRH (LSE: CRH) is my final pick of companies reporting Thursday. And its share price gained a few percent in response to interim results.
Chief executive Albert Manifold said: “CRH has delivered another strong performance with further growth in sales, EBITDA and margin despite a challenging and volatile cost environment.“
The firm reported a 14% rise in sales and a 21% jump in EBITDA. What’s more, the EBITDA margin improved, and bottom-line earnings per share increased by 36%
The company lifted its interim dividend by 4%, and it’s now set for a new tranche in its share buyback programme.
The one thing that concerns me is net debt of $4.3bn. That is down by $1.7bn, though, and looks easily manageable.
This is my first look at a single day’s reporting from these companies. I see attractions in all of them, but they all have their own individual risks too.
I’d never buy a stock based on just one update. But I’ve seen enough here to want to investigate all three further.
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Alan Oscroft has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. 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.