Shares in customised electronics supplier Acal(LSE: ACL) have risen by around 7% today after it released an upbeat trading update for the full year to 31 March. Encouragingly, earnings are set to be slightly ahead of previous guidance, with sales and margins both performing better than expected.
For example, sales for the year increased by 14% at constant currency and a key reason for that was strong numbers from Acal's design and manufacturing division. It accounted for 48% of group sales and with its top line rising by 3% on a like-for-like (LFL) basis, it made a positive impact on overall financial performance. Furthermore, with Acal's design and manufacturing division benefitting from the impact of recent acquisitions, its total sales rose by a very impressive 50%.
With Acal forecast to increase its bottom line by 14% this year and by a further 12% next year, it seems likely to turn around the 6% share price fall recorded since the start of the year. That's especially the case since Acal trades on a price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio of just 1, which indicates that now could be a great time to buy it.
Also in the news today is Europe's largest regional airline Flybe(LSE: FLYB), with the company announcing that its new franchise partnership with Blue Islands will commence on 6 June. This is a 10-year franchise partnership, with Blue Islands operating six routes into Jersey. It should help Flybe to retain a presence on key routes to and from the Channel Islands and has been structured to accommodate additional aircraft and routes if required.
Clearly, Flybe's share price performance has been hugely disappointing since the turn of the year, with its valuation declining by 36% during the period. However, with its shares trading on a PEG ratio of just 0.1, it offers superb capital gain prospects. As such, and while it can be difficult to buy any stock at its lowest ebb, for long-term investors Flybe offers excellent profit potential.
A good buy?
Also declining since the turn of the year have been shares in AstraZeneca(LSE: AZN). They've fallen by 10% and have underperformed the wider index by 11%. Clearly, this is disappointing, but with AstraZeneca having strengthened its drugs pipeline in recent years it's in a much stronger position than it has been for a number of years.
Due to this, the company has excellent turnaround potential. It also has the financial strength to continue with its acquisition programme and build a more diverse and potentially more profitable pipeline. And with it previously forecasting a doubling of sales by 2023, investor sentiment in the stock could be positively catalysed. With a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 14.7, AstraZeneca appears to offer good value for money and while its turnaround story has a long way to go, it seems to be on track and worthy of purchase right now.
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Peter Stephens owns shares of AstraZeneca. The Motley Fool UK has recommended AstraZeneca. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.