Medical giant Georgia Healthcare Group (LSE: GHG) edged higher on Monday after the release of bubbly half-year numbers.
The company -- a leading provider of healthcare services in Georgia -- saw sales leap 56% between January and June, to a record 174.2m Georgian lari (GEL). As a result net profit cantered to GEL45.2m from GEL13.3m a year earlier.
The results led chief executive Nikoloz Gamkrelidze to comment that "we remain well positioned to continue delivering a strong performance throughout 2016 and beyond, from both high levels of organic revenue growth as well as from the benefits of our key strategic priorities and recent acquisitions."
Georgia Healthcare Group aims to double healthcare revenues by 2018, the healthcare play aiming to eventually control one third of the country's hospital beds, and to rapidly improve its footprint in the outpatient market by launching ambulatory clinics.
And the Eastern European firm's acquisition strategy saw it snap up GPC in May to bolster its position in the Georgian healthcare market. The company is one of the largest retail and wholesale pharmacy chains in the country and this makes the FTSE play one of the biggest drugs purchasers in the country.
I reckon Georgia Healthcare Group's growing presence in a classic defensive segment, not to mention focus on a healthily-expanding overseas marketplace, makes it an exciting stock candidate for growth seekers.
Shares in shipping giant Clarkson (LSE: CKN) leapt 9% higher in Monday business after better-than-expected financials.
Clarkson saw revenues edge to £147.2m during January-June, up from £145.3m a year earlier. However, this couldn't prevent underlying pre-tax profit from slipping to £21.8m in the period from £23.6m in the same 2015 duration.
Indeed, Clarkson advised that "the global shipping industry is experiencing the most challenging rate environment seen in many years which... has inevitably impacted the group's performance for the first six months of 2016."
The shipper's ClarkSea Index, which assesses the earnings of main vessel types, slumped 30% in the half and accompanied the Baltic Dry Index touching fresh record lows.
And Clarkson warned that it expects conditions to remain difficult in the short term, "reflecting the ongoing supply demand imbalance with the resultant low levels of newbuilding contracts and a prevalence of spot business continuing to limit forward visibility of earnings."
Clarkson remains in severe danger of prolonged bottom-line woe as ample shipping capacity and insipid demand weighs. And latest export data from China indicates that an upturn in global trade is a long way off -- exports slumped 4.4% year-on-year in July on a dollar-denominated basis.
I reckon Clarkson remains a poor 'contrarian' share pick, particularly given its forward P/E rating of 34 times, a figure that fails to adequately reflect its mammoth risk profile.
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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.