Robert Walters [LSE: RWA]

Robert Walters, the recruitment agency that specialises in appointing managerial staff, has published a trading statement this morning covering the first quarter of the year and the metrics all look encouraging. International growth continues apace, but arguably the most interesting performance is in the UK market. Brexit-driven catharsis continues to weight, but the company reported 6% growth for the territory, with the highest levels of activity being seen in the regions – Milton Keynes, St Albans and Manchester all being worthy of note.

Eddie Stobart [LSE: STOB]

With a couple of airports and a small airline in the portfolio now, Eddie Stobart is far more than just a freight haulage operation and they have published full year results for 2017 this morning. The underlying numbers seem to paint a suitably positive picture and there’s a 5.8p dividend being declared, too. The company’s attempt to buy FlyBe remains something worth watching and could suggest that strategically growth needs to come from new business lines.

Card Factory [LSE: CARD]

More sluggish news from the high street with Card Factory publishing full year numbers today. Whilst sales were up 2.9%, this comes against a backdrop of rising costs and a consequent squeeze on margins. Despite this, dividends have been pushed higher too, continuing the company’s campaign of returning cash to shareholders. However the dividend cover ratio has now fallen to 2.03 times – much lower than this and questions over dividend policy will start to be asked.

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Market Analyst, Monk Communications
10th April 2018
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