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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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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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