I'll start with two companies whose shares I hold. Firstly, Walker Greenbank (LON:WGB) which is an up-market wall coverings & furnishings group, which had a market cap of £46.7m last night. The shares are up 8% to 86p this morning, on a very good trading update.
Incidentally, it's worth pointing out that most websites update key information (such as market cap) overnight, so often that won't reflect a sudden increase or decrease in share price during the day. So it's always worth finding the number of shares in issue (which is situated near the bottom left of the StockReport on Stockopedia) and multiplying that by the current share price, to be sure that you are using the very latest market cap after a big move in share price.
Also, if a recent Placing or Rights Issue has taken place, then you should always double-check that the number of shares in issue is correct. If you find an error (which is very rare, but can happen), then flag it up by raising a "green ticket" using the help & feedback button on the right hand side of the page. I recently found a glitch in the data on DP Poland (due to a large recent Placing), flaggged it, and Stockopedia had corrected it, via Reuters who supply the data, within 24 hours.
The key phrase in the WGB trading update (for the year ended 31 Jan 2013) is that, "pre-tax profits will be ahead of the top end of analyst forecasts". This is where the guesswork starts, as of course most investors don't have access to the full range of broker notes. So the only figure I have to work on is the market consensus, which is shown as 8.77p, so perhaps we might be looking at c.9p EPS? That's a big improvement on last yea's 6.7p EPS, so a share price of 87p, giving a PER just under 10, seems pretty reasonable to me. I shall therefore continue to hold these shares, and expect them to continue rising. A price under about 110p looks good value to me. Results are due to be released on 15 April.
Buying into reasonably priced companies which are trading well, is an excellent investing theme at any time, but especially at the moment, where value is becoming harder to find. The market seems to (sometimes)…