Several interesting small cap RNSs today. Universe (LON:UNG) is a £7.5m (at 4p/share) payment and loyalty systems group. It's hovered on my radar for years, and management impressed at a FinnCap/Mello Central event earlier this year.

Their pre-close trading update today looks good - profits will be ahead of market expectations. They are also confident about the outlook for 2013. I have an indirect shareholding in Universe, through Vianet (VNET), which holds 13.2m shares (7%) in Universe. The hideous bid/offer spread puts me off, although a good telephone broker can usually solve that problem by ringing round the various market makers to find shares priced well within the spread.

Anyone interested in a broker recommendation is welcome to email me privately, as I have a special arrangement with a proper broker which is priced very competitively, but only available to investors who trade in reasonable size/frequency (say £10k+ deals, several per month).

CAD/CAM software group, Delcam (LON:DLC) continues its excellent performance, with a trading statement indicating profits will be ahead of current market expectations of £4.3m. Sales have reached a new high of £46m for the year.

Very good to see Delcam actually state what market expectations are, which few companies do. So often one is left scrabbling around trying to find out what figure a company thinks it is likely to beat! So let's hope more companies adopt this very helpful approach of specifying the market expectations figure which you are expecting to beat. It's surprising how often market expectations vary from one informational website to another.

On a PER of 17, and with a yield of just under 1%, Delcam doesn't exactly look a bargain, but high quality companies rarely do.

Specialist publisher of car repair manuals, Haynes Publishing (LON:HYNS) puts out a trading update with somewhat mixed messages, but seems to overall be saying that conditions remain tough. This is another company which is struggling to find a direction to take in the move to digital. Although one would imagine that car repair manuals are one area where sticking with a hard-backed paper product makes a lot more sense than trying to go digital - I rebuilt a MkI Vauxhall Cavalier in my…

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