Is it time to buy Ainsworth Game Technology Limited, Cover-More Group Ltd, and FlexiGroup Limited?

Credit: Mighty Travels

Reporting season always brings a few surprises – pleasant for some, unpleasant for others – as company updates are released and investors re-evaluate their expectations.

The following three companies have hit their lowest point all year in the past week, and here’s why:

Ainsworth Game Technology Limited (ASX: AGI) last traded at $2.00, down 26% for the year

Ainsworth’s results aren’t expected out until next week, but the company has been on the receiving end of a good deal of bearishness in the past few months. The initial decline started with the company’s purchase of Nova Technologies, a gaming manufacturer in North America. The deal is expected to be immediately earnings accretive, but investors may have felt that the price of 8.1-8.5 times trailing 12-month Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) was too much.

Investors may also have felt that the purchase was a sign that organic growth has slowed. Taking a more optimistic viewpoint, the acquisition gives Ainsworth a footprint in 11 US states, no mean feat given the regulatory hurdles in that market. I believe Ainsworth’s price could go in either direction from here, depending on the contents of the upcoming report.

Cover-More Group Ltd (ASX:CVO) – last traded at $1.76, down 12% for the year

Cover-More shares took a dive earlier this week after the company warned investors to expect a heavy decline in Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) when it releases its report to the market on 19 February. Higher claims costs as well as a weaker Australian dollar and one-off events like the ash cloud over Bali played a part, despite higher overall sales.

Lumpy earnings are part and parcel of owning an insurer, but investors should also beware that the industry is highly competitive and it is very difficult for insurers to differentiate their products from other insurers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cover-More shares decline further after its report is released, depending on the final impact to profits and the outlook for the next half.

FlexiGroup Limited (ASX: FXL) – last traded at $2.12, down 39% for the year

FlexiGroup had a tough day on the market after its interim report yesterday, with shares falling 17% despite posting 6% revenue and 7.5% profit growth over the past six months. Possibly investors were disappointed with the lack of growth in the Australian Leasing segment, FlexiGroup’s largest. A further possibility is that the market is pricing in a chance that FlexiGroup would have to impair its receivables and customer loans (i.e., that defaults will rise). Impairments as a percentage of receivables rose to 3.5%, compared to 3% in the prior year.

That aside, yesterday’s report was still a solid performance from FlexiGroup, which remains well funded and has a conservative dividend payout ratio that still yields above 7%, fully franked, at today’s prices. It’s hard to see an already-discounted FlexiGroup heading lower in the absence of any bad news.

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Motley Fool contributor Sean O'Neill has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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