Rio Tinto Limited, Navitas Limited, Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd: 3 shares worth a closer look

Credit: Iman Mosaad

With reporting season getting into full swing, investors are busy digesting the tsunami of information which is hitting the ASX’s announcement board.

While just keeping up with the deluge of reports is a job in itself, going back later for a deeper dive into stocks which you’ve identified as interesting is important.

Here are three stocks that I think could be worth taking a closer look at when the hype of reporting season has calmed down.

Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) released its interim results last week, reporting a steep drop in revenues and earnings.

Amongst the positives was a 6% reduction in net debt to US$12.9 billion and a near halving in capital expenditure to US$1.3 billion.

At the bottom line, underlying earnings fell 47% to US$1.6 billion and the dividend was cut 58% to US 45 cents.

Whilst the significant top and bottom line falls might not suggest an appealing investment opportunity, the result was largely better than consensus estimates were expecting and could suggest that the outlook for resource stocks isn’t as dire as the market is pricing in.

Navitas Limited (ASX: NVT) has seen its share price slide around 10% since reporting its results one week ago.

Those results showed a revenue of just over $1 billion and an underlying profit down $1.3 million to $90.8 million.

Although the outlook for the current financial year is subdued, the long term tailwind of growing demand for education and training appears strong and Navitas should be well positioned to benefit from this thematic.

Last week the share price touched a 52-week high of $6.05. The shares are currently trading at $5.35 and should they drop below $5 they could start to look appealing for long term investors.

Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX: VAH) isn’t a stock which would usually pique my interest considering it’s an airline operator; Warren Buffett has, on numerous occasions, warned about the terrible economics of the airline industry.

However, I also believe that everything has a price and right now the price might be right for Virgin Australia.

Virgin has reported a 6% rise in revenue to just over $5 billion, a 220% jump in underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to $211 million and a 90% jump in underlying pre-tax profit to $41 million.

Although shareholders didn’t receive a dividend, the huge turnaround in profitability shows momentum that is expected to continue.

The driver of this momentum is improved results from the group’s international operations. Whilst the domestic operations are profitable (contributing EBIT of $162 million), the international operations recorded an EBIT loss of $49 million. With the international division forecast to turn to profit next year, a higher profit is likely. (source: CommSec)

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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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