Full year earnings reported today by e-learning group Learning Technologies (LTG:AIM) narrowly missed broker earnings forecasts.
Earnings per share (EPS) estimates for the 12 months to 31 December 2015 had been pencilled in by house broker Numis at 0.78p a share but adjusted diluted EPS, management's preferred measure of performance, came in at 0.756p, a 3% miss.
Bullish commentary on future prospects is helping the stock to modest gains, trading 1.4% higher at 37.25p this morning, after year-to-date gains totalling 19%.
'We have established a strong platform on which we can build and the Group is delivering to plan,' says chief executive Jonathan Satchell.
'I believe that LTG is very well placed to achieve a prominent position in a highly fragmented, growing market, currently estimated to be worth £140 billion,' the CEO says.
'We see the ability to measure the impact of learning as the next major disruption to the e-learning industry. LTG's acquisition of Rustici and investment in Watershed in January 2016 places us at the vanguard of this crucial and exciting change.'
'We view the future with confidence,' Satchell concludes.
Five acquisitions have been completed since LTG joined AIM as it seeks to build itself into a leading end-to-end workplace e-learning solution.
Deals have been funded by solid operational cash flow in 2015 as well as two equity raises in the last two years totalling around £15 million.
Heavy cash investment is expected in 2015 ahead of the start-up of a UK civil service e-learning contract award won at the end of 2015.
Chairman Andrew Brode, also co-founder and executive chairman at high-flying translation specialist RWS (RWS:AIM), says financial benefits from the contract are expected from the second half of 2016.
Numis analyst Paul Richards is sticking by 2016 forecasts of 1.1p a share, giving a forecast growth rate of 45.5% and a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 34.