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Alan Green discusses news released by #ESC Escape Hunt, #DEST Destiny Pharma & #KDR Karelian Diamonds on the Vox Market Podcasts
Alan Green discusses news released by #ESC Escape Hunt, #DEST Destiny Pharma & #KDR Karelian Diamonds on the Vox Market Podcasts
Alan Green talks inflation, BP #BP, Blue Prism #PRSM & Karelian Diamonds #KDR on UK Investor Magazine podcast
We once more welcome Alan Green back to the UK Investor Magazine Podcast for our weekly exploration of UK equities and global markets.
UK inflation was today’s topic of discussion before we drilled down into BP (LON:BP), Blue Prism (LON:PRSM) and Karelian Diamonds (LON:KDR).
UK inflation rose to 2.1% in May as fuel, recreational goods and clothing helped prices higher as the economy reopened. A reading of 2.1% is marginally above the Bank of England’s target rate of 2% but with signs prices could elevated, there may be concerns in some corners of the market that it will force the BoE to hike rates in an economy not fully recovered from the pandemic.
As a gauge of the market’s feeling around potentially higher rates in the future, GBP/USD spiked higher by 40 points to GBP/USD 1.4120 in immediate reaction, before falling back.
Fuel prices rose 17% year-on-year, the biggest jump since 2017 as oil prices continued their march higher.
Sport Capital Group (SCG) is acquiring Italian football club Palermo for a nominal sum. The deal also includes the project for a new stadium for the Serie B team, which is currently five points clear at the top of the table. Promotion back to Serie A would boost revenue generation and it would also trigger an earn-out payment. There is also potential for more sponsorship and match revenues. There is a plan to raise up to £10m from a bond issue that would be traded on NEX.
Clinical decision support technology provider DXS International (DXSP) reported a lower interim loss in the six months to October 2018. Revenues edged up from £1.61m to £1.69m and the loss declined from £92,000 to £35,000. Tax credits meant that there was a post-tax profit of £70,000, up from £28,000. The GPSoC tender has been delayed but it is expected to be completed this year.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its priorities for 2019 are to demonstrate the potential of the blockchain investments that it has and to take advantage of the growing sector. There were record levels of investment in the blockchain sector last year. Management wants movements in the share price to reflect progress rather than the movement of the price of bitcoin, as has been the case in the past year.
KR1 (KR1) has set up a subsidiary in Gibraltar. KRX Ltd will sponsor token-based projects that will list on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, which operates the first regulated blockchain exchange. The subsidiary will generate fees from clients and there are a limited number of sponsors.
AFH Financial Group (AFHP) has acquired fellow wealth management firm Hayburn Rock for up to £3.5m. The initial payment is £900,000. In 2017, the firm made a profit of £400,000.
TechFinancials (TECH) is selling its stake in MarketFinancials, which no longer trades, for €100,000. The investment had no value on the balance sheet.
Smaller company investor Gledhow Investments (GDH) had £167,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018, having made a small profit in the period. The NAV is £793,000.
Ashley House (ASH) is changing its year from April to June. This is the end of the first six months period for joint venture Morgan Ashley Care Developments LLP. There will be interim results for the six months to October 2018 reported at the end of January.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has commissioned the Hellyer processing plant and in the fourth quarter generated £3.2m of revenues from lead, zinc and pyrite.
Ascent Resources (AST) is attempting to raise cash at 0.3p a share, which is a 20% discount to the market price, via PrimaryBid.com. Ascent has successfully raised cash via the platform in the past. The broker handling the deal is Stanford Capital Partners. Ascent, which has €400,000 in the bank plus a deposit for a bank guarantee of €200,000, is refocusing its expansion outside of Slovenia because of regulatory hold ups in the country. Revenues from the export of gas from Slovenia totalled €2.1m in 2018 but gaining permission to process the gas and sell it to the national grid has proved difficult.
Knights Group Holdings (KGH) has acquired Leicester-based legal services business Cummins for £1.57m in cash and shares. This fits well with the existing east Midlands operations. In the six months to October 2018, group revenues were 37% ahead at £23.9m and organic growth was 10%. Underlying pre-tax profit doubled to £4.4m. The maiden interim dividend is 0.6p a share. Net debt was £9.5m at the end of October 2018. Average fees per fee earner was one-quarter higher at £66,000.
Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) did better than expected last year. The 2018 pre-tax profit forecast has been raised by 5% to $29m. Net cash is $25m and 50% of the excess over $15m will be paid in a special dividend on top of the ordinary dividend. Somero has also paid $2m for concrete pouring and line dragging company Line Dragon and this broadens the product range.
Student accommodation activities fuelled the growth of Watkin Jones (WJG) last year but private rental will become increasingly important from this year onwards. Richard Simpson has taken over as chief executive.
Kromek (KMK) is making progress towards breakeven and it has plenty of cash in the bank to take it there. The imaging and radiation detection technology developer has a strong order book. There was a dip in first half revenues because of the transfer of production to a new site in Pittsburgh. Even so, full year revenues are forecast to increase from £11.8m to £15m and the loss should reduce from £2.5m to £1.9m.
Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is selling its antinomy exploration interests in Turkey. The company’s main asset is the 40% shareholding in the Sohar antinomy and gold production facility in northern Oman. Some engineering problems have to be sorted out before the plant is fully up and running. More cash will be required. The venture has requested $10.5m from its shareholders.
The market was disappointed by news from Verona Pharma (VRP) about the clinical trial results for COPD treatment Ensifentrine (RPL554). Two different does were used in combination with Stiolto Respimat. The treatment did work better than the placebo, but the improvement in breathing was not statistically significant. The share price slumped by more than one-third, although there was a small subsequent recovery.
CH Bailey (BLEY) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and it is asking for shareholder approval. The company is offering to buy back shares at 100p each via a tender offer.
Ariana Resources (AAU) says that its 50%-owned Kiziltepe mine produced 27,110ounces of gold in 2018. Ariana expects its $33m development loan to be fully repaid during 2019.
Tax Systems (TAX) had reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.
Ideagen (IDEA) is acquiring Cork-based Scannell Solutions, which provides environmental health and safety software, for £3.5m. Annualised revenues are around €1m, of which, two-thirds is recurring.
Consumer engagement technology provider Pelatro (PTRO) has confirmed that 2018 figures are in line with expectations and there was improved cash generation in the second half. Net cash was $1.8m at the end of 2018. finnCap expects 2019 pre-tax profit to double from $2.9m to $6m.
Plexus Holdings (POS) plans to buy back 4.95 million shares owned by LLC Gusar. The price will be 50.5p a share. Gusar will use the cash to buy two POS-GRIP wellhead systems, which it announced it was going to buy one year ago.
Midwich Group (MIDW) has acquired MobilePro AG, which expands the audio visual products distributor into Switzerland. The business has annual revenues of CHF25m.
Pharmaxis has completed a toxicity study for two LOXL2 inhibitors in which Synairgen (SNG) has a 17%carried financial interest. Pharmaxis can brief potential licensing partners with the information gained.
Tracsis (TRCS) is acquiring Compass Informatics, which is a data analytics and systems development business. Tracsis is paying up to €5.15m for the Dublin-based company, which made a pre-tax profit of £600,000 last year.
Portmeirion Group (PMP) has achieved record sales in 2018 and beat the profit forecast of £9.5m. The fastest growth came in the home fragrance division.
Iofina (IOF) achieved record iodine production levels in the second half of 2018. Full year production was 17% higher at 588.8 million tonnes. There should be a further rise in production this year and that could move Iofina into profit.
Brandon Hill has initiated coverage of Karelian Diamond Resources (KDR) and it has valued the company’s Lahtojoki diamond project in Finland at $32.9m, based on an average diamond price of $100/carat.
The People’s Operator (TPOP) has postponed the appointment of an administrator as negotiations with interested parties continue.
Kestrel Opportunities has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) from 22.2% to 23.1%. Little more than one year ago the stake was below 15%.
Caledonia Mining Corporation (CMCL) has cut 2019 gold production guidance for its Blanket Mine and WH Ireland has downgraded its forecast from 61,200 ounces to 55,500 ounces, which is at the higher end of the guidance. There was 54,5000 ounces of gold produced in 2018.
Athelney Trust (ATY) is holding the requisitioned general meeting on Tuesday 22 January. Robin Boyle has requisitioned a general meeting in order to get himself reappointed. He left the board last year after a disagreement over the future of the investment company. He wanted to stay on as a non-executive director to shepherd the change in investment management for the trust. The plan is to get Gresham House involved in the investment management. Boyle also wants David Lawman and Paul Coffin to be appointed and the three existing directors, Dr Emmanuel Pohl, Simon Moore and Jemma Jackson, to be removed.
Path Investments (PATH) has signed heads of agreement with ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue. Path had £31,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.
Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has agreed to sell its $300,000 investment in the Dallas Wheel project back to the developers. Challenger has received $27,000 in interest and will receive $50,000 a month, plus interest, for six months.
Gresham Technologies (GHT) has sold its VME mainframe software business for £2m.
Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has sufficient cash to finance continued exploration in the first quarter of 2019. By the middle of the year the gems explorer will be able to estimate how much cash it requires to start trial mining.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) has published its prospectus for the proposed switch to the standard list. The prospectus has been approved by the Central Bank of Ireland. The switch should happen by the end of May. At 1.5p (1p/2p) a share, IMC is valued at £1.6m.
St Mark Homes (SMAP) is trading at a discount of one-fifth to its NAV at the end of 2015. At 105p (90p/120p) a share, St Marks is valued at £3.1m, compared with the latest NAV of £3.95m. In 2015, pre-tax profit dipped from £579,000 to £549,000. The regional house builder has three projects in Surrey which will contribute to profit in 2016 and 2017, while the final two sales at Cheltenham were made earlier this year and there have been initial sales in Richmond. St Mark has already paid a dividend of 4.5p a share. Obtaining sufficient capital is difficult and it is holding back progress.
FT8 (GFT) has raised £173,000 at 0.7p a share in order to provide working capital following the news that a $1.5m finance package that was revealed last year has not become available. At 0.65p (0.6p/0.7p) a share, FT8, which was formerly Ezybonds, is valued at £4.8m. Last week, 65,000 shares were traded at 0.6p each – the first deal since March.
Seeing Machines (SEE) has signed a term sheet with a US investment fund which should mark the start of the process of spinning off the automotive technology operations of the company into a separate company, which will focus on the development of this technology. Seeing Machines will retain a significant stake. A product has already been provided to a customer and it will be in cars launched in 2018 – slightly later than hoped.
Greka Engineering & Technology Ltd (GEL), one of the spin offs from China-focused coal mine methane producer Golden Dragon Gas, plans to leave AIM. Trading in the shares of the s-making gas engineering and technology business has been limited since the spin off in September 2013. The board already has the backing of the owners of more than 75% of the shares so this will go ahead. Charles Stanley has been given the job of acquiring shares in the market at 0.8p each up until the quotation is cancelled.
Storm and waste water treatment equipment manufacturer Hydro International (HYD) has received a bid approach from major shareholder Hanover Investors. Hanover took a 17.5% stake in the middle of January and the share price has risen by one-third since then. The order book continued to grow in the first quarter, with orders in the North American wastewater market recovering. However, the orders will not contribute significantly until the second half of 2016.
HML Holdings (HML) has acquired Essex-based residential property lettings firm Homes & Watson Partnership for £360,000. The deal adds 1,400 units taking the group total to around 60,000. Trading is in line with expectations so pre-tax profit for the year to March 2016 should be £1.6m.
Karelian Diamond Resources (KDR) has raised £250,000 at 0.8p a share and this will help to fund development of the Lahtojoki diamond project. Each new share has a warrant attached that provides the opportunity to subscribe for another share at 1.6p each. They have to be exercised if the share price is at or above 5p for at least ten days.
TV and digital publishing company Ten Alps (TAL) has warned that recovery is taking much longer than expected. The television programme production business is doing well despite commissioning delays but publishing remains a problem area and it continues to lose money. The group loss for the year to June 2016 is likely to be lower than last year. Parts of the publishing division will be sold and the rest restructured.
Residential property developer Formation Group (FRM) fell into loss at the interim stage but there should be significant profits in the second half. There is £3.9m of profit share to come from the Norwich House development and there will be profit from the Iverson Road development. An interim profit was reported due to the writing back of a loan previously provided for but higher admin expenses meant that there was an operating loss. NAV rose from £7.6m to nearly £10m.
Latest edition of AIM Journal available here.
North Midland Construction (NMD) continued to be profitable in the first quarter of this year having returned to profit in 2015. The order book for 2016 is around £200m with more to come from framework contracts. Only one costly legacy contract remains to be sorted out. The utilities division remains loss-making and existing contracts being reviewed. Civil engineering made a small first quarter profit. The main improvement came in the water-infrastructure business even though the latest AMP6 capital spending regulatory cycle is still building up. The main focus of the group is improving margins plus better cash collection.