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Peel Hunt forecasts a dip in Shepherd Neame (SHEP) pre-tax profit from £11.8m to £11.2m in the year to June 2019. The broker still expects the total dividend to be increased from 29.2p a share to 30p a share.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has suspended Ian Fellman as a non-executive director pending investigation into certain matters. The mortgagee of two units at Whitehouse Business park in Peterlee has enforced security and sold the properties and these have been written off the Etaireia balance sheet. David Barnett, who owns 37.8% of the company, has requisitioned a general meeting in order to have himself appointed to the board.
European Lithium (EUR) expects to commence drilling in the second quarter in order to convert the resource in zone one of the Wolfsburg lithium project into measured and indicated categories. The company is part of a syndicate applying for grant funding for building up battery production in Germany. Lithium hydroxide is expected to continue to rise in price until 2022 and then fall back. European Lithium is in talks with lithium battery plant operators in Europe about an offtake agreement. The company had £3.3m of cash and financial assets at the end of 2018, as well as a convertible note of £2.56m, with more available to draw down. There was a cash outflow of £2.6m in the six month period. European Lithium is also ASX-listed and is considering a listing in Vienna.
Sandal (SAND) has decided to leave the NEX Exchange growth market after four years. Management says that share trading is limited, and the company has not been able to raise the cash it wanted to. They believe it would be easier to raise funds as an unquoted company. The company already has the backing of enough shareholders to make a general meeting pointless. The last day of trading is 10 April.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has already made a significant gain on its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) after the miner announced a $65m farm-in agreement with Newcrest for the Havieron gold copper project in Western Australia. Newcrest, which will ear up to 70% of the project, also has first right of refusal over the rest of the Paterson project area. The Greatland stake cost 1.71p a share. Even after some profit-taking, the Greatland share price is 2p, which represents a gain of more than £100,000 on the Primorus investment. Primorus has invested £875,000 in WeShop Ltd and has a 3.5% stake worth more than £1m. WeShop has developed new branding for its platform, added to its product range and enhanced the management team. The number of WeShop retailers has trebled to more than 9,000. The technology provides access to more than 20,000 merchants around the world. Vela Technologies (VELA) has a 1.42% stake in WeShop, which cost £100,000 and is valued at £427,000. Two Shields Investments (TSI) invested at a later date and has a 1.2% stake valued at £350,000.
Barkby Group (BARK) made a small interim loss on revenues of £1.82m. The three gastropubs operated by the company were profitable before central overheads and exceptionals. There was £37,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and a VAT refund is expected. This period is before the acquisition of Centurian Automotive, which was acquired for shares.
Gunsynd (GUN) has sold its stake in UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) at 1.405p a share. The 31.17 million shares raised £438,000. Gunsynd had net assets of £2.18m at the end of January 2019, including £543,000 in cash. The flotation of FastBase Inc has been delayed and Gunsynd is no longer advising the company. Human Brands International Inc, where Gunsynd has a £300,000 convertibles investment, is on course for a standard listing.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has incorporated a subsidiary in Gibraltar and it is applying for a business licence.
Ganapati (GANP) says that its subsidiary GanaEight Coin Ltd, which is developing and operating a blockchain-based online casino platform, has launched a virtual token private pre-sale of its initial virtual financial asset offering.
Gavin Burnell has bought 5.83 million shares in Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) and that takes his stake to 22.3%. His fellow director Charles Vaughan bought 750,000 shares, taking his shareholding to 1.67%. Non-executive chairman Brian Rowbotham bought the same number of shares, taking his stake to 3.09%. The shares were all acquired at 0.136p each.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has commenced gold mining under the joint venture agreement with VAST Mineral Sands in Australia, where it has a 50% economic interest. Tectonic has provided the initial funding. Tectonic is considering moving to the standard list.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has taken a 3.48% stake in standard listed coal bed methane company Curzon Energy (CZN). Brian Kinane has resigned as a director of Curzon.
Driver Group (DRV) disappointed the market with a warning because of delayed expert witness contracts in the first half. The construction consultancy services provider has not made the expected progress in the Middle East and south east Asia and full year underlying pre-tax profit will be slightly lower than the £3.5m originally forecast. There is a strong pipeline of potential business, but this has to be secured in order to reassure investors about the full year outcome. There is still £5.1m in the bank. Driver will spend up to £500,000 buying back shares and it has already spent £124,000 at 55p a share. The directors have also been buying shares.
Bowmark Capital has increased its bid for Tax Systems (TAX) from 110p a share to 115p a share, valuing the company at £102.3m. The subsequent general meeting voted in favour of the scheme of arrangement.
Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) increased its revenues from £4.12m to £5.38m, while the loss was cut by two-thirds to £1m. The loss should be much lower in 2019 and cash should be generated so that net cash exceeds £1m. Demand for cyber security continues to grow and the consulting division is getting business from existing and new clients. This is also feeding through to additional managed services business.
Marshall Motor (MMH) managed to edge up its underlying pre-tax profit to £25.7m even though trading conditions remain tough for car dealers. There was a strong last quarter for the used cars division. A small dip in profit to £24.1m is expected for 2019.
Franchise Brands (FRAN) had a full 12-month contribution from the Metro Rod business acquired in 2017, although the full benefits of the restructuring of the business and IT investment are still to come through. These changes should help to generate organic growth this year. Allenby forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £2.9m to £3.5m in 2019. The group is in a position to seek more acquisitions, particularly ones that add to the services provided by Metro Rod.
Microsaic Systems (MSYS) grew its full year revenues by 69% to £578,000 and gross margin improved. The protein identification product ProteinID will be launched later this month. There was still £5.4m in the bank at the end of 2018. This is enough to cover the expected cash requirements.
Standard list shell Safe Harbour Holdings (SHH) has appointed James Brotherton as finance director. He was previously finance director at Tyman, where he was involved in acquisitions, and he earned £568,000 in 2017. Fully listed Tyman, which was previously on AIM, made an underlying pre-tax profit of £72.7m in 2018. The acquisition Safe Harbour is seeking will be in distribution and business services. WSP founder Chris Cole was recently appointed as independent non-executive director. There was £28.1m in the bank at the end of June 2018.
Immupharma (IMM) is seeking partners for its lupus treatment Lupuzor and is also seeking to commence a managed access programme in Europe for the treatment. An extension study from the original phase III trial has commenced.
RedT Energy (RED) is raising up to £3.2m via a placing and open offer at 2p a share, ahead of a strategic review to decide how to finance the business. Last October, the energy storage equipment developer raised £5.03m at 7p a share. The company could generate $1m from the sale of its US business and costs are being cut. The plan is to cut the monthly cash costs to less than £500,000. Discussions continue with strategic partners.
SimplyBiz Group (SBIZ) has signed a five-year contract with insurer Aviva, which will use the company’s Zest employee benefits technology platform to deliver a new benefits product for smaller clients. This follows a three-year contract with Taylor Wimpey, which will use Zest to deliver employee benefits to its 5,000 plus employees.
Concepta (CPT) is supplying its myLotus fertility test to Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Proton Power Systems (PPS) has signed a letter of intent with Skoda for the development of fuel cell electric buses using Proton’s HyRange systems. The plan is to build 10 buses by the first quarter of 2020.
i3 Energy (I3E) has raised £16m via a placing at 16p a share, although it is partly dependent on shareholder approval for the issue of additional shares. Existing shareholders are being given the opportunity to subscribe up to £2m through an open offer. Along with a £24m loan, the cash will fund the drilling of three wells. Two will be on the Liberator oil field and the other will be on the Serenity prospect.
Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) has raised £150,000 at 0.8p a share, which was a 23% discount to the market price. Management and an existing shareholder bought the shares.
Urals Energy (UEN) failed to replace Allenby as nominated adviser and the quotation has been cancelled.
Mereo BioPharma (MPH) expects its merger with OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc to close in the second quarter of 2019.
Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) achieved crude oil sales of 1,994 barrels per day in January and 2,179 barrels per day in February. The realised prices were $52/barrel and $56.84/barrel for each month respectively. Current estimated production is 2,358 barrels per day.
Quarto Group (QRT) reported a 51% recovery in underlying 2018 pre-tax profit to $5.9m, although the publisher’s revenues were slightly lower. The best performance was in children’s publishing. Net debt fell by 6% to $60.4m.
Local Shopping REIT (LSR) has responded to the bid by Thalassa (THAL) and it continues to find it opportunistic. The company is committed to returning cash to shareholders and it argues that they will get more cash than the £9m on offer as part of the cash and shares bid. The offer is 14.64p in cash and 0.26 of a Thalassa share for each Local Shopping REIT share.
Path Investments (PATH) has withdrawn from the proposed transaction with ARC Marlborough after due diligence. The plan was to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland.
European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has converted more of its bonds into shares in WideCells Group (WDC) having sold most of the recently converted shares. A further 115 million shares have been issued in return for £115,000 of bonds and a penalty payment of £172,500.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has submitted an application for a permit to develop the Kochang Mine in South Korea. The application for the Gubong mine should get a response by 23 March.
London Nusantara Plantations has become Panther Metals (PALM) and it has sent out notice of a general meeting on 1 May to enable directors to issue up to one billion shares. This power will expire after 15 months. The company is issuing 17 million shares at 0.1p a share to pay a £17,000 bill from an adviser.
Early Equity (EEQP) had £429,000 in the bank at the end of February 2018. The company raised £705,000 during the year and this has helped to increase the value of the investment portfolio from £594,000 to £1.01m. The NAV has increased from £639,000 to £1.54m. There are plans to raise more cash if its is required for additional investments.
Forbes Ventures (FOR) says that investee company Civilised Bank Ltd has released the banking licence it was granted by the Bank of England because it will not meet the mobilisation deadline. There have been delays in developing the IT needed by the bank so the intention is to reapply when the IT development is further advanced.
Oil palm plantations operator MP Evans (MPE) is starting to enjoy the benefits of its investment in planting oil palm but there is plenty more to come. The 2017 profit was boosted by a gain on discontinued operations of $68m. The underlying dividend improved from 15p a share to 17.75p a share and there should be continued growth as the plantations mature. The value of the business is estimated at £11 a share.
The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) increased revenues by 23% to £10.2m and this led to a one-third improvement in pre-tax profit to £4.3m. This was despite the loss by online estate agency EweMove, where new management has been put in place. The total dividend is 7.5p a share and there was a modest year-end net cash position. The tenant fee ban could hit the business in 2019 but there is time to mitigate the impact.
Parity (PTY) has completed its turnaround and from now on profit growth will come from growing the revenues. The IT recruitment side was hit by changes in tax treatment for freelancers working for government departments but underlying pre-tax profit was still improved from £1.4m to £1.7m. The recently announced Primark contract will help this year. The higher margin consultancy business continues to grow. Cash generation was better than expected with net debt falling from £4.4m to £1.6m. There should be net cash at the end of 2018. There is also the prospect of a dividend in the medium-term.
D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) had a strong fourth quarter and this strength is set to continue into the first few months of this financial year.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) boss Matthew Idiens has nearly doubled his stake in the oil and gas company through the acquisition of 800,000 shares at an average price of 2.5p each. Finance director Christopher Eadie has bought 424,715 shares at an average of 2.35p each. Rose recently added to its land position in the Paradox Basin in Utah. Rose acquired a 75% working interest in 3,320 gross acres for $120,000. There has already been a 3D seismic survey of the acreage.
Frontier IP (FIPP) has increased its stake in Fieldwork Robotics by offering additional engineering and development support. That will help to develop a prototype for harvesting vegetables. The stake will rise from 21% to 27.5%.
Boku Inc (BOKU) is growing its revenues and the relatively stable cost base means that it could be on course for a profit in 2018. The direct mobile carrier billing company is expected to grow revenues from $24.4m to $32.7m in 2018 and that would be enough to make a profit. Additional services could further boost long-term revenues.
Starcom (STAR) published a positive AGM statement. First quarter revenues were much higher than expected at $1.5m, which is nearly double the first quarter of 2017. This should help to reduce the loss this year.
RedT Energy (RED) is raising £3.85m at 5.9p a share and this will be invested in growing its energy storage technology business.
Cadmium-free quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) had £8.7m in the bank at the end of January 2018, thanks to the £8m raised in November. The reported interim loss declined from £6.4m to £4.8m. There could be additional revenues in the second half from initial payments by the US partner funding the development of nano-particles for electronic devices. There should also be product revenues from the launch of gaming-focused computer displays in the second half. There should be £5.7m in the bank at the end of July 2018.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) says that it intends to increase the number of rooms and add office space in its second development. This will increase the rental income. These changes have been sparked by the potential housing association buyer of the assisted housing development. The architect will have to make changes to the plans and a two-month extension to the option period for the purchase from the current owner of the building.
China-focused health food products supplier World Trade Systems (WTS) increased its revenues from £8.7m to £19.6m in 2017. There reported profit more than doubled from £906,000 to £1.98m. There is £2.17m in the bank offset by £1.26m of borrowings.
Standard list shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has raised £115,000 at 20p a share. This should help to improve the limited liquidity of the shares. A one-for-40 open offer at the same share price could raise up to £253,000 more. The suspension of trading in the shares should be lifted on 19 April. The suspension price was 125p a share. In January, £4m was raised at 8p a share and the limited liquidity led to a ridiculous rise in the share price.
Goldcrest Resources (GCRP) has secured the acquisition of Taoudeni Resources, which owns the Asheba gold project that is situated at the southern end of the Ashanti gold belt in Ghana. Goldcrest’s non-executive chairman Gavin Burnell is also a shareholder in Taoudeni, which has a non-JORC compliant resource of 176,000 ounces at 1.8g/t. Goldcrest has already conditionally acquired the nearby Akoko gold project, which has a JORC resource of 92,800 ounces at 1.9g/t. The company will seek to generate a JORC-based resource for the combined project. Goldcrest will issue 599.2 million shares for the initial consideration with deferred consideration of 617.7 million and 102.3 million warrants exercisable at 0.05p a share and lasting ten years. ISDX-quoted Hot Rocks Investments will receive 193.5 million of the initial consideration shares, taking its stake to 14.6%, plus 43.2 million of the warrants and is due to receive 320.8 million of the deferred consideration shares. AIM-quoted Sunrise Resources receives 116.6 million shares and 9.8 million warrants. Niall Tomlinson and Dr Ryan Long will join the Goldcrest board. At 0.06p (0.05p/0.07p) a share, Goldcrest is currently valued at £900,000.
A newly formed subsidiary of FT8 (GFT) has taken a 40% stake in BIPS Technologies in exchange for rights to use technology developed by FT8 to make payments and disbursements of employee benefits for healthcare providers and insurers and in this case specifically for the voluntary benefits market in the US. FT8 has also agreed to cover banking fees associated with the administration of a Supplemental Insurance Funds Transfer Program. BIPS will hold the contractual rights to this fund which will service the clients of Homeland HealthCare Inc. A minimum employee enrolment of 75,000 is projected by the end of 2016 and it is projected that it could reach a minimum of 350,000 by the end of 2018. Gross revenue per employee signed up should be just over $1/month. FT8 will not have to provide any additional finance for BIPS. At 0.65p (0.6p/0.7p) a share, FT8 is valued at £4.8m.
Blockchain technology companies investor Coinsilium Group (COIN) has invested an additional $50,000 in data management blockchain company Factom Inc. This takes the total invested to $200,000, which equates to 2% of the diluted share capital of Factom. The Coinsilium share price has recovered to 8p (6.5p/9.5p).
Ecovista (EVTP) is raising a further £252,000 at 0.06p a share. The current share price is 0.075p (0.07p/0.08p). Ecovista is also seeking shareholder approval at its AGM so that any breach of the directors duties caused by previously issuing more shares than they were allowed to will be waived.
Trading in the bonds of recruitment company Positive Healthcare (DOC) has been suspended because £1.75m of the £2m that the company claimed it had raised has not been received. The bond register needs to be rectified and then Positive Healthcare can try to issue more bonds.
Via Developments (VIA1) has raised an additional £206,000 (£204,000 after expenses) from a further issue of 7% debenture stock 2020. This takes the debentures in issue to £1.76m. Via joined ISDX on 5 November having issued £530,000 7% debenture stock 2020. The Manchester-based residential property development funder wants to raise up to £3.5m.
Empyrean Energy (EME) is selling its 3% interest in the Sugarloaf AMI development in Texas to Carrier Energy Partners II for $61.5m and this should enable a cash distribution to shareholders. If oil prices average more than $55/barrel this year then more could be payable – up to a maximum of $10m. Empyrean expects to pay $3.6m in tax plus $5.2m for outstanding bills owed to the Sugarloaf operator Marathon Oil and it will repay its debt facility of $21.6m. This will leave Empyrean with a 58.1% working interest in the Eagle Pool development project in California, a 7.5% working interest in two producing wells in Sugarloaf block A and a 10% working interest in Riverbend project in Texas. New opportunities will be sought.
Colin Porter is stepping down as chief executive of STM Group (STM) in order to take up a position in the US. He has a 12 month notice period so there is plenty of time to find a replacement. This led to a sharp drop in the share price even though it was confirmed that trading is in line with expectations for a 2015 profit of £2.7m. Alan Kentish will become interim chief executive.
Energy storage technology developer RedT Energy (RED) is raising £3.5m at 6.75p a share – a huge discount to the market price. The share price was just over 10.5p a share a few days before the placing was announced but it fell to 8.38p a share after the announcement – although that is still relatively high compared to the share price in the past three years. House broker finnCap has edged down its target price from 14.5p to 14p. RedT has received an initial $2m from the sale of its US biogas interests so it will have a cash pile to finance the commercialisation of its battery technology.
Big data services provider Fusionex International (FXI) reported revenue growth of 33% to RM70m last year. In the year to September 2015, pre-tax profit rose from RM19.5 to RM24.9m, while earnings per share were 28% higher at RM0.58 (9.4p). There has been criticism of cash generation levels and this led to a slump in the share price. Fusionex says that since September RM23.4m (£3.8m) of the year-end receivables of RM28.5m (£4.6m) has been collected.
Nasstar (NASA) says trading is in line with expectations following a strong second half, helped by the acquisition of VESK. The cloud-based services supplier has renewed the contract with its largest client – there had been some client losses earlier in the year. Net debt of £5.3m at the end of 2015 is slightly lower than expected.
Worldview Capital Management says that it is considering a cash offer for Petroceltic International (PCI). Worldview already owns 29.6% of the Irish oil and gas company, which launched a strategic review before Christmas. Advances have been received for some of Petroceltic’s remaining assets. Petroceltic has received a further waiver of repayments under its senior debt facility until 29 January so that it can continue with its strategic review. The debt facility amounted to $217.8m before Christmas.
Portfolio analytics software supplier StatPro (SOG) has paid an initial $10m for Investor Analytics, a US business that provides cloud-based risk analytics for hedge funds and asset managers. Up to $6m more could be payable depending on winning new contracts. The business has annualised recurring revenues of $4.85m (£3.3m) – out of total revenues of $5m – and should be earnings enhancing in 2016 following integration and annual cost savings of £700,000 – at a cost of up to £1m.
Tissue Regenix (TRX) says that DermaPure, which is used to treat wounds due to diabetes, has generated more than $1m in sales and it is available for reimbursement in 31 states of the US. Tissue Regenix has recruited 20 people for the OrthoPure XM clinical trial designed to gain a CE mark in Europe. OrthoPure XM is designed to repair damaged menisci, which is a condition that could lead to the onset of osteo-arthritis. The patients will be monitored for six months as part of the final information required for the CE mark submission later this year. Consort Medical boss Jonathan Glenn has been appointed a non-executive and Tissue Regenix will benefit from his medical devices expertise.
Condor Gold (CNR) has ended the strategic review it announced last September and it is no longer deemed to be in an offer period. The share price slumped by two-thirds over the period which meant that Condor was valued at $5/resource ounce so a realistic bid is unlikely at the moment. The average NPV of the La India project in Nicaragua is $196m. There are 1,544,000 ounces of inferred and indicated contained gold resources in total. Average annual gold production of 165,000 ounces is anticipated for the first five years and cash costs of production should be less than $700/ounce.
Investment company Highway Capital (HWC) has appointed the chief executive of the Bucharest Stock Exchange as its new chairman. Ludwik Sobolewski was previously the boss of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. This follows the appointment of Dariusz Zych and Jacek Ślotała as directors in November. This suggests an eastern European focus to investments. Dominic Wheatley has stepped down as chairman but remains on the board. The other director, Maciej Szytko, has loaned £120,000 to Highway on top of a previous £30,000 loan. The loan lasts five years, from July 2015, and is convertible at 10p a share. Szytko already has a 29.99% shareholding. At the time of the loan the share price was 16p, while the current share price is 14.5p. Highway moved from a premium listing to the more lightly regulated standard listing in 2013.
Cash shell Falcon Acquisitions Ltd (FAL) has gone to a 70% premium following its flotation on the standard list on 18 January. An initial placing raised £1.6m at 10p, which capitalised the company at £2.04m, and the shares ended the week at 17p. This is based on just over one million shares traded during the week. There is a secondary fundraising that may raise up to £2m at a share price to be set between 10p and 30p. There was already £265,000 in the bank before the flotation so there is cash of £1.65m after costs of £220,000, compared with a market value of £3.47m. The focus is acquiring businesses involved in online, mobile and video broadcasting. Any target is likely to be worth up to £30m.