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175270  Next Plc 2017-03-23 07:31:00  2017-03-23 15:14:15  2017-03-23 07:38:38  Next shares jump as investors shrug off annual profit decline and note robust cash flows  Next shares jump as investors shrug off annual profit decline and note robust cash flows  Fashion, clothing, inflation, Brexit, full year results    next-shares-jump-as-investors-shrug-off-annual-profit-decline-and-note-robust-cash-flows-175270.html    <p> Clothing retailer Next plc (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:NXT/Next-Plc/" rel="3183">LON:NXT</a>) reported its first decline in annual profits for eight years and said it expects another tough year ahead as consumer spending habits shifts due to rising inflation.</p> <p> But shares jumped 6.33% to 4,135.0p in morning trading as investors focused on its robust cash flows and plans to invest in its online catalogue business Next Directory.</p> <p> Pre-tax profit fell 3.8% to £790.2mln in the year to the end of January, compared to £821.3mln the previous year. But it came as no surprise to the market after the company cut its profit guidance in January to £792mln from a previous estimate of between £$785mln and £825mln.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7151/an-inflection-point-for-next-plc-says-wilson-king-s-richard-hunter-7151.html" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">WATCH: Richard Hunter sees an "inflection point" for Next ...</a></h3> <p> “Not a pretty set of figures from Next but no worse than expected after warning on profits in January. Following that dire Christmas trading update investors were prepared for this and the retailer remains extremely cautious about the year ahead," said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, adding that investors seem to be "reassured that it’s taking steps to turn things around with a focus on core products."</p> <p> Revenue fell to £4.0bn from £4.2bn, driven by a 2.9% sales decline in its retail business, which includes 538 stores. Brand sales were flat while sales in the online catalogue Next Directory arm rose 4.2%.</p> <p> Next said consumer spending preferences have changed as a weaker pound following last June’s Brexit vote has pushed inflation higher. The company pointed to the Barclaycard consumer spending report for the fourth quarter of 2016, which showed a 0.3% decline in high street clothing sales, compared to a 11% increase at restaurants and a 8% rise in entertainment spend.</p> <p> “The clothing sector faces three potential threats: a sectorial shift away from spending on clothing, price inflation as a result of Sterling’s devaluation and potentially weaker growth in real incomes in the wider economy,” Next said.</p> <p> The group left its ordinary dividend per share at 158.0p as Next generated an increase in surplus cash to £330mln from £300mln and rose discretionary cash flows to £717ln from £655mln.&nbsp;</p> <p> Net debt increased by £11mln to £861mln as the company spent £161mln on new stores, warehousing and systems.</p> <p> Chairman John Barton, who is stepping down in August and will be succeeded by Michael Roney, said it had been a “challenging” year for Next.</p> <p> The drop in full year profit was the first since fiscal year 2008 when businesses were still reeling from the financial crisis.</p> <p> Barton said while profits fell and its share price halved at the time, the group recovered strongly in the following years. He expects history to repeat itself.</p> <p> “Trading conditions in the year ahead will continue to be tough, however I believe that by focusing on our core strengths, as we did during 2008, we will see Next emerge from this period stronger than before.”</p> <p> Next has said it is expecting another fall in profits to a range of £680mln to £780mln this year and has guided to sales of between a 4.5% drop to a 1.5% increase.</p> <h3> Difficult year but brand not broken...</h3> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/PRIVATE:CANT/Cantor-Fitzgerald/" rel="15527">Cantor Fitzgerald</a> said: "Next has an impressive track record and generates significant free cash flow, which enables it to buy back shares and pay special dividends. However, Directory growth is slowing while initiatives, including the (branded business) UK label, are undergoing a period of consolidation, overseas development appears to have slowed and the online competitive environment is more challenging."</p> <p> However, Cantor said the brand is "not broken" even if it has lost business to mainstream competitors and reiterated a 'hold' rating and target price of 4,600p.</p> <p> Richard Hunter, head of research at <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/PRIVATE:WKI/Wilson-King-Investment-Management/" rel="14655">Wilson King Investment Management</a> noted that “focused efforts to revitalise the Directory brand are being made, whilst the company’s ability to contain costs, ensure stock availability and invest in the business (such as new store openings), remains in evidence”.</p> <p> “In addition, the dividend yield of over 4% is a reason for investors to wait, whilst confirmation of further special dividends adds to the immediate shareholder return.”</p> <p> Next plans to increase investment in Directory systems and content by £11mln. It will roll out ‘Next Unlimited’, which allows customers to pay £20 for a year’s unlimited next-day delivery in the UK and Northern Ireland.</p> <p> The retailer will also develop new credit offers, improve its search engine functionality and launch an overseas mobile website in August.</p> <p> Meanwhile, Shore Capital analyst George Mensah noted the trend towards&nbsp;Directory customers gravitating towards cash accounts and away from the credit offer, which allows customers to buy items on credit and make repayments over a longer period. The credit customer base fell 3% during the period.</p> <p> The Directory business has been relying heavily on the credit book and while it posted a 4.3% increase in sales, it marked a slowdown from the 7.7% growth in the previous year. Next expects the credit customer base to continue to decline at a modest rate in the year ahead.</p> <p> "We reiterate our 'sell' stance as we feel the legacy impact of the Next retail division and wider consumer pressures will not be sufficiently offset by the growth trajectory of the Directory business," said&nbsp;</p> <p> --- Adds share price reaction, broker comment --&nbsp;</p>   Clothing retailer Next plc (LON:NXT) reported its first decline in annual profits for eight years and said it expects another tough year ahead as consumer spending habits shifts due to rising inflation. Pre-tax profit fell 3.8% to £790.2mln in the year to the end of January, compared to £821.3mln the previous year.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
175286  Intelligent Energy Holdings 2017-03-23 09:57:00  2017-03-23 10:03:48  2017-03-23 10:03:01  Intelligent Energy rockets higher after unveiling first sale of fuel cell systems for drones  Intelligent Energy rockets higher after unveiling first sale of fuel cell systems for drones  Intelligent Energy Holdings PLC, shares rocket higher, up almost 200% , thealternative energy group, unveils, first sale, fuel cell system, for drones    intelligent-energy-rockets-higher-after-unveiling-first-sale-of-fuel-cell-systems-for-drones-175286.html    <p> Shares in Intelligent <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/OTCMKTS:EGYH/Energy-Holdings/" rel="12137">Energy Holdings</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:IEH/Intelligent-Energy-Holdings/" rel="10759">LON:IEH</a>) rocketed higher today, leaping almost 200% in value after the alternative energy group unveiled the first sale of its fuel cell systems for drones.</p> <p> In early morning trading, Intelligent Energy shares were nearly 196%, or 11.25p higher at 17.00p.</p> <p> In a statement, the group said it signed a deal with PINC, the world’s number 1 yard management solutions firm, to supply its air-cooled fuel cell systems for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).</p> <p> It said it marks Intelligent Energy's first sale of fuel cell systems for UAVs as the Company moves forward with the commercialisation of its technology.</p> <p> PINC uses UAVs to identify and orchestrate hard-to-reach inventory for companies such as car makers warehousing their stock. The US-based group will operate the fuel cell powered UAVs alongside battery operated UAVs as part of its inventory robotics offering, which provides real-time inventory tracking by air.</p> <h3> Longer flight times ...</h3> <p> Intelligent Energy's fuel cell systems for UAVs offer longer flight time, fast refuel capabilities and flexibility for varying payloads, addressing some of the biggest challenges for users.</p> <p> PINC said it understands longer flight time is essential to the development of its customer offering and Intelligent Energy's fuel cell systems will provide this.</p> <p> Julian Hughes, <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SNR/Senior/" rel="3248">Senior</a> VP Intelligent Energy Inc, said: “PINC is leading the way with the use of hydrogen fuel cell UAVs in the supply chain and we are certain they will be impressed with the benefits our fuel cells will offer over conventional batteries.</p> <p> “We look forward to a long relationship with them."</p> <p> Matt Yearling, CEO at PINC, said: "Joining forces with an industry leader like Intelligent Energy will enable our inventory robotics solutions to perform more effectively and efficiently, thereby transforming the way organisations do inventory checks inside and outside of manufacturing plants and warehouses."</p> <p> Working prototypes of Intelligent Energy's fuel cell systems for UAVs were showcased last year at InterDrone.</p>   Shares in Intelligent Energy Holdings PLC rocketed higher today, leaping almost 200% in value after the alternative energy group unveiled the first sale of its fuel cell systems for drones. The group said it signed a deal with PINC, the world’s number 1 yard management solutions firm, to supply its air-cooled fuel cell systems for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
175287  Tesco 2017-03-23 09:54:00  2017-03-23 10:04:22  2017-03-23 10:04:22  Deutsche Bank sees Tesco and J Sainsbury going in opposite directions  Deutsche Bank sees Tesco and J Sainsbury going in opposite directions      deutsche-bank-sees-tesco-and-j-sainsbury-going-in-opposite-directions-175287.html    <p> It was a day of contrasting fortunes for <a href="-##!##-/LON:TSCO/Tesco/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3171">Tesco</a> PLC (<a href="-##!##-/LON:TSCO/Tesco/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3171">LON:TSCO</a>) and <a href="-##!##-/LON:SBRY/J-Sainsbury-plc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3170">J Sainsbury plc</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:SBRY/J-Sainsbury-plc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3170">LON:SBRY</a>) after a leading investment bank reshuffled its recommendations for the food retail sector.</p> <p> <a href="-##!##-/NYSE:DB/Deutsche-Bank/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="7150">Deutsche Bank</a> moved Tesco to a ‘buy’ (from ‘hold’), prompting a 1% rise in the share price, while it went in the opposite direction with Sainsbury, which chipped 1% from the company’s valuation.</p> <p> Both changes were justified by Deutsche on valution grounds. Sainsbury is now within 9% of the house’s price target, while Tesco has 27% ‘upside’, it said.</p> <p> The current Tesco share price underplays the potential for self-help measures to improve both profit margins and the return on investment.</p> <p> However, Deutsche doesn’t expect the recovery to be plain sailing.</p> <p> “The volatility in the share price reflects Tesco’s UK trading performance,” investors were told.</p> <p> “We don’t see Tesco as being in that steady state where volume growth is the biggest driver of margin.</p> <p> “Instead cost cutting and commercial gross margin gains are the biggest driver of margin development in the short to medium term.”</p> <p> At 9.45am, Tesco shares were trading 2.15p higher at 188p, while Sainsbury’s were down 2.7p at 264p.</p> <p> Of the 16 analysts logged as following Tesco only six are positive on the stock, according to the Brokerforecasts site. The City is even more bearish on the outlook for shares in Sainsbury with only two from 14 analysts in the ‘buy’ camp.</p>   It was a day of contrasting fortunes for Tesco and J Sainsbury after a leading investment bank reshuffled its recommendations for the food retail sector. Deutsche Bank moved Tesco to a ‘buy’ (from ‘hold’), prompting a 1% rise in the share price, while it went in the opposite direction with Sainsbury, which chipped 1% from the company’s valuation.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
175284  Obtala Ltd 2017-03-23 09:23:00  2017-03-23 09:33:28  2017-03-23 09:33:28  Obtala welcomes local relationships specialist to board  Obtala welcomes local relationships specialist to board      obtala-welcomes-local-relationships-specialist-to-board-175284.html    <p> Obtala Limited (<a href="-##!##-/LON:OBT/Obtala-Ltd/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="707">LON:OBT</a>), the Africa-focused agricultural and forestry company, said frontier markets specialist Jessica Camus has joined the board as a non-executive director.</p> <p> Camus brings extensive experience facilitating public private partnerships working with leaders from private sector, government and civil society globally, and across Sub-Saharan Africa, Obtala said.&nbsp;</p> <p> Her primary responsibilities will be the company's strategic engagement with multilateral organizations, civil society and key funding partners of socially effective programmes in Africa.</p> <p> "Jessica joins Obtala at a time of rapid expansion and it is of the utmost importance that the pace of this expansion does not leave behind our strong commitment to ethical standards. Jessica will immediately help by devising programmes that economically empower local communities&nbsp; and making sure that impact measurement is an integral part of our reporting processes,” said Miles Pelham, chairman of Obtala.</p> <p> "All stakeholders should welcome Jessica's appointment which will amplify Obtala's social impact efforts. The policies, programmes and processes to be implemented will aim to contribute to profound positive change in the communities in which we operate," he added.</p> <p> Shares in Obtala were up 1.7% at 17.8p in mid-morning trading.</p>   Obtala Limited, the Africa-focused agricultural and forestry company, said frontier markets specialist Jessica Camus has joined the board as a non-executive director. Camus brings extensive experience facilitating public private partnerships working with leaders from private sector, government and civil society globally, and across Sub-Saharan Africa, Obtala said.   NEWS          View Edit Delete
175310  SyndicateRoom 2017-03-23 09:15:00  2017-03-23 15:31:28  2017-03-23 15:31:28  Active Needle Technology raises £350k via SyndicateRoom  Active Needle Technology raises £350k via SyndicateRoom      active-needle-technology-raises-350k-via-syndicateroom-175310.html    <p> Online investment platform <a href="-##!##-/PRIVATE:SYD/SyndicateRoom/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="14524">SyndicateRoom</a> has helped raise £350,051 for Active Needle Technology.</p> <p> The medtech company was looking to raise at least £250,000 to further development of a device designed to help doctors perform needle-based procedures with greater accuracy and reliability.</p> <p> Needles have been used in deep tissue biopsies for decades, but it is known that the position of the tip of the needle can affect the accuracy of the diagnosis.</p> <p> Using technology developed at Dundee University, Active Needle’s product addresses the core needle biopsy market, providing a kind of sonar-driven sat-nav for the doctor.</p> <p> “Active Needle is a clear example of a medtech innovator developing equipment to benefit both clinicians and patients, whilst providing potentially significant cost-saving benefits for the health sector, making the world a better place,” said Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, chief executive officer and co-founder of SyndicateRoom.&nbsp;</p>   Online investment platform SyndicateRoom has helped raise £350,051 for Active Needle Technology. The medtech company was looking to raise at least £250,000 to further development of a device designed to help doctors perform needle-based procedures with greater accuracy and reliability.   NEWS          View Edit Delete
175282  GVC Holdings 2017-03-23 08:28:00  2017-03-23 09:14:44  2017-03-23 08:39:16  GVC to pay above-forecast second special dividend with underlying trading strong  GVC to pay above-forecast second special dividend with underlying trading strong  Foxy Bingo owner, GVC Holdings PLC, 2016 results, bigger than expected, second special dividend, strong underlying trading, acquisition of Bwin, completed last year    gvc-to-pay-above-forecast-second-special-dividend-with-underlying-trading-strong-175282.html    <p> Foxy Bingo owner <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:GVC/GVC-Holdings/" rel="8364">GVC Holdings</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:GVC/GVC-Holdings/" rel="8364">LON:GVC</a>) is to pay a bigger than expected second special dividend for 2016 on the back of strong underlying trading helped by its acquisition of Bwin which completed last year.</p> <p> The online sports betting and gaming&nbsp; - which bought Bwin for £1.1bln in September 2015 after a heated bidding war with <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:888/888-Holdings/" rel="3146">888 Holdings</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:888/888-Holdings/" rel="3146">LON:888</a>) -&nbsp; declared a second special dividend of 15.1 euro cents, taking the total payout for the year to 30 euro cents.</p> <p> In November, the FTSE 250-listed firm had said it would pay a special dividend of 10 euro cents per share for 2016, before bumping it up to 14.9 euro cents in December.</p> <p> GVC, whose brands also include partypoker and Sportingbet, said full-year 2016 group ‘clean’ underlying earnings (EBITDA) was up 26% to €205.7mln (US$222.09mln), while revenue rose 8% to €873.2mln.</p> <p> Kenneth Alexander, GVC’s CEO, said: "The acquisition of bwin.party in February 2016 was our most ambitious transaction to date and through the hard work of our people we have once again demonstrated our ability to create significant shareholder value through selected acquisitions.</p> <p> “Our strategy of pursuing international diversification and scale through leveraging our proprietary technology, is more appropriate today than at any time in our history. The organic growth opportunity is equally exciting and we are confident of delivering further growth in 2017."</p> <h3> Top pick ...</h3> <p> In a note to clients, analysts at Liberum Capital said: “FY16 Results are at the top end of previous expectations and FY17 has started very strongly - a further special dividend is an additional sign of confidence.”</p> <p> They added: “We see future scope for upgrades in addition to an upwards re-rating; a P/E of 11x FY18 is very attractive given we forecast EPS to more than double between FY16 and FY18.”</p> <p> The analysts said: “GVC has been our top pick amongst the operators in the sector; its business is well diversified across growth markets and is supported by a significant proportion of proprietary technology.”</p> <p> Liberum reiterated a ‘buy’ rating and 830p price target on GVC.</p> <p> In early trading, GVC shares were up 2.1%, or 15p at 723p.</p> <p> <em>&nbsp;-- Adds broker comment, share price --</em></p>   Foxy Bingo owner GVC Holdings PLC (LON:GVC) is to pay a bigger than expected second special dividend for 2016 on the back of strong underlying trading helped by its acquisition of Bwin which completed last year. In November, the FTSE 250-listed firm had said it would pay a special dividend of 10 euro cents per share for 2016, before bumping it up to 14.9 euro cents in December.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
175269  IG Group 2017-03-23 07:31:00  2017-03-23 10:06:44  2017-03-23 07:37:26  IG sees revenues fall during "quiet" third-quarter, but fourth-quarter has "started better"  IG sees revenues fall during "quiet" third-quarter, but fourth-quarter has "started better"  Online trading giant, FTSE 250, IG Group PLC, revenues fall, third quarter, quiet period, global financial markets, uncertain regulatory background, fourth quarter, started better    ig-sees-revenues-fall-during-quiet-third-quarter-but-fourth-quarter-has-started-better--175269.html    <p> Online trading giant <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:IGG/IG-Group/" rel="1122">IG Group</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:IGG/IG-Group/" rel="1122">LON:IGG</a>) saw its revenues fall in the third quarter during “a quiet period in global financial markets” and against an uncertain regulatory background, sending its share price lower, although it added that the fourth quarter had “started better”.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> In a trading update for the three months to 28 February 2017, the FTSE 250-listed firm said its revenue was £117.4mln, 3.8% down on what was the strongest quarter of the prior year.&nbsp;</p> <p> The group noted that active client numbers were up 13%, driven by ongoing success in online marketing, with new first trades in the period over 20% higher than the prior year.&nbsp;</p> <p> But revenue per client was down by 15%, with current clients trading less often in the quiet period and with continued growth in the non-leveraged business and Nadex, where average revenue per client is significantly lower.</p> <p> IG said, however, that the fourth quarter has started better, although it added that it “is impossible to predict the market conditions for the rest of the year or to draw precise conclusions at this stage.”</p> <h3> UK weak …</h3> <p> The firm said third-quarter revenue was ahead in all its regions except the UK, with a strong performance in the Rest of the World driven by good growth in the US, Dubai and South Africa.&nbsp;</p> <p> It added that revenue in the UK was down 15%, with the prior year performance being particularly strong.&nbsp;</p> <p> The group said: “More mature markets tend to outperform in more volatile periods as the large installed client base reactivates, as happened in the prior year, and underperform in quieter conditions.”</p> <p> IG's stockbroking business continued to grow well in the period in both the UK and Australia, with just over 16,000 clients holding a position at the end of February.&nbsp;</p> <h3> Regulation uncertainty …</h3> <p> The firm pointed out that following moves in the UK, Germany, and France to crack-down on contracts for difference (CFDs) trading, the “regulatory backdrop for leveraged trading in a number of countries remains uncertain.”&nbsp;</p> <p> Over the last few months, IG said it has responded to regulator consultations in the UK and Germany and worked closely with the regulator in Dubai.&nbsp;</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/170184/ig-best-placed-to-withstand-new-cfd-regulations-but-as-for-cmc--170184.html" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">READ: IG best placed to withstand new CFD regulations …</a></h3> <p> It added that is also now working on its responses to consultations in The Netherlands and Ireland.&nbsp;</p> <p> IG said it was “pleased by the clarity provided in France, which means that the Limited Risk Account the Company offers there is entirely compliant with the new legislation.”</p> <p> It added: “As clarity is provided on the conclusions of outstanding regulatory consultations, the Company will update the market as appropriate.”</p> <p> The group concluded: “As the Company enters this final quarter, none of the announced regulatory changes has yet had any impact, client recruitment remains strong and the underlying business is performing well.”</p> <h3> Shares drop ...</h3> <p> In early trading, IG was the top FTSE 250 faller, shedding 5.4%, or 28.5p at 495.5p.</p> <p> In a note to clients on IG, Shore Capital analyst Paul McGinnis said: “Q3 trading update leaves lot to do in Q4. IG’s Q3 update falls in the slightly strange period after the closure of the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) consultation on 7th March, but before the final conclusions are published, expected late May/early June (potential leverage limits of 50:1 are the most significant aspect).”</p> <p> But he added: “As such, the importance of a three months trading period is somewhat secondary to the investment case at present.”</p> <p> Reiterating a ‘hold’ rating on IG, the analyst concluded: “Clearly any forecasts beyond the current year remain subject to potentially material revision depending on the final determination but, on the basis of our current estimates, our last published fair value of 570p doesn’t give enough margin of safety to take a more positive stance.”</p> <p> <em>&nbsp;-- Adds share price, broker comment --</em></p>   Online trading giant IG Group PLC saw its revenues fall in the third quarter during “a quiet period in global financial markets” and against an uncertain regulatory background, although it added that the fourth quarter had “started better”. It added that revenue in the UK was down 15%, with the prior year performance being particularly strong.   ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
175283  Shanta Gold Limited 2017-03-23 08:34:00  2017-03-23 08:41:56  2017-03-23 08:41:56  Shanta Gold raises production forecast as it extends life of Tanzania mine under revised plan   Shanta Gold raises production forecast as it extends life of Tanzania mine under revised plan   gold, output, production, mine life, mine plan, Tanzania    shanta-gold-raises-production-forecast-as-it-extends-life-of-tanzania-mine-under-revised-plan-175283.html    <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:SHG/Shanta-Gold-Limited/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="903">Shanta Gold Limited</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:SHG/Shanta-Gold-Limited/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="903">LON:SHG</a>) has raised its expectations for gold production growth as it announced a revised mine plan that will extend the life of the New Luika gold mine in Tanzania.</p> <p> Shares rose 3.4% to 9.66p in morning trading.</p> <p> Under the revised mine plan for January to December 2023, Shanta raised its forecast for its gold production across the period by 39% to 359,000&nbsp;ounces (oz) to 500,000 oz.</p> <p> The New Luika plant will be extended by four years to maximise its value and mine life. &nbsp;</p> <p> The plan includes additional open pit reserves at Elizabeth Hill and further underground reserves at Ilunga.</p> <p> It also provides for processing from underground and surface mining of 4.0mln tonnes of ore at an average grade of 4.2 grams/ tonne for the production of 500,000 oz from January 2017 to 2023.</p> <p> “The plan provides for a longer mine life, increased production and most importantly, greater returns for all Shanta stakeholders,” said chairman Toby Bradbury.</p> <p> "Considerable depth has been added to an already robust business case due to our delivery over the past 18 months and we will look to extend the planning horizon for the New Luika operation again in future.”</p> <p> Shanta said it remains on track to achieve its full year production guidance for 2017 of 80,000 to 85,000 oz at all-in sustaining costs of US$800 - US$850 /oz.</p> <p> The group also announced Eric Zurrin will return as its chief financial officer. “Eric is very familiar with Shanta having worked with the company in 2013 and most recently as interim CFO leading the financial restructuring that was completed in May 2016,” Shanta said.</p>   Shanta Gold Limited (LON:SHG) has raised its expectations for gold production growth as it announced a revised mine plan that will extend the life of the New Luika gold mine in Tanzania. Under the revised mine plan for January to December 2023, Shanta raised its forecast for its gold production across the period by 39% to 359,000 ounces (oz) to 500,000 oz.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
175280  Kibo Mining PLC 2017-03-23 08:33:00  2017-03-23 08:37:01  2017-03-23 08:37:01  Kibo Mining happy with progress to date   Kibo Mining happy with progress to date       kibo-mining-happy-with-progress-to-date-175280.html    <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:KIBO/Kibo-Mining-PLC/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3803">Kibo Mining PLC</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:KIBO/Kibo-Mining-PLC/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3803">LON:KIBO</a>) said it is well placed to conclude a power purchase agreement with the Tanzanian Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) for output from its planned Mbeya coal to power operation.</p> <p> Updating on its progress in the first-quarter, Kibo said confidence on this front was borne of the restructuring at TANESCO and a change of policy by the energy and minerals minister.</p> <p> The company also reported headway towards the financial close of the Mbeya project.</p> <p> In a bid to maintain laser focus it has terminated its joint-ventures and early stage projects, while the ‘vend-in’ to its Imweru and Lubando gold projects is in the “final stages of completion”.</p> <p> Chief executive Louis Coetzee said he was “satisfied with progress”.</p>   Kibo Mining PLC (LON:KIBO) said it is well placed to conclude a power purchase agreement with the Tanzanian Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) for output from its planned Mbeya coal to power operation. Updating on its progress in the first-quarter, Kibo said confidence on this front was borne of the restructuring at TANESCO and a change of policy by the energy and minerals minister.  NEWS        View Edit Delete
175279  Stobart Group 2017-03-23 08:04:00  2017-03-23 15:12:41  2017-03-23 08:26:55  Stobart Group’s logistics division to list on AIM in April  Stobart Group’s logistics division to list on AIM in April  Stobart Group, Eddie Stobart, logistics, lorries, AIM, float, IPO, list, junior market, DBay    stobart-groups-logistics-division-to-list-on-aim-in-april-175279.html    <p> Support services and infrastructure firm <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:STOB/Stobart-Group/" rel="3625">Stobart Group</a> Limited (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:STOB/Stobart-Group/" rel="3625">LON:STOB</a>) has told investors that its 49%-owned Eddie Stobart Logistics associate company is to float on AIM next month.</p> <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:STOB/Stobart-Group/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3625">Stobart Group</a> sold off a 51% stake in the well-known haulier back in 2014 for £280mln in order to push the business forward, while also allowing itself to focus on its energy, aviation, rail and infrastructure divisions.</p> <p> The board of Stobart said this morning that it will retain a “meaningful stake” in Eddie Stobart following the initial public offering (IPO) in April.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7150/stobart-group-boss-really-happy-with-planned-float-of-logistics-division-7150.html" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">WATCH: Stobart boss "really happy" with planned logistics float ...</a></h3> <p> Eddie Stobart Logistics, which is currently majority-owned by the Isle of Man-based investment group DBay, is targeting a market capitalisation “in excess” of £550mln.</p> <p> From that, around £130mln will go to the company which will use the cash to pay down existing debts, fund future growth and allow it to complete a bolt-on acquisition to “complement its activities in the e-commerce sector”.</p> <p> “Eddie Stobart is widely recognised as a leading supply chain solutions provider and an IPO is an exciting next step for the business that will give us a strong platform for further growth,” said Eddie Stobart Logistics chief executive Alex Laffey.</p> <p> Stobart Group shares edged higher in early deals to 208p.</p> <p> <em>--Updates for additional backgroun info and share price--</em></p>   Support services and infrastructure firm Stobart Group Limited (LON:STOB) has told investors that its 49%-owned Eddie Stobart Logistics associate company is to float on AIM next month. Stobart Group sold off a 51% stake in the well-known haulier back in 2014 for £280mln in order to focus on its energy, aviation, rail and infrastructure divisions.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
175281  Ithaca Energy 2017-03-23 08:28:00  2017-03-23 08:37:37  2017-03-23 08:37:37  Ithaca Energy reveals production slightly ahead of guidance  Ithaca Energy reveals production slightly ahead of guidance      ithaca-energy-reveals-production-slightly-ahead-of-guidance-175281.html    <p> North Sea takeover target <a href="-##!##-/LON:IAE/Ithaca-Energy/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="513">Ithaca Energy</a> Inc (<a href="-##!##-/LON:IAE/Ithaca-Energy/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="513">LON:IAE</a>) has revealed that production was a little ahead of guidance for 2016.</p> <p> It said average production was 9,310 barrels oil equivalent per day in the twelve months ended December 31, versus guidance for 9,000 boepd, but, down from the 12,066 boepd achieved in 2015.</p> <p> Cashflow from operations amounted to US$147mln, down from US$261mln in preceding year, and the company reported a US$54mln loss after tax.</p> <p> Debt reduced to US$598mln by the end of the year, from US$665mln at the start, and Ithaca said it intended to refinance its facilities in 2017.</p> <p> Production is presently growing again, thanks to the hotly anticipated start-up of the Stella field which in February yielded 1,700 bopd net to Ithaca. &nbsp;At the moment, Stella’s oil output is constrained whilst gas processing systems are fully commissioned and the ramp-up can continue.</p> <p> The Harrier field is the next development project coming into focus, with development drilling due to complete later this year before first oil, targeted in the second half of 2018.</p> <p> Ithaca may not be around, in this form, to see Harrier come online though as it has received and recommended a takeover offer from Delek Group, a major shareholder (with about 20%) that’s prepared to pay 119p per share to take the whole company.</p> <p> To acquire Ithaca, Delek has to secure approvals representing more than 50% of the shares that it doesn’t own.</p> <p> Chief executive Les Thomas reflected on the year, saying: “Our 2016 financial results reflect a year of good progress for the company culminating in first oil from the Stella field in February 2017.&nbsp;</p> <p> “This progress has been reflected in the near four-fold increase in our share price since the start of last year.&nbsp;</p> <p> “Stella first oil was an important milestone for the company and production is forecast to ramp-up upon completion of on-going dynamic commissioning of the gas processing facilities.&nbsp;</p> <p> “Having reached this important milestone and after weighing up the potential risks and opportunities that lie ahead, the board considers the takeover offer tabled by Delek as providing full value to shareholders and wholeheartedly recommends its acceptance."</p>   North Sea takeover target Ithaca Energy has revealed that production was a little ahead of guidance for 2016. It said average production was 9,310 barrels oil equivalent per day in the twelve months ended December 31, versus guidance for 9,000 boepd, but, down from the 12,066 boepd achieved in 2015.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
175277  Premier Oil PLC 2017-03-23 08:07:00  2017-03-23 08:10:26  2017-03-23 08:10:26  Premier Oil confirms convertible debt detail as refinancing advances  Premier Oil confirms convertible debt detail as refinancing advances      premier-oil-confirms-convertible-debt-detail-as-refinancing-advances-175277.html    <p> As <a href="-##!##-/LON:PMO/Premier-Oil-PLC/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3125">Premier Oil PLC</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:PMO/Premier-Oil-PLC/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3125">LON:PMO</a>) advances to complete its refinancing the company today confirmed that the new conversion price has now been set for its convertible bonds.</p> <p> Consistent with the recently agreed amendment the company set the conversion price to 74.71p per share, which equates to a 20% premium over the average share price between March 1 and March 22 (the exchange rate on conversions is fixed at US$1.228 to the pound).</p> <p> It represents another step to Premier sealing its vital refinancing.</p> <p> The completion is expected to be something of a threshold moment for Premier Oil and, according to some analysts, it will act as a turning point putting focus on growth and organic debt reduction.</p> <p> “The portfolio provides flexibility to outperform our forecasts and we see potential for a share price re-rating as rising production and falling opex are reflected in improved cash flows. We also flag near-term exploration upside,” <a href="-##!##-/PRIVATE:PEEL/Peel-Hunt/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="14427">Peel Hunt</a> analyst James Carmichel said in a recent note.</p>   As Premier Oil advances to complete its refinancing the company today confirmed that the new conversion price has now been set for its convertible bonds. Consistent with the recently agreed amendment the company set the conversion price to 74.71p per share, which equates to a 20% premium over the average share price between March 1 and March 22.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
175273  Rockhopper Exploration Plc 2017-03-23 07:48:00  2017-03-23 07:56:26  2017-03-23 07:56:26  Rockhopper Exploration launches arbitration claims against Italy  Rockhopper Exploration launches arbitration claims against Italy      rockhopper-exploration-launches-arbitration-claims-against-italy-175273.html    <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:RKH/Rockhopper-Exploration-Plc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="872">Rockhopper Exploration Plc</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:RKH/Rockhopper-Exploration-Plc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="872">LON:RKH</a>) told investors it is launching claims against Italy for damages and compensation, after an offshore development was blocked by the government.</p> <p> The company said it has started international arbitration proceedings in relation to the Ombrina Mare asset.</p> <p> Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development last February decided not to award Rockhopper a production concession for the field and the company is now seeking recompense for what it believes is a breach of the EU’s Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).</p> <p> The ECT, which came into effect in 1998, is there to provide a stable platform for energy sector investments, Rockhopper highlighted.</p> <p> Rockhopper added that, based on legal opinion it has received, it believes it has strong prospects of recovering very significant monetary damages, which would be sought on the basis of lost profits.</p> <p> The company also told investors that the legal proceedings are supported by an arbitration funding arrangement - essentially a corporate level ‘no win, no fee’ deal - and it expects that it would retain a ‘very material’ proportion of any award if the arbitration claims are successful.</p> <p> “While it may take some time to produce a result, and there is no certainty of success, Rockhopper is taking all necessary steps to protect its shareholders' interests at no extra cost to the company,” said Sam Moody, Rockhopper chief executive.&nbsp;</p>   Rockhopper Exploration told investors it is launching claims against Italy for damages and compensation, after an offshore development was blocked by the government. The company said it has started international arbitration proceedings in relation to the Ombrina Mare asset.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
175275  Mariana Resources Ltd. 2017-03-23 07:39:00  2017-03-23 15:19:42  2017-03-23 08:07:16  Mariana Resources drill results appear to confirm the huge potential of gold-copper deposit in Turke  Mariana Resources drill results appear to confirm the huge potential of gold-copper deposit in Turkey      mariana-resources-drill-results-appear-to-confirm-the-huge-potential-of-gold-copper-deposit-in-turkey-175275.html    <p> The latest results from Mariana Resources PLC’s (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:MARL/Mariana-Resources-Ltd./" rel="602">LON:MARL</a>) Hot Maden copper-gold joint venture in Turkey were, once again, eye catching.</p> <p> More importantly, they are helping confirm the continuity of the mineralisation and may contribute to expanding the size of the resource.</p> <p> There were two stand-out holes that returned respectively 116.5 metres at 6.7 grams per tonne of gold and 79 metres at 8.1 grams.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7157/hot-maden-continuing-to-deliver-says-mariana-resources-glen-parsons-7157.html" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">WATCH: Hot Maden continuing to deliver, says Mariana boss ...</a></h3> <p> Copper concentrations were respectively 1.7% and 1.9% and each hole had thick sections of high-grade mineralisation.</p> <p> For example, the drill team found 16 metres at almost 36 grams per tonne of gold.</p> <p> While the results cited above were at the very high end of what was found they were not were not isolated occurrences.</p> <p> The latest exploration round was a mix of infill drilling and step-out drilling around Hot Maden’s Main Zone resource.</p> <p> Infill drilling helps generate more confidence that what was uncovered in the first-pass exploration exists and is continuous over the area.</p> <p> Step-out drilling is designed to expand the strike length of the resource.</p> <p> Both are important in compiling the planned preliminary feasibility study, which will provide a fuller assessment of just what the JV partners have uncovered and how economic the deposit might be, while providing a rough guide to the investment required.</p> <p> Chief executive Glen Parsons said the results “continue to impress and increase our confidence in the high grade mineralisation and continuity thereof”.&nbsp;</p> <p> Drilling for extensions towards the new Southern Discovery zone has yielded “particularly encouraging results”, he added.</p> <p> The team found “nice intercepts” of high grade copper and gold complementing the existing mineral resource.&nbsp;</p> <p> CEO Parsons added: “If one compares the mineralisation footprint on the drill plan to that of late last year we can see the growth and continuity that has been achieved in drill holes HTD 63 to 106, with a mineralised strike length of now 700m, and which we are confident will translate into an increased mineral resource for this developing new zone."</p> <p> One of the highest grade copper-gold deposits in the world today, Hot Maden is host to 3.45mln gold equivalent ounces.</p> <p> Mariana has 30%, while Turkish partner Lidya holds the rest.</p>   The latest results from Marina Resources PLC’s (LON:MARL) Hot Maden copper-gold joint venture in Turkey were, once again, eye catching. More importantly, they confirmed the continuity of the mineralisation and may help expanded the size of the resource.  ARTICLE          View Edit Delete
175271  Gfinity Plc 2017-03-23 07:33:00  2017-03-23 07:48:48  2017-03-23 07:43:34  Gfinity signs up HP as first official Elite Series partner  Gfinity signs up HP as first official Elite Series partner  Gfinity PLC, HP Inc, eSports, gaming, Challenger Series, Elite Series, professional, sponsor, partner, OMEN by HP    gfinity-signs-up-hp-as-first-official-elite-series-partner-175271.html    <p> eSports business <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:GFIN/Gfinity-Plc/" rel="10679">Gfinity Plc</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:GFIN/Gfinity-Plc/" rel="10679">LON:GFIN</a>) has signed up technology giant <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NYSE:HPQ/HP/" rel="5673">HP</a> Inc (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NYSE:HPQ/HP/" rel="5673">NYSE:HPQ</a>)&nbsp;as the first official partner of its inaugural Gfinity Elite Series eSports tournament.</p> <p> As the official hardware partner of the event – which runs for ten weeks starting in June – the OMEN by <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NYSE:HPQ/HP/" rel="5673">HP</a> range of gaming PCs, laptops and other hardware will be integrated throughout.</p> <p> OMEN by <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NYSE:HPQ/HP/" rel="5673">HP</a> will also support the qualifying rounds of the professional competition, known as the Gfinity Challenger Series.</p> <p> It’s not the first time OMEN by <a href="-##!##-/NYSE:HPQ/HP/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="5673">HP</a> has sponsored one of AIM-listed Gfinity’s events, after it put its name to a tournament at last September’s EGX – the UK’s largest gaming exhibition.</p> <p> “We are incredibly proud to announce OMEN by HP as our first commercial partner for the Elite Series and look forward to working with them to build the most dynamic and entertaining eSports event in the UK,” said Gfinity chief executive Neville Upton.</p> <p> “OMEN by HP share our passion for investment in grassroots talent and their expertise and creativity will allow us to deliver the most exciting eSports experience, helping the UK scene fulfil its undoubted potential.”</p> <p> Yvonne Hobden, consumer marketing lead at HP, added: "The unique format of the Challenger and Elite Series is an opportunity for OMEN by HP to play its part in facilitating the growth of eSports in the UK by supporting new talent and backing the best of the pro circuit.</p> <p> “Combining powerful hardware and cutting-edge design, our industry leading gaming products are ready for the challenge and we look forward to showcasing them to Gfinity's thriving community.”</p> <p> In the Challenger Series, amateur gamers compete against one another to earn ranking points to qualify for the Gfinity Elite Draft.</p> <p> Should they accrue enough points, they then have the chance to take part in the Elite Series and join one of eight professional eSports teams which then compete throughout the summer months.</p> <p> Gfinity said the series will provide a “unique set of sponsorship, media and franchise opportunities” for additional potential partners.</p>   eSports business Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN) has signed up technology giant HP Inc (NYSE:HPQ) as the first official partner of its inaugural Gfinity Elite Series eSports tournament. As the official hardware partner of the event – which runs for ten weeks starting in June – the OMEN by HP range of gaming PCs, laptops and other hardware will be integrated throughout.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
175268  Atlantis Resources Ltd 2017-03-23 07:27:00  2017-03-23 07:33:03  2017-03-23 07:33:03  Atlantis Resources reveals strong performance of Scottish tidal turbines  Atlantis Resources reveals strong performance of Scottish tidal turbines      atlantis-resources-reveals-strong-performance-of-scottish-tidal-turbines-175268.html    <p> UK tidal power pioneer <a href="-##!##-/LON:ARL/Atlantis-Resources-Ltd/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="8262">Atlantis Resources Ltd</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:ARL/Atlantis-Resources-Ltd/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="8262">LON:ARL</a>) has told investors that its flagship MyGen project, offshore Scotland, continues to deliver sustainable, predictable power and it is initial phase has nearly generated some 400 megawatt hours of generation.</p> <p> The output from MyGen Phase 1A was sufficient to power some 1,250 UK homes in the first three weeks of March, the company highlighted.</p> <p> It added that the individual turbines have exceeded contractual guarantees and have put MyGen on track to achieve capacity factors significantly in excess of 40%.</p> <p> "The initial operations phase of MeyGen Phase 1A has been a resounding success, and we hope that our achievements will now catalyse further tidal stream developments throughout Europe and worldwide to capitalise on this unique and untapped resource,” said David Taafe, Atlantis project director.</p> <p> “Turbine production performance has been excellent, and the performance of the AR1500 turbine has been particularly impressive."</p> <p> Atlantis is now planning to improve the operation, with three turbines (installed between November 2016 and January 2017) set to undergo brief onshore work for enhancements based on findings from the initial implementation.</p> <p> Once the work is complete the turbines will be redeployed, in the first available tidal window.</p> <p> Atlantis expects the upcoming programme will demonstrate further validation of its approach, which enables rapid retrieval and installation – a significant factor ensuring operating and maintenance costs are kept low.</p> <p> It highlighted that the latest version of tidal turbine (the Atlantis AR1500 units) have ‘even greater’ focus on accessibility for maintenance, with a proprietary connection system, and those units are now operating operating autonomously at full output, exceeding all expectations.</p> <p> Significantly, Atlantis says that its turbine installations have also proven that operations can be carried out successfully throughout the year and tidal power development is not restricted to a short window in the more climatically benign summer months.</p> <p> Drew Blaxland, Atlantis director of turbines and engineering services, said: “Our initial data analysis shows that the AR1500 is producing at least 4% more energy than the guaranteed contractual baseline, and we anticipate that this will improve further as more data is captured.&nbsp;</p> <p> “This performance, coupled with our rapid and effective deployment system, puts the Atlantis system in a class of its own."</p>   UK tidal power pioneer Atlantis Resources has told investors that its flagship MyGen project, offshore Scotland, continues to deliver sustainable, predictable power and it is initial phase has nearly generated some 400 megawatt hours of generation. The output from MyGen Phase 1A was sufficient to power some 1,250 UK homes in the first three weeks of March, the company highlighted.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
175220  Solo Oil PLC 2017-03-22 12:30:00  2017-03-22 16:18:06  2017-03-22 12:35:31  Solo Oil’s new Tanzania deal gives exposure to in-demand resources   Solo Oil’s new Tanzania deal gives exposure to in-demand resources       solo-oils-new-tanzania-deal-gives-exposure-to-in-demand-resources-175220.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SOLO/Solo-Oil-PLC/" rel="3663">Solo Oil PLC</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SOLO/Solo-Oil-PLC/" rel="3663">LON:SOLO</a>) has got exposure to an in-demand, under-supplied resource with its new investment in Tanzania.</p> <p> The company has agreed a deal to acquire a stake in a group called Helium One in a cash and shares transaction.</p> <p> Initially, Solo Oil is spending £2.55mln for a 10% interest in Helium One and it has an option to double its stake for a further payment of £4mln.</p> <p> Helium One’s major asset is the Rukwa project in the east-African country, which is independently estimated to host to an unrisked 100bn cubic feet of the inert gas.</p> <p> Speaking with Proactive Investors Solo Oil chief executive Neil Ritson highlights that helium is a resource that’s scarce and that the market needs new supplies of the gas in the coming years.</p> <p> “It has very strong demand growth from emerging industries, it is hard to substitute given its special properties, as a result of that we’ve seen price escalation [in the commodity] and that is something we want to get on the back of,” Ritson says.</p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="410" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jhKLKJI_4PM" width="729"></iframe></p> <p> Helium is used as a cooling medium, most commonly in MRI scanners, although it is a key component in the Large Hadron Collider, based in Switzerland, which is looking for the God particle.</p> <p> The market is estimated to be worth US$6bn a year and it is one in which supplies are starting to tighten.</p> <p> Ritson also highlighted that the company brings technical expertise to the new venture as well as capital.</p> <p> “This is a sweet spot for the generation of subsurface helium and once you’ve identified that then the techniques and methods you use to both explore for it and then exploit it in the subsurface are the same skills that we bring to all our projects in oil and gas,” he said.</p> <p> “That’s what we’ll add to the team here as we move the project towards drilling.”</p> <p> Shore Capital analyst Craig Howie, in a note, said: “Given the very favourable helium market fundamentals, we believe that acquisition of this interest in Helium One is a highly complementary transaction for Solo, expanding the company’s existing strong presence in Tanzania.”</p> <p> Elsewhere, another broker <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/PRIVATE:VSA/VSA-Capital/" rel="4100">VSA Capital</a> earlier this month put the helium market under the microscope and also highlighted the opportunity presented by Helium One.</p> <p> “After decades of stability, a supply shortfall is now looming which will dramatically increase volatility of supply and influence prices,” VSA’s Paul Renken said in a note.</p> <p> Looking at Helium One, Renken added: “The ‘end game’ for Helium One would be to define a resource of global significance in volume and quality of helium such that there is a trade sale at a future date.</p> <p> “Barring that, the plan would be to bring to production this resource and become a significant global supplier of helium at source with a cost profile being in the lowest quartile of largest global primary helium producers-a business model analogy being as <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/ASX:FMG/Fortescue-Metals/" rel="13871">Fortescue Metals</a> have done in iron ore or <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/ASX:ORE/Orocobre/" rel="13756">Orocobre</a> have done in lithium in recent years.”</p> <p> Earlier, in the company’s statement, Neil Ritson added: “Helium One's portfolio of prospective helium projects in Tanzania provide Solo with a unique early stage investment into a potentially world-scale helium resource.</p> <p> “The company believes that Rukwa, together with Helium One's additional project areas at Eyasi and Balangida, represent an attractive strategic investment, especially given the helium market's weak supply dynamics and continued demand growth."</p>   Solo Oil has got exposure to an in-demand, under-supplied resource with its new investment in Tanzania. The company has agreed a deal to acquire a stake in a group called Helium One in a cash and shares transaction. Initially, Solo Oil is spending £2.55mln for a 10% interest in Helium One.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
175227  Fevertree Drinks 2017-03-22 13:30:00  2017-03-22 16:17:24  2017-03-22 13:51:41  Rollercoaster ride for Fevertree, but brokers still bullish  Rollercoaster ride for Fevertree, but brokers still bullish  Fevertree Drinks PLC, tonic, drinks, beverage, food, retail, broker, analyst, shore capital, results share price, stocks, business, finance, AIM    rollercoaster-ride-for-fevertree-but-brokers-still-bullish-175227.html    <p> It’s been an interesting couple of days for <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FEVR/Fevertree-Drinks/" rel="10637">Fevertree Drinks</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FEVR/Fevertree-Drinks/" rel="10637">LON:FEVR</a>) investors this week.</p> <p> The full-year results came out on Tuesday and, given that the numbers were pretty well-flagged in January’s trading update, they were fairly unsurprising.</p> <p> The share price reaction on Wednesday morning was anything but, with shares almost immediately losing 7% as investors began to take profits.</p> <p> After getting a beating for an hour or so on Tuesday, the price started to climb, a rise which continued for most of the day. By 3pm, shares were testing all-time highs and although they dipped slightly after that, they still closed 3% higher at £14.99.</p> <p> Today (Wednesday) has followed a similar theme to that of yesterday although neither the fall nor the rise has been as dramatic.</p> <p> Given the unusually erratic share price, it can be difficult to work out what to do if you’re a Fevertree investor. Shore Capital's Phil Carroll reckons he’s got the answer though: buy more.</p> <p> “In terms of the outlook, management point to an encouraging start to the year which may be a slight disappointment to some investors,” the analyst said in a note to clients.</p> <p> “But given the sheer momentum in the fourth quarter we see it more as management’s normal relatively prudent approach to managing expectations.”</p> <p> Carroll acknowledges it won’t be an easy task to beat last year’s growth in 2017, but is still confident in the tonic maker’s ability to deliver more upgrades.</p> <p> “We still believe Fevertree is capable of delivering further upgrades as we progress through the year given its excellent brand and product proposition and a lack of effective competition.”</p> <p> So which areas could prove particularly lucrative for the London-based firm in 2017?</p> <p> Carroll thinks Fevertree is being sensible in investing in its dark spirits mixers, such as ginger beer, which could rake in big bucks, particularly in the US.</p> <p> “We note [the company] has a strong new product development pipeline which includes a range of mixers targeting the dark spirits market which in premium spirits is 10x the size of the gin market,” Carroll said.</p> <p> And what if shares take another kicking? Carroll sticks with his advice to snap shares up in the event of another drop in the share price.</p> <p> “Should there be a ‘weaker’ period of growth that disappoints the market, we would see this as an opportunity to acquire the stock.”</p> <p> Shares were down 5% at £14.22 on Wednesday afternoon.</p>   It’s been an interesting couple of days for Fevertree Drinks PLC (LON:FEVR) investors this week. The full-year results came out on Tuesday and, given that the numbers were pretty well-flagged in January’s trading update, they were fairly unsurprising.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
175238  Kingfisher 2017-03-22 15:26:00  2017-03-23 07:39:44  2017-03-22 15:39:31  City broker: ‘Sell Kingfisher as no sign of French market upturn’  City broker: ‘Sell Kingfisher as no sign of French market upturn’  Kingfisher, Haitong, analyst, France, DIY, markets, B&Q, Screwfix, retailer, home improvement    city-broker-sell-kingfisher-as-no-sign-of-french-market-upturn-175238.html    <p> City broker Haitong has repeated its ‘sell’ recommendation for B&amp;Q owner <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:KGF/Kingfisher/" rel="3168">Kingfisher</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:KGF/Kingfisher/" rel="3168">LON:KGF</a>) as it believes the French DIY market is a while away from providing support to its ailing businesses on the other side of the channel.</p> <p> The retailer – which also owns the Screwfix brand – saw adjusted pre-tax profits for the 12 months to 31 January 2017 come in 8% higher at £743mln, on adjusted sales of £11.2bn (2016: £10.3bn).</p> <p> On the face of it that seems like a steady year and the “ambitious” five-year turnaround plan implemented in 2016 is paying dividends.</p> <p> It doesn’t quite tell the entire story though, with strong performance in the UK and currency boosts due to the weak pound masking declining sales (on a constant currency basis) in France.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:KGF/Kingfisher/" rel="3168">Kingfisher</a> said a downturn in the home improvement market across the channel was to blame, although both its Castorama and Brico Dépôt businesses delivered weaker sales compared to the market.</p> <p> Haitong’s Tony Shiret is starting to lose faith in the idea that the French market will return and provide a timely boost to <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:KGF/Kingfisher/" rel="3168">Kingfisher</a>’s operations in the country.</p> <p> “There has always been an underlying presumption that France is a growth DIY market temporarily stalled, and that someday there will be a significant beta-type push for [<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:KGF/Kingfisher/" rel="3168">Kingfisher</a>] shares as its growth re-emerges,” said Haitong analyst Tony Shiret.</p> <p> “After eight years of stasis (actually decline), that is now becoming a questionable thesis.”</p> <p> When <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:KGF/Kingfisher/" rel="3168">Kingfisher</a> held its Capital Markets day last year, Shiret said the company was not expecting to have to take a hit on margins to get the French businesses back on track, although this is looking like it was indeed the case.</p> <p> “Our overriding view of today was that the company’s belief in its French operations is being tested currently, and One <a href="-##!##-/LON:KGF/Kingfisher/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3168">Kingfisher</a> may be subsidising Business as Usual already and may continue to do so unless the French market improves fundamentally,” he added.</p> <p> The analyst has the stock as a ‘sell’ with a fair value of 275p, significantly below the 328p level the share price currently sits at.</p>   City broker Haitong has repeated its ‘sell’ recommendation for B&Q owner Kingfisher PLC (LON:KGF) as it believes the French DIY market is a while away from providing support to its ailing businesses across the pond. The retailer saw adjusted pre-tax profits for the 12 months to 31 January 2017 come in 8% higher at £743mln, on adjusted sales of £11.2bn (2016: £10.3bn).  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
175209  Hunting Plc 2017-03-22 10:09:00  2017-03-22 16:18:26  2017-03-22 10:15:34  Hunting shares in demand as Barclays upgrades for unrecognised shale upside  Hunting shares in demand as Barclays upgrades for unrecognised shale upside      hunting-shares-in-demand-as-barclays-upgrades-for-unrecognised-shale-upside-175209.html    <p> Shares in the oilfield services specialist <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:HTG/Hunting-Plc/" rel="3437">Hunting Plc</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:HTG/Hunting-Plc/" rel="3437">LON:HTG</a>) were in demand following upgrade by the investment arm of a leading bank.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BARC/Barclays/" rel="2989">Barclays</a> Capital has moved its recommendation to ‘overweight’ based on the recovery in the US shale industry that is yet to be reflected in the stock price.</p> <p> Its 650p a share target is almost a quid higher than the current valuation.</p> <p> Having repaired its balance sheet and with price of barrel of crude having stabilised around the US$50 mark, the company should be reaping the rewards.</p> <p> “The only questions for us are the speed of the recovery and relative valuation,” said <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BARC/Barclays/" rel="2989">Barclays</a>.</p> <p> “We believe the recovery will likely be sharp, albeit for half the business, but as we move towards full speed in the US, the remainder should also start to improve.”</p> <p> At 10am, Hunting shares were changing hands for 554p, up 2.5%.</p> <p> Of the nine analysts logged as following the company seven have similarly positive recommendations; there is only one ‘seller’ of the stock.</p> <p> The consensus price target, which was 414p six months ago, is 629p.</p>   Shares in the oilfield services specialist Hunting were in demand following upgrade by the investment arm of a leading bank. Barclays Capital has moved its recommendation to ‘overweight’ based on the recovery in the US shale industry that is yet to be reflected in the stock price.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete

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