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Broker Round-up part 2, including Oracle Coalfields, Archipelago Resources, Bushveld Minerals

January 18 2013, 2:54pm

Oracle Coalfields (LON:ORCP) may have slipped in trading today, but broker Seymour Pierce still likes the stock.

Shares lost 17% despite unveiling two fundraisings in another step in its bid to develop Pakistan’s first large scale coal mine.

It has raised about £0.93mln by placing around 62mln shares at 1.5p each, compared with the current share price, which stands at 1.77p.

Analyst Asa Bridle said: “The company has already completed a Bankable Feasibility study, a follow-up Implementation Plan and has signed a joint development agreement with the Karachi Electric Supply Company and MoUs for coal supply with two domestic cement producers.

“With the company’s capital position improved we reiterate our positive stance.”

The broker kept a ‘buy’ rating and 11p target price on the news.

Fox-Davies meanwhile praised the company for getting the funding it needed.

“We believe this is a tough project to fund outside Pakistan and the company has done well to get this funding away.”

Archipelago Resources (LON:AR.) this morning announced what it described as “exceptional” drill results from the Jipang prospect at the operating Toka Tindung mine in Indonesia.

RFC Ambrian said the positive news confirms that Archipelago is on track to increasing its resources and reserves in the first quarter of this year, which will underpin a planned 20-30% increase in production.

“It is planned to release results of the production expansion case early in the second quarter of 2013. Additionally, 2013 may see further increased production, reserves and resources on the back of a positive heap leach study,” the broker stated.

“Archipelago has extensive underexplored targets and deposits open at depth and along strike as minimal drilling was completed during the project development due to the drawn out permitting process prior to its commissioning in 2011. (This stalled the project for approximately four years.)

“A further US$12m is budgeted for exploration in 2013 to undertake a similar sized drill programme that completed in 2012 (+82,000m); the programme will target increased resources and reserves for updating in 2014,” Ambrian added.

Another broker, Westhouse Securities, maintained its positive stance on the company.

“Liquidity issues remain but, with strong operations, and the continuing upside potential from exploration in the region around the pit, we maintain our Buy recommendation and 71p target price,” said Westhouse’s aptly-named Rob Broke.

Further drilling of the P-Q zone at Bushveld Minerals’ (LON:BMN) iron ore project in South Africa has reinforced the promising results of previous drilling of the main magnetite layer (MML).

Fox-Davies said the company is entering a busy period as it aims to prove a resource in excess of 1bln tonnes.

“The pending resource upgrades should give us an indication of how close the company is to achieving this,” the broker added.

This year could be a “company-maker” for African oil explorer Ophir Energy (LON:OPHR).

That’s what Japanese investment bank Nomura reckons, asking whether 2013 could be the year of Ophir’s first material oil discovery.

Analyst Tom Robinson lifts the stock from ‘reduce’ to ‘buy’, bypassing a neutral stance completely in a drastic change of opinion.

“Our investment strategy for E&Ps is to either seek ‘value’ based on production or back names that offer ‘company-changing’ upside potential through the drill bit,” said Robinson.

“Our upgrade of Ophir reflects the latter.”

Though a number of brokers have suggested Ophir is geared to exploration, Robinson says the rest of the City is missing the value from exploration in pre-salt Gabon, as well as the scope for fully-processed seismic in the first quarter to de-risk key wells in Tanzania and Gabon.

His blue sky scenario points to US$17bn being generated from drilling in 2013.

Shares jumped 3.3% on the bullish outlook.

The same broker tried its hardest to inject yet more life into a quiet – and snowy – day of trading in London.

Its overview of diamond stocks created a sparkling image of the sector.

Analyst Tyler Broda predicts that rough diamond prices will not drift far from current levels this year and suggests investors look at longer-term investment ideas.

“We expect demand to outstrip supply from 2015,” said the analyst.

“This should lead to enhanced margins for the already robust producers and likely start a new diamond exploration cycle.

“With secular Asian middle class expansion driving demand growth, we see many characteristics supportive of a long-term bull market.”

Those willing to put their faith in diamonds should invest through Anglo American (LON:AAL), which owns De Beers, or its pure-plays, including Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL), a “financed, long-term growth story”, according to Broda.

He urges investors to avoid Gem Diamonds (LON:GEMD) however, kicking off coverage with a ‘reduce’ rating.

Goldman Sachs is eyeing up FTSE 250 ceramics products maker Morgan Crucible (LON:MGCR).

An upgrade to ‘buy’ from the heavyweight broker sent shares up 2.5% as it sees “a compelling entry point to an undervalued stock with significant exposure to an Asia recovery”.

Barclays Capital notes that Meggitt (LON:MGGT) has slipped off the radar of most investors – but not for much longer.

It upgrades the aerospace engineer to ‘overweight’, a move that has lifted the shares by 1.6%.

Analyst Christian Laughlin thinks the stock is trading at a 20% discount to its rivals, adding that this gap will close once aerospace investors look away from the more expensive pure-play names and turn their attention to laggards like Meggitt.

Ashmore Group (LON:ASHM) meanwhile lost 2.6% on the back of UBS’s upgrade to ‘neutral’.

While the broker believes the shares are close to their peak, it also reckons competitive pressures will persist for the emerging market investment manager.

 

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