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Petra Diamonds' shares sparkle after Tanzania lifts export ban

The government of Tanzania has given Petra the go-ahead to resume diamond exports and sales from the Williamson mine.
Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow, who received a 150-carat cabochon sapphire engagement ring from William Powell

Petra Diamonds Limited (LON:PDL) shares sparkled as it said the government of Tanzania had given it the go-ahead to resume diamond exports and sales from the Williamson mine.

A resolution has not yet been reached with regards to the parcel of 71,654.45 carats from Williamson that was blocked for export (as announced by Petra on 11 September 2017). The company said it would provide an update on this as soon as practicable.

Frontier Smart Technologies Group Ltd (LON:FST), the company formerly known as Toumaz, shot up 23p to 150p as it raised full-year expectations.

The UK technology company focused on digital radio and smart audio solutions saw a 44% increase (or 27% on a constant currency basis) in revenues in the first half of the year to £19.7mln.

Underlying earnings, or EBITDA, turned positive at £1.1mln, versus a loss the year before of £0.04mln.

Better still, trading in the second half of the year has been strong, and the board now expects EBITDA for the whole of 2017 to be significantly ahead of market expectations.

Midatech gets the usual treatment meted out to a small-cap announcing plans to raise funds

Midatech Pharma Plc (LON:MTPH) announced plans to raise up to £8mln to fund the development of three key projects.

Predictably, the shares went into sharp reverse on the news, shedding 17.5p to 54.5p; that just means that Midatech will have to issue more shares to get the money it needs.

The company said a total of £6mln is expected to come via a share placing and up to a further £2mln through an open offer of stock to existing investors.

Dr Jim Phillips said the cash is earmarked for three programmes, all of which have “key value inflection points over the next 18 months and the potential to deliver high value returns”.

Shares in Mobile Tornado Group Plc (LON:MBT) have had a volatile day. At one point they were down 7.1% as investors pored over the half-year statement but they have since rallied to show a 5.7% increase on the day.

The instant communications services provider for mobile devices said half-year revenues rose 21% to £1.l11mln from £0.92mln the year before, with recurring revenue up 24% to £1.04mln.

The adjusted underlying loss (LBITDA) widened to £1.04mln from £0.96mln the previous year, with performance not helped by the depreciation of sterling - the majority of its operation expenses are denominated in New Israeli Shekels.

“The macro outlook for our business continues to strengthen. With the global roll out of 3G/4G networks worldwide, users now have the option to use PoC [push to talk over cellular] for their instant communication requirements, instead of traditional radio platforms such as LMR, DMR and iDEN. The transition will intensify as the last iDEN systems shut down around the world and MNOs extend their LTE coverage,” said chairman Jeremy Fenn.

Mobile Streams slumps after profit warning

The trading update from Mobile Streams Plc (LON:MOS) saw more than a third of the app and content provider’s value disappear down the toilet.

As a result of worsening trading conditions in Argentina and India, the company expects both revenue and earnings for the current financial year to be materially lower than market expectations.

Shares in lighting solutions provider PhotonStar LED Group PLC (LON:PSL) were also under the cosh after it released a trading update.

There were no revenue or profit warnings, but the company did express frustration that its state-of-the-art Internet of Things building management (lighting & heating) solution, Halcyon, was not racking up the sales like the company had expected it would.

The Halcyon system has been installed in a number of market sectors, prompting users to ask for a number of enhancements and amendments, which has led to delays in moving from the trial phase to commercial roll-out.

The shares fell 0.33p to 0.875p.

DX extends relationship with IKEA

The embarrassing accounting error revealed a couple of weeks ago by DX (Group) PLC (LON:DX.) has been forgotten, thanks to a big contract win.

The logistics outfit has bagged a deal with Scandinavian furniture giant IKEA to provide a bespoke logistics solution for customer deliveries. The contract is for an initial three years and takes the total value of the company's contracted logistics work for IKEA to roughly £19mln per annum, which coincidentally is the current market capitalisation of DX after this morning’s 24% rise.

“The deal was a much-needed fillip for DX which has seen its shares hit following a recent warning that an accounting error would knock around £1.8mln off of its full-year profits and the collapse of a planned merger with John Menzies’s distribution division,” said Russ Mould, the investment director at AJ Bell.

DX said it already provides IKEA with a flexible, bespoke logistics solution to support the retailer’s online sales in two regions and its store business in Reading but now it will support IKEA's sales across seven additional stores.

The second best performer this morning was the ever volatile Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL), which was also up 24%.

The shares are up 180% since 18 August, as excitement grows over the company’s oil field appraisal and development project offshore Nigeria.

It has to sort the funding out first, but the company said yesterday it is making “encouraging progress” on that front and that an appraisal well – NOA-1 - should be drilled in late 2017 or early 2018.

“The drilling of up to three additional similar wells on the NOA Structure would follow on from this,” said Arthur Millholland, COPL’s chief executive.

Proactive news headlines:

Ergomed Plc (LON:ERGO) is to pay up to €5.7mln to acquire Dutch-based PSR Group BV, a niche contract research organisation (CRO) specialising in orphan drug development, and is launching a £2.9mln placing to part-fund the deal. The company said the placing will be conducted via an accelerated bookbuild and will see the firm issue around 1.757mln new ordinary shares at a price of 165p each.

IXICO Plc (LON: IXI) has signed a new contract, worth US$690,000 over a two and a half year term, with an unnamed customer for its technology enabled imaging services. The AIM-listed digital technologies company focused on neuroscience said the contract is for a Phase II clinical trial evaluating the safety and tolerability of a novel treatment for patients with Huntington's disease.

Hummingbird Resources (LON:HUM) has signed a deal for a potential earn-in to a 50% interest in the Kobada Gold Project in Mali owned by African Gold Group Inc (AGG) and plans an initial investment  of C$3.6mln for a near 10%  initial stake in the group. Big Pic in September.

Jubilee Platinum PLC (LON:JLP) has moved to assure shareholders that news of the voluntary business rescue of Hernic Ferrochrome Proprietary Limited to facilitate a restructuring of some its business activities has “no current effect” on Jubilee's operations at Hernic in South Africa.

Greencoat UK Wind PLC (LON:UKW) has announced a new programme of share issuance of up to 500mln new shares to be conducted over the next 12 months through a number of tranches. The renewable infrastructure fund group said the proceeds of the programme will be used to pay down the company's Facility Agreement enabling it to “pursue further attractive investment opportunities”.

Harvest Minerals Limited (LON:HMI) has issued a bullish half year update as it moves forward with plans to market its fertiliser replacement KPfertil in Brazil. “Looking ahead, we remain committed to developing our business and believe that the stars are lining up for us,” said Brian McMaster, executive chairman.

Africa-focused forestry and agriculture group Obtala Limited (LON:OBT) expects July’s Woodbois acquisition to provide a major boost to forestry revenues going forward. “The WoodBois acquisition provides a significant kicker to the step change in revenues that we expect to deliver in 2017,” said Miles Pelham, chairman.

Construction of Ormonde Mining plc's (LON:ORM) Barruecopardo tungsten mine in Spain is making good progress and on track for commissioning in the third quarter of 2018, the junior reported. Half-year results showed a net loss of €132,000 in the six months to June, with sales of €375,000.

Kin Group Plc (LON:KIN) has said it needs current debts of approximately £2.27mln to be capitalised ahead of a possible placing. To facilitate this, Kin is exploring the possibility of seeking a creditors' voluntary arrangement (CVA), which will need the approval of at least 75% of the company's unsecured creditors.

Cabot Energy PLC (LON:CAB) is on track for production of between 800-1,000 barrels per day from Canada by the end of 2017. Keith Bush, chief executive, said a 23 well workover programme had boosted Canadian production to 600-700 barrels gross daily while sidetrack and completions should add a further 200-250 barrels. Civita, in Italy, meanwhile, is producing the equivalent of 130 barrels per day.

Underlying losses more than halved at lighting solutions provider PhotonStar LED Group PLC (LON:PSL) as it cut costs in reaction to tightening market conditions.

Evotec AG has taken a minority stake at a cost of €15mln in Exscientia, a portfolio company of Frontier IP Group Plc (LON:FIPP). Exscientia is a pioneer of artificial intelligence in drug discovery. The cash injection will enable Exscientia to accelerate growth.

Having refilled the coffers with a successful fund-raising in June, the focus now at NetScientific PLC (LON:NSCI) will be on guiding its portfolio companies towards commercialisation.

Fox Marble Holdings PLC (LON:FOX) is poised to receive a 5% stake in US natural stone importer and distributor, Pristine Stone, in return for which Pristine Stone will be granted priority rights to sell Fox Marble material in the USA.

Midatech Pharma Plc (LON:MTPH, NASDAQ:MTP) has unveiled plans to raise up to £8mln to fund the development of three key projects with “value inflexion points” in next 18 months.  A total of £6mln is expected to come via a share placing and up to a further £2mln through an open offer of stock to existing investors.

Allergy Therapeutics plc's (LON:AGY) preliminary results charted a period of strong financial and operational progress with the company predicting further progress on all fronts this year. Operating profits (pre-research and development expenditure) rose 72% in the 12 months to June 30 on revenues of £64.1mln, up 32%. The latter figure did benefit from a boost from the weak pound. Evens so, at constant currencies top-line growth was a solid 15%.

Investors were rewarded following the strong financial showing of Clinigen Group PLC (LON:CLIN), the speciality pharma business. The full-year payout will grow in line with earnings per share, which advanced 25% in the 12 months to June 30. Investors will get 5p a share.

Graphene specialist Directa Plus Plc (LON:DCTA) expects a “much stronger” second half following on from the commercial progress made in the opening six months of the year.  Revenues in the six months to 30 June fell to €0.3mln (H1 2016: €0.4mln) due to a reduction in volume of sales into the bicycle tyre market, but Directa expects to double that figure in the second half.

Internet of Things (IoT) enabler Telit Communications Plc (LON:TCM) has reassured investors that the underlying business remains strong despite recent off-field issues. Telit endured a difficult summer, with its former chief executive Oozi Cats the subject of an internal investigation into alleged historical indictments.

Stratex International plc (LON:STI) has extended the deadline for completing its controversial takeover of  Crusader Resources Limited (ASX:CAS) to 28 February 2018. Chief executive Marcus Englebrecht wants to acquire Crusader primarily because of its Borborema gold asset in Brazil, which he thinks could be moved into production quickly and generate US$30mln in cash per year.

Shares in ValiRx Plc (LON:VAL) opened higher on Thursday after the biotech firm announced it had completed the dosing stage of the phase II clinical trial of its novel cancer treatment drug VAL401 The process of final data collection, regulatory submissions for trial completion and finally for data analysis, is now underway, ValiRx added.

AIM-quoted gold explorer Katoro Gold PLC (LON:KAT) has submitted the mining licence application for its Imweru project three months ahead of schedule. The application was submitted to the Tanzanian Ministry of Energy and Minerals on Monday after it made “rapid progress” with the execution of its resource development program.

Aminex plc's (LON:AEX) progress in Tanzania was marked in the group’s interim results which show a turn into profitability supported by production from the Kiliwani North gas project. Investors, meanwhile, have been focussed on the more impactful Ntorya project where a successful appraisal well has set the company up for production growth.

Victoria Oil & Gas plc (LON:VOG) interim results have revealed an 11.4% increase in output at the Logbaba gas project, in Cameroon, in what has been described as a “very productive” period. Logbaba yielded average gross production of 14.6mln cubic feet per day over the six months to June 30, and a total of 2.3bn cubic feet of gas was sold in the period.

Jersey Oil & Gas PLC (LON:JOG) chief executive Andrew Benitz told investors that the company is in a strong position to pursue its production focussed acquisition strategy, regardless of the outcome of StatOil’s exploration efforts at Verbier. The AIM-quoted firm, in its interim results, highlighted that its cash position will stand at around £1.8mln once Statoil completes sidetrack drilling at the Verbier project, where the Norwegian group is looking to salvage value in an unsuccessful exploration well.

Lekoil Limited (LON:LEK) confirmed it has continued to increase output from the Otakikpo field, which was brought online in February and has now produced some 1mln barrels of crude. In its interim results statement the company said Otakikpo was producing 6,000 bopd at the end of June, but, that the rate has since increased further to 7,000 bopd.

Green Dragon Gas Ltd (LON:GDG) boss Randeep Grewal struck a positive tone as the company release what are seen as a significant set of financial results. "We are pleased to announce a positive set of results for the first half of 2017. It is the first time in almost a decade that we report as a pure upstream company,” the GDG chief executive said.

Kibo Mining PLC (AIM:KIBO) announced that all subscribers to the convertible loan notes that it issued on 27 September 2017 have elected to convert the notes to Kibo shares at a price of 0.05p each. Kibo's CEO Louis Coetzee said: "This is a clear display of reiterated support towards the Company and the direction it is heading.  I believe that the parties involved see Kibo as a long-term investment that will add value, not only to their own investment portfolios, but also to all the shareholders."

Horizonte Minerals Plc (LON:HZM (TSX:HZM) said it has launched a rural literacy development programme in schools located close to its 100%-owned Araguaia nickel project in Brazil, part of its recent social investment activities. Additionally, the nickel development company said, it has implemented a sexual health campaign as part of an ongoing public health programme in the Municipality of Conceição do Araguaia, which is the largest community around the project area.

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