MARKET MOVERS

Market Movers is a report on stock exchange statements that are released in pre-market, which puts the most interesting news from London listed companies into one story.

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COMPANY SNAPSHOT: Chemring, Stagecoah, Aminex, Gemfields, Xtract Energy, Sarantel Group, Enegi Oil, Northern Petroleum, Kedco

March 01 2012, 8:03am
COMPANY SNAPSHOT: Chemring, Stagecoah, Aminex, Gemfields, Xtract Energy, Sarantel Group, Enegi Oil, Northern Petroleum, Kedco

Midcaps Chemring (LON:CHG) and Stagecoah (LON:SHG) were among the most followed stocks this morning after releasing trading updates.

Defence and aerospace group Chemring said revenues in the three month period starting November 1 reached £137 million, which was in line with its expectations and slightly above the £136 million posted a year earlier.

The group said strong growth was generated in its munitions and countermeasure businesses, offset by reductions in the counter-IED and pyrotechnics divisions. Firm orders currently cover 72 percent of the expected revenue for 2012.

The group's order book is currently at a record high of £997 million, 6 percent higher than last year.

Meanwhile, fellow FTSE 250 constituent transportation group Stagecoach said all of its businesses posted growth in like for like revenues  in the financial year to date with the UK rail division seeing its sales jump 9.5 percent.

“Overall current trading remains good and we believe the prospects for the Group remain positive,” Stagecoach said in today’s statement.

Moving to small caps, Gemfields (LON:GEM) reported that in the December quarter, its Kagem mine in Zambia produced 3.9 million carats at a grade of 222 carats per tonne of ore and a unit cost of 87 US cents per carat.

The company has initiated a waste moving programme at the mine to open new areas for future ore production, expecting an improvement in medium term operating performance as a result.

At the end of 2011, Gemfields had US$32 million in the bank.

“Demand for coloured gemstones from both developed and emerging markets alike remains firm and Gemfields' healthy cash position has supported the company's decision to actively pursue the development of other assets in its portfolio and to increase the scale of operations at its Kagem mine,” said chief executive of Gemfields Ian Harebottle.

Oil and gas firm Xtract Energy (LON:XTR) has drawn down £292,500 on its standby equity distribution agreement (SEDA) with YA Global Master at a price of 2.051 pence per share.

The funding will be used as future working capital for the company, said Xtract.

Sarantel Group (LON:SLG) also provided a funding update this morning. The manufacturing of filtering antennas for mobile devices has agreed a £2 million loan facility with HSBC (LON:HSBA).

The group said the facility, along with its largest order to date, announced earlier this month and other supply agreements, gives it the necessary finance and sales pipeline to become profitable.

Back to oil and gas, Enegi Oil (LON:ENEG) reported that preliminary analysis by independent consultant McCaffrey indicated that the bullhead squeeze at the Garden Hill South project has been effective.

The data suggests that connectivity to the reservoir has improved significantly with the producing length of the PaP No.1-ST No.3 well more than doubling and fluid mobility increasing by approximately nine times.

Fellow small cap oil and gas company Aminex (LON:AEX) has sold leases and other assets including the Somerset field in Texas for a total US$701,600.

“The divestment of the Somerset properties, while small in size, is an important first step in rationalising the Aminex portfolio and redirecting resources towards high impact investments in core geographies,” said chief executive of Aminex Stuard Detmer.

Sticking with oil and gas, Northern Petroleum (LON:NOP) and Lochard Energy (LON:LHD) provided corporate updates today.

Northern Petroleum announced that it has made an application for the admission of 1.85 million shares following the exercise of warrants yesterday.

Three of the company’s directors sold shares for 68 pence per share yesterday to cover warrant exercise costs and personal tax liabilities.

In addition, non-executive director Anthony Brewer sold 75,000 shares at 68 pence and 6,391 Shares at a price of 73.15p per share, which the company said was for personal reasons.

The directors’ total shareholding now stands at 3.5 million shares, representing a 3.68 percent stake in the company.

Moving to Lochard, the company said directors James Brooke and Peter Youd have left the board, adding that Merchant Securities has resigned as joint broker, leaving finnCap as its sole broker and nominated adviser.

Security and defence firm Westminster Group (LON:WSG) also announced changes at the top today. The group has appointed Ben Gwillim as its in country manager of Westminster Aviation Security Services operating in West Africa.

“Our aviation security business is continuing to gather momentum and is developing numerous opportunities in the aviation sector,” said chief executive of Westminster Peter Fowler.

“The board is optimistic on the future prospects for growth from this division.”

Elsewhere in the markets, waste to energy group Kedco (LON:KED) announced plans to establish an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in Rutland. The proposed facility is expected to be developed in partnership with the Larkfleet Group.

The facility is expected to produce up to 1.3 megawatts (MW) of electricity from locally grown agricultural material, enough energy to supply the equivalent of over 2,350 homes.

Finally, virtual queuing systems specialist Lo-Q (LON:LOQ) has won a new US customer for its recently launched water park product Q-band.

Zoombezi Bay, which is owned and operated by Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, has signed a five year agreement with Lo-Q to install and operate its Q-band water park ride reservation system.

“Today's news is yet another example of the enthusiastic response our recently launched water park product has received from the operator community,” said chief executive of Lo-Q Tom Burnet.

“Both large-scale groups and individual park operators such as Zoombezi Bay have been quick to realise the revenue enhancing and experience enhancing qualities of the product and its ease of use.”


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