MOST FOLLOWED COMPANIES

The Most Followed report is a summary of the most interesting corporate stories of the day, including the most popular stock exchange statements, the hottest topics on message boards, the biggest movers of the day as well as rumours and speculation.

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Wednesday’s most followed, including Thorntons, French Connection, Forbidden Technologies, Angle, Sound Oil, Europa Oil & Gas

January 16 2013, 12:26pm
Wednesday’s most followed, including Thorntons, French Connection, Forbidden Technologies, Angle, Sound Oil, Europa Oil & Gas

 

Chocolatier Thorntons (LON:THT) and fashion firm French Connection (LON:FCCN) both disappointed investors with their festive sales figures.

The former revealed that it boosted sales by 5.4% in the 14 weeks to January 12, but all the growth came when it sold its products to supermarkets and others stores.

The Thorntons stores meanwhile look to be struggling, with sales down 9%.

French Connection saw a sharp slowdown in sales in the 24 weeks to January 12, admitting that it expects to make a loss of between £7.5-8mln when it reports its full-year earnings to the market at the end of January.

Brokers were downbeat about the stock, with Oriel cutting it to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’.

“There remains a lot of work to be done at French Connection in terms of strategy, growing full price sales and exiting unprofitable space, and until we see clearer signs of progression on these fronts, see few catalysts for the shares in the short term,” said analyst Alistair Davies.

Shares slumped 8% to 27p.

Investors were enchanted by Forbidden Technologies (LON:FBT), which soared 17% on the back of the success of its video editing platform during the Olympics.

Widespread use of the technology during the Games boosted revenues in 2012, while sales growth exceeded the 50% predicted by analysts by “a respectable margin”.

FORScene, Forbidden’s flagship cloud-based video editing software, was used by NBC and YouTube for web video coverage of the Games, with thousands of hours of content handled by its software.

NBC used FORscene to edit video for web, mobile and some broadcast delivery. Excluding NBC, the web video for over 60 countries was edited in FORscene, said Forbidden.

Reflecting that, revenue from the News and Sport sector grew by over 80% in the year.

That Olympic success has also sparked a lot of interest for work in future with partnerships developing both with major news and sport broadcasters and the potential for significant licence annuity sales in both areas.

Angle (LON:AGL) shares pulled back after a two days of huge gains that added more than 45p to the share price, taking it to 75p by Tuesday’s close.

The stock, which shed 14% today, shot up 140% on Monday after a major breakthrough in Angle’s Parsortix cancer diagnostic test, which substantially extends the technology’s use.

It has been a busy few days for Angle, which got a shot in the arm yesterday from a US$286,226 settlement payment related to the sale of its portfolio company Acolyte Biomedica – another piece of the news that gave shares a leg-up.

Junior oil firms were on investors’ radars as Sound Oil (LON:SOU) and Europa Oil & Gas (LON:EOG) climbed up the ladder today.

The former rose 6% after confirming its strong funding position as the Nervesa appraisal well nears the start of operations.

The Italian oil company has closed the fifth and sixth tranches of its share placing, generating a total of £1.9mln. The seventh and final pricing period will expire next month.

Europa joined it 6% higher when it said first pass seismic interpretation over the Kiernan prospect proved positive, with a prospective 1.6bn barrel resource estimated.

 


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