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'Search me, guv’ says Caledonian Trust as it denies knowing why share price boomed on Thursday

Some of the main news-driven risers and fallers in London on Thursday...
confused man
Caledonian has a couple of properties in Edinburgh which it has renovated and is getting ready to offload

Shares in Caledonian Trust PLC (LON:CNN) surged on Thursday but for no apparent reason.

The company’s board was forced to issue a statement saying it “know of no reason” for the price movement.

Caledonian confirmed that two new semi-detached houses in Edinburgh were approaching practical completion and marketing for their sale is underway.

Regardless of what was behind it, the share price rocketed 21% to 150p – even after the company’s statement.

BOS mulls financing options as costs mount

BOS GLOBAL Holdings Limited (LON:BOS) headed lower in afternoon trading after it said it is taking steps to manage its working capital position by reducing costs and assessing its funding options.

The cloud-based software developer said it has continued to incurred operational and overhead costs as it continues its product development and invests in sales and marketing.

However, it is yet to generate significant revenue from purchase orders for its products.

“Consequently, the company's working capital position has tightened considerably and the company is exploring its options for securing additional funding above the instalment schedule provided for in the convertible loan note with Innovation Corporation Limited, from which it has recently received additional funds totalling approximately £217,000,” BOS said in a statement.

Shares dropped 40% on the news to 1.65p.


12.45pm...Publishing group Quarto slumps on profit warning after frustrating year so far

Illustrated publishing firm Quarto Group Inc (LON:QRT) took a beating after it said full-year profits would be “significantly” below expectations, despite a solid second half of the year.

Revenues for 2017 are expected to be lower as well, while net debt is likely to be higher than it was at the end of 2016.

The company, which makes books such as The Sex Bible, blamed a “tough retail environment”, the restructuring of its finance team and an unsolicited takeover for the poor performance.

Boss Marcus Leaver said the year was just a “transitional” period, hinting that progress was just around the corner.

Investors weren’t so sure though, with shares losing 18.1% to 120p.

Coca Cola HBC shares fizz higher as sales rise

FTSE 100 drinks maker Coca Cola HBC AG (LON:CCH) climbed towards the top of the index on Thursday after it saw sales fizz higher in the third quarter.

The company – which bottles and sells Coca Cola drinks in 28 countries mostly in Europe and Asia – saw revenues jump 5% to €1.82bn (Q3 2016: €1.74bn) in the three months to September 30.

Its established markets segment which includes the UK, German, Spain, Portugal and others reported volume growth of 2.2%, while developing markets volume – think Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland – jumped 5.1% in the quarter.

Emerging markets – those such as Romania and Serbia where CCH has only recently started to really push its products – reported a 3.5% volume increase.

“We go into the final quarter encouraged by our progress and confident in delivering on our expectations for the full year,” said acting chief executive Michalis Imellos.

Shares fizzed 1.8% higher to £26.07.


9.30am...CityFibre surges as it inks major strategic partnership with telecoms giant Vodafone

CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings PLC (LON:CITY) was the big mover on the junior market early on Thursday after it announced a long-term strategic partnership with UK telecoms giant Vodafone PLC (LON:VOD).

The two companies are joining forces to build a new ultra-fast broadband network for 5mln homes and businesses in the UK.

The fibre–optic FTTP (fibre-to-the- premises) network will be capable of carrying one gigabit (I,000 mbps) of data to the door of the user. To give you an idea of how fast that is, the average download speed in the UK is just over 16mbps.

CityFibre will build, own and operate the network with Vodafone having a exclusive rights to market ultrafast consumer broadband services for a set period.

Almost £1bn wiped from Burberry's value

Burberry PLC (LON:BRBY) shares were out of fashion on Thursday after the luxury clothes maker, wiping almost £1bn from its market value.

The company – which makes everything from suitcases to trench coats – reported a slowdown in UK sales in the second quarter, as the benefits of the weak pound annualised.

The FTSE 100 group said it will be shutting down underperforming stores as it looks to further cut back its cost base, although the focus will initially be on the US and Europe.

New chief executive Marco Gobbetti said Burberry wanted to become even more exclusive and vowed to establish the brand “firmly in luxury” to try and boost margins.

Investors didn’t seem too keen on the push deeper into the risky luxury market, with shares slumping 11% to £17.70.

Proactive news headlines

Shares in IronRidge Resources Ltd (LON:IRR) opened higher after the company published high-grade lithium pegmatite trenching and rock chip sampling results from its Ghanaian assets, and said numerous target areas had been identified within its recently acquired high-resolution airborne geophysical survey in Ghana.

SkinBioTherapeutics PLC (LON:SBTX) said its SkinBiotix technology has passed two additional and final toxicity tests, meaning it is safe to use in the company’s three target markets.

Researchers at Charles River Laboratories assessed for photo-toxicity (sensitivity to sunlight) and ocular toxicity (effect on eye cells).

Secure payments specialist Eckoh PLC (LON:ECK) has been granted two further US patents that will protect its CallGuard platform. The first relates to the technology’s tokenisation process, which is used to encrypt card data or personal information such as social security numbers.

Mining royalties company Anglo Pacific Group plc (LON:APF, TSE:APY) had a strong third quarter, with free cash flow tripling from the previous year’s level.

Energy storage and clean fuel company ITM Power plc (LON:ITM) has secured funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to undertake a study examining the potential deployment of large-scale power-to-gas energy storage.

Tower Resources PLC (LON:TRP) will resume trading on Aim today after the Africa- focused oil explorer raised £2.1mln through a placing backed by directors and financier Lansdowne. The shares were suspended in May due to uncertainty over Tower’s financial position.

Aminex plc (LON:AEX) has appointed John Bell as an independent non-executive director of the company with immediate effect. Bell is managing director of Gulfsands Petroleum and a chartered engineer with a 30-year career in the energy sector, including senior positions at BP, Statoil and Suncor.

Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE) has told investors that its disposal of the SDA Mill gold operation in Mexico is now nearing completion and it has struck an interim agreement with the buyer, allowing operations to restart at the project. The company said that the final major item required for closing, a restructuring of Mexican ownership of SDA,  is at an advanced stage and it due to be in place later this month.

Rambler Metals and Mining PLC (LON:RMM) has issued and allotted 450,000 ordinary shares following the exercise of options by a retired employee of the company.

Hurricane Energy Plc (LON:HUR) is considering an upgrade to its listing, with a potential transfer from the junior AIM market to a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange. The successful UK offshore oiler, which raised more than £500mln of capital earlier this year, has announced a number of measures to recognise the company’s new size and scale.

Bushveld Minerals Limited’s (LON:BMN) tin assets started trading separately today after AfriTin Mining Limited was admitted to AIM. Now focused more on vanadium, Bushveld will retain a 17.5% stake with a further 24.4% to be distributed to shareholders.

Eland Oil & Gas PLC (LON:ELA) has now confirmed a further expansion of the Opuama field, greenlighting two more wells at the Nigerian oil operation. The company on Tuesday revealed that the recently drilled Opuama-7 had been brought onto production, with better than expected rates seen in well testing, and the drilling of the Opuama-8 well is due to start in December.

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