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Polymetal shares lose their shimmer as it goes on a shopping spree

Polymetal has acquired an 85% stake in one copper-gold deposit, sold an 85% in another copper-gold project, and it has also upped its stake in a silver property
Polymetal is paying US$72mln in shares to up its stake in the Prognoz silver project
Dempsey is located onshore California and is potentially host to a prospective resource of over 1trn cubic feet

Polymetal International PLC (LON:POLY) shares fell on Monday after the precious metals miner went on a little shopping spree.

The company struck a deal with the Russian Copper Company which will see Polymetal receive an 85% interest in the East Tarutin copper-gold deposit on the Kazakhstan side of the border.

In return, RCC will receive 100% of the East Tarutin deposit which sits on Russian land.

Polymetal also confirmed that its deal to buy an additional 45% stake in the Prognoz silver property, also in Russia.

The deal is worth around US$72mln, and Polymetal is paying for it by issuing 6.3mln new shares to Polar Acquisition Limited. Polymetal shares were down 8.9% to 618p.

Cerillion slides as currency movements dent H1 profits

Shares in Cerillion PLC (LON:CER), the billing, charging and customer relationship management software solutions provider, dived after the company revealed a small fall in first-half profits.

The shares have been on a roll since the company announced a major contract win in December but profit takers moved in after the group revealed underlying earnings (EBITDA) in the six months to the end of March 2018 are expected to dip to around £1.4mln from £1.5mln the year before.

The software house said the difference is mainly accounted for by adverse currency movements; on a constant currency basis, the company estimates that EBITDA was around 13% higher than the year before.

Revenue rose 12% year-on-year to around £8.4mln, in line with management expectations.

The shares were down 7% at 145p in late afternoon trading, giving up all of the gains achieved in the year-to-date.

Empyrean Energy slides as latest Dempsey well test results leaves investors disappointed

Empyrean Energy PLC (LON:EME) shares dropped 12% on Monday after the oil and gas junior reported disappointing results from the Dempsey 1-15 well in the Sacramento Basin, onshore California.

The AIM-listed company said zone 3 perforations flowed gas at 195,000 cubic feet per day, while comments from chief executive Tom Kelly that Dempsey “continues to excite from a technical perspective” did little to reassure shareholders.

Shares fell 11.6% to 11.4p.

Kainos canes it after bullish update

A bullish trading update saw shares in digital services provider Kainos Group PLC (LON:KNOS) shoot up on Monday.

The Irish company, which provides things like data analytics and cyber security to firms such as Netflix and Chanel, said it traded in line with expectations in the year ended March 31.

Kainos expects to report strong growth driven by “continued momentum across government and healthcare clients”, while recent sales investment is also paying off.

As for its digital platforms division, that performed in line with expectations where new client wins has been offset by the continued “constrained funding” in the UK NHS.

That said, Kainos has started to see a pick-up in sales activity which bodes well for the future.

Frontera dives as it becomes embroiled in a dispute at its Block 12 licence in Georgia

Despite the blue skies in London, it has been a gloomy morning for Frontera Resources Corporation (LON:FRR) after it became embroiled in a dispute.

Shares in the junior oiler are among the worst performers in London, down 10% to 0.51p after it confirmed press reports that it has received a request for arbitration from Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation and State Agency of Oil and Gas.

The dispute centres on the production sharing contract at the Block 12 licence in Georgia.

Frontera insists the request for arbitration is without merit and that it has been fully complying with the PSC.

There was a mention of “potential relinquishment” of the licence, which was perhaps one of the things to have spooked investors.

Whitbread tops FTSE 100 as City welcomes another activist on Costa owner’s share register

Whitbread plc (LON:WTB) was the top blue-chip riser on Monday after activist investor Elliott Advisors revealed it is now the Premier Inn and Costa Coffee owner’s largest shareholder.

The US hedge fund – which has previously tried to shake up the likes of Alliance Trust PLC (LON:ATST) and Dulux owner Akzo Nobel – now owns more than 6% of Whitbread, according to a regulatory filing over the weekend.

Along with fellow activist investor Sachem Head Capital, Elliott wants Costa Coffee to be sold off as it sees little overlap between the coffee chain and the rest of the Whitbread business.

Investors seemed to agree that a change is needed, with shares rising 6.6% to £41.96.

Investors fill up on Carr’s after guidance upgrade

Agriculture and engineering firm Carr’s Group PLC (LON:CARR) was also tracking higher after it raised its full-year guidance on the back of a robust first-half of trading.

The animal feed maker posted a pre-tax profit of £10.9mln in the six months ended March 3, up 22% on the same period a year earlier, while revenue grew 13.2% to £200.1mln.

Carr’s said conditions in UK agriculture have continued to improve with steadily increasing farm incomes “continuing to reinforce confidence in the outlook for the industry”.

"Trading in the second half has started well and the board now anticipates that trading for the full year will be slightly ahead of its previous expectations," said chief executive Tim Davies.

Proactive news headlines:

Anglo Asian Mining Plc (LON:AAZ) has increased gold equivalent ounce production at its Gedabek mine in Azerbaijan by 26%. Anglo Asian produced 18,307 ounces in the three months to 31 March.

Polymers specialist Itaconix Plc (LON:ITX) overcame adverse currency movements to post an increase in first quarter revenues. Group revenue rose 8% to £149,000 from £138,000 the year before, boosted by the sale of Itaconix CHT.

Medical imaging group Feedback plc (LON:FDBK) has made some changes to its board and structure as it looks to streamline and simplify its operations.

Avacta Group Plc (LON:AVCT) said its lead PD-L1 programme was on track to deliver key pre-clinical milestones this year. And it reported “excellent progress” with a second immuno-oncology research project, a LAG3 blockade, which can be combined with PD-L1 for improved efficacy.

PCF Group Plc (LON:PCF), the specialist bank, said the total value of deposits it has accepted from retail customers has surpassed the £100 million mark.

Abzena plc (AIM:ABZA) said its expects turnover for 12 months to the end of March to be in the order of £22mln, up 18% on the year before, with underlying earnings (EBITDA) in line with expectations. The life sciences group said manufacturing revenues had grown 60%, with chemistry up by 15%.

Argentina and Bolivia-focused Echo Energy Plc's (LON:ECHO) status enabled it to acquire a 50% working interest in four onshore blocks in Argentina at the start of the year said Fionia MacAulay, chief executive. Echo acquired a 50% working interest in Fraccion C, Fraccion D, Laguna De Los Capones and the exploration permit at Tapi Aike.

Shanta Gold Ltd (LON:SHG) produced 79,585 ounces of gold from its New Luika mine in Tanzania during the year to 31 December 2017. The company cut net debt by U$4.7mln to US$39.5mln, although costs did rise as mining transitioned underground.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) has submitted an application for an environmental management plan (EMP) for drilling at its T20 Dome complex in Botswana. The AIM-listed miner said the application, lodged with the Botswana Department of Environment Affairs (DEA), would cover drilling around a circa 697 square kilometre area.

Marble quarrying company Fox Marble Holdings PLC (LON:FOX) has installed some impressive new kit at its processing factory in Pristine, Kosovo. The company has coughed up for a new state-of-the-art computer numerical control (CNC) machine and a block vacuum pump machine to provide additional capacity to meet increased order flow and improve margins.

Polar Acquisition Limited has completed the sale of its stake in the Prognoz silver mine in Russia to Polymetal International PLC (LON:POLY). The consideration was US$72mln in Polymetal shares for the 45% stake, though volatility in the share of the Russian miner has since seen the current value drop to US$59.4mln. Polar is one of the most significant investments held by Baker Steel Resources Investment Trust (LON:BSRT),

Columbus Energy Resources PLC (LON:CERP) has agreed in principle to buyout Touchstone Exploration Inc’s stake in their joint venture, the Icacos field. Columbus currently owns 50% of the joint venture, located in the South West Peninsula of Trinidad, through its subsidiary Leni Trinidad Limited (LTL) while Touchstone owns the rest via its subsidiary, Primera Oil and Gas Limited.

G3 Exploration Ltd (LON:G3E) said it will push ahead with plans to spin-off its Chinese coal bed methane (CBM) business as it reported strong progress at its exploration and production assets. The company in December announced that it will separate its main producing assets – blocks GSS and GCZ in the southern Qinshui Basin, Shanxi Province, China –into a new Hong Kong listed business to be called Green Dragon Gas (GDG).

Ariana Resources plc (LON:AAU) produced 4,866 ounces of gold from its Kiziltepe project during the first quarter of 2018. The company remains on course to deliver on full year guidance of 20,000 ounces.

Orosur Mining Inc (LON:OMI) has booked a third quarter operating profit of US$1.168mln, as mining at the San Gregorio gold project continues. Production was down and costs were up as a result of lower grades. Elsewhere, in Colombia, Orosur continues to hit promising intercepts of gold mineralisation on the APTA project.

Cradle Arc Plc (LON:CRA) said it has entered into an option agreement with Singa Holdings Zambia Private Limited to either establish a joint venture or acquire its subsidiary, Luiri Gold Mines Limited.

RM Secured Direct Lending PLC (LON:RMDL) has highlighted an "attractive pipeline of opportunities" as the investment manager unveiled modest quarterly growth in its portfolio's net asset value (NAV) despite market conditions. The secured debt-focused investment firm said its NAV as at 31 March was 98.17p per ordinary share, which was 0.41p higher than at the end of February.

NetScientific PLC (LON:NSCI), the transatlantic healthcare IP commercialisation group, announced that its US-based portfolio company, Vortex BioSciences, a leading liquid biopsy company, is presenting compelling new data at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Chicago 14 - 18 April, 2018.

LEKOIL Limited (LON:LEK), the oil and gas exploration, development and production company with a focus on Africa has appointed Numis Securities Limited as its joint broker effective immediately. The group said Numis will work alongside financial adviser and nomad Strand Hanson Limited and existing joint brokers Mirabaud Securities LLP and BMO Capital Markets.

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