Small cap highlights: Hurricane Energy, Sound Energy, Futura Medical & Strat Aero

High profile small cap oilers were very much in focus this past week.

oil workers on rig
Drilling wells always attracts attention

Hurricane Energy Plc (LON:HUR) whipped up a storm on Friday with an oil discovery that could revitalise the North Sea.

Hurricane is a specialist in fractured basements, which is a new play for the UK, but is a bedrock for production in Vietnam, Libya and the Yemen.

Chief executive Robert Trice’s early hunch that these basement accumulations of crude existed in the inhospitable waters off the Shetland Islands has been well and truly vindicated.

And the latest impressive results from the company’s Lancaster field were greeted with a 44% rise in the share price, which is up 245% in the year to date.

Compare and contrast that with the performance of the rest of sector and you’ll see why early investors may be forgiven for being a little smug about their foresight.

Elsewhere in the sector it was another good week for Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU), with shareholders eagerly anticipating news from a second gas well in Morocco.

The bulletin boards and blogs have awash with all sorts of rumour and speculation about the size of the discovery on the Tendara block, which has prompted a near 20% rise in the stock price over the last week.

Not all junior exploration stocks prospered, however. Tower Resources PLC (LON:TRP) lost almost 48% over the last five trading sessions after refinancing, while Pantheon Resources fell 41% after a drilling setback in Texas.

The FTSE AIM All Share index enjoyed a decent start after the summer lull as it advanced 1.65%, having been moribund for the previous fortnight.

Certainly there was an appetite for small-caps that was somewhat lacking higher up the evolutionary chain, with the FTSE 100 reversing almost 0.7%.

What a week it has been for Futura Medical (LON:FUM), which has more than tripled in value after unveiling some quite impressive results for a new gel it has developed for erectile dysfunction (see I got all the way through that sentence without a schoolboy pun).

It now has a product that can challenge pill-based treatments such as Viagra and Cialis in this US$5bn a year market.

Crucially, Futura’s gel, to be branded Eroxon, acts in as little as five minutes, where the little blue pill might take up to 30.

Back from the dead (well almost) was mobile streams with a 150% rise after the app and content provider revealed its business in India was gaining huge traction.

Drone company Strat Aero Plc (LON:AERO) lifted off with a 70% rise after winning an eye-in-the-sky survey deal.

Now here’s a company we at Proactive Investors didn’t realise was still resident on AIM.

GW Pharmaceuticals Plc (LON:GWP), which is now also quoted on America’s Nasdaq high-tech market, ranks as one of the junior market’s largest businesses with a market capitalisation of £1.9bn.

It is a specialist in cannabis-derived drugs, though its first product, Sativex, for multiple-sclerosis, was a less than resounding success.

The latest treatment from the pipeline, for severe childhood epilepsy, has shown some promise in phase III clinical trials.

Now, according to seemingly well-sourced industry reports, GW has a suitors lining up to buy the business.

And we are told it has appointed Wall Street heavyweight Morgan Stanley to help it carry out a beauty parade.

Bid interest sparked the shares price back into life and chased the stock 23% higher over the week.

Finally, one for the diary. Australia-listed Aura Energy will take its bow on the AIM market on Monday after raising £2.24mln from London investors. Shares in the uranium-focused mining junior were placed with institutions and sophisticated high net worth investors at 1.14p.

The cash will bankroll a feasibility study of its Tiris uranium deposit in Mauritania.

An open-pit project, it is estimated to be host to 49mln pounds of the radioactive material. Mineralisation is found at just five to six metres, which makes for a cheap project that could, according to reports, be developed for around £38mln.

Investors will be hoping that Aura enjoys the stock market success experienced by AIM’s other uranium play, Berkeley Energia, whose shares have tripled in value in the last two years.

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