Defenx dented after downbeat trading update; is exploring funding options

Defenx is not the first software company to invoice customers only to see the orders delayed

Cyber security
Defenx has a plan - "Defenx 2020" - to emerge from the dark days

Cyber-security software firm Defenx plc (LON:DFX) is exploring funding options it revealed in a downbeat trading update.

Consolidated revenues for 2017 will be materially below those in 2016, the company said.

The board is now looking to implement a strategic plan, “defenx 2020”, which will see the group build on its existing cloud backup product with a focus on corporate customers.

Defenx said this strategy reflects the changing competitive landscape, growing demand for cloud-based services, feedback from existing and potential customers and the support of the company's largest shareholder, BV-Tech.

The shares were down 18.5% at 16.5p.

Midatech's liver cancer treatment wins orphan drug designation in Europe

Midatech Pharma Plc (LON:MTPH, NASDAQ:MTP) surged after confirming it had received orphan drug designation for its liver cancer treatment from the European Medicines Agency.

The classification, which exists to get breakthrough therapies to areas of unmet medical need, brings with it certain financial and developmental support, as well as 10-years marketing exclusivity.

Midatech’s MTD119 is a combination of the company’s gold nanoparticle technology and the drug maytansine. It is being developed to tackle in a targeted way hepatocellular carcinoma, a rare, aggressive cancer that affects the liver and which has a poor prognosis.

The global market for products treating hepatocellular carcinoma is expected to be in the order of US$1bn by 2024, according to Midatech.

The shares were up almost 10% at 34.5p.

Frisky Fiske notches up impressive profits growth

Interim results from Fiske PLC (LON:FKE) sent the shares of independent stockbroking and investment management firm surging.

Pre-tax profit in the six months to the end of November rose to £190,000, which may not seem much, but was a big improvement on the £19,000 made in the same period of 2016.

Valued at £11.35mln, Fiske is not one of the big boys in the sector but, boosted by the acquisition of Fieldings Investment Management, it saw revenue rise by a third to £2.07mln – almost up there with a squad player with a middle-ranking Premiership footballer.

A dominant theme of 2017 was preparation for the implementation of sweeping new regulations known as MiFID II. 

“In order to ensure that our systems were updated and our personnel appropriately trained we have incurred significant costs to the business. Whilst it is reasonable to expect most of these expenses to be non-recurring there are parts of MiFID II that continue to require software development and staff training during 2018,” the firm cautioned.

“In addition the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will become effective on 25 May 2018 and will require some additional costs to be incurred,” Fiske added.

The shares were up 18.55 at 80p; a year ago they were trading at around 50p.

Darwin evaluation boosts Borders & Southerm

Borders & Southern Petroleum PLC (LON:BOR) was the top riser in London after it announced the results of an independent evaluation of the Darwin East discovery.

The evaluation, which included the adjacent Darwin West untested fault block, generated a substantial increase in estimated resources.

The unrisked best estimate of total recoverable liquids, which is to say condensate and liquid petroleum gas, for Darwin East and Darwin West is 262mln barrels.

The geological chance of success of finding hydrocarbons in a well located on Darwin West is assessed to be 0.81.

The shares gained a third in value to 5.18p, valuing the company at more than £25mln. Year-to-date, the shares are up 189%.

Safestyle warns 2018 profits and revenues will be substantially below current market expectations

Safestyle UK PLC (LON:SFE) might want to consider a name change after another profit warning.

The shares tanked, losing 40.6p at 111.4p, after the retailer and manufacturer of PVCu replacement windows and doors, said there had been a continuing deterioration in trading conditions in its market.

As a result, the group's order intake in 2018 to date has been disappointing and below expectations.

The stock has not been a safe-style investment over the last year, shedding three-fifths of its value in that time.

The previous two trading updates both triggered sharp share price falls and long-suffering shareholders have been left clinging to the hope that the old adage “profit warnings come in threes” proves to be true in the case of Safestyle.

Proactive news headlines:

Mosman Oil And Gas Ltd (LON:MSMN) shares advanced in Wednesday’s early deals after the company confirmed it is exercising its right to buy into the Arkoma oil project in Oklahoma. Through a series of deals and amendments, the company ends up with a 27% stake in the project - it started with 10%, the option exercise gave it 30%, a separate agreement saw it assign 15% to partner Blackstone, and in compensation for its recent project spending Mosman received another 2%.

Midatech Pharma PLC (LON:MTPH, NASDAQ:MTP) said it had passed an important regulatory milestone after confirming it had received orphan drug designation for its liver cancer treatment from the European Medicines Agency. The classification, which exists to get breakthrough therapies to areas of unmet medical need, brings with it certain financial and developmental support, as well as 10 years marketing exclusivity.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) has begun a series of activities designed to accelerate commercialisation of its Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada, USA. The AIM-listed exploration and development company said it had commissioned both a scoping study and metallurgical testwork to determine potential mining and processing scenarios around its deposits at the Pilot Mountain site.

Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS) (CVE:ARS) has announced positive results from the column leach test work being undertaken as part of the Bankable Feasibility study on the Beruang Kanan Main (BKM) copper deposit in Kalimantan, Indonesia. In a statement, the AIM-listed firm said that, following a 270-day leach cycle, metallurgical results obtained from the long column (6-metre) programme, support the results previously reported in the short column test work released on 19 December 2017.

Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO) launched a £2mln share placing and at the same time it revealed it will acquire an additional stake in the Horse Hill oil project in southern England. It has agreed a deal with Primorus Investments PLC to acquire a 5% stake in the HHDL vehicle which owns 65% of Horse Hill. The transaction increases Solo’s holding in HHDL to 15%, giving the company an effective 9.75% interest in the underlying oil project.

Scotgold Resources Limited (LON:SGZ) topped the market gainers on Wednesday, with its shares jumping nearly 25% higher following news after-hours on Tuesday that it has received planning approval for the first commercial gold mine in Scotland's history.

Lithium specialist Bacanora Minerals Ltd (LON:BCN CVE:BCN) says potential offtake partner Nextview is now in default of a £31.2mln share placing arranged in December. Nextview agreed to buy 32.98mln shares at 94.53p but in spite of one extension to the deadline, the Chinese group has failed to complete the placing.

Cash shell Kin Group PLC (LON:KIN) ended 2017 with £836,000 in cash. As mentioned last week, the company remains in discussions with a number of interesting businesses in the software sector but it will not be in a position to complete any of these deals by the end of this month, which will mark the six-month anniversary of when it became a cash shell, as defined by AIM rules.

Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON:AGY) said it has signed a contract with Germany’s AGC Biologics to scale up the manufacturing of its Polyvac Peanut product for use in clinical studies. The vaccine is being developed to guard against anaphylaxis and it is hoped it will also induce protective immunity.

Although it didn't contain very much material new information, Wednesday’s financial results from Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:ECO,CVE:EOG) will have made for reassuring and somewhat exciting reading for investors. The explorer teamed up with much larger partners in potentially very high impact frontier exploration projects - the Orinduik project, offshore Guyana in the vicinity of Exxon’s successful acreage continues to unearth billion barrel oil discoveries, and it has another in the waters offshore Namibia.

Life sciences business OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) told shareholders it is now able to make dividend payments in future, should it want to. The cancellation of its share premium account has been ratified, creating reserves that are available for distribution to shareholders.

Active Energy Group PLC has announced that it has entered into an initial supply agreement with Young Living Farms (YLF) for a new high value soil amendment product, utilising the company’s CoalSwitch process. Active Energy said that this agreement marks a new revenue stream for the company and also demonstrates the flexibility and commercial value of its unique CoalSwitch process.

Recent London-listed Shefa Yamim (A.T.M) Limited (LON:SEFA) has boosted processing capacity at its alluvial gemstone operation at Akko in northern Israel. Bulk sampling is underway at the site and throughput should rise to 50 tonnes per day from 30 tonnes currently as a result of the upgrade.

Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) has appointed Hatch to conduct a scoping study of a potential mine development of the Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal. Hatch, a world-renowned engineering group, will investigate a potential mining and concentration plant development based on the Grandao, Reservatorio and NOA spodumene deposits.

African Battery Metals PLC (LON:ABM) the AIM-quoted African-focused exploration company, has provided some photographs taken from the early part of it exploration programme at its recently acquired Kisinka cobalt-copper project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These photos along with others in the future will be posted to ABM's website at: https://www.abmplc.com/s/40/gallery-drc. Roger Murphy, CEO of ABM, commented: "As previously announced, our early exploration has identified a number of features which are potentially prospective for cobalt-copper mineralisation and are being followed up by both further field work and by the auger programme which has commenced. These photos provide illustration of that work.”

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