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Ramsdens perks up, Falanx falls

A look at the day's major movers, including Falanx, Aston Martin, TUI, Rightmove, Image Scan, Coro Energy, Yolo Leisure and Technology, Gooch & Housego, Marlowe, Renalytix Ai and Genedrive

Marlowe PLC - Marlowe PLC buys employment law firm as revenues and profits leap

Ramsdens Holdings PLC (LON:RFX) enjoyed a 3% push to 207.01p as it reported positive interim performance thanks to the combination of pawnbroking and foreign currency.

Profits rose by 23% to £6.2mln in the six months to September, with Ramsdens also taking advantage of a rising gold price to bank £600,000 through the scrapping of old jewellery stock.

Revenues rose by 30% to £32.5mln with FX up 15% to £8.4mln, jewellery 22% higher at £5.5mln and pawnbroking up by a third to £6.9mln.

Conversely, Falanx Group Ltd (LON:FLX) dropped 5% to 1.52p as its underlying loss deepened due to recent investments made to stop falling profit margins.

The cybersecurity company posted a pre-tax loss of £1.55mln for the six months to 30 September, up from a £0.97mln loss in the previous year, but revenues were up 21% to £2.6mln.

The AIM-listed company said the weak profit margins have now been remedied and improved performance has continued into the second half of the year, thanks to significant investments in new hires, marketing capabilities, as well as the planned partnership with American software company SolarWinds.

1pm: Aston Martin dips after Goldman Sachs cuts stance to 'neutral'

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC (LON:AML) saw its shares go into reverse in early afternoon trading, down 4.3% to 504.80p after Goldman Sachs cuts its rating for the luxury sportscar maker.

The US investment bank reduced its stance to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’ with a lower target price of 520p, down from 620p previously.

Tour operator TUI AG (LON:TUI) also took a tumble under the influence of a broker downgrade, down 3.2% to 994.20p, with French firm Oddo BHF cutting their rating to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’. 

But on the up after broker comment, shares in FTSE 100-listed firm Rightmove PLC (LON:RMV) added 1.5% at 629p after Goldman Sachs turned less bearish on the property site group, moving its recommendation to ‘neutral’ from ‘sell’.

And among the mid-caps, Serco (LON:SRP) nudged 0.1% higher to 149.70p after JP Morgan Cazenove upped its recommendation for outsourcing group to ‘overweight’ from ‘neutral’.

11.30am: Image Scan rebounds after early morning drop

Image Scan Holdings Plc (LON:IGE) picked up, rising 3% to 3p, after dropping in the morning after a full-year report saw softer revenues but a final quarter saw a turnaround in order intake.

The AIM-listed company said it had received some “significant contracts” for portable x-ray equipment to finish the period with a strong order book.

By its September year-end, the x-ray screening systems specialist’s order book had more than tripled to £1.7mln, with order bookings of £3.9mln over the year, compared to £2.8mln last year.

10.40am: Coro Energy sinks to new low after delays hit deal

Coro Energy PLC (LON:CORO) lost 10% to 1.86p after selling off all its Italian assets and announcing the Bulu acquisition in Indonesia has been delayed.

The AIM-listed firm sold its gas projects in Italy to Zenith Energy Ltd (LON:ZEN)(CVE:ZEE) for an initial £402,000 paid in shares and an extra £3.5mln to be paid upon performance.

In a separate statement, Coro said some bureaucratic delays pushed the Bulu acquisition beyond the initial 2 December deadline and it is now negotiating a six-month extension.

There were big plans for Yolo Leisure and Technology PLC (LON:YOLO) too, which lost 7% at 11.15p as the AIM-listed investment company had to rejig its strategy following a mixed year.

The year ended 30 September saw Yolo's revenue tanking by a third to £14,000, though its loss before tax narrowed by a third to £731,784.

Yolo will now focus on projects in the space of big data, machine learning, telematics and the internet of things, while it looks for new directors with more specialist experience.

Gooch & Housego PLC (LON:GHH) had an unpleasant morning as well with shares dipping 3% to 1,215p due to a slump in full-year profits.

The manufacturer blamed “challenging macro-economic-environment for industrial lasers” offsetting what the company said was “record demand” for its fibre optics products, which are used in undersea cables and life science products.

For the year ended 30 September, the maker of lenses, mirrors and fibre optic components reported an adjusted pre-tax profit of £15mln, down 19.9% on the prior year, while revenues rose 3.4% to £129.1mln.

9.30am: Marlowe up after employment law firm buy, revenues and profits leap

Marlowe PLC (LON:MRL) was up 6% to 470p in early trade on Tuesday after announcing the acquisition of employment law and safety provider Law At Work for £6.3mln.

The AIM-listed regulatory compliance firm also released its interim results, where it posted a 58% leap in both revenue and pre-tax profit to £89.3mln and £6.2mln, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

Marlowe said it will deliver a full-year performance ahead of market expectations as it enjoys good trading and new acquisitions.

Meanwhile, Renalytix Ai PLC (LON:RENX) added 7% to 308p on news the US national health insurance programme, Medicare has set a price for its KidneyIntelX device.

The product, an artificial intelligence-powered product to improve the identification and clinical management of patients with Type 2 diabetes and fast-progressing kidney disease, will cost US$950 for a three-year term beginning 1 January, 2020.

The AIM-listed company said in an update the decision will boost contracting with private insurance payors as they use Medicare’s parameters to determine test pricing.

Also in the pharma industry, Genedrive PLC (LON:GDR) shares jumped 14% higher to 24.52 after reporting “high clinical accuracy” in a recent trial of its infant hearing screening test.

Genedrive’s kit is designed to be used in critical care settings to screen babies for a genetic mutation, MT-RNR1, which if present, can cause lifelong deafness if they are prescribed with the antibiotic gentamicin.

The next step is an implementation study at hospitals in Manchester and Liverpool to ensure it can be carried out in an NHS environment.

Proactive news headlines:

Genedrive PLC’s (LON:GDR) shares surged on Tuesday as the company achieved “high clinical accuracy” in a recent trial of its screening test designed to reduce the risk of antibiotic-induced hearing loss in infants. The diagnostics firm said the test had achieved a diagnostic sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 100% across 303 samples and was unaffected by common bacteria and interfering substances that may be found in a patient.

Collagen Solutions PLC (LON:COS) said it was investing in "people, capabilities and technology” as it delivered its third consecutive half of double-digit top-line growth. Presenting its interim results, it explained it had been affected by capacity constraints within the collagen manufacturing operation. It was also held back by the timing of delivery of development contract milestones. Against this backdrop, the biomaterials specialist grew revenues by 14% to £2.23mln in the six months ended September 30. Tissue sales more than doubled.

Erris Resources PLC (LON:ERIS) shares fell on news Centerra Gold has terminated its strategic alliance with the group after almost four years. The partners had been in a joint venture on exploration ground in Sweden owned by Erris. "Erris Resources is grateful for the consulting and exploration partnership with Centerra Gold over the past four years, which from our experience is a typical duration for such joint ventures,” said Erris chief executive Anton du Plessis.

Arc Minerals Limited (LON:ARC) has acquired a further 5% interest in Zaco Limited from Mumena Mushinge, a non-executive director of Arc, for a total cash consideration of US$37,500, increasing Arc's interest in Zaco to 52.5% from 47.5%. Nick von Schirnding, Arc’s executive chairman stated: "I am very pleased that we have increased our stake in Zaco to 52.5% giving us a controlling interest in this exciting prospect, which contains a number of anomalies which we are drilling."

BB Healthcare Trust PLC (LON:BBH) said it aims to target a dividend each financial year equal to 3.5% of its Net Asset Value as at the last day of the Company's preceding financial year. For the financial year ended 30 November 2019, the company paid an interim dividend of 2.425p per ordinary share in August 2019 and in due course is intending to propose a final dividend of 2.425p per ordinary share. For the financial year ending 30 November 2020, the target total dividend will be 5.0p per ordinary share, and the firm intends to declare an interim dividend of 2.5p per share, and a final dividend of 2.5p per share for the financial year ending 30 November 2020.

KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM) the technology and software investment company that focuses on risk management for capital markets, today announced the appointment of Steve Sparke as a non-executive director of the company. The group said Sparke will replace Matt Reed, its independent non-executive director, who is stepping down with immediate effect to focus on other business commitments. KRM22 noted that Sparke has over 30 years' experience in the Exchange Traded Derivatives and Commodity industry and was recently COO of Marex Spectron.

ADES International Holding PLC (LON:ADES) said it was notified on 2 December 2019 that its CEO, Dr. Mohamed Farouk Abdelkhalek purchased 600 of the company's ordinary shares at average price of US$ 12.283 each. Following this transaction, the group noted that Abdelkhalek has direct and indirect beneficial interests in 2,075,619 shares representing 4.75 % of the company's issued share capital.

ImmuPharma PLC (LON:IMM), a specialist drug discovery and development company, announced that Dr Tim Franklin, its commercial advisor, will be presenting at the Biotech Showcase 2020, to be held between 13-15 January 2020, at the Hilton, San Francisco Union Square. Commenting on the event, Dimitri Dimitrou, ImmuPharma CEO said: "We are delighted that Dr Franklin, who was an integral part of the ImmuPharma team involved in the Avion negotiations, will be representing ImmuPharma and presenting at this prestigious Biotech Showcase. This will be a great opportunity to refocus the industry's and investors' minds on the significant potential within ImmuPharma's pipeline."

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