One of the Footsie’s 10 worst share price performers in the first half of the year, it’s been given a boost today after analysts at Berenberg upgraded their recommendation to ‘buy’, following an even more bullish note from Citigroup at the start of the week.
Having lagged other companies seen as “reopening” trades, they said Informa shares now offers “solid upside” on a 12-month view, setting a target price of 640p versus the last close of 513p.
The medium- and long-term outlook looks “very solid”, analyst Sarah Simon said, as the pandemic restrictions that prevented the running of large trade shows are being eased globally, with its largest market of the US now pretty much open for business.
“While 2021 shows will be smaller and less profitable than normal, we think they set Informa up for a substantial recovery in profitability from 2022,” she added.
“As 2021 begins to fade in the rear-view mirror, and 2022 becomes the main focus of investors, we think Informa has potential for a strong recovery.”
Having maintained the relationship between buyers and sellers via virtual events in 2020 and H1 2021, the Berenberg team think staging physical shows even if smaller and with promotional pricing “is important as the next step on the path to recovery”.
“It is clear, therefore, that the margin on the revenues generated this year will be lower than normal. However, we think it is better to run shows at breakeven, or even a small loss, than not to run them at all: we regard 2021 as a year of investment in the group’s event brands, rather than a year for making substantial profits.”
10.27am: Tern spin off sees shares drop as Wyld ride continues
The AIM-listed internet-of-things investor’s shares have slumped 11% so far this morning - taking a bit of the froth away their near-200% gain over the past 12 months.
Wyld drummed up 25mln Swedish krona (£2.1mln) in the IPO, including £0.3mln from Tern as its stake drops to 60.7% from 78.7% on the Nasdaq admission, which will be valued at approximately £4.7mln on the basis of the IPO offer price.
9.02am: Vaccine demonstration milestone lifts monitoring specialist
Microsaic Systems PLC (LON:MSYS) shares leapt 20% to 0.27p in early trading on Friday after saying that its real-time monitoring instruments will be used in a demonstration system for the production of drugs such as vaccines and anti-cancer treatments.
In a collaboration with the Centre for Process Innovation, the AIM-listed company’s mass spectrometry instruments will transmit live data via internet-of-things devices to enable constant monitoring of production processes, to ensure high quality biological production output, it said.
Boss Glenn Tracey alluded to the recent G7 directive to deliver faster production of vaccines and treatments to manage the current and future pandemics and said it was a “significant milestone” for Microsaic.
“In just a short time we have demonstrated and delivered an efficient automated production scaling methodology to fast-track drugs and vaccines to market, at a lower cost of production and without manual human intervention, whilst maintaining consistent high quality.”
“We are not aware of any other technology that can simultaneously analyse small and large molecules as part of on-line production.”
Tracey said the company expects to interface with end-user manufacturing processes during the second half of 2021 and plans to improve the system with further advanced AI tools.
Elsewhere, I3 Energy PLC (LON:I3E) jumped 5% to 14.25p after saying production from its first two wells at Marten Hills Clearwater in Canada is expected to begin by the end of this month, while second-quarter production had remained above 9,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).
Drilling started in mid-June and finished on 30 June 2021 to a maximum true vertical depth of 630m, with all of the eight lateral sections drilled having encountered a clean upper shore-face sandstone, with oil evidenced throughout by oil shows on cuttings, I3 said.
The rig has since been moved to the second well in the drilling programme, with drilling expected to finish around the middle of the month.
Chief executive Majid Shafiq said the reservoir intervals drilled “look to have excellent geological characteristics and we look forward to production results later this month”.