Microsoft is using the Bango Platform to bundle Xbox cloud gaming subscriptions for telco partners to include in their subscription packages. The latest announcement contains no financial details and consequently we make no changes to forecasts at this time. Nevertheless, we believe gaming represents a potentially significant opportunity for the group. In our view, the release signals the deepening of the existing strategic relationship with a tech industry titan (Microsoft) beyond payments, and also demonstrates further commercial expansion of Bango’s bundling and resale offering into the leading cloud gaming service, including physical goods such as consoles.
Companies: Bango plc
Bango (BGO): Corp Microsoft deal will harness current Xbox demand | Ideagen (IDEA): Corp Comfortable interim trading update | LPA Group (LPA): Corp Year-end trading update | Redcentric (RCN): Corp That which does not kill you makes you stronger
Companies: IDEA RCN LPA BGO
Bango (BGO): Corp Bango scales up Far East operations | discoverIE (DSCV): Corp Resilient H1, improving outlook, dividends returning | LPA Group (LPA): Corp Prestigious Siemens project award | Touchstone Exploration (TXP): Corp Chinook announced as another significant gas discovery
Companies: DSCV LPA TXP BGO
The Interims are as flagged in the July update; global lockdowns helped End User Spend (EUS) over the platform rise by 59% YoY to £743m. Encouragingly, the H1 revenue growth closely matched that rise; increasing 50% YoY, to a record £4.8m. With operational gearing in the platform, group profitability continues to rise rapidly as revenue grows; H1 adj. EBITDA of £1.1m, more than double the whole of FY 2019 earnings. The major deals delayed in FY 2019 also arrived in H1, for Platform and Bango Marketplace; notably, the purchase of a controlling stake in Audiens by Korean tech giant, NHN, assisting management focus while retaining a 40% stake in a business set to be boosted by funding and IP from its new parent. Operating activities were cash positive and capex was more than covered by an NHN investment, lifting net cash to £4.2m. This is an exciting year, with deals signed in H1 expected to help EUS reach £2bn in 2020 and leaving BGO on track to meet our FY forecasts of strong revenue growth and material profitability.
Avingtrans (AVG): Corp | Bango (BGO): Corp | Elixirr (ELIX): Corp | eve Sleep (EVE): Corp | Evgen Pharma (EVG): Corp | Maintel (MAI): Corp | President Energy (PPC): Corp
Companies: AVG MAI PPC EVG BGO EVE ELIX
Against a backdrop of global economic turbulence driven by COVID-19, Bango’s H1 20A results confirm robust growth in End User Spend (“EUS”) and revenues, alongside record EBITDA and a solid improvement in operating cash flow. Execution in the payments business remains strong, and growth in Bango Marketplace in our view demonstrates the group’s increasing traction in data monetisation. The outlook statement is positive, and we make no changes to underlying estimates following the announcement. Overall, we continue to believe that momentum remains strong, and that the group is well placed to deliver its FY 20E targets.
Argo Blockchain (ARB): | Bango (BGO): Corp | Somero Enterprises (SOM): Corp
Companies: SOM BGO ARB
Bango’s H1 20 trading update in our view delivers a number of confident messages. Growth in the key End User Spend (“EUS”) metric remainsrobust, and the group delivered record revenue growth and EBITDA during the period. The group’s financial position saw a solid improvement in the first half. A closing gross cash position of £4.2m represents a £1.5m increase on the FY 19A level and demonstrates the company is now generating cash from its operations. H1 20 was a busy period for Bango, with a number of new contracts signed in both the payments business and Bango Marketplace, establishing a good base for growth in the second half and into 2021. We make no changes to estimates following the update but believe that Bango continues to demonstrate strong momentum and that the group remains well placed to deliver its FY 20E targets.
Bango (BGO): Corp | DX (DX): Corp | Elecosoft (ELCO): Corp | IQGeo Group (IQG): Corp | Netcall (NET): Corp | Omega Diagnostics (ODX): Corp | Somero Enterprises (SOM): Corp
Companies: ELCO ODX SOM IQG BGO DX/
This has been an impressive half for Bango. Mobile usage and transactions have risen during lockdown, driving End User Spend (EUS) over its platform up by nearly 60% to £740m. Moreover, Bango’s ongoing revenue also rose >50%, to a record level of £4.8m, with revenue growth more closely matching EUS growth than previously. With operational gearing in the payment platform, group profitability continues to rise rapidly as its revenue increases; group H1 2020 adj. EBITDA alone beating the whole of FY 2019. The major deals delayed from December also flowed through, both in Payments and the early-stage Bango Marketplace business. The period saw the purchase of a controlling stake in Audiens by a S. Korean tech conglomerate, allowing increased management focus while retaining a 40% stake in the business set to be boosted to a new level by considerable funding and IP injected by its new parent. Overall, Bango was cash generative and ended the half with £4.2m cash, suggesting c.£0.8m of cash from operations. This is a very reassuring performance, with the deals signed in H1 expected to boost H2 EUS to the £2bn targeted this year and leaving the company on track to meet our FY forecasts of strong revenue growth and material profitability.
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Oxford University and AstraZeneca announced the first interim analysis from the Phase III study of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which was found to be 70% effective in preventing COVID-19. This follows similar announcements from Moderna, and Pfizer/BioNTech in the previous two weeks, and the caveats we mentioned at the time remain the same. While all of these results have been highly encouraging, we reiterate that they do not diminish the urgent need for COVID-19 treatments and testing, which will be required for years to come. We consider Synairgen, Avacta, genedrive, Omega Diagnostics and Open Orphan to offer good buying opportunities.
Companies: AVCT ODX SNG GDR ORPH
Appreciate is the UK's leading voucher, gift card, and e-code provider, working with brands from Iceland to Halfords to Boots. It sells its pre-paid products to corporates as well as directly to consumers. It also runs the UK's largest Christmas Savings scheme, having helped some 2.7m families put money aside for Christmas expenses over the years.
In Appreciate, we see a business that's undergone significant change and modernisation since 2018. Under its highly competent and dynamic management team it has transformed from a Christmas savings business that physically produced hampers, to a pure play financial services business with material growth prospects in the longer term.
Companies: Appreciate Group plc
In its trading update, management confirmed that adjusted FY20e PBT is expected to be c €52m, a 27% increase y-o-y and 12.7% ahead of our prior estimate, with revenues of €367m, 0.5% ahead of our prior estimate. FY20e margins of 14.2% vs 12.5% in FY19 are driven by improved operational leverage and tight cost control, together with COVID-19 related cost reduction (eg marketing, travel). Having pared back our forecasts at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we now upgrade our FY20 estimates for a second time to reflect the significantly stronger margins in H220e, raising our FY21 estimates and introducing our FY22 estimates. We have also incorporated the US$32m acquisition of the LA-based marketing services business, gnet. With substantial financial resources following its £100m placing in May, management remains focused on its M&A agenda.
Companies: Keywords Studios plc
Braemar’s associate AqualisBraemar (AQUA-OSL) announced an acquisition and equity raise yesterday that was very well received by investors. The AQUA share price finished the day up +25%, meaning Braemar’s stake (which is on the balance sheet at £7m) is now worth £13.4m. This provides increased support to Braemar’s valuation and a significant potential source of funds if the stake were to be realised in the future. In the meantime, it provides a useful and increasing source of dividend income (prior to yesterday’s deal, we had forecast £0.6m dividend income p.a.) and we continue to highlight the strategic progress the new management team at Braemar is making and the very significant valuation gap to closest peer Clarkson (December 2021 P/E 22x).
Companies: BMS BSEAF 5K9
Moderna announced the first interim analysis from the Phase III study of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which was found to be c.95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 disease. This follows a similar announcement from Pfizer/BioNTech last week, and the caveats we mentioned at that time remain the same. AstraZeneca-Oxford University are also due to announce initial results this month. While these results are highly encouraging, we reiterate that they do not diminish the urgent need for COVID-19 treatments and testing, which will still be required for years to come, and we outline why. We consider Synairgen, Avacta, genedrive, Omega Diagnostics and Open Orphan to offer good buying opportunities.
President Trump likes to project himself as a highly successful businessman, but surprisingly little is known about his true financial position. Various articles, including a 2016 in-depth analysis by The Wall Street Journal, have speculated about his income and asset base. All sorts of claims and counter-claims have been made about his wealth – by Trump himself, pitching his fortune at some $9bn, and by journalist Timothy O'Brien, suggesting that it is as “low” as $150m-$250m. It is doubtful whether we shall ever know the truth, but we can use Trump’s UK corporate filings to gain an insight into his businesses in Scotland.
Companies: AVO ARBB ARIX CLIG DNL FLTA ICGT PCA PIN PHP RECI STX SCE TRX SHED VTA YEW
Thruvision has reported results for the six months to end-September 2020, showing a steady financial performance, with cost control enabling EBITDA break-even to be achieved in the half year, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. H1 FY21 revenues were steady year-on-year at £4.7m, with gross margin being held at 48%. Net cash has increased from £5.0m at 30 September 2020 to £7.8m at 20 November, following payment from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which made a substantial £2.9m follow-on order in the half year. Near-term uncertainty means management are not in a position to provide full-year guidance for FY21, but they report a strengthening sales pipeline and their growing confidence in medium-term prospects is evidenced by investment in sales and pre-sales resource in both the US and Europe to support increased demand.
Companies: Thruvision Group PLC
Strong trading has continued through October and we raise FY21 revs forecasts by 6% to £56m. With much of the upside from lower margin SMS, we leave profits forecasts unchanged. H2FY20 revenue growth was impacted by the pandemic and dropped to 9% after 2.5 years of 15% growth. Our new FY21 forecast imply a return to c. 18% growth as dotdigital makes a strong recovery and benefits from the shift to omnichannel online marketing driven by booming e-commerce. FY20 growth was strongly assisted by International revenues up 19% and Functionality up 16% and yet there is still plenty of room for growth here with the former just 31%/revs and the latter just 30%. We see a significant and extended growth runway leading to consistent progress for the company over the foreseeable future.
Companies: dotDigital Group plc
Open Orphan PLC, a specialist pharmaceutical services company, and the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge studies, continues to make excellent progress towards maximising the capacity utilisation of its unique clinical facilities and services capabilities.
Companies: Open Orphan Plc
Following on from the well-received interim results (29th September), Next Fifteen has provided a further Q3 trading update. The key headlines are that positive recent trading trends continue and, allied to strong cost control measures taken throughout the year, have resulted in profit expectations being raised for the current year. We have upgraded our estimates accordingly; marking the second material upgrade we have made since September. Initial concerns that the pandemic would materially disrupt client demand and spending patterns have proven largely overstated. The speed at which revenue has been recovered has been matched by impressive cost actions; not least around the fixed property overhead within the group, which has resulted in higher drop through rates than the group has experienced in the past. The key question looking forward is whether the legacy of the pandemic will be a lower fixed cost base for the group. Revenue mix effects are likely to continue to cloud the answer but our sense is that Next Fifteen has been successful in laying the foundations for structurally higher margins looking forward. Despite a strong recent run (+37% since late August), Next Fifteen still trades a material PE discount to its immediate peer group. Given the positive trading and margin momentum evidenced today, this looks harder to justify.
Companies: Next Fifteen Communications Group plc
RBG Holdings has updated on significant transactions completed in the Group’s Convex and LionFish divisions since its last market update in mid-September. With the Group’s legal division – RBL – continuing to trade well, management now have considerably improved visibility on financial performance, and so reinstate guidance with an expected FY20E revenue range of £24m-£26m (FY19A: £23.7m). For FY21E we anticipate revenue in the range of £26m-£29m We take this opportunity to reinstate our forecasts for both FY20E and FY21E; revenues of £24.6m / £26.9m, adj EBITDA £6.8m / £8.9m, adj EPS 5.0p / 6.8p respectively. Our forecasts are cautiously positioned towards the bottom end of guidance, with scope for upgrades when discretionary litigation asset sales or Convex transactions complete. On our FY21E forecast of 6.8p adj EPS, a mid-teens multiple of 15x PER implies the shares could be worth 100p.
Companies: RBG Holdings Plc
Today's news & views, plus announcements from Compass Group, CRH, Carnival, AO World, Pets at Home, Appreciate Group*, ImmuPharma and IG Design.
*We have also initiated coverage on Appreciate Group, with the note linked in this edition.
Timing is everything when it comes to innovation. Too early, and even ground-breaking technology can struggle to gain traction. Too late, and the opportunity might be lost. A tricky balance. However for Rosslyn Data Tech, we think this ‘battle-hardened’, cash-rich (Est Apr’21 net funds of £6.1m) & now profitable SaaS firm is ideally placed to benefit from strong secular demand for its cutting-edge & fully integrated Big Data, AI, spend analytics, SMDM (Supplier Master Data Management) & customs/duty handling applications.
Companies: Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC
Despite the challenges of the past few months, XLMedia remains profitable on a run-rate basis. The interim results have delivered a much more robust performance than expected, in our view. With work progressing on recovering its position in its Casino vertical expected to yield results from Q4 onwards, there is a visible recovery profile ahead. With the >50% of the market cap in cash we are Buyers.
Companies: XLMedia Plc
Pfizer and BioNTech announced the first interim analysis from the Phase III study of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which was found to be >90% effective in preventing COVID-19. While the results are very promising, we believe there was a large over-reaction in the market in response to the news. It should not have been unexpected – we hoped for positive results from vaccine manufacturers this month, and we hope there is more to come, as AstraZeneca-Oxford University and Moderna are also due to announce initial results this month, and overall there are 11 vaccines in Phase III testing. However, these early results do not diminish the urgent need for COVID-19 treatments and testing, which will still be required for years to come, and we outline why. We consider the price falls to stocks such as Synairgen (-39%), Avacta (-36%), genedrive (-38%), Omega Diagnostics (-25%) and Open Orphan (-9%) to offer good buying opportunities.