Crossword Cybersecurity PLC* (NEX:CCS)—the technology commercialisation company focusing exclusively on the cyber security sector is investigating the possibility of AIM admission. The Company is proposing to raise up to £2.25 million before the end of December, conditional on Admission.
Manolete Partners—leading UK insolvency litigation financing business looking to join AIM raising £16.3m as a placing and £13.1 realised by the selling shareholder at 175p. Market cap £76.3m, expected 14 December
Titon holdings—international manufacturer and supplier of ventilation systems and window and door hardware. No capital raise. Due 10 Dec. Mkt cap c.£22m.
Greenfields Petroleum (TSX-V:GNF) production focused company with operated assets in Azerbaijan seeking AIM dual listing including $60m private placement. Mkt cap $12.6m CAD. Expected early December.
Finncap—proposed acquisition of M&A adviser Cavendish Corporate Finance and AIM admission. Offer TBA. Due early Dec
The Panoply parent company of a digitally native technology services group founded in 2016 with the aim of identifying and acquiring best-of-breed specialist information technology and innovation consulting businesses across Europe, is looking to join AIM. Offer £5m new capital, £400k sell-down, market cap of £30m, expected late 4 Dec 2018.
Companies: SAR SQZ REDX AVN LVCG BQE PAF
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Bioquell has reported a strong set of interim results, with reported revenues +9% to £15.7m. Excluding Defence sales and the disposed-of Airflow business, like-for-like revenues increased by 15% on a constant currency basis. In light of the strong H1 showing and positive commentary over the outlook, we upgrade our EPS forecasts by 10% this year and 13% in FY19, the fourth double digit upgrades we have made in the last 12m. The growth opportunity is by no means exhausted however and we see the FY19 rating of under 10x EV/EBITDA as extremely undemanding.
Bioquell (BQE LN) Strong interims drive full year upgrades | Elektron Technology (EKT LN) Checkit roll-out by Center Parcs | Gresham Technologies (GHT LN) Positive start to H2 underpins confidence in FY | IQE (IQE LN) Solid first half trading, outlook maintained
Companies: BQE CKT GHT IQE
Bioquell (BQE LN) Disposal of final non-core asset | Dunelm (DNLM LN) Friday’s downgrade disappointing but not a fundamental concern | First Derivatives (FDP LN) Upgrading EPS estimates by 7-8% | IDOX (IDOX LN) Interim trading update, closure of Digital and new CEO
Companies: BQE DNLM FDP IDOX
Bioquell (BQE LN) In line trading despite FX headwinds | Carador Income Fund (CIFU LN) Significant reset activity post expiration of US risk retention appeal | Driver Group (DRV LN) Sale and leaseback in line with strategy | Harwood Wealth (HW LN) Acquires retirement solutions specialist Plan65 | Midatech Pharma (MTPH LN) FY results in line with expectations, US ops achieve EBITDA breakeven | River and Mercantile Group (RIV LN) AuM +1.1%, -5% EPS forecasts; resilience remains | Safestyle UK (SFE LN) New competitor impacts forecasts as we feared might be the case | Summit Therapeutics (SUMM LN) Further supportive data from PhaseOut DMD unveiled
Companies: BQE DRV HW/ SFE SUMM
Core biodecontamination revenues increased by 13%, driving a material improvement on operating margins to 10% and strong EPS growth of 78%. Having upgraded our FY18/19 EPS forecasts by 18% & 16% respectively in January, we make no further changes at this early stage in the year. The shares continue to trade at a material discount to peers and we see further upside scope on growth, forecast upside and potential cash returns.
Pharmaceutical Services is a vast and varied landscape, reflecting the complexities in the discovery, development, manufacturing and monitoring of drugs and devices, all within a stringent regulatory environment. The overall growth prospects are highly favourable: drug development activity globally is on the up, led by smaller companies, which is driving demand for outsourced services. In this report we provide a breakdown of the sector into its main activity segments, and identify biologics, increasing service specialisation and consolidation as important value drivers. Finally, we present 15 companies (9 of which are publicly listed) that, in our view, are well placed to benefit from the sector’s secular growth trends.
Companies: ABZA BQE CSRT INS UDG CLIN ABZA HZD ERGO OXB
Anpario (ANP LN) In line FY results, strong balance sheet | Bagir Group (BAGR LN) Prelims and strategic partnership with Shandong Ruyi pending | Bioquell (BQE LN) Strong in line results, outlook remains positive | Hill & Smith Holdings (HILS LN) FY17 ahead; positive outlook for FY18 | Instem (INS LN) SaaS expansion | Lookers (LOOK LN) Resilient performance in key segments but further small d/grades | Pharmaceutical Services Structural growth in a complex landscape | River and Mercantile Group (RIV LN) H1 in line, small impact from provision, investment case unchanged | St Ives (SIV LN) H1 results drive upgrades
Companies: ANP BAGR BQE HILS INS LOOK KCT
A further strong trading update for FY17 has prompted further double digit PBT/EPS upgrades this morning, adding to the strong forecast momentum experienced in recent months. The core Biodecon activities are benefitting from the improved commercial focus and this is now being seen strongly in the reported financials, which are beginning to look increasingly attractive in terms of growth, margins and cash generation. Net Cash reached £14.5m at the year end, increasing the scope for some kind of further returns to shareholders. We see intrinsic value of 300p+, with further upside scope on growth, forecast outperformance and possible cash returns.
1Spatial (SPA LN) US state contract win | Bioquell (BQE LN) Ongoing strength prompts further upgrades | Carr’s Group (CARR LN) Continuing recovery in divisions should help the shares recover | Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH LN) Strong, in line H1 update | Gresham Technologies (GHT LN) YE trading update confirms strong progression | IndigoVision Group (IND LN) Pedro Simoes confirmed as new Chief Executive
Companies: BQE CARR DPH GHT IND SPA
Bioquell (BQE LN) Positive trading continues | Earthport (EPO LN) Partnership with Kotak Mahindra Bank | Ground Rents Income Fund (GRIO LN) Further clarification on doubling assets | Oxford Metrics (OMG LN) Further product innovation at Vicon | Porta Communications (PTCM LN) Strategic investment and debt reorganisation | Spirent Communications (SPT LN) Still waiting on return to top line growth | StatPro Group (SOG LN) Scale and sales hires should drive organic growth | UDG Healthcare (UDG LN) Solid Q3 update overall, but Sharp weakness an irritation
Companies: BQE SPT OMG UDG PTCM GRIO EPO SOG
Bioquell has been transformed over the last 18 months, returning £40.8m to shareholders and completing investment in a range of proprietary bio-decontamination solutions focussing on the life sciences and healthcare market. A renewed focus on commercialisation and financial returns should lead to accelerated EPS growth and commensurate shareholder value creation. The strong balance sheet offers potential for further returns.
Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on Bioquell.
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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
Venture Life has developed significant momentum through 2020, reflected in the strong share performance over the year. Building on this momentum, the company has announced it is conditionally raising £34m via an equity raise to help it secure additional M&A opportunities. At this time, Venture Life has identified three opportunities, which we estimate could deliver significant earnings accretion if all are completed. We have updated our forecasts to reflect the raise but at this time have left our underlying assumptions unchanged. We expect Venture Life to maintain the momentum it has developed, supported by the proposed raise and M&A opportunities; we re-iterate our Buy recommendation.
Companies: Venture Life Group Plc
Interim results were in line with the 28 October trading update, reflecting the impact of the pandemic, with sales down 27% and LBITDA of £1.3m. However, c.10% LFL growth for Health & Nutrition (HN) in October and November is encouraging and points to long-term growth. Together with confirmation that first shipments against the initial 1m order for AbC-19 rapid antibody tests have taken place as well as first shipments of VISITECT CD4 Advanced Diseases tests to Africa, we expect a strong H2 (c.75% of FY sales), with potential upside driven by a currently poorly visible, yet anticipated long-term opportunity from its three key value drivers: Food Detective in China, VISITECT CD4 and COVID-19 lateral flow devices (LFDs). We leave our forecasts unchanged until we have further clarity on the unfolding COVID-19 opportunities. Whilst this implies c.£9.4m sales in H2, this is still eminently achievable given that supply has the ability to generate in excess of £9m of sales in Q4 FY 2021, should the demand materialise.
Companies: Omega Diagnostics Group PLC
ReNeuron, a UK-based stem-cell therapy developer, has announced today a fundraising of up to £17.5m (gross) through the means of a placing, subscription and open offer. The Company has also announced its FY’21E interim results as well as the latest data from its lead candidate hRPC in the ongoing Phase I/IIa clinical trial for Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). The additional funding aims to provide liquidity for the next 18 months, and through key clinical development milestones for the hRPC programme and exosome collaborations. **** As joint broker to ReNeuron, we are restricted and can therefore provide factual comment only. Shareholder approval for the transaction will be sought at the General Meeting to be held on the 11th December 2020 ****
Companies: ReNeuron Group plc
ReNeuron Group (RENE.L): Interim results
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
A positive AGM update from CVS this morning, illustrating a continuation of solid trading momentum since the Sept finals. LFL sales in the first four months were ahead by 5.1% vs a stiff 8% comp. This implies an acceleration to 6.3% over Sep-Oct - an excellent showing, reflecting resilience and ongoing self-help to optimise revenue generation. Significantly, this flows through to a healthy EBITDA margin back above 15%. Trading during the current lockdown has not been much impacted and this bodes well for any future restrictions. The balance sheet has further deleveraged. With guidance remaining suspended we hold off reinstating forecasts, but on our illustrative analysis the shares are trading on an FY21/FY22 EV/EBITDA rating of 14x/13x and a P/E of 22x/21x. Given the structural tailwind, underlying momentum and sector M&A at >15x EV/EBITDA, we see scope for rating expansion.
Companies: CVS Group plc
One of the original assumptions in our forecast for Destiny’s first product, XF-73 for the prevention of post-surgical staphylococcal infections, was that it would share the US market with GlaxoSmithKline’s Bactroban Nasal - despite Bactroban Nasal not being approved for this indication. We also referenced Bactroban Nasal’s US price in estimating the price for XF73 in all markets. Bactroban Nasal has now been discontinued in the US, so we adjust some of our modelling for its removal. This has resulted in our valuation increasing.
Companies: Destiny Pharma Plc
EKF has confirmed it expects a strong Q4 from both the core business and ongoing demand for the Primestore MTM sample collection device. As a result, FY20 performance is now expected to comfortably exceed market expectations, which have already been upgraded several times through the year. We upgrade our FY20 EBITDA forecasts by a further 6% to £24.4m and look forward to further updates in due course. EKF is a Best Idea for 2020 and we expect strong momentum to continue.
Companies: EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc
After Pfizer and Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford reported (preliminary) late-stage results for their COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Based on logistics and pricing, Astra’s vaccine has clear advantages.
However, with results for other (major) countries still awaited and considering past safety concerns, it is pre-mature to decide if Astra has won this race. Also, considering the firm’s ‘no-profit’ commitment as long as the pandemic is on, any major earnings uptick seems unlikely.
Companies: AstraZeneca PLC
IXICO has provided a trading update for the fiscal year to 30 September 2020, expecting revenues of £9.5m, up 26% and ahead of our current £9.1m estimate. EBITDA is expected to be at least in line with our £1.1m forecast. This represents the fourth consecutive year of +25% revenue growth and a period over which EBITDA has progressed from -£2.1m (FY16A) to +£1.1m. FY21E revenues and beyond are underpinned by an order book which has increased by c£5.8m over the year supported by new contracts booked of over £15m, approximately twice the amount booked in FY19A. We believe IXICO is a strong position to deliver ongoing growth and we maintain our Buy recommendation.
Companies: IXICO Plc
Venture Life aims to become a global leader in the self-care branded product market, where there are a number of structural growth drivers. It has a unique and scalable platform to develop, manufacture and distribute products, including its own brands and international customers’ brands. What is already a high margin business is poised to deliver a compelling mixture of top line growth with significant operating leverage. Performance in H1 (EBITDA +347%) highlights the potency of VLG’s model. Acquisitions can also leverage the platform to drive growth, and management has a very strong track record here. On top of this exciting growth play, there is also a chance that its Dentyl dual-action mouthwash could have applications to slow/reduce CV19 transmission, adding to the upside potential.
4D pharma has announced a merger with the Longevity Acquisition Corporation (NASDAQ: LOAC), a Special Purpose Acquisition Company that provides a NASDAQ listing and $14.6m (gross) of cash for 4D pharma shareholders. The statement notes that this additional capital is expected to extend the current operational runway another 6 months into early Q3 2021 (vs. Q1 2021 previously) providing capital to support the ongoing clinical development of its pipeline. 4D pharma will maintain its AIM listing and will remain headquartered in the UK. The merger was agreed at an valuation of £1.10 per 4D pharma ordinary share, representing a 18% premium to last night’s close of £0.93. Post-completion, 4D pharma will issue approx. 19,783,827 new ordinary shares, and 4D pharma shareholders will own approx. 86.9% of the issued share capital of the enlarged group. The merger is expected to become effective in early 2021, subject to shareholder meetings for both companies, and approval of all necessary US / SEC documentation
Companies: 4d Pharma PLC
RUA have announced an earlier than expected update on the testing of its Elast-Eon-coated tri-leaflet artificial heart valve from its pilot pulsatile flow program. This testing is meant to simulate not just the flow of blood through the valve, but the viscous patterns that occur during the opening and closing of the valve, in the simulation of typical natural conditions. Not only have the minimum ISO Standard performance requirements been easily surpassed, but there were indications of reproducibility and ease of manufacture.
Companies: RUA Life Sciences Plc
Beximco Pharma (BXP.L): Notification of AGM | Evgen Pharma (EVG.L): First patient enrolled in COVID-19 trial
Companies: Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited Sponsored GDR RegS (BXP:LON)Evgen Pharma Plc (EVG:LON)