Gfinity plc* (GFIN.L, 2.325p/£11.1m) | ECSC Group plc* (ECSC.L, 115p/£10.5m) | Mi-Pay Group plc* (MPAY.L, 1.15p/£0.5m) | MTI Wireless Edge Ltd* (MWE.L, 39.5p/£34.7m)
Companies: GFIN ECSC MPAY MWE
Mi-Pay Group plc* (MPAY.L, 1.65p/£0.8m) Proposed disposal and cancellation of trading (18.12.19) | Audioboom plc* (BOOM.L, 207.5p/£29.1m) Appointment: CEO appointment formalised (20.12.19)
Companies: Mi-Pay Group Audioboom Group Plc
MTI Wireless Edge plc* (MWE.L, 35p/£30.7m) | ECSC plc* (ECSC.L, 92.5p/£8.4m) | Brave Bison plc* (BBSN.L, 1.42p/£8.7m) | Mi-Pay plc* (MPAY.L, 6.25p/£2.9m) |
Companies: MWE ECSC BBSN MPAY
Audioboom plc* (BOOM.L, 177p/£24.9m) CEO resignation (30.09.19) | Mi-Pay Group plc* (MPAY.L, 7.0p/£3.2m) Interims: Breakeven in H1; outlook remains mixed (25.09.19) | Tern plc* (TERN.L, 8.4p/£21.3m) Interims: Growth at portfolio companies (25.09.19) | Starcom plc* (STAR.L, 1.6p/£5.5m) Litigation update (30.09.19)
Companies: BOOM MPAY TERN STAR
Interims from Mi-Pay Group, an established provider of digital payment and payment fraud managed services to Tier 1 mobile operators and digital content vendors, saw 7% revenue growth, a small improvement in gross margin and good cost control. As a result, the business was essentially EBITDA break-even in H1. Fully management payments grew 15% to £58.1m and a 64% increase in its direct managed fraud service to £29.2m. As this latter service has matured, fraud levels have reduced materially improving gross margins. Mi-Pay continues to have sector-leading levels of payment success and fraud management and indemnifies its customers. As a result, it can charge higher rates than traditional payment solutions. Extensions have been signed with two of its largest (43% of FY18 revenue) but it is losing its second largest client (13%). This, coupled with the uncertainty around the new PSD2 regulations and general economic climate, means H2 is likely to be similar to H1 but we leave our forecast under review at this stage.
Companies: Mi-Pay Group
MTI Wireless Edge Ltd* (MWE.L, 22.2p/£19.4m) | Blackbird plc* (BIRD.L, 10.8p/£31.2m) | Mi-Pay Group plc* (MPAY.L, 8p/£3.7m) | Starcom plc* (STAR.L, 1.25p/£4.3m) | Character Group (The) plc* (CCT.L, 425p/£90.8m) |
Companies: MWE BIRD MPAY STAR CCT
Mi-Pay Group plc* (MPAY.L, 12.25p/£5.6m) Finals: Move into H2 profit; renewals provide visibility (24.04.19) | Mirada plc* (MIRA.L, 0.825p/£7.3m) Pre-close: substantial FY19 growth and positive outlook (29.04.19)
Companies: Mi-Pay Group Mirada Plc
Finals from Mi-Pay Group, an established provider of digital payment and payment fraud managed service to Tier 1 mobile operators and digital content vendors, were in line with forecasts and January’s trading update. The 9.4% increase in revenue to £3.3m included a maiden £0.3m contribution from its Fraud Services business and the combination of increased gross profit (+£0.1m) and lower operating costs (down £0.3m) resulted in the operating loss reducing £0.4m to £0.2m and the company was profitable in H2. Mi-Pay processed more than £100m in fully managed payment transactions for the first time and indemnified £44m of payments against fraud - this is opening a new revenue stream. Mi-Pay was successfully integrated into 3 Ireland’s new infrastructure during the year and the acquired O2 customer base was transferred onto MiPay. Since period end, Mi-Pay has signed extensions with clients that represented 43% of FY18 revenue providing forward revenue visibility. We maintain our fair value of 17.8p/share, a 51% upside.
ECSC Group plc* (ECSC.L, 92.5p/£8.4m) Contract wins: Further Managed Service success (16.04.19) | Mi-Pay Group plc* (MPAY.L, 11.75p/£5.4m) Contract extension: Largest customer extended (18.04.19) | Starcom plc* (STAR.L, 1.275p/£3.7m) Placing (18.04.19) | Mobile Tornado Group plc* (MBT.L, 5.25p/£18.3m) Finals: Success of new Capex model (17.04.19) | CAP-XX Ltd* (CPX.L, 4.35p/£14.1m) Trading update: Progress on numerous fronts (16.04.19)
Companies: ECSC MPAY STAR MBT CPX
Audioboom plc* (BOOM.L, 1.675p/£19.7m) Additional funding to secure new and existing podcast content (25.02.19) | Mobile Tornado plc* (MBT.L, 3.3p/£11.5m) FY pre-close: In line performance; commercial & technological progress (20.02.19) | Mi-Pay Group plc* (MPAY.L, 10p/£4.6m) Contract extension and notice of FY results (21.02.19) | Tern plc* (TERN.L, 13p/£30.8m) Second tranche of convertible loan to Device Authority (20.02.19)
Companies: MBT MPAY TERN BOOM
Mi-Pay Group plc* (MPAY.L, 9.7p/£4.4m) Pre-close FY18 trading update: Shift to digital (30.01.19) | Gfinity plc* (GFIN.L, 5.7p/£20.7m) Contract win: 2019 Call of Duty World League event (04.02.19) | Newmark Security plc* (NWT.L, 0.9p/£4.2m) Interims: Positive performance in Electronic Division (31.01.19) | Starcom* (STAR.L, 1.5p/£4.4m) Trading update and receipt of funds (31.01.19)
Companies: MPAY GFIN NWT STAR
Mi-Pay is an established provider of digital payment and payment fraud managed services to Tier 1 mobile operators and digital content vendors. It offers incremental value-added services including the management of multiple connection methods, the delivery of the payments experience and the security of client data. Mi-Pay has sector-leading levels of payment success and fraud identification and management and indemnifies its customers against fraud. It charges higher fees compared with traditional payment companies as its deeper solution offering is layered on top of core payment solutions. Today’s in-line pre-close demonstrates further revenue growth and a move into EBITDA profit in H2. We are trimming our FY19 revenue growth assumptions (by c. 10%) given the current uncertain macro outlook but still expect Mi-Pay to achieve stronger growth rates going forward as the platform and client base are now established. The current share price fails to reflect the strength of the existing offering or the growth potential as e-commerce and digital channels become core to customer engagement. We set a fair value of 17.8p/share, an 84% upside.
Techniplas –global producer and support services company providing highly engineered and technically complex components, making the supply chain to original equipment manufacturers more efficient. FYDec17 rev $515m.
Circassia Pharma (CIR.L) - specialty pharmaceutical company focused on respiratory disease transferring from the Main Market. No funds being raised. Due 4 Feb. Mkt Cap c.£185m.
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 late January 2019.
Chaarat Gold Holdings—RTO, the Company intends to acquire Kapan Mining and Processing CJSC, which owns the Shahumyan medium-sized polymetallic mine in Kapan in the Republic of Armenia. No raise, market cap of £110.1m, due early Feb
Companies: JHD RNWH MPAY ERIS STM R4E ING TRMR RWI KDNC
Mobile Tornado Group plc* (MBT.L, 4.40p/£15.4m) Interims: Gathering sales momentum (27.09.18) | Mi-Pay Group plc* (MPAY.L, 10.0p/£4.6m) Interims - New revenue stream added (25.09.18) | CAP-XX plc* (CPX.L, 10.85p/£32.6m) Spire Health Tags stocked at Apple stores (25.09.18) | Mirada plc* (MIRA.L, 0.725p/£2.1m) Prelims: Accelerated roll out by izzi and imminent ATNi deployment (28.09.18) | Osirium Technologies plc* (OSI.L, 145p/£19.6m) Interims: Good financial and operational progress (25.09.18)
Companies: MBT MPAY CPX OSI MIRA
Mi-Pay, a provider of mobile payment and payment fraud management services to Tier 1 Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and digital content providers, has reported interims with a further 11% growth in the total value of payment transactions to £50.2m as well as direct fraud management of an additional £17.8m - a new product stream that has considerable revenue potential. Mi-Pay has sector-leading payment success rates and fraud levels, indemnifies its customers against fraud and hence can charge 3x to 5x the rates compared with traditional payment companies. We expect Mi-Pay to break-even in H2 before moving into sustained profit and is sufficiently funded. The value of Mi-Pay’s existing offering and the growth potential is not reflected in the current price.
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Strix has announced the strategic acquisition of LAICA a family owned business in Vicenza, Italy for €19.6m in a mixture of cash and shares. It will be earnings accretive in FY21 and is scheduled to complete by the end of FY20, with just Italian government approval outstanding. ZC operating profit estimates are unchanged in FY20 but increase by c. 8% in FY21 to reflect the contribution from the deal, the impact on earnings is smaller due to the issue of shares and higher tax in Italy. Management believe significant synergies, both cost and revenue, will be derived from the deal over the next 2-5 years. The interim results had been well flagged in the comprehensive trading update in late July and today’s statement confirms that profitability remains in line with the guidance of achieving a flat performance yoy in FY20. The interim dividend of 2.6p is in line with last year and in keeping with the commitment to at least meet the 7.7p paid in FY19. Unlike most peers, Strix has maintained guidance as well as its commitment to pay a dividend and today’s acquisition unpins the continuing strategy of diversifying the business into areas offering greater growth.
Companies: Strix Group Plc
Augean has reported interims to 30 June 2020. With the first half bearing the full impact of Covid-19, adjusted PBT decreased by 11% to £8.5m, which is in line with our expectation. With radioactive wastes, biomass for EfW and construction impacted by lockdown and depressed activity levels in its North Sea services, due to the low oil price, the results demonstrate the resilience of the Group and also the benefit of its key position in its markets with strategically located hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilities in the UK. Whilst the statement highlights that full year results are expected to be broadly in-line with market expectations, we have conservatively reduced forecasts. Nevertheless, with strong cash generation and sustained growth EV/EBITDA falls to 5.3x and 4.1x for FY21E and FY22E, a level that is substantially below sector constituents and transaction valuations.
Companies: Augean Plc
Strix has published reassuring interims and announced the acquisition of LAICA, conditional upon approval from the Council of Ministers in Italy. Against a backdrop of global disruption caused by COVID 19, Strix’s H1 performance is in line with expectations. Net sales down 21% YoY, with a much smaller impact on net profits on the back of strong cost management. Encouragingly, FY 20 profit expectations are now underpinned, at around £28.9m PAT. Taking into account the LAICA deal, we provisionally upgrade FY 21 PAT/EPS by 6%. The shares are already up materially YTD, but the Strix growth story remains compelling.
Judges Scientific is focused on acquiring and developing companies in the scientific instrument sector. Given the backdrop of H1, and the global nature of Judges' customer base, we see this morning's results as a significant achievement when set against the backdrop of significant COVID related headwinds. Revenue decreased by 6.8% (organic -12%) to £37.4m (H1-19: £40.2m) which, after the sensible management of the cost base, yielded an adjusted pre-tax profit of £6.4m (H1-19 £8.4m), a 22% reduction, and adjusted fully diluted EPS of 82.5p (H1-19: 107.0p). However, reflecting a commitment to its progressive dividend policy, and confidence in the business, the interim DPS is increased by 10% to 16.5p. With respect to H2, COVID related business risks remain, none of which are unique to Judges. However, given the relative strength of H1 (albeit at some expense to the order book), management flag ‘cautious confidence' in achieving full year market expectations. As such, our FY 2020E adjusted PBT and EPS estimates are unchanged this morning.
Companies: Judges Scientific Plc
Byotrol’s FY 2020 full-year results are inconsequential, given the dramatic and positive impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had to product sales since the year-end. However, year-end cash was £0.1m above forecast at £1.7m and when combined with positive cashflow since year-end, Byotrol is well-resourced to finance its ongoing operations and steady growth. With the order-book remaining strong (c.£1.1m at 31 August), despite summer lull, and demand likely to persist for some time, given the emerging second wave of coronavirus, we upgrade EBITDA to reflect lower costs and higher licensing income. If, as we suspect, the demand curve has shifted sustainably to the right, this leaves room for further upgrades. Consequently, we raise our target price to 11p, at which level the stock would trade on EV/Sales and EV/EBITDA of 4.1x and 26.9x, respectively. Future revenues and milestones from licensing deals will be largely additive.
Companies: Byotrol Plc
Billington is a leading structural steel and construction safety solutions specialist. The Group has this morning announced that its structural steel division, Billington Structures, has been awarded three contracts with a combined value of £21 million, the largest of which is for a UK power based project (Midlands) that will add significant visibility (at good margin) to FY 2021E. The other two contracts, in the manufacturing and commercial office sectors, are for delivery in Q4 2020 and through 2021 respectively.
Companies: Billington Holdings Plc
Today’s AGM Statement highlights further progress during H1. As anticipated at the final results on 6th August, trading has now returned to pre-COVID levels, with a particularly strong recovery in housing market activity. As at 31st August, the order book has increased by 5% to £69.4m from £66.2m at 31st, with contracts secured across the Group’s end markets. The Company has invested in its sales team and back office functions in order to support the recovery, though management continues to monitor costs given the near term uncertainty presented by COVID-19. In the absence of more restrictive lockdown measures, we would expect activity to continue to improve in the near term and the medium term prospects of the Group remain encouraging, supported by the UK’s net-zero target, which will require substantial investment in the UK’s utility networks. Fulcrum has also announced the appointment of Jennifer Cutler as CFO from 19th October, whose most recent role was Direct of Finance at Harworth Group Plc. The shares have justifiably outperformed since the full year results and today’s statement is supportive of this increase. Forecast guidance continues to be withdrawn given near term COVID uncertainties, but we anticipate reintroducing forecasts at the interim results.
Companies: Fulcrum Utility Services Ltd.
Directa Plus is a commercially proven graphene supplier with a unique production process that creates high quality materials that are already used in a wide array of products internationally across multiple verticals. We expect the company to reach EBITDA positive in FY22 with existing cash reserves, leaving material upside in our expectations from some of its recently developed products such as the Co-Mask and Gipave.
We see Directa Plus as an underappreciated, undervalued and more mature and lower risk play in the UK listed graphene and speciality nanomaterials space and initiate with a Buy recommendation and 122p target price.
Companies: Directa Plus Plc
We initiate coverage on AFC Energy and see this as a significant long-term growth opportunity. We have only focused on the UK potential in EV Charging and Distributed Power in this note but believe the application will be far wider both in geography and application. Following a transformational 2019, we can see a clear near-term intrinsic value of 68p based on UK EV Charging and Distributed Power alone.
Companies: AFC Energy Plc
Spectra Systems, a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for banknote and product authentication markets, has announced a solid set of interim results. Moreover, significant H2 visibility, notably from central banking customers, yields upgrades to our FY 2020 and FY 2021 estimates with adjusted PTP increasing 17% and 16% to $5.8m and $6.1m respectively. In terms of H1 numbers, revenues increased marginally to $6.5m (H1-19: $6.4m), and adjusted pre-tax profit came in flat at $2.3m. The balance sheet retains its robust state which, even after the $4.1m FY 2019 dividend, distributed June 2020, still holds $10.9m (H1-19: $11.1m) of net cash (excluding restricted cash of $1.3m, H1-19 $1.1m). Our Sum-of-the-Parts valuation indicates a risked fair value more than 200p.
Companies: Spectra Systems Corp.
Seeing Machines has announced plans to deliver a fully supported, integrated Driver Monitoring System (DMS) kit to the global automotive industry. This will be in the form of embedded software (e-DMS) for the Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM Automotive Development Platform (ADP) from Qualcomm Technologies. The kit is expected to be available before the end of this calendar year for use by select automotive Tier 1 suppliers and OEMs and will support a full stack Seeing Machines DMS solution on the Snapdragon™ ADP targeting integration into either infotainment or centralized ADAS systems, and includes an optimized DMS reference camera, ADP interface board and the company's FOVIO and Occula software.
Companies: Seeing Machines Ltd.
Billington provides structural steel and safety solutions to the construction industry. After record results in FY 2019, Billington's interim results to June 2020 reflect the anticipated disruption of Covid-19. However, the Group remained profitable in the period (revenue £32.8m, adjusted PBT £0.6m) and the balance sheet retained its significant cash backed strength. Further, although pricing pressure is still a significant feature in the market, as the announcement of £21m of orders yesterday demonstrated, there is still plenty of business to be won in less competitive segments. Our FY 2020E estimates remain suspended, but all other things being equal, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Billington could deliver a similar performance in H2 as reported in H1. The present order book is supportive of such a scenario. The outturn for FY 2021E is harder to determine, but there again, Billington is exposed to a number of verticals where investment continues and where competition is less pronounced. With its strong balance sheet likely a significant comfort to clients, the medium-term prospects for Billington, in our view, continue to be strong.
H1’20 was a period of significant revenue growth (+200% to €2.8m), driven by the Setcar acquisition, now fully integrated. Underlying progress was constrained by COVID, but the Group rose to the challenge, exemplified by the launch of the G+ enhanced Co-Mask (orders of €400k received to date). Good commercial progress has also been made with Gipave during the period, with three installations now in place. In our view, Directa is well positioned to deliver strong growth over the medium term as awareness of the performance and value of its technology continues to build.
Who would have thought when reporting pre-tax losses of £10m after the first half to end June that Breedon would emerge so strongly from lockdown to trade through July-August (and into September) with LFL revenues ahead of comparative 2019 and expected H2 EBIT broadly in line with the equivalent 2019, resulting in a reinstatement of guidance ahead of current FY20 consensus. That is a mark of confidence as much in the group's operating capabilities as market recovery itself – a feature of Breedon's management quality over a consistent period of time. Investors will be impressed by the short-term recovery but also encouraged that the longer-term outlook remains positive with an emphasis to infrastructure markets in GB and Ireland plus, of course, its unrivalled ability to utilise its asset base very efficiently and to add to that platform with accretive acquisitions. The shares hit a COVID ‘low' of 63p but were trading as high as 100p in February. We would see that upper level as the more likely direction of travel for the shares with 90p justified by a forward 2022E rating of 7.5x EV/EBITDA, c14x PE, commencement of dividends and significant deleveraging through high net cash flow generation.
Companies: Breedon Group Plc
Due to a change in Analyst role, Cenkos Securities plc has suspended coverage of the following stocks (see table 1). Our previous recommendation and forecasts can no longer be relied upon.
Companies: BDEV BWY BKG VTY COST CRST BBY FERG GLE KLR KIE MSLH MER MTO NXR PSN RDW RNWH SFR SHI MGNS TW/ CTO TEF TPK GFRD