Netflix is raising another US$2 billion in debt to fund additional content creation and other expenses, the company announced on Monday. The company routinely raises debt to help fuel its growing library of original TV shows and movies. The streaming giant offered US$2 billion in new debt in April after issuing another round of notes several months earlier. Netflix said it plans to use the proceeds to fund "Content acquisitions, production and development, capital expenditures, investments, working capital and potential acquisitions and strategic transactions.". We’re unsurprised and anticipate the competition will also up their game to capture market share – all the better for the localisation market.
Companies: 7DIG KAPE ZOO AMO AVST CNS DFX ECSC FLX IGP NCC OSI MIRA
Cloudflare, a California-based digital content delivery and Internet security company, raised its IPO price range this morning from a prior $10 to $12 interval to $12 to $14 per share. At its new prices, Cloudflare would be valued between $3.5 billion and $4.1 billion. Cloudflare's maximum IPO fund raise is now $563.5 million. Investors’ appetite for cloud offerings appears to remain robust. Ex- Oculus founder, Palmer Luckey’s new business, Anduril Industries, is building a virtual wall on the southern border of the US. His new venture is being valued at more than $1 billion in a new fundraising round, according to sources. Anduril describes itself as a company that "Invents and builds technology to secure America and its interests.". Virtual border controls feel like a natural evolution of physical barriers for a digital era. The Tokyo Game Show, Japan’s video gaming mega-conference, opened on Thursday with enthusiasts testing how ultra-high-speed 5G mobile data networks will impact the gaming experience ahead of the technology's commercial rollout in Japan in 2020. Game makers, related network developers, and esports promoters cite expect to benefit from nextgeneration wireless networks that are expected to allow players of increasingly popular online games to utilize faster downloads and smoother connections. 5G’s influence is only beginning to rise as coverage is rolled out.
Companies: CDM FDEV KAPE KWS SUMO TM17 AVST BIDS CNS DFX ECSC FLX GFIN IGP NCC OSI SOPH
Alan Howard’s push into crypto is a badly kept secret that appears to be crystallising into reality. In our view, the crypto space has undergone a very interesting transition from rampant retail speculation to, well, rampant retail speculation underpinned by a broad base of institutional interest. Google search volumes have fallen, transaction sizes appear to be escalating and the latest wave of equipment upgrades suggest consumer interest and potential to participate is now very low. Meanwhile, increased macro risk, currency controls and privacy concerns may be fuelling increased interest. We await further signs of whether we are at a turning point or whether this is (another) flash in the pan. Apple’s woes appear to be mounting as the group undergoes a difficult transition from a lifetime of focus on aesthetically pleasing hardware with a highly refined user experience, to a services focus. On one hand, the group’s key product the iPhone (which accounted for most revenues until very recently) is rapidly entering commoditised territory. Consumers have the option of a powerful and near fully-featured £160 generic Android handset or a cutting-edge iPhone for £1,000; for many, the choice is a simple one. The supply chain woes of having massive exposure to China in the context of the US-China trade war is also likely to weigh heavily on short term strategy. On the other hand, the group’s services are consumer focused and face strong competition from the likes of Amazon, Spotify, Microsoft and Netflix. If the thesis was to build the services on a firm foundation of the Apple hardware base, the cracks in security are worrying.
Companies: KAPE ARB AVST CNS DFX ECSC FLX IGP MMX NCC OSI SOPH TECH TEK
VMware said on Thursday it bought two providers of cloud security and cloud developer services in separate deals valued at about $5 billion, as it expands offerings for corporate clients. VMware bought Pivotal Software Inc in a $2.7 billion deal. Separately, VMware said it would buy software maker Carbon Black Inc for about $2 billion in cash.
Companies: CALL KAPE AVST CNS DFX ECK ECSC FLX IGP LOOP NCC NET OSI SOPH
Tencent shares slumped as much as 3.88% on Thursday after the Chinese technology giant missed analyst expectations, despite beating forecast on earnings. Revenue rose 21% year-on-year to 88.82 billion yuan. Profit attributable to shareholders beat analyst forecasts, rising 35% year-on-year to 24.14 billion yuan. The company's gaming division returned to growth, posting revenue of 27.3 billion yuan, up 8% year-on-year, with mobile games performing particularly well.
Companies: KAPE AVST BIDS CDM CNS DFX ECSC FLX FDEV GFIN IGP KWS NCC OSI SOPH SUMO TM17
British Airways said its flights were returning to normal after passengers had to endure cancellations, delays and long queues at London airports as the airline suffered its third major computer failure in a little more than two years. More than 60 flights to and from Heathrow and Gatwick were cancelled and more than 100 were delayed, according to the departure boards at the two airports.
Companies: KAPE AVST CNS DFX ECSC FLX IGP NCC OSI SOPH SWG
Capital One announced on Monday that a data breach identified earlier this month exposed personal information of its customers, including social security details and bank account numbers. The Virginia-headquartered bank said in a news release that about 140,000 Social Security numbers of its credit card customers and around 80,000 linked bank account numbers were compromised. In total, Capital One said, "This event affected approximately 100 million individuals in the United States and approximately 6 million in Canada." Qualcomm and Tencent said on Monday they will cooperate on projects that could include making the Chinese company's videogames play better on devices with Qualcomm chips, and create a 5G version of a Tencent-backed gaming phone. Microsoft yesterday announced the acquisition of BlueTalon, a start-up whose software can prevent people from accessing certain high-value data that companies keep. Over time, the acquisition could help Microsoft's campaign to get companies feeling more comfortable with the idea of keeping sensitive data in its Azure public cloud, which competes with Amazon and other companies.
Companies: KAPE AVST CNS DFX ECSC FLX IGP NCC OSI SOPH BIDS CDM GFIN FDEV KWS SUMO TM17 SWG
The Senate Banking Committee on Monday released the testimony of David Marcus, the head of Facebook's cryptocurrency projects ahead of his testimony Tuesday. In his prepared remarks, Marcus perfectly outlines the business model behind the social network’s upcoming Libra digital currency and its Calibra digital wallet. Microsoft might be the primary competitor for Slack, but the widespread adoption of Microsoft's software is not a major problem for Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and CEO of the messaging app. Last week, Microsoft said Teams had more daily active users than Slack. Cybersecurity company Symantec Corp has walked away from negotiations to sell itself to chipmaker Broadcom over price disagreements, people familiar with the matter said on Monday. Symantec's decision raises new questions over the future of the US antivirus software provider, which is looking for a new CEO and has been struggling to grow its business serving companies.
Australia's top three banks said on Thursday they have agreed to partner with IBM and shopping mall owner Scentre Group to test blockchain technology to digitize bank guarantees. The companies are exploring how to move away from paper-based bank guarantees to cut processing time and the risk of fraud, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Westpac Banking Corp and Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a statement. The US government said on Wednesday it was reviewing licence requests from US companies seeking to export products to China's Huawei "Under the highest national security scrutiny" since the company is still blacklisted. In an email to Reuters, the Commerce Department said that as it reviewed applications, it was applying the "Presumption of denial" standard associated with Entity Listed companies, meaning applications are unlikely to be approved. Symantec shares surged more than 20% in extended trading on Tuesday after Bloomberg reported that Broadcom is in advanced talks to acquire the security software vendor. The deal is reported to be worth more than $16bn, implying an EV/Sales multiple of 3.40x (Bloomberg). Agreement on a deal was close but could be delayed until after the July 4 holiday, according to people briefed on the move.
Companies: KAPE AVST CNS DFX ECSC FLX IGP NCC OSI SOPH TECH AMO IQE SWG
Companies: KAPE AMO IQE AVST CNS DFX ECSC FLX IGP NCC OSI SOPH
Kropz, an emerging plant nutrient producer with an advanced stage phosphate mining project in South Africa, a phosphate project in the Republic of Congo and exploration assets in Ghana, is looking to join AIM. Offer TBC, expected late Nov
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
Finncap—proposed acquisition of M&A adviser Cavendish Corporate Finance and AIM admission. Offer TBA
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.
Companies: CGNR COG ABDP FLX LGT MMH TEK CRV MNO SIS
Following its recently announced selection by US-based SolarWinds, to be its first and only Threat Monitoring Service Provider (TMSP) in the UK and South Africa, the Group announces its collaboration is now an exclusive partnership. In addition, Falanx has released further information on commercial pricing, quantifying the potential financial benefits of the partnership over the near term. Although we leave estimates unchanged at present, the release underscores the potential for Falanx to capture material benefits from its partnership with SolarWinds through the delivery of managed security services in partnership with SolarWinds TMSPs and also through the opportunity to cross sell its own product and service portfolio to SolarWinds’ extensive network of clients. We look forward to further updates.
Companies: Falanx Group Ltd.
Falanx has announced its selection by US-based SolarWinds, to be its first and only Threat Monitoring Service Provider (TMSP) in the UK and South Africa. This program is designed to expand the market opportunity for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to deliver managed security services in partnership with SolarWinds Threat Monitoring Service Providers (TMSPs) The announcement underscores the Group’s continual expansion of its product and service offering, geographical reach and its increasing focus on security as a service.
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Bioventix reported a strong set of full-year results, that were 8% above expectations, assisted in part by a c.£0.2m (+3%) FX benefit, which helped offset the obvious drag on performance in Q4 due to the impact of COVID-19 on routine testing in hospitals. A 53p special dividend was proposed, resulting in a full-year dividend of 141p, up 18%. Due to the COVID-19-related disruption to testing, which only exacerbates the poor visibility to customer royalty streams, we are withdrawing forecasts until normality returns. That said, the business remains in very good shape, with evidence that: (i) high sensitivity troponin is gaining momentum; (ii) physical antibody sales growth remains robust (+34%); and (iii) progress in its development pipeline (particularly pollution monitoring programme) is being made. The business is expected to remain cash generative, and with c.£8.1m of cash at 30 June, the company is a strong position to weather this period of disruption before returning to growth.
Companies: Bioventix Plc
Positive update today, reporting that trading in FYJun21 has begun well. As a result – and also thanks to DOTD’s strong revenue visibility – revenue guidance is already being upgraded. Consequently, we lift FY21E sales by 6% to £53.0m, so now expecting +12% y/y growth. To put this into context, growth fell to +9% in 2H20. We find this rapid recovery to more typical growth levels highly encouraging. Guidance for profit and cash is reiterated, meaning we leave both profit and cash forecasts unchanged. Somewhat obviously, this requires us increasing our cost assumptions….and if these don’t fully materialise, provides upside risk. Cash continues to build, now £27.7m as at Q1 – we might expect this to be strategically deployed, to enhance what is impressively consistent organic growth.
Companies: dotDigital Group plc
Open Orphan has announced a contract with the UK Government to develop and perform the UK's first COVID-19 (COVID) human challenge studies. The multi-faceted agreement provides strong endorsement and validation of hVIVO's capabilities, with material revenues driving forecast upgrades and further upside risk to earnings as pipeline conversion continues and industry awareness and penetration of challenge studies accelerates.
Companies: OPORF ORPH CRO VENN
ORPH has signed a contract with the UK Government for the development of a COVID-19 human challenge model. This will involve manufacture of the challenge virus and a first-in-human characterisation study. The contract begins immediately and is likely to be worth c.£10m. The government has also reserved the first three slots to test vaccines using the challenge study at a total cost of £7.5m. We revise our forecasts and increase our SOTP target price to 28p (range 25-31p), reflecting ORPH’s world-leading position in traditional challenge models, and now COVID-19 challenge models, with additional upside from the potential development of new challenge models, the monetisation of valuable challenge model data and the potential sale of its non-core pharmaceutical assets.
Companies: Open Orphan Plc
This morning's announcement of another insurance client win caps a week of excellent newsflow from WATR. Since the company entered this colossal ($US13bn-plus) sector, strong insurance-derived growth has been achieved in this area, helped by WATR's status as the only national player to provide pinpoint services identifying water leaks while minimizing damage claims. Beyond this morning's announcement, this has been a week to remember for WATR, with a strong Q3 update on Oct. 14th generating c.8% '20 /'21 profit upgrades followed by the news at the start of the week of a successful fundraise delivering just shy of $US5m which can be put to work generating growth for the company and its shareholders. As the fifth such win, this morning's announcement is a reminder of the very good traction the company has achieved with the US insurance majors. Our 550p fair value estimate includes the annuity-style earnings stream from the franchise businesses in a Sum of the Parts structure. We note the company's conclusion that demand is high for its solutions and also the fact that WATR is an “essential service provider” in the Covid context. Beyond this morning's encouraging news, we also note the recent award of the Green Economy Mark from LSE and the company's consistent track record of 30%+ CAGR in recent years.
Companies: Water Intelligence plc
Verditek’s core lightweight solar PV business is positioned in an attractive secular growth market with strong regulatory and technological drivers. Recent management changes have resulted in the company focusing on sales execution and moving the business into the initial phase of commercialisation. With first orders for its solar PV modules already in place, the company should report its first revenues later this year. Recent contract wins in the oil gas and mining sectors will act as reference contracts for future wins in the off grid solar market. In addition to energy and mining, significant opportunities exist for Verditek’s lightweight and durable solar PV product in the marine, telecoms, residential housing, commercial real estate and transport sectors. From its plant in Italy, the company has sufficient manufacturing capacity to produce up to 60 MW per year of solar modules (based on triple shift production). The Paragraf joint development program (to produce a graphene integrated solar PV cell provides a source of substantial optionality within the solar business.
Companies: Verditek Plc
ANGLE plc (AGL.L): Acceptance of FDA submission | Feedback plc (FDBK.L*): Partnership agreement | Open Orphan (ORPH.L): Human Challenge Study Model contract with UK Government
Companies: AGL FDBK ORPH
Interim results to 30 June reflected a step-up in research activity post-June fundraise as it seeks to take its first pre|CISION targeted chemotherapy into clinical trials in early 2021. With period-end cash of £54.5m, Avacta has a cash runway into 2023, providing the necessary working capital to deliver a rapid SARS-CoV2 antigen test, take AVA6000 into the clinic, as well as its first Affimer immunotherapy and the next pre|CISION pro-drug into the clinic. Avacta is aiming to have validated its rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen test in Q4 2020, the exact timing of which is dependent on pilot batch product from BBI Solutions. However, it is increasingly clear that there is a need for mass screening tests to isolate and remove infectious people, with Avacta’s test at the forefront. We have made changes to FY 2020 forecasts, introduce FY 2021 forecasts and a target price of 310p with a range of 211-796p.
Companies: Avacta Group plc
In a positive trading update, Elixirr has announced that trading continues to be strong, with September 2020 being another record revenue month, following previous records achieved in both June and July 2020. This outperformance has dropped through to profits with EBITDA (on an IAS 17 basis) now expected to be in excess of £8.75m. This is ahead of our previous forecast of £7.8m and we have upgraded by 12% to this level. As at September 2020 Elixirr had net cash of £16.8m (ahead of our previous December 2020 forecast of £16.0m). Cash conversion has clearly remained strong. We reiterate our view that the entrepreneurial culture and focus on helping clients build businesses, new products and client experiences are key differentiators, and very much in tune with client needs. We have raised our target price from 312p to 336p.
Companies: Elixirr International Plc
RELX issued a fairly sound 9 month trading statement despite the Exhibitions division remaining highly impacted by the current pandemic. More than 4/5 of the business are continuing to hold up well, which we consider a positive.
The FY20e outlook is unchanged for the three largest divisions while Exhibitions continue to suffer.
Some downgrade adjustments are expected to our forecasts, mostly due to Exhibitions, but we intend to reiterate a positive recommendation on the stock.
Companies: RELX PLC
Rentokil bounced back strongly in Q3 FY20, supported by a strong recovery in demand for its core pest control and hygiene services, and the ongoing need for disinfection solutions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, management sounded confident about the positive momentum to be sustained in Q4 FY20 and, hence, expects to meet full-year expectations and to announce a dividend during the preliminary results.
Companies: Rentokil Initial plc
The H1 results were well flagged in the 15th April update. H1 PBT is significantly ahead of last year at £1.3m (H1’19: £0.8m). Driver traded profitably through April to June. Whilst guidance is suspended, with the pipeline maintained, we believe the Group will continue to trade profitably through H2. As flagged in the H1 update, there is no interim dividend, with management seeking to preserve cash. The balance sheet is strong, with net cash of £3.3m at 31st March (improved to c.£5.5m post period end). We believe the medium term outlook is positive, with new CEO Mark Wheeler focused on improving profitability and growing the business. Delays in construction projects as a result of COVID-19 should support near term levels of dispute work, whilst an expected increase in infrastructure spending supports the medium term outlook.
Companies: Driver Group Plc
FY20 results reflect a year of trading in-line with earlier expectations, until being significantly interrupted in Q4/20 by the impact of Covid-19. Despite this, 1pm remained profitable throughout, despite accepting forbearance requests and prudently lifting bad debt provisions for the future. Post-period, there has been a noticeable pick-up in trading as the UK economy recovers, which 1pm is currently positioning itself for. A P/TNAV of 0.55x materially undervalues 1pm, hence we remain at “Buy”.
Companies: 1 PM Plc
Yesterday’s trading update confirmed the work management has undertaken to transform Sureserve into a smaller, more predictable business has paid off. The performance through the challenges of COVID-19 has demonstrated the resilience of the business. We had trimmed our 2020 revenue estimate from £210m to £201m, but the improving margins result in PBT being nudged up from £9.1m to £9.3m. The gradual re-rating of the shares this year suggests investors are starting to buy in to the turnaround and the improving market position.
Companies: Sureserve Group Plc
Bioventix delivered a strong set of interims, with revenues up 21%. Given the 9% decline in operating expenses, this resulted in a 31% increase in adjusted EBITDA, with adjusted pre-tax profit also rising 31% to £4.4m (52% of full-year forecasts) and adjusted EPS up 29% to 69.4p. An interim dividend of 36p was declared (+20%) with net cash at period end of £5.5m. Growth was driven by both Vitamin D antibody sales/royalties (+c.25%), its portfolio of other antibodies (+c.12%) and a more meaningful contribution from troponin. Given the inevitable disruption that COVID-19 will have to some testing volumes (although tests such as NTproBNP are likely to benefit from high risk COVID patients), we leave forecasts unchanged, confident that the strong H1 and weaker sterling in H2 should offset any potential H2 trading shortfall. We leave our forecasts unchanged and reiterate our 3750p target price. At this level, the stock would trade on a 30x FY 2020 P/E with a free cashflow yield of 3.1x