EVR partners with Live Nation for virtual festival
NextVR acquired by Apple for speculated US$100m
Major new exclusive concert series launched; Buy
EVR announces ‘On Stage' concert series
Accelerated book build, board change and JSOP
Management initiatives in response to COVID-19
O2 report expects entertainment to drive 5G growth
Best Ideas 2020: Key changes already in motion
JGO option exercise values company at £220m
JGO partially exercises option; co valued at £220m
Disney+ hits 22m mobile users, SoftBank backed firm downsizes IPO, German mobile carrier selects Huawei
Companies: ENET 7DIG EVRH ZOO ZOO AMO BOOM MIRA MWE
Extension of O2 Partnership – Positive Catalyst
Facebook on Tuesday announced its acquisition of Beat Games, the studio behind hit virtual-reality game "Beat Saber." Beat Games will join the Oculus Studio division of Facebook, but it will operate independently out of Prague, the company said. "Beat Saber" is one of the most popular VR games. In the game, players swing virtual sabers at incoming blocks in sync with music, akin to that of the popular "Guitar Hero" series of the 2000s. The game is available on the Oculus Store for $29.99.
Companies: EVRH IMMO VRE
We note two supportive items of newsflow overnight that add to our conviction on EVR Holdings: (1) Apple’s feature of the MelodyVR app on the UK App Store; and (2) interesting statistics on live music activity in a freshly published industry report. Feedback from the company highlighted strong momentum on downloads, one of the KPIs driving the market model behind our forecasts in the wake of recent publicity. We believe the broader Millennial theme of strong interest in live music coupled with the beginnings of mass adoption in VR is likely highly supportive of our mid-term thesis on the stock. We reiterate our Buy rating.
TikTok owner Beijing ByteDance Technology is in talks with big music labels - Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music - for global licensing deals to include their songs on its new music subscription service, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. ByteDance is looking to launch its music streaming as soon as next month, initially in emerging markets such as India, Indonesia and Brazil, before a future opening in the United States, the FT reported, citing people familiar with the matter. HP's board of directors said Sunday that they unanimously rejected a proposal from Xerox to acquire the company, because the offer is not in the best interest of shareholders and would undervalue HP. Xerox had offered HP $22 per share in its takeover bid for the company. HP is worth $29 billion and is over three times the size of Xerox, which makes printers and copiers, in terms of market cap. Japan's SoftBank plans to merge internet unit Yahoo Japan with messaging app operator Line Corp to create a $30 billion tech giant, as it bags struggling internet companies to bulk up against rivals like Rakuten Inc. The telco in a statement said Yahoo Japan, which last month changed its name to Z Holdings Corp, will merge with Line, owned by South Korea's Naver Corp, in a deal to be completed in October 2020. The companies aim for a definitive agreement by next month in a transaction that will see SoftBank Corp and Naver form a 50:50 venture that will control Z Holdings, which will in turn operate Yahoo Japan and Line.
Companies: 7DIG EVRH ZOO AMO MIRA
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Significant contract resumed and further cost cuts
For the six months to 30 September 2019 (H1 FY20) AdEPT Technology Group reported Revenue +26.4%YoY to £30.8m inclusive of acquisitions, with organic growth of +2.5%YoY. Fixed Line Communications comprised 18.5% (£5.7m), -10.7%YoY, whilst Managed Services grew 39.5%YoY to £25.1m inclusive of the acquisition of Advanced Computer Systems UK Ltd. (ACS) to reach 81.5% of revenue; underlying organic growth was 7.9%YoY. EBITDA (adj.) of £6.1m grew 18.3%YoY; a 19.8% margin. The interim dividend was 5.1p/share (H119: 4.9p) +4%YoY. Period-end senior net debt was £31.5m (FY19: £27.1m) 2.6x EBITDA (FY19: 2.5x), with cash at £4.6m.
Companies: Adept Technology
Pebble Beach Systems is a leading developer and provider of playout automation and IP-based solutions to over 150 customers across the global broadcast industry. Its portfolio of proprietary software solutions is central to the playout of uninterrupted broadcast, for both live and pre-recorded content, and importantly enables broadcasters to automate and streamline multi-channel playout. Via its cloud-based solutions, the company also supports broadcasters and operators as they transition from traditional hardware-based infrastructure to IP-based systems, for a more flexible playout environment. As the industry enters a pivotal decade for the transition to IP, Pebble Beach Systems is well positioned to benefit from the increased traction across the market. FY19 results show adjusted PBT growth of 89%, EBITDA growth (LFL, pre IFRS16) of 47% and revenue growth of 22%, with net debt continuing its descent, now down to £8.4m (FY18: £9.4m). While COVID-19 introduces uncertainty over growth, and we do not yet offer forecasts, the group’s existing customer base is benefiting from Pebble Beach’s automation and remote support as end-user demand for TV booms. We look forward to the post crisis environment to establish forecasts and map the continuation of the evident momentum demonstrated in FY19.
Companies: Pebble Beach Systems Group
The Coronavirus pandemic is a human tragedy of vast proportions – as well as the terrible human toll, COVID-19 has led to economies across the globe going into physical lockdown and financial freefall. Entire populations are adapting to the “stay at home” edict, to safeguard the vulnerable – and some of these changes will lead to long-lasting or perhaps permanent changes in the way we live or work. This note describes some of our client companies whose business models are well adapted to these changes, or who might see a change in long-term structural demand.
Companies: AMO BGO FDM GAMA KAPE LOOP TERN ZOO
Following the news that T-Mobile Czech Republic and Slovak Telecom have deployed 24i’s Smart Operator suite, Amino has confirmed a contract win with streaming video service Topic for 24i’s Smart OTT and Smart BACKSTAGE products. The releases do not comment on their potential values to Amino, and we leave forecasts unchanged. However, against the backdrop of ongoing COVID-19-driven global macro uncertainty, in our view the announcements represent welcome positive news flow. The contracts demonstrate further progress in both Amino’s move towards a more software-led business model and the group’s ability to address a more diverse client base.
Companies: Amino Technologies
The Board has finally decided to suspend its final dividend for 2019/20 and all dividends for 2020/21. This move is structural and not really linked to the Covid19 crisis in that it is to invest in FTTP and 5G, and to fund a major new 5-year modernisation programme.
These announcements are a first buy signal although the recovery will take time and the group must now stabilize its revenues which will not be easy given the Covid19 pandemic context.
Companies: BT Group
CAP-XX Ltd* (CPX.L, 3.1p/£10.1m) | Gfinity plc* (GFIN.L, 1.675p/£12.0m) | MTI Wireless Edge Ltd* (MWE.L, 38.5p/£33.8m) | Newmark Security plc* (NWT.L, 1.05p/£4.9m) | Mirada plc* (MIRA.L, 95.0p/£8.5m)
Companies: CPX GFIN MWE NWT MIRA
FY 2019 saw a strong financial and operational performance. The management team is working hard to optimise its sales strategy and pursue further cost reductions. The results of its efforts are already visible in much improved financials: growth in all the ongoing businesses and in all regions; and stronger margins from better revenue mix and streamlining. The sale of Automotive in February 2019 focused Telit on Industrial IoT, removed a heavy R&D burden and left the group very well-funded. Cash is to be partially returned to shareholders depending on the developing Covid-19 situation. Even in an uncertain times, the year leaves Telit very well placed with tremendous upside to build LT value through numerous opportunities as a global leader in the growing IoT market.
Companies: Telit Communications
Telit has moved to preserve its profit levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. The widespread lockdown of unknown duration is likely to slow some of its YoY revenue growth, and we trim our FY 2020 revenue expectations, although we do still continue to expect LFL growth (excluding the two months of Automotive in FY 2019). Despite its significant cash reserves from the disposal, management is prudently adopting a cost-reduction plan to ensure the company’s earnings are maintained at the targeted level. Notably this involves a temporary 15% salary reduction for senior management and a reduction in all areas of discretionary spending, including opex and capex. Strategic plans (such as long-term product development and the movement of production outside China) will be unaffected. We are pleased to hear the supply chain remains steady with minimal disruption in module production as the lockdown across Asia is partially lifted. At this stage, we leave FY 2021 forecasts unchanged, given a strong market position.
UKOG has implemented operating cost reductions following on from the grant of long-term production consent at the company's Horse Hill field (85.635% UKOG). Amongst other measures the company has been able to renegotiate long-term equipment and services contracts at reduced rates. All-in field operating costs have been lowered by circa $7/b to circa $12/b of oil produced, according to the company.
Companies: UK Oil & Gas Investments
SigmaRoc's shares have fallen 34% in the last two months as the market underestimates the group's financial strength and infrastructure exposure. The group can withstand eight months without revenues, but this is academic as activity across the group is even now enough to generate positive cash flows.
UKOG has announced it has successfully raised £4.2M of equity via an equity placing at a price of 0.2p. This follows the successful placing of £1.275M at the same price on 28 April 2020.
The company also announced that it has repaid its convertible debt due to Riverfort Global Opportunities PCC Limited and YA II PN Ltd making the company debt-free.