Earthport’s FY’18 results were well flagged, and there were no surprises in the release. Of more interest is the strategic review carried out by the new management team. The core payments business has been separated from standalone FX business, and a strategy has been put in place to maximise the potential of the underlying payments platform, while building towards profitability. The shares have continued to drift on uncertainty in recent months, and we believe the current price significantly undervalues the core payments business. Prudently assigning no value to the FX business (profitable but lower quality) results in an EV/Sales on the core transactional payments business of just 0.8x. Rebuilding investor confidence will take time, but we see significant upside potential if the group can execute on the new strategic plan.
Curtis Banks Group (CBP LN) Discerning approach to non-standard, strong controls in place | Earthport (EPO LN) Restatement of fair value adjustments | Elektron Technology (EKT LN) Forecasts upgraded following very strong Q3 | Midatech Pharma (MTPH LN) Forecast update post sale of US operations | Wilmington (WIL LN) Tracking the right way, but more to do
Companies: CBP EPO CKT MTPH WIL
Cello Health (CLL LN) Building in caution | Earthport (EPO LN) Board changes | Hargreaves Services (HSP LN) Completion of Brockwell Energy Disposal
Companies: CLL EPO HSP
Augean (AUG LN) Strong H1 PBT growth; material reduction in net debt | Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW LN) Impressive 8% annualised discretionary flows in Q3 | Burford Capital (BUR LN) H1 results – c.15% up on a strong comp – increasing estimates and TP | Earthport (EPO LN) Continued progress with operational changes | EKF Diagnostics (EKF LN) Exclusive agreement with Asahi Kasei expands US products portfolio | IDOX (IDOX LN) Framework in place for improved future performance | Marston’s (MARS LN) Positive Q3 update goes a long way to allay forecast and DPS concerns | Rathbone Brothers (RAT LN) Solid H1 earnings, but still modest organic net inflows | Victrex (VCT LN) Another strong volume performance, FY guidance maintained
Companies: AUG BRW BUR EPO EKF IDOX MARS RAT VCT
Earthport (EPO LN) New CEO appointment | Horizon Discovery Group (HZD LN) Attractive growth story: reiterating Buy and 230p target price | Microsaic Systems (MSYS LN) Distribution agreement with Stable Arm | Midatech Pharma (MTPH LN) Exciting newsflow highlights longer-term potential | Oxford Metrics (OMG LN) Disposal of Yotta Surveying | Realm Therapeutics (RLM LN) Atopic Dermatitis Phase II fully enrolled & on track: data due Q3 2018e | Small-cap quantitative research Strong performance from quality – 11 focus stocks | StatPro Group (SOG LN) Positive AGM statement
Companies: EPO HZD MSYS MTPH OMG RLM SOG
Earthport has reported its H1’18 results, which were largely flagged in the trading update last month. The results reflect a challenging period, where underlying progress with both existing and new customers was offset by the previously announced loss of a large piece of domestic UK business. Total revenue grew 8% to £15.4m on the back of flat transaction numbers and an increase in average price per transaction. The EBITDA loss increased in-line with our full year projection and we make no changes to our primary forecast assumptions. With the on-going operational changes increasing the group’s ability to fulfil its potential, we continue to believe Earthport is well placed to gain a significant piece of the attractive cross-border payments market.
Be Heard (BHRD LN) CFO appointment | Churchill China (CHH LN) Executing against LT targets and modest FY18 upgrades | Earthport (EPO LN) Positive outlook despite challenging period | Halfords Group (HFD LN) CFO departure disappointing but Halfords can attract new talent | Mobile Streams (MOS LN) Subscriber growth has picked up again | T. Clarke (CTO LN) High quality focus paying dividends | Trend spotting - Synchronicity II Better H2 for hard hit consumer and retail stocks?
Companies: BHRD CHH EPO HFD MOS CTO
Earthport has announced that it has expanded its relationship with existing client, Japan Post Bank. The group will now deliver outbound cross-border payment services across a number of additional regions, including North America and Europe. Expanding transaction numbers in Asia, and increasing the volume of outbound payments are key goals for Earthport. Asia is expected to contribute significantly to global cross-border payment volume growth in the coming years, while bi-directional flows bring the potential for a significant margin improvement. With existing customers delivering in excess of 10% growth y-o-y, we are encouraged to see the group continue to expand its existing relationships as well as convert its new customer pipeline.
Earthport’s H1’18 update confirms trading is in line with revised expectations. Despite the previously announced setbacks in the period, revenue grew 8% to £15.4m, with the EBITDA loss comfortably on track to meet our full year forecast. The pipeline for H2’18 and FY’19 remains strong which, combined with continued growth from existing customers, leaves the group well placed to deliver cash flow break even during FY’19. Execution remains key, but we continue to believe that Earthport is well placed to capture a significant slice of the vast cross-border payments market, and that the ongoing strategic changes will maximise the group’s ability to fulfil its potential.
Avon Rubber (AVON LN) UK MoD agreement confirmed | Earthport (EPO LN) Underlying progress in H1 | LiDCO Group (LID LN) FY trading update & new HUP wins | N Brown Group (BWNG LN) Valuation anomaly at 2008 levels (9x P/E, 7% yield) | Realm Therapeutics (RLM LN) Positive clinical and business update | Sanderson Group (SND LN) Good start to year, on track | Trifast (TRI LN) Q3 trading update in line | Zinc Media Group (ZIN LN) Board changes
Companies: AVON EPO LID BWNG RLM SND TRI ZIN
Core Industrial REIT—established to invest in Irish-based industrial properties, predominantly located in the Greater Dublin Area . Vendor placing and new funds to a total of €225m, Target gross proceeds €207m.
TruFin—holding company of an operating group comprising three growth-focused FinTech and banking businesses operating in three niche lending markets: supply chain finance, invoice finance and dynamic discounting. Offer raising £70m at 190p with
market cap of £185m, expected 21 Feb
Polarean - The medical drug-device combination companies operating in the high resolution medical imaging market. Offer TBC. Due 22 Feb
Block Energy—a NEX Listed UK based oil exploration and production company whose main country of operation is the Republic of Georgia, looks to join AIM end of February 2018. Offer TBC
Companies: ORPH CPT ORR SCLP SDM LID TPOP EPO IDP TENG
Actual Experience (ACT LN) 2018 year of execution | Adept4 (AD4 LN) Asset light strategy starting to deliver | Bodycote (BOY LN) Forecasts increased following positive year end update | City of London Investment Group (CLIG LN) Q2 FuM +6%, H1 profits expected in line | Clinigen Group (CLIN LN) H1 trading update in line with expectations | Earthport (EPO LN) Board changes
Companies: ACT CLCO BOY CLIG EPO CLIN
Earthport has announced that Simon Adamiyatt is stepping down from his position as CFO and Executive Director. The board is currently seeking a replacement for Simon, and in the interim period Asif Ali, current Finance Director and Company Secretary, will act as Interim CFO. Earthport released a disappointing trading update in December however the medium term outlook remains positive. The new business pipeline is extremely healthy and we were encouraged by news of an existing client expansion worth over 1 million incremental transactions annually last month. We continue to believe that Earthport is well placed to corner a significant slice of the vast cross border payments market and that the changes announced since the December update will maximise the group’s ability to fulfil its potential.
Earthport’s trading update indicates a weak end to cal’17, with delays to new client implementations and the loss of a major piece of business resulting in 17% revenue downgrades to FY’18. Despite these setbacks, the medium term outlook remains positive. The new business pipeline is extremely healthy and an existing client expansion worth over 1 million incremental transactions annually is ramping up after starting earlier this month. The group has also announced that Hank Uberoi will move to Executive Chairman to focus on strategic opportunities. While the setback in FY’18 is highly disappointing, we continue to believe that Earthport is well placed to corner a significant slice of the vast cross border payments market and that the changes announced today will maximise the group’s ability to fulfil its potential.
Earthport has announced that it has expanded its network to enable inbound payments into Bangladesh. The partnership with BRAC Saajan Exchange Ltd, the payments arm of Bangladesh’s fastest growing bank, marks Earthport’s entry into Bangladesh, and continues the group’s strategy to increase the number of Asian markets it services. A large proportion of the growth in cross-border payments volumes is coming from emerging markets in Asia, Middle East & Africa and Latin America, and Earthport is increasingly well placed to benefit from this growth.
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Oxford Metrics has delivered solid 1HMar20 results, with sales of £15.0m (PY: £16.1m) and adj. PBT £0.3m (PY: £1.7). Within this, Yotta demonstrated continued ARR progression (up +15% to £6.8m) while at Vicon, the division added additional bluechip customers, further validating its industry leading position. Progress was, however, held back by lockdown restrictions. £1.1m of expected orders slipped to post period, but have now largely been fulfilled. Had they occurred as expected group sales would have been flat y/y. Looking ahead, CV19 related uncertainty leads us to withdraw forecasts. At this stage we expect disruption to be short-lived. As such – and considering OMG’s persuasive track record - we continue to view the company as a long-term winner in this growth industry.
Companies: Oxford Metrics
COVID-19 continues to have a profound impact on virtually every industry, on a global basis. Enterprises of all types and sizes are racing to adapt their models to the “new normal”. The more thoughtful are looking not just to effect change, but to improve how change happens, to become more flexible and more nimble as organisations. Sopheon has today announced some major developments to its Accolade platform which look to assist the group’s customers in this endeavour. This note describes the changes to the product range, and draws on a recent customer webinar used by Sopheon to highlight the evolving challenges to enterprise innovation management.
Nanoco has signed a framework agreement with STMicroelectronics (ST). This covers both development work and commercial supply of nano-materials for use in multiple infra-red sensing applications over a five-year period. While the agreement underpins the operational cash runway, which was recently extended to Q221, there is still significant uncertainty regarding future revenues, so our estimates remain under review.
Companies: Nanoco Group
The Panoply’s trading update reveals the business entered FY 21E with a £15m order backlog and that the group expects to report a strong trading performance for Q1 21E, having recorded £9.5m of new contract wins since the start of the year. A further positive is confirmation of a $5.2m contract win with a global philanthropic organisation by the group’s FutureGov unit (included within the £9.5m total). Against an ongoing backdrop of COVID19 driven uncertainty, this is a very positive announcement in our view. Noting that c70% of group turnover is now generated by public sector clients, we continue to believe The Panoply is well-placed to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and we maintain estimates following the release.
Companies: The Panoply Holdings
Avation is a lessor of 48 commercial aircraft to a diversified airline client base. Intra-day yesterday, the group announced that, as a result of the present uncertain backdrop caused by COVID-19, the Board had withdrawn from the previously announced strategic review and formal sale process, and that it was no longer in active discussions with any interested parties. The key reasons behind this were 1) the present uncertainty meaning that an attractive valuation was seen as unlikely to be achieved at this present moment in time and 2) the distraction of the process in the day to day operational activities of the business.
Petards supplies advanced security and surveillance systems to the Rail, Defence and Traffic Technology markets. Intra-day yesterday, the group confirmed that its RTS Solutions subsidiary had secured a multi-year renewal agreement for the provision of software support services to one of its major rail customers.
Touchstar is a supplier of mobile data computing solutions and managed services to a variety of industrial sectors. This morning, the group has released full year results to 31 December 2019, alongside providing an update on progress against the present COVID-19 backdrop. In line with the market updates provided in February and April, group revenue in the year increased by 3.2% to £7.1m, whilst revenue from continuing operations, excluding the Onboard business that was disposed of in the year, increased by 7.2% to £6.7m, driven by traction being gained with new products and services. The gross margin in the year increased by 280bps to 53.9% reflecting the greater proportion of software and service income. This resulted in a trading loss after tax before exceptionals of £89k, which post exceptionals of £412k that predominantly related to the disposal of OnBoard, resulted in a loss after tax of £501k. As previously reported, the year-end net cash position stood at £850k, which reflected an increase of £554k in the year; this post £1.1m of new product development expenditure and cash costs associated with the disposal.
Companies: AVAP TST PEG
AGM statement as expected; Resume with a Buy
Companies: Cloudcall Group
Watchstone has this morning announced a proposed second return of cash to shareholders, totalling a further £18.4m/40p per share. The rationale for this second tranche relates to the Board having previously allocated a cash buffer of £20m for any possible fines or penalties arising from the now lapsed SFO investigation. Subject to shareholder and court approval, this further return is anticipated to be made on or around 31 July 2020. Shareholders approved the first £50.5m/110p per share return of cash on 27 April 2020, which remains subject to court approval on 11 June 2020 and is scheduled to be paid on or around 30 June 2020.
Companies: Watchstone Group
Following the announcement of a business restructure and temporary cost reduction measures to reduce costs by A$12m, we have updated our forecasts for Seeing Machines. We believe that the significant measures taken by the management offset a weaker revenue outlook, as the impact of COVID-19 looks likely to continue for longer than anticipated. The net result is a similar to previous expectations in terms of cash, which we believe remains sufficient to see the company through FY22 ahead of profitability in FY23. The long-term effects of the business restructure is expected to be positive for shareholder value as demonstrated by our DCF based valuation which increases to 7.2p (from 7.0p).
Companies: Seeing Machines
Synairgen (SNG.L): Preliminary 2019 results | Yourgene Health (YGEN.L): COVID-19 testing service launch and business update
Companies: Synairgen Yourgene Health
Success breeds success. Take B2B software developer Rosslyn, who over the past few years has meticulously built a leading Big Data & spend analytics SaaS platform (RAPid), supporting an illustrious roster of 100+ clients (many global multi-nationals). Topped off with the synergistic acquisition of Langdon in Sept’19, & becoming EBITDA positive in FY’20 for the 1st time ever - thanks to increasing ARR (+12% to >£6m vs £5.4m LY) & favourable operational leverage (81% gross margins).
Companies: Rosslyn Data Technologies
This morning's announcement from PEN highlights significant mitigations of some of the Covid-19 risks identified in its recent Report & Accounts, notably where cash and working capital are concerned. From this perspective it is highly reassuring that major invoices to the tune of £2m in relation to PEN's contract with General Dynamics (GD), delayed by the practical issues around milestone meetings during the pandemic crisis, have now been raised, with help from virtual technology, and that written confirmation has been received from the client that the equipment milestone has been met. Formal agreement by GD to the £1.5m pricing adjustments which PEN had applied for is also excellent news, and as a result a contract which initially was expected to be valued at £7.3m is now worth at least £13.5m, with more potentially to go for. Moreover, on the back of the re-scoping of last year's Middle East contract and the GD agreement combined, over £4m of positive working capital is expected to flow into the current year, resulting in a significantly improved cash situation.
Companies: Pennant International Group
1HMar20 sales flat at £2.3m, MRR also flat at £340k. Net loss £-2.0m (PY: £-1.9m), period-end net debt £0.14m. On MRR - a new customer win and also upsells were offset by customer churn. New sales generation has been slower than planned. In response, INX has reduced staff headcount by 20%, starting in January. Covid has negatively impacted business performance – meaning longer sales cycles and higher DSOs. Encouragingly therefore, cash collection improved post period-end (to £0.3m). Further, two upsells have been secured, meaning YTD upsell value is up +10% y/y. Despite this progress, prudently, INX has decided to further reduce costs, with the objective of obtaining a monthly breakeven performance. This, combined with the company’s renewal pipeline and cash position, is said to provide sufficient funding for the current year. The board is however mindful of the sustainability of the changes made and as such, is in the early stages of reviewing its longer-term strategic options to introduce fresh capital. Forecasts remain U/R.
Companies: I-Nexus Global
Walker Greenbank is a higher-end interior furnishings business with well-established global brand names and manufacturing facilities in the UK. This morning, the group has provided a further update on the business in relation to COVID-19 following its previous announcement on 25 March. In addition, and in line with recent FCA/FRC guidance, full year results to 31 January 2020 have been rescheduled to 30 June (previously expected 23 April).
With cash ahead of expectation in a year of transformation, PTY has reported inline results for the year to December 2019, with revenues standing at £80.4m and £0.1m adj. PBT. Net cash at £0.9m is ahead of our expectation prior to the company's pre-close update by some £1.9m, a significant beat.
Dillistone's update this morning is, on the whole, reassuring. Although the economic implications of COVID-19 will likely materially affect FY2020E results, as with many businesses seeing a significant reduction in demand for products and services, it is too early to determine the quantum. As such, we remove our FY2020 estimates that previously looked for an EBITDA contribution of £1.6m and adjusted PBT to £0.1m.
Companies: WGB DSG PTY
The Panoply’s trading update for the year to March 2020 confirms that H2 trading was solid, and that the Board expects to report revenue and EBITDA in line with market expectations. The group’s financial position remains robust and will be enhanced by cash collections from the solid 20E trading performance. The Panoply is actively involved in the response to the COVID19 pandemic, with the business being only minimally impacted so far. Overall, we believe the announcement contains a number of positive messages. However, with ongoing macro-driven uncertainty over the medium/ longer-term outlook, we revise forecasts. Our FY 21E and FY 22E EBITDA estimates are reduced by 37% and 21% respectively.
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