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The ‘Moving Forward Act', the strongest automotive safety bill in decades, has now been passed in the House of Representatives. The bill is focused on advancing safety technologies proven to reduce crash and harm and to make sure strong safety standards are in place to save lives. The bill, which now needs to be passed in the Senate, will mandate automatic braking, lane-keeping, blind-spot detection, event data recorders as well as DMS in all cars and trucks sold in the US from 2024. This aligns with the European General Safety Regulation, which passed into law in November 2019.
However, in the EU, the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) has requested a 2‐year delay for the introduction of the 2022 Euro-NCAP protocols due to the projected lengthy time that will be needed to recover from the effects of COVID-19. Euro NCAP has agreed, and a delay is now expected to the 2022 and 2024 rating. The new dates will give automakers and Tier 1 suppliers more time to incorporate the necessary changes given the events of recent months with a number of manufacturers announcing 12 month delays to new models.
Companies: Seeing Machines
In February Nanoco announced that it had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung. The lawsuit alleges that Samsung has wilfully infringed the patents relating to Nanoco’s unique synthesis and resin capabilities for quantum dots. Nanoco is seeking a permanent injunction from further acts of infringement and unspecified but significant monetary damages. Nanoco has now secured litigation finance for the lawsuit from a very large US litigation finance specialist, removing the need for Nanoco and its shareholders to fund the process. Our estimates remain under review.
Companies: Nanoco Group
Order growth in H1E is running at a sustained high level and the sale of annuity based contracts is creating a material recurring revenue base for the business. This is pushing revenue recognition forward so while the H2E weighting in our unchanged forecasts looks high, a high quality business underpinned by ARR growth is currently being built.
Companies: Corero Network Security
IMImobile has issued an encouraging trading update, highlighting resilience in the Group’s core cloud communications operation. Gross profit rose 20%, with core Cloud comms (c.90%/revs) up >30% (inc. 3C acquisition). We estimate underlying organic decline at -5% y/y, in the middle of our scenario based range (-15% to 7%) with slow decline implying stabilisation in underlying communication traffic volumes post-lockdown. This stabilisation has been driven by growth in core sectors offsetting decline in sectors adversely impacted by the pandemic. Significantly, demand for the Group’s IMIConnect platform (SaaS revenues model) has remained robust as customers look to accelerate Digital Communication strategies, whilst upsell of additional channels in Q1 is also likely to drive future additional volumes from the Group’s existing base. Net cash of £2m is only modestly light of previous N1S forecasts for H1’21 prior to lockdown (£6.3m) and implies positive FCF through the previous 9-month period. We keep forecasts under review at this stage. In the medium-term, we see a path based on undemanding assumptions to FCF of £15m, offering a 7% yield at current valuation. The Group trades on 12x FY’19 EV/EBITDA (c.10x FY (Mar)’20E EBITDA based on previous forecasts), below recent sector acquisition multiples whilst offering a higher proportion of recurring revenue and operating further up the CPaaS value chain.
SDL held an introductory session for the Group’s new SLATE proposition (launched in June). Good traction has been seen within the Group’s existing base presenting an attractive upsell opportunity, whilst also enabling expansion of the Group’s TAM with a market-leading, highly automated and immensely scalable solution. Management estimate SME and ‘off-grid’ translation projects to be a market worth in excess of $10bn, with SLATE allowing the Group to target these areas in a more meaningful way. The new product fits with SDL’s strategic objectives of building deeper relationships with existing customers and building leadership in Language technologies. N1Se conservatively forecast Language Tech segment revenue growth of +4% and +6% for FY’20E and FY’21E. Outperformance in FY’21 by £2m of sales (FY’21E LT growth: +10% y/y) could deliver £1m uplift to EBITDA and FCF we estimate (+3% and +4% vs current forecasts). N1Se FY’21E forecasts currently generate an FCF yield in excess of 8%, with risk to the upside.
The FY 2020 results are in line with our expectations and reflect the impact of the previously announced switch from large perpetual licences to recurring annual term licences during the year. Despite the COVID strictures, with its large global partnerships, D4t4 continues to close numerous lucrative data gathering and data management contracts with major blue-chips around the world. It is successfully converting a high proportion of its new sales to recurring revenue contracts, but this will sacrifice growth and earnings in FY 2020 and FY 2021. Nevertheless, with growing recurring revenue base, an exciting pipeline and a very strong balance sheet, D4t4 is very well positioned for continued long-term growth and security.
Companies: D4T4 Solutions
Gfinity plc* (GFIN.L, 3.6p/£26.7m) | Starcom plc* (STAR.L, 0.95p/£3.3m) | Mirada plc* (MIRA.L, 90.0p/£8.0m)
Companies: GFIN STAR MIRA
Gfinity plc* (GFIN.L, 1.625p/£14.0m) | Blackbird plc* (BIRD.L, 16.5p/£55.4m) | Tern plc* (TERN.L, 11.5p/£31.1m) | The Panoply Holdings (TPX.L, 72.5p/£39.9m)
Companies: GFIN BIRD TERN TPX
A concerted move into managed services is improving the quality of revenues. Management is targeting the growth in recurring revenues to cover the cash cost base of the company by 2022. This event will mark a material derisking of the investment case and is the pathway to the share price doubling or more over the next 2-3 years. Buy.
LoopUp has provided an update on trading to coincide with today’s AGM…in essence, the group continues to see activity “materially” above pre-COVID levels, and is confident of exceeding expectations for 2020. We choose to leave our forecasts (that we believe to be roughly in line with consensus estimates) unchanged for now, in advance of further detail likely with a fuller H1 update in early July.
Companies: Loopup Group
EBITDA of £10.5m (£10.4mE) was delivered from revenue of £49.2m (£46.7mE) with net cash of £24.1m, (as revealed in August), comfortably ahead of our £21.5m year-end forecast. Newsflow in the period included three acquisitions, the securing of a five year framework agreement for deployment of TRACS Enterprise with a major Train Operating Group, and the successful transition of the CEO role to Chris Barnes. The Group continues to deliver the proven mix of self-funded acquisitions and organic growth, demonstrating comfortable delivery of forecasts reiterated at interims, and a very strong balance sheet giving capacity to deliver much more of the same. With the new CEO able to deliver operational efficiencies to a Group already well versed in delivering successful acquisitions, we look forward to the next part of Tracsis journey. Target 775p reiterated.
A strong interim period to January 2020 delivered the expected £26m revenue as reported in the February trading update, with a 31 January net cash balance also of £26m – EBITDA of £5.6m (post IFRS16), and adjusted PBT of £4.6m highlighting a strong performance. The Group has unchanged strategic ambitions – organic growth and M&A, both in evidence in Rail Technology & Services (RT&S) with 13% organic growth and the post period end acquisition of iBlocks. We withdrew forecasts last week due to the impact of COVID-19 on the 2H-weighted Traffic & Data Services business, given the exposure to cancelled large scale summer events, and uncertainty over traffic surveys; however, the potential for the Group is unchallenged when the world normalises. New contract wins, new product launches, new acquisitions and a hearty balance sheet continued to offer significant upside in 1H and post period end. Target price 900p remains based on our FY21 forecasts, which in theory should be consistent with previous forecasts and we look forward to reinstating numbers when the virus dust settles.
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
AGM statement as expected; Resume with a Buy
Companies: Cloudcall Group
Final results for the year to March are in line with the April trading update, which had been well ahead of expectations in profit and cashflow: with some customer orders postponed beyond year end, revenue of £10.4m had been 6% behind expectations while adjusted PBT (£0.8m) and free cashflow (£1.0m) were respectively 499% and 227% ahead. Strong cost control still permitted £2.8m (FY19: £2.9m) of R&D, leading to the continuing development of the global large enterprise products, but also of MyID Professional, simplifying the solution and expanding the addressable market. With cost control clearly in hand, and even confidence in cost expansion after two years of restraint, the group is driving opportunities for high-margin revenue growth and the future continues to brighten. Target 80p reiterated, with the chance for TP review with greater COVID-19 clarity at interims in December.
Companies: Intercede Group