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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
Interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2020 cover a period of significant change for Open Orphan and lay the foundations for a potentially transformational H2 and beyond. They include the first six months of hVIVO performance as part of the company, and due to the implementation of operational efficiencies across the group, the operating loss fell by 11% and EBITDA was held at the same level despite a 36% reduction in revenue. The outlook for the business has never been stronger, with a strong forward order book into December 2021 and beyond and advanced negotiations for a COVID-19 challenge contract, in conjunction with potential new revenue streams. We leave our forecasts unchanged (beyond conversion to pound sterling) and retain our 19p target price for the time being, but with room for upside.
Companies: Open Orphan Plc
Open Orphan has announced interim results for 2020 which reflect a period of acquisition and integration of hVIVO, capital raising, substantial cost rationalisation and strongly accelerating commercial focus. As such, the results themselves do not reflect the Group's ongoing operational capabilities and profitability where we see strong ongoing news flow and substantial upside risk to earnings not reflected in the current share price. Reiterate Buy
In the six-month period to June 2020, ORPH focused on integration and restructuring following its acquisition of lab services and challenge studies specialist hVIVO in January. The company is currently positioned to deliver and maximise the potential its world-leading clinical research organisation
Open Orphan has announced a new £4.3m contract to conduct a Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) human viral challenge study. The customer is a top 10 global vaccine company which continues to demonstrate the attractiveness of the hVIVO assets and the Group's increasing ability to attract business from the largest vaccine and pharmaceutical players in the world. Buy.
The interims are in line with the July update and highlight MMX’s resilience during the pandemic. Steady growth in billings continues alongside strategic improvement in the quality of business; notably, a reduced reliance on one-off brokered domain name sales saw almost all H1 billings (amounts invoiced) come from growth in the automated retail channel, building renewal business for the future. However channel billings are recognised over the life of the registration so much of that revenue is deferred. Thus while total H1 billings grew an impressive 7% YoY, accounting revenue actually booked fell 5% and adj. PBT fell 4% YoY - the near-term cost of greater security and quality. Cashflow remained strong, lifting net cash from $6.6m in January to $7.3m in June despite a $1.2m buyback in H1. Given the current COVID-19 backdrop, management is cautious on FY guidance however with a bright outlook, a cash-generative business and a large cash reserve, a further return of £3.0m is being flagged for H2.
Companies: Minds + Machines Group Ltd.
Despite the challenges of the past few months, XLMedia remains profitable on a run-rate basis. The interim results have delivered a much more robust performance than expected, in our view. With work progressing on recovering its position in its Casino vertical expected to yield results from Q4 onwards, there is a visible recovery profile ahead. With the >50% of the market cap in cash we are Buyers.
Companies: XLMedia Plc
Gateley grew FY 2020 sales by +6% and maintained profits despite the impact of COVID-19 and has remained profitable and cash-generative since. Swift action was taken to reduce costs and successfully move to home working. While there is no immediate financial guidance, the group is ideally placed to help clients with the legal implications of the sudden and very significant changes all businesses have seen and is supported by strong finances with net debt of only £0.9m at April 2020 down from £3.2m in 2019.
Companies: Gateley (Holdings) Plc
Full-year results to 31 May 2020 deliver revenue of £15.0m (+10.3%) and EBITDA of £6.8m (+36.0%) as noted at the acquisition of Quantuma Advisory. We continue to believe a key value driver of owning K3 shares is an investor’s exposure to the positive disruption being wrought by the company’s model, which now has the ability to be applied to synergistic markets across the addressable professional services SME sector as a result of the two recent acquisitions. The already proven restructuring and insolvency practice specifically has the potential to deliver significant upside in the current environment. We reiterate our estimates, noting EPS growth of 63% between 2020A and 2023E. Target price remains 300p, offering 100% upside from the placing price of 150p.
Companies: K3 Capital Group Plc
H120 adjusted EBITDA of £9.1m was the main positive surprise for us in Ergomed’s full interim report released today. We have increased our adjusted EBITDA forecasts to £18.3m (up 8.6%) in 2020 and £20.1m (up 6.8%) in 2021. A strong order book (£151.4m, up 22.0% from the end of 2019) with high visibility into 2021, continued overall business growth and a strong balance sheet should allow Ergomed to successfully navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, invest in organic growth and look for potential strategic acquisitions. Our valuation is upgraded to £409m or 845p/share.
Companies: Ergomed Plc
Gateley’s FY20 results highlight another year of revenue and underlying profit growth despite the impact of COVID-19 in the final two months of the year. Swift action was taken in response to the pandemic and the Group ended the year in a strong position with negligible net debt and activity improving. Given the track record of growth through previous cycles and the strength of Gateley’s market position, we fully expect the Group to return to, and exceed, previous levels of profitability over time. Relative to peers, an historic FY20 P/E rating of just 10x looks low for a Group of Gateley’s quality and long term growth potential.
Intelligent Ultrasound has announced its results for the 6-months to June 2020. EBITDA loss of £1.2m was slightly ahead of the recent trading update expectation (£1.3m-£1.4m) on revenues of £2.5m for the period, which were negatively impacted by COVID-19. Currently all group revenues are generated by the Simulation division which successfully minimised the impact of COVID-19 on sales and marketing activities to limit the group level impact. Importantly, the first ScanNav AI software product remains on track to deliver revenues in 2021, while commercial discussions for the second product, AnatomyGuide, are on-going. Cash at period end was £10.1m. COVID-19 uncertainties led us to withdraw forecasts and we remain Under Review.
Companies: Intelligent Ultrasound 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: 1pm Plc
The Group has announced that its subsidiary Chesterfield Special Cylinders (‘CSC’) has won a second major contract with EDF Energy worth over £3m and also that it now expects a delay in the recognition of revenue and profit on the raw material milestone for the supply of cylinders for the second Dreadnought submarine from Q4 FY2020 to Q1 FY2021. The statement notes a strong outlook for CSC as it continues to diversify away from its historic dependence on the oil & gas sector where challenging trading conditions continue to impact the performance of its Precision Machined Components (‘PMC’) division. Despite mitigating actions, the combination of factors affecting PMC and CSC are now expected to result in a loss-making performance at Group level in FY2020. A further trading update is expected in the second half of October when we would expect forward guidance to be reinstated.
Companies: Pressure Technologies Plc
Frenkel Topping has acquired 6% of the share capital of NAHL and NAHL has confirmed that it has received an approach from Frenkel Topping proposing an all share combination. The Board of NAHL is considering the proposal. We move our recommendation from sell to neutral.
Companies: NAHL Group Plc