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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
Bango’s H1 20 trading update in our view delivers a number of confident messages. Growth in the key End User Spend (“EUS”) metric remainsrobust, and the group delivered record revenue growth and EBITDA during the period. The group’s financial position saw a solid improvement in the first half. A closing gross cash position of £4.2m represents a £1.5m increase on the FY 19A level and demonstrates the company is now generating cash from its operations. H1 20 was a busy period for Bango, with a number of new contracts signed in both the payments business and Bango Marketplace, establishing a good base for growth in the second half and into 2021. We make no changes to estimates following the update but believe that Bango continues to demonstrate strong momentum and that the group remains well placed to deliver its FY 20E targets.
This has been an impressive half for Bango. Mobile usage and transactions have risen during lockdown, driving End User Spend (EUS) over its platform up by nearly 60% to £740m. Moreover, Bango’s ongoing revenue also rose >50%, to a record level of £4.8m, with revenue growth more closely matching EUS growth than previously. With operational gearing in the payment platform, group profitability continues to rise rapidly as its revenue increases; group H1 2020 adj. EBITDA alone beating the whole of FY 2019. The major deals delayed from December also flowed through, both in Payments and the early-stage Bango Marketplace business. The period saw the purchase of a controlling stake in Audiens by a S. Korean tech conglomerate, allowing increased management focus while retaining a 40% stake in the business set to be boosted to a new level by considerable funding and IP injected by its new parent. Overall, Bango was cash generative and ended the half with £4.2m cash, suggesting c.£0.8m of cash from operations. This is a very reassuring performance, with the deals signed in H1 expected to boost H2 EUS to the £2bn targeted this year and leaving the company on track to meet our FY forecasts of strong revenue growth and material profitability.
FY20 results Revenue was roughly flat on the prior year ($29.8m vs $28.8m) but the Adjusted EBITDA result was $2.1m compared to the 2019 outcome of $0.4m – a material improvement, driven by a higher mix of strong gross margin sales and also benefiting to the tune of c.$1m from the adoption of IFRS16. Net cash (pre the convertible loan) was some $0.7m, impacted by a new divisional relationship with an existing customer leading to some payment delays – the RNS explains that this abnormal working capital position has now “unwound” post the year-end.
Companies: Zoo Digital Group
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.
EMIS confirmed that H120 trading was in line with expectations. As previously flagged, new business has been more difficult to sign, but the company is seeing some signs of recovery and as long as new business gradually improves through H2, EMIS anticipates meeting FY20 expectations. With a strong net cash position and access to debt funding, EMIS is well funded to manage through the current disruption. We maintain our forecasts.
Companies: Emis Group
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
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
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.