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RNS Hotlist August 1: Celadon, Cellular, Eco, ENGAGE, Filtronic, 4basebio, Harland, Predator, Rockfire, Saietta, Symphony, United, Wishbone


RNS Hotlist August 1: Celadon, Cellular, Eco, ENGAGE, Filtronic, 4basebio, Harland, Predator, Rockfire, Saietta, Symphony, United, Wishbone

Wishbone (WSBN) announced that it has raised £1.42m gross at a price of 2.4p. This represents an oversubscription of 42% against the initial target subscription of £1m. The company said it was  immensely grateful for the support of existing shareholders and new investors in the current challenging financial markets. It is looking forward to the next round of exploration based on the new analysis of Red Setter and Cottesloe.

Comment: There will perhaps be a sigh of relief from the market that WSBN has got this fund raise away, so that it can get on with the next round of exploration, something which is showing increasingly positive signs in terms of potential.

Harland & Wolff Group (HARL), the UK quoted company focused on strategic infrastructure projects announced that it has been awarded a contract to undertake repairs on the Sun Shine, a heavy lift vessel owned by the Korean-based Pan Ocean Group. The company said it was delighted to have signed this contract with Pan Ocean and it looks forward to working on the Sun Shine and redelivering it to the client, on time and on budget. Its reputation and recognition for handling large complex vessels in Belfast is growing globally and this bodes well for a number of similar outstanding bids that it has made.

Comment: HARL looks to be on a summer purple patch, something which has been underlined by the company suggesting that various other contract “ships” could come in near term.

Helium One Global (HE1), the primary helium explorer in Tanzania announced that Ian Stalker (72) has decided to step down from his position as Non-Executive Chairman after five years in the post to reduce the number of his non-executive roles. James Smith, currently Non-Executive Director of Helium One, is to be appointed as Chairman with immediate effect. Ian Stalker said whilst there is never a good time to step down as Chairman, he does so in the knowledge that the company in in excellent health.  To say that this is an exciting time for the company is an understatement, it has an exceptional team in place to successfully deliver its forthcoming programme at Rukwa and proving up the potential that he believes is inherent at Tai-C.

Comment: Having seen Mr Stalker just last week, I would not have called him 72. Nevertheless, it would appear that having taken HE1, Moses like, to the Promise Land, her will be watching from the sidelines in September when all will be revealed on the helium front.

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (EOG), the oil and gas exploration company focused on the offshore Atlantic Margins, announced its audited results for the year ended 31 March 2023. The company said as a business it continues to make significant strides across its strategic portfolio of hydrocarbon assets, in some of the world’s most prolific exploration areas. Following the stabilizing of commodity prices during the first half of this year, alongside a number of discoveries being made in and around the regions it operates in, it continues to see strong industry interest in its unique acreage positions in Orange Basin SA, Walvis Basin Namibia, and the Guyana Suriname Basin.

Comment: It would appear from today’s update from debt free Eco that the market has been rather harsh on the company. This could offer scope for a squeeze higher in the stock over the near term.

ProBiotix Health plc (AQSE: PBX), a life sciences business, announces that the company has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Trans Chem to cover the Australian and New Zealand probiotics market. The company said it was delighted to have signed this agreement with Trans Chem, which will further enhance its global reach. Although its primary strategic focus is on developing the European and North American markets, it believes that there is a significant business potential in Australia & New Zealand. Both countries have a high concentration of dietary supplement companies acting as a gateway into servicing mainland China and the Southeast Asian region, which it can now capitalise on.

Comment: It is perhaps difficult to work out whether the recent sharp rise in PBX shares was anticipation of today’s news, or a fresh appreciation of the merits of the company? No doubt we shall find out shortly.

4basebio (4BB), an innovation driven biotechnology company, announced it has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance the development program of thermostable nucleic acid based vaccines. The company said the Foundation’s grant recognises the potential of our Hermes™ and synthetic DNA platforms. The enhanced stability offered by its vectors as well as the rapid turnaround time offered through its synthetic DNA has the potential to enable a faster response to pandemic needs and create highly performant and affordable vaccine products in support of the global fight against infectious diseases.

Comment: Barring any lab leaks, biochemical warfare, we will hopefully not need nucleic acid bases vaccines. Or we might decide it is better just to let a pandemic run its course, without vaccines? That said, Bill and Melinda backing 4basebio is of course, a massive coup.

Predator Oil & Gas Holdings (PRD), a Jersey based Oil and Gas Company, announce that the Bookbuild was oversubscribed and it has successfully raised gross proceeds of £10 million, with good new institutional support, pursuant to the Placing.

Comment: PRD seems to be going for the record of how many placings a company can get away in a calendar year, as well as proving that there is no liquidity crunch in UK small caps.

United Oil & Gas (UOG), the full cycle oil and gas company, provided an update on the conditional sale of the UK Central North Sea Licence P2519 containing the Maria discovery in Block 15/18 to Quattro Energy Limited. United confirmed that all conditions under the APA have not been met by the expiry of the long stop date on the 31 July. The company is in advanced discussions with Quattro regarding a possible further extension and expects to be in a position to update the market shortly.

Comment: Given the disappointing share price performance, it could very well be the case that Maria provides the boost required, should the discussions here come to fruition.

Rockfire Resources (ROCK), the base metal, gold, and critical mineral exploration company, announced that the Company’s geotechnical drilling, has intersected high-grade zinc, silver and lead at its 100%-owned Molaoi zinc deposit in Greece. The company said these drilling results continue to demonstrate the quality of the Molaoi zinc/lead/silver deposit. Its drilling is designed to obtain sufficient sample volume for crushing and grinding work index studies. Whilst achieving this principal goal, this drilling continues to confirm and infill 179 historical drillholes which were drilled at Molaoi in the 1980’s.

Comment: Shares of ROCK have already tripled off their autumn lows, as the potential of Molaoi continues to be highlighted. Today’s update should allow this process to continue.

Saietta Group (SED), the multi-national business which designs, engineers and manufactures complete electric drive (eDrive) systems for electric vehicles, announced the signing of a suite of contracts to replace the Joint Commercialisation and Development Agreement with Consolidated Metco Inc, a major global manufacturer and supplier of commercial automotive components. Restructured arrangements will result in net payment to Saietta of approximately €3.3 million plus potential licensing payments. The company said it has reached a pragmatic solution to restructure the ConMet arrangement given commencement of revenue generation from the JCDA does no longer meet its short-term revenue strategy.  This will enable it to benefit from an immediate cash payment and accelerate its activities in the LEV sector where there is greater near-term revenue potential.

Comment: Today’s kerching event for SED should be more than enough to allow the recent share price recovery in the stock to continue.

Filtronic (FTC) report finals to May 2023, and as expected Revenue is slightly lower at £16.1m although PBT fell heavier than anticipated to £0.5m from £1.5m,with EPS at 0.22p down from 0.68p.  This was due to a range of adverse headwinds including the global semiconductor shortages. Since the year-end, the shares have been sprightly, as it won a £3.2m order from an exciting new customer. The European Space Agency to develop a series of advanced mmWave products to enable broadband connectivity for LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites to receiving ground stations and further orders seems likely.  Generally, the order book from its core Sovereign defence and communications clients is hard to predict. The roll out of 5G telecommunication technology remains important as the world continues to digitise although progress is intermittent.  The net cash is around £1.6m and the historic P/E is 77x, a placing to fund growth should be well received.

Comment:  The shares are near a 52-week high and may ease back, but there is a strong growth narrative.

Symphony Environmental Technologies (SYM), specialists in technologies that make plastic and rubber products “smarter, safer and sustainable”, announced a trading update for the six months ended 30 June 2023. The Board expect Symphony will move back into profitability on the back of momentum started during H1-2023 together with the near-term commercialisation of several key projects. These expectations do not take into account Symphony’s joint venture in India, where we continue to wait for approval that plastic producers using d2w technology will become certified suppliers.

Comment: The promise of moving back into profitability, and with the added potential of India coming up trumps, may make something think that SYM is a decent recovery prospect.

ENGAGE XR Holdings (EXR), a Metaverse / Spatial Computing technology company provided an update on trading for the six months ended 30 June 2023. The company said that the first half of 2023 has demonstrated its continued progress as more companies embrace the new world of virtual communications, such as extended reality (XR) / Spatial Computing and the Metaverse. Its client list is steadily growing, and it has added more than 30 new customers, including two leading global banks, as well as seeing an uptick in activity and spend from its existing users.

Comment: With its cash balance nearly doubling, and margins up to 93%, it is surprising that the market is not singing the praises of EXR. Perhaps this state of affairs is set to change.

Cellular Goods (CBX) a UK-based wellness company, announced that products in its ‘Look Better’ (skincare) range will soon be available to purchase for the first time in France and Germany. The company said it is focused on continuing its expansion of the ‘Look Better’ skincare range into new markets and increasing global access to our products. Over the course of the next few months, it will be achieving another milestone in this strategy by opening its ecommerce site to its French and German customers.

Comment: CBX looks to have settled into being a “normal” wellness company, with a decent sounding roll out. Clearly, the proof of the pudding will be how much sales are delivered in France / Germany.

Celadon Pharmaceuticals (CEL), a UK-based pharmaceutical company has received approval from the NHS Research Ethics Committee to roll-out its non-cancer chronic pain clinical trial for up to 5,000 patients. The company said it was delighted that its clinical trial has received its approvals and it can now start the important work of getting its medicine to patients. Everything it does at Celadon starts with the patient, and the results from the first part of the study it has seen in terms of improvements in quality of life have been tremendous.

Comment: 2023 has shown us that cannabis / pain treatment has come of age, and is being accepted by the medical establishment. The thumbs up from the NHS here at CEL is a reminder of this, and the potential of the space.

Disclaimer & Declaration of Interest:
The information, investment views, and recommendations in this Zaks Traders Cafe interview are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing in this interview should be construed as a promotion or solicitation to buy or sell any financial product relating to any companies under discussion or referred to or to engage in or refrain from doing so or engage in any other transaction. Any opinions or comments are made to the best of the knowledge and belief of the commentator but no responsibility is accepted for actions based on such opinions or comments. The commentators may or may not hold investments in the companies under discussion.



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