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East Imperial (EISB), the global purveyor of super-premium beverages, announced the continued success of winning Tier 1 and Tier 2 accounts in the first couple of months of 2024. Notable wins include new listings in the United States, Europe and New Zealand. EISB said it is on an exciting growth journey, with account wins across the globe since the start of 2024. East Imperial is a brand that can punch well above its weight with respect to the resources available to us relative to some of our peers.

Comment: EISB is currently delivering a rather strange divergence between positive international rollout news, and a decline in the stock in the wake of the recent fundraise. Perhaps more detail is required in terms of sales, rather than merely one of hotel wins in exotic locations?

Artemis Resources (ARV) announced that the trading halt on the Company’s shares on the ASX has now been lifted.

Comment: ARV shares have soared in London, given that the ASX hamstrung its myriad fans. There could still be another spurt to the upside here through 2p before the dust settles on all the West Pilbara excitement.

Windar Photo (WPHO) one notes that Paul Hodges recently joined as an NED after  40 years in broking in  financial institutions including, Shroders and Collins Stewart. Paul was also a founder shareholder of Cenkos Securities and is a former director of Cenkos Securities. He has been buying shares most recently 1m at 30.5p taking his holding to over 3.2m  which is 4.7%. WPHO have developed a cost efficient and innovative LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) optimisation systems wind sensor for use on electricity generating wind turbines. After resolving supply problems, the interims to June  reported at 230% increase in Turnover to EU 1.3m,  53% margins, a reduced loss, and a growing order book.    A test with GE in America demonstrated a potential increase of 3.2% in Annual Energy Production so demonstrating the product efficiency. This is an  important result as the Board estimates there are approximately 15,000 turbines of this type are currently installed globally. The net cash is around £300k and there is likely to be a further funding.

Comment: At 33.5p and a £23m mkt cap, what’s the betting that significant contracts are closed before any funding, otherwise it turns 40 years of broking experience on its head!

Saietta Group (SED), the multi-national business which designs, engineers and manufactures complete electric drivetrain (eDrive) solutions for electric vehicles, provides an update on its commercial activities. SED said the strength of relationship with its lead OEM and the market opportunity for its eDrive solutions remains very compelling. Being unable to agree terms on a contract manufacturing opportunity is no reflection on the quality of the Company’s products. The sale of the redundant production line in its manufacturing hub in Sunderland (UK) makes sense for Saietta in comparison to a relatively low margin contract to manufacture a non-core product under license.

Comment: It has been a painful post April period for SED shares, and today’s RNS is probably not going to do much to help sentiment given that agreeing terms is a rather fundamental requirement in business, whatever the quality of the offering. It might have been better not to overshare such issues, and merely wait to announce a win.

Empyrean Energy (EME), the oil and gas development company, advised that it has raised £700,000 at a price of 0.25p. Empyrean said it looks forward to the finalisation of the GSA with Sembcorp, a major milestone for the Mako Project. Whilst this has taken longer than anyone envisaged, it is  delighted with the improved pricing formula for gas sales which should have positive implications for the Duyung PSC/ Mako sell-down efforts.

Comment: On the bright side, if EME can raise £700k one has to really question whether the London small cap market is really in a bear market. Clearly EME has a very sympathetic and loyal following, something which makes progress at Mako all the more important.

Technology Minerals (TM1), the company focused on creating a sustainable circular economy for battery metals, updated regarding the Reverse Takeover by its 48.35% subsidiary, Recyclus Group Ltd. TM1 said it was pleased to see its proposed RTO progressing as planned. The business is making significant progress on several fronts, in line with management’s expectations. The Board considers 2024 to be a pivotal year for the Recyclus business as it reaches the inflection point in its development from which it is expected to accelerate its growth by benefitting from its first mover advantage in the provision of industrial-scale lithium-ion battery recycling.

Comment: Of course, the big thing as far as TM1 was always concerned was the circular economy aspect of the company. 2024 will really have to be pivotal not so much in growth prospects, but in the perception of the merits of what TM1 actually does.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL), the West African agriculture company, provided a January 2024 monthly production update for its Ayenouan palm oil project in Côte d’Ivoire. DKL said the Palm Oil Operation has started 2024 very well continuing the excellent performance achieved in 2023. We will shortly be entering the production high season and we are operationally well positioned to take advantage of the anticipated spike in production levels over the coming months.

Comment: It is a shame that the market is clearly not engaged in a positive way regarding what DKL is clearly achieving operationally. It remains to be seen whether the prospect / reality high season will lift the bulls out of their slumber.

KEFI (KEFI), the gold and copper exploration and development company, updated on project launch preparation activities at the high-grade Tulu Kapi Gold Project in Ethiopia following several days of meetings with senior representatives of the Tulu Kapi stakeholders at Mining Indaba 2024 in Cape Town, South Africa. KEFI said this multi-party subsidiary-level financing is now advancing on the back of the Government commitments finally received in October, triggering the lead-lender to quickly process its approval in December 2023 and now all other stakeholders triggering their respective flow-on processes.

Comment: While the several days of meetings at Indaba sounds as though it must have been very strenuous, it rather sounds as though today’s RNS is something of a placeholder as we await the big one regarding Tulu Kapi and the “flow-on”. Nevertheless, it does actually sound like the waiting game is nearly over.

Union Jack Oil (UJO), a UK and USA focused onshore hydrocarbon production, development and exploration company, said  that it has signed a further two farm-in agreements with Reach Oil & Gas Company Inc. UJO said it was pleased to be able to bring another two, highly prospective farm-in projects to the Company’s Oklahoma, USA, drilling and Mineral royalty portfolio. It expects to see the first of its wells, being the Andrews-1 on the West Bowlegs Prospect, drilled in early Q2 2024 and it was pleased to see good progress already being made with the well location staked and site construction to commence shortly.

Comment: It is interesting that for UJO things seem to be moving in a much faster and satisfactory fashion Stateside than they ever did in the NIMBY / Green lobby UK. The Q2 2024 is quick enough to be a decent driver for the shares given their current dip below 20p.

Cornerstone FS (CSFS), a foreign exchange and payments solutions company, announced that it is now authorised to operate in Canada through the receipt of a Money Services Business licence from the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada. CSFS said it was delighted to receive authorisation to operate in Canada. Having received enquiries in Canada for its services through its existing network, the establishment of a regulated business will enable it to fully pursue such opportunities and leverage local payment rails and lower transaction costs. This also forms part of its stated strategy to expand our geographical footprint and regulatory capabilities to deliver sustained growth for the years to come.

Comment: We have already seen the turnaround share price rally for CSFS, the first part of a minnow becoming a significant company. Today reminds us that the company’s international scalability means that a rollout rally should take the stock higher from here.

Neo Energy Metals (NEO), the near term, low-cost uranium developer, provided an operations update regarding its recent activities at its advanced Henkries Uranium Project in the Northern Cape of the Republic of South Africa. NEO said work has continued at site in line with its stated schedule that lay the ground work for the next phase of exploration of the Henkries deposit.

Comment: Given that uranium is currently hotter than July, it rather beggars belief that this relatively new IPO shares are not on the right side of 1p. One would expect mining giant Q Global to wade in sooner rather than later, considering how wide the value disconnect is starting to become at NEO.