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Pan African Resources (PAF) revealed unaudited Interim financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2023. Net cash from operating activities increased by 134.5% to US$27.2 million (2022: US$11.6 million). Profit for the period increased by 46.7% to US$42.4 million (2022: US$28.9 million). PAF said the higher US$ gold price, improved production and cost and capital discipline contributed to the much-improved cash generation of US$27.2 million, an increase of more than 130% when compared to the previous reporting period. This cash flow generation has resulted in the Group’s robust financial position, even after taking into account the MTR project’s capital expenditure and the net dividend of US$18.3 million paid to shareholders in December 2023.

Comment: Although gold remains near record highs above $2,000, it is perhaps surprising that more companies in the space have not delivered the kind of knock out results that PAF has revealed.

Futura Medical (FUM), the consumer healthcare company behind Eroxon, confirms that its lead product, Eroxon, will be available on prescription in England and Wales for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction (“ED”) with effect from 1st March 2024. Eroxon is also available without a doctor’s prescription having launched in the UK in March 2023. FUM said this milestone builds on the strong progress the Company has made since the initial launch of Eroxon in the UK and is a further step in improving availability of Eroxon, providing access by prescription for men with ED as well as over the counter.

Comment: It looks as though FUM has truly gone mainstream as people of all genders who identify as requiring treatment of ED will be making a being to their local Boots. We look forward to FUM shares breaking recent resistance at 45p off the back of this milestone.

Neo Energy Metals (NEO), the near term, low-cost uranium developer, announced a strengthening of its board with the appointment of Quinton van der Burgh as a Non-Executive Director, effective immediately. NEO said it was delighted to welcome Quinton to the team as a Non-Executive Director at this critical juncture as it looks to accelerate its strategy to become an important supplier to the fast-growing uranium sector. It was fortunate to have found someone of his calibre with years of operational experience, sector knowledge, and extensive network and is grateful for the support his company, QGC, has provided Neo Energy as a cornerstone investor.

Comment: It was suggested here that QVB’s Q Global Commodities might add to its position as a cornerstone investor in NEO, and perhaps today’s news of his arrival as a NED could be a precursor to such a development. It certainly helps to boost NEO’s profile, in addition to his CV.

Redx (REDX), the clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing novel, small molecule, targeted therapeutics for the treatment of fibrotic disease and cancer notes the article published on the website of The Times on 13 February 2024 stating that the Company is “eyeing” a US listing.  Redx said it wished to clarify that it is not currently in any process relating to a listing in the US, nor any other jurisdiction.

Comment: Apparently one cannot believe everything one reads in the paper, and one presumes that the journalist who wrote that REDX is eyeing a US listing has now been placed in the naughty corner by their editor. Ironically, REDX heading Stateside would not be a bad idea.

Zephyr Energy (ZPHR), the Rocky Mountain oil and gas company, announced that it has received state and federal Sundry Notice approvals for the amendment of the drilling permit related to the forthcoming “twinned” redrill of the State 36-2 well. These are the final regulatory approvals required for the Company to spud the State 36-2R well on its project in the Paradox Basin, Utah, U.S. ZPHR said it was pleased to have cleared the final regulatory hurdles for the spud of the State 36-2R well and looked forward to next steps, including the execution of a rig contract and mobilisation of operations to the site.

Comment: We have seen some green shoots of share price recovery at ZPHR, something which today’s RNS may support. However, it is difficult to say that the company is doing any more than bumping along the bottom.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY), the fully integrated commercial biotechnology company, provided a trading update for the six months ended 31 December 2023 ahead of its Half Year Results which will be announced in March 2024. AGY said it expects revenue for the six months ended 31 December 2023 to be £33.6 million (2022: £39.9 million) representing a reduction of 16% on a reported and constant currency basis. This decrease in revenue is attributed to the allocation of manufacturing capacity to investigational medicinal product batches for use in clinical trials, as previously reported.

Comment: It is fortunate that the market has already factored it the revenue dip at AGY, something which now out of the way may allow the stock to continue its nascent recovery, and ideally a Q1 2024 return to former August resistance near 4p.

hVIVO (HVO), the world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials, announced that it has been informed by certain Directors of the Company of their intention to sell not less than 14,000,000 ordinary shares at a price of 28 pence in order to satisfy strong institutional demand.

Comment: Given how strong the fundamental performance at HVO is, one cannot be surprised that there is strong institutional interest in the company, as it transitions from being a small cap to a true world class leader in its field. It would not be a surprise if there was a break of the key 30p share price resistance zone sooner rather than later.

Bradda Head Lithium (BHL), the North America-focused lithium development group, announces results from a gravity survey conducted at its Basin clay project in Arizona. The gravity survey was completed in late 2023 and post-processing has revealed a significant gravity low over the Basin North area, interpreted as a deep, depositional centre for sedimentary rocks and a deep basement rock geological setting. BHL said the results from this first-ever gravity based geophysical survey in our Basin district in Arizona USA add to its confidence to reach its new target resource no. of 2.5mt of LCE with a limited amount of further drilling. This cost-effective campaign is designed to allow us to unlock a further US$3m payment from LRC.

Comment: It would appear that BHL has decided to go for a low profile approach in recent months, with only drilling updates such as today to interrupt the relative radio silence. The sizzle here though, is the reminder that a chunky royalty payment is what is being chased.

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals (HEMO), the clinical stage biopharmaceutical group, announced that it has demonstrated in vivo that its proprietary Chimeric Bait Receptor can be delivered intranasally in the form of messenger RNA for the potential treatment of airborne viral infections. HEMO said this major breakthrough in the method of delivery of its CBR demonstrates that it could potentially be used as an off-the-shelf prevention and/or treatment for viral infections. Intranasal delivery of CBR would be both cost-efficient and easy to administer, making it ideal for the protection of both the civilian population and in biodefense.

Comment: HEMO finesses its recent FDA win, with the CBR breakthrough. This is something which underlines that far from being a one trick pony, the company is currently firing on multiple cylinders.

Fusion Antibodies (FAB), specialists in pre-clinical antibody discovery, announced that it has conditionally raised £1,375,000 by way of a placing of at 4p. FAB said it was very pleased to have been able to complete this fundraise in challenging market conditions. It decided to go ahead with this Placing following the various agreements it signed in 2023. The net proceeds of this Placing will provide the Company with increased resources to target additional industry conferences and customers, generate supporting data for its key platforms and extend its working capital runway.

Comment: The recent lid on FAB shares implied that a fundraise was in the wings. Fans of FAB will now be hoping that the shares can re-rate off the back of the company now being able to fulfil its burgeoning pipeline.

Agronomics Limited (ANIC), the listed company focused on the field of cellular agriculture,  announced its unaudited interim results for the six-month period ending 31 December 2023. ANIC said it anticipates a number of positive developments within the portfolio during 2024.  With the first regulatory approvals for the field now having been granted in major jurisdictions such as the US, it was confident that in 2024 it will witness additional regulatory approvals and commercial partnerships from companies within the Agronomics portfolio.

Comment: Alas trading at nearly half NAV is par for the course for many investment companies these days, whatever the merits of the portfolio. This point is underlined by the way that shares of ANIC have retraced from last month’s blink and you missed it rally.

Europa Oil & Gas (EOG), the AIM quoted UK, Ireland and West Africa focused oil and gas exploration, development and production company, announced an extension to licence PEDL 343 located in the East Midlands of the UK, which contains the Cloughton gas discovery. Europa is operator of the licence with a 40% interest. The North Sea Transition Authority notified Europa that it has agreed to a two-year extension of the Initial Term to 20 July 2026 and a two-year extension of the Second Term to 20 July 2028 for PEDL 343. The extension will enable the Company to continue its ongoing work on the licence.

Comment: It is pleasing that the NSTA is stepping up to the plate in terms of resisting the green / Just Stop Oil brigade. Energy security is the name of the game in the wake of Ukraine et al, and such a backdrop is supportive to EOG.