Poolbeg Pharma (POLB), a biopharmaceutical company, announced promising in vivo results for POLB 001 in addressing cancer immunotherapy-induced CRS. POLB said POLB 001 has the potential to revolutionise the impact of cancer immunotherapies by enabling safer and broader use in an outpatient setting, reducing healthcare resource utilisation and making these next generation cancer treatments more widely available to the patients that need them.
Comment: POLB really is sitting on a revolutionary advance in the biopharmaceutical space, one which is being helped along by the AI breakthrough in its space, a market opportunity of $1bn.
Corero Network (CNS) Trading Update for the December Y/E reported ARR (Annualised Recurring Revenues) increasing 17% to $16.9m. CNS provide real-time, high performance automatic DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) cyber defence solutions on multi-year contracts with ‘blue chip’ clients. Revenue is expected to be up 11% to cir, $22.3m, although EBITDA at around $2.2m is slightly lower and the loss at the Interims was $1.2m. The demand for its DDoS subscription service protection remains robust, with 2023 being another record year for online threats. A $1m plus contract was won from a new channel partner in Brazilian potentially expanding into a substantial new market. It’s recently announced partnership with Akamai has secured its first two new DDPaaS customer wins. Its net cash of $5.2m is after repaying $1.2m of loans. Its profit margins are over 90% so it’s a scalable business and increasing sales will accelerate it towards break-even and profits.
Comment: At 8p with a £40m mkt cap on a lack of earnings level the shares are about right, it should perhaps consider a dual listing in the US.
Tirupati Graphite (TGR), the specialist flake graphite company announced it has raised gross proceeds of £1,045,000 by way of a private placing at a placing price of 11p. In addition to the Placing, the Company has accepted a subscription from certain directors and members of the senior management team. TGR said that since the beginning of the current financial year, it has continued to ramp up operations at its projects despite having limited cash resources. This Placing will support the business while it continues to pursue non-dilutive capital raising efforts. The Placing and subscription will enable it to focus on increasing production and sales from its Madagascar operations which has been restricted due to limited working capital availability.
Comment: It is all about ramping up production for TGR, with the hope being that today’s fundraise is the last required to get production up to the goal of 36,000 tons. Should this be the case, with the shares at such low levels, investors could be looking at something of a bargain.
Oxford BioDynamics (OBD), a biotechnology company developing precision medicine tests based on the EpiSwitch® 3D genomics platform, announced its final results for the year ended 30 September 2023. OBD said it now has two precision medicine tests on the market, each with a unique CPT-PLA code in the US. It has established and is now running PSE tests from its own CLIA-registered clinical operations laboratory in Frederick, MD, with a UK lab scheduled to begin operation by the end of March 2024. It has received a second prestigious PACT Award, a further sign of the growing recognition of the power of its EpiSwitch® technology to address seemingly intractable problems with non-invasive precision medicine testing.
Comment: What OBD has not said is that in 2023 the company was one of the few small cap winners on the stock market whose share price multi-bagged on transformational newsflow, and stayed up. This clearly bodes very well for 2024 prospects.
Arrow Exploration (AXL), the high-growth operator with a portfolio of assets across key Colombian hydrocarbon basins, gave an operations update. Arrow expects the CN-4 well, targeting the Ubaque formation at CN, will spud in the latter half of January. Oso Pardo-1 (OP-1), on the Santa Isabel Block in the Middle Magdalena Valley Basin of Colombia, is back on production after the pump was changed in late December. The Oso Pardo-3 (OP-3) and Oso Pardo-4 (OP-4) development wells were both drilled successfully targeting the Umir formation.
Comment: How a company with such great management, exploration track record, and impressive production / cashflow has managed to keep a lid on its share price is something of a mystery. But so far it has done just that. Below 20p remains a bargain.
Marula Mining (AQSE: MARU), an African focused mining and development company, is pleased to announce that the Company has appointed Mr Collins Aseto as Head of Exploration in East Africa. Mr Aseto is a geoscientist with over 15 years of experience in resource development, having previously worked at Lonmin Plc, Anglo American Plc, and Acacia Mining Ltd, where he served as Senior Geologist.
Comment: Beefing up the team is always important to a growing company, especially in the mining space. Mr Aseto’s CV speaks for itself in what he could bring to the table at Marula.
WeCap (WCAP) announced that, it has subscribed for a further £900,000 of CLNs in WeShop. This follows the Company’s previous subscriptions of £2.85m in the same instrument. The conversion price for the CLNs is £2 per WeShop ordinary share and a maturity date of 24 November 2024. Based on the most recent fundraise into WeShop, the value of the WeCap holdings in WeShop would be approximately £24.6m.
Comment: While stock market recognition looks as though it may still be some way away, in the meantime WeCap’s holding in WeShop just under £25m is nothing to be sniffed at.
Catenae Innovation (CTEA), the AIM quoted provider of digital media and technology, announced a proposed change of name to Catenai plc, proposed capital organisation and increase of authorisation to issue shares on a non pre-emptive basis, which will require the approval of shareholders. The Company has renewed its £250,000 convertible loan note facility with Sanderson Capital for a further 12 months (to January 2025). To date, the Company has drawn down £131,000 of the Facility, being £81,000 under the previous Facility and £50,000 under the renewed Facility.
Comment: Given how important Sanderson is in the small cap space as a source of liquidity, the fact that the company is involved here at CTEA does suggest that a “watch this space” approach may be warranted.
Ariana Resources (AAU), the AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company, announced the full-year production results for the year ended 31 December 2023 for the Kiziltepe Mine in Turkey. AAU said Kiziltepe has now recorded seven highly successful years of production and the mine continues to perform extremely well. It is currently working towards completing an updated Resource/Reserve Estimate, as it plans to bring Kiziltepe mining operations to a close over the next few years.
Comment: Considering that AAU has been a serious player for quite some time, it is surprising that the company has not perhaps had the level of stock market engagement and valuation it deserves.
Acuity RM Group (ACRM), the software group, updated on trading for its year ended 31 December 2023. The pipeline of sales prospects has increased to £7.9m as at 31 December 2023 from £4.2m in March 2023 with £1.4m from partners at 31 December 2023 (2022: £800,000). ACRM said the nine months of trading from 1 April 2023 to 31 December 2023 shows real progress and the indications are that the pace of expansion is increasing. There is much to do but the opportunity is large and it expects further significant progress in 2024.
Comment: ACRM has, as it has said, made real progress, something which the share price at 4.75p is not reflective of. The sales pipeline alone merits a share price on the right side of 10p.