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RNS Hotlist July 14: Caracal, Equipmake, Haydale, McBride, Spiritus, Upland, Versarien, Zoo


RNS Hotlist July 14: Caracal, Equipmake, Haydale, McBride, Spiritus, Upland, Versarien, Zoo

Equipmake (EQIP), the UK-based engineering specialist, announced a trading update in line with expectations for the year ended 31 May 2023. The company said it came to the public market in July 2022 with a vision and plan to consolidate and grow our bus and coach electrification business.  Fast forward one year, and it has systematically accomplished all its main areas of focus for this core business and has also broadened its investor opportunity by encompassing licensing revenues and accessing key, and strategically valuable, adjacent markets which are ripe for further growth.

Comment: EQIP has been something of an unsung hero in terms of recent IPO’s, something which rather comes as a default setting for companies listed on AQUIS. Nevertheless, it is clear that the company is thriving in its niche, and therefore where it is listed becomes less of a factor.

ZOO Digital Group (ZOO), a provider of end-to-end cloud-based localisation and media services to the global entertainment industry, provided guidance on its interpretation of IFRS 15 ahead of full year results, which are now expected to be announced in early August 2023, and an update on Q1 trading. ZOO said it expects to be in an even stronger position with several customers following a rationalisation of their supplier bases with ZOO selected as one of a smaller number of vendors. Consequently, the Board expects the Company to take further share of the media localisation market once former business levels resume. It is reasonable to expect this to be in the second half of the current financial year, and on this basis the Board currently expects revenue growth to return in the second half of FY24. The Group is financially strong with net cash of $23 million as at 30 June 2023.

Comment: ZOO appears to be positioning itself as a turnaround situation, something which is backed by the chunky cash position. However, with the shares having halved since March, a return to revenue growth in the second half of FY24 may be too long in coming.

Upland Resources (UPL) announced that Upland’s local Joint Venture company, Upland Big Oil Ventures Sdn Bhd has this week met with the Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam, the central authority regulating the Brunei Darussalam oil and gas industry and also separately with Brunei Energy Services & Trading (BEST) a subsidiary of Brunei’s National Oil Company, to discuss collaboration on Block SK334 in Sarawak. UPL said “We look forward to developing this relationship in Brunei further, Block SK334 in Sarawak offers transformational potential, sedimentary basins in Sarawak and Brunei are proven prolific hydrocarbon bearing basins. We are steadily building momentum into the next stage of development, final technical workshops and assessment of prospective resources. Separately, it also recognized the two-year extension from our UK North Sea P2478 Dunrobin Prospect, it is working closely with the joint venture partners to realise its inherent value.

Comment: Given the backing of some of the more informed investors on its shareholder list, and the way that the company is clearly involved in large projects, one might suggest that the decline in the stock from January peaks through 0.8p in January is somewhat harsh.

Versarien (VRS), the advanced materials engineering group, announces it has raised £650,000 at a price of 1.0 pence per share. The company said following the passing of the resolutions at the general meeting held earlier this month, the Board has decided that it would be prudent to raise further finance to assist in bridging to the proposed asset sales.

Comment: The market clearly really appreciated the concept of the VRS’s “turnaround strategy” as delivered by the new management. We will find out whether the market was assuming that the new strategy was more than asking shareholders for yet more cash today.

McBride (MCB), the European manufacturer and supplier of private label and contract manufactured products for the domestic household and professional cleaning and hygiene markets, provides a trading update for the twelve months ended 30 June 2023. The company said as a result of the strong fourth quarter trading performance, the Group now anticipates that adjusted operating profit will be materially ahead of current market expectations and at the top end of the range indicated at the time of our trading statement on 24 April 2023.

Comment: MCB today delivers one of the sweetest phrases in the stock market lexicon, “materially ahead of current market expectations.” It will be interesting to see whether in current rather straightened stock market conditions, the shares of MCB respond in kind.

Spiritus Mundi plc (SPMU), the SPAC which is seeking to acquire targets in Europe and Asia in the clinical diagnostics sector, has been notified that Zaccheus Peh, Non-executive Chairman of the Company, has purchased on 13 July 2023 at 6.0 pence. Following these transactions, Zaccheus Peh has approximately 12.8% of the company.

Comment: Those who have been following SPMU in recent days will have seen both the sharp share price rise, and the ongoing director buying. The latter continues to be a decent green flag.

Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) has a new use for its graphene  which is to heat water. The prototype is a bit clever as it produces a low-power energy to heat water to an optimum temperature for hygiene when there is an interruption to the gas/ electric supply. It is supplied by a rechargeable battery and can be used in bathroom, showers maybe camping. This follows development for use by Ford Motor’s hydrogen fuel cell E-Transit trial for the graphene enhanced material offering  the prospect of a significant weight reduction by removing the need an inner lining. There is net cash of just under £3m after its £5.1m fund raise in September 2022 at 2p, which allows for at least 4-6months to increase the commercial sales. In the trading update for year-end to June 2023 revenue for next year could be ahead maybe ahead of market expectations, although it is still losing  around £4m a year.

Comment: HAYD suffers from an extraordinary long development to commercial sales cycle and patience and further funding is still required.

Caracal Gold (GCAT) yesterday announced that it has raised £351,000 before expenses though a subscription by high-net-worth individuals at a price of 0.3p.

Comment: The latest funding milestone for CGAT is one that should be one of the key milestones ahead of the company being able to deliver on its strategy, and become a full blooded producer. Holders of the stock will be hoping that the final piece of the jigsaw in this respect will be delivered soon.

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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