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RNS Hotlist July 19: Afentra, Atome, Argo, Audioboom, Bidstack, Invinity, Optibiotix, Pennpetro, ValiRx


RNS Hotlist July 19: Afentra, Atome, Argo, Audioboom, Bidstack, Invinity, Optibiotix, Pennpetro, ValiRx

Audioboom (BOOM), the podcast company, announced its unaudited half-year results for the six months ended 30 June 2023. The company said that while we have been disappointed with the softer advertising market since the second half of 2022 which has caused it to reduce expectations, its model has delivered CAGR of 65% over the previous five years and led it to outperform the wider podcast market consistently during that time. It continues to refine and adapt its model so that it is primed for further success, which will be seen in the second half of 2023 as it moves back into a positive growth phase.

Comment: Understandably brave talk from BOOM regarding the advertising market, and CAGR of up 65% over 5 years. The real issue is  why and how the company has previously not been able to and continues not to communicate adequately with the market, somewhat ironically for one involved in communication e.g. backtracking on the dividend. It will be interesting to see if CAGR will be up 65% over the next 5 years.

ValiRx (VAL), a life science company,  announced an operational update on the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Inaphaea BioLabs Limited. VAL said it is gratifying that the first external client secured by Inaphaea is benefiting from the PDCs we recently acquired. It is looking forward to working closely with this client, and hope for this to be the first contract in a substantial working relationship.  With the first revenues now being generated by Inaphaea, it was delighted that its service offering is being well received and welcomed by its intended client base.

Comment: With shares of VAL at three year lows, today’s announcement is timely, and hopefully will be enough to start proving the business model of the company.

OptiBiotix Health (OPTI), a life sciences business, provided an overview of its SweetBiotix® product range in the light of recent news interest in sweeteners. OPTI said the development of a unique product concept within an industry is high risk, particularly in the food industry where one is competing in an industry dominated by a small number of large global players with demanding requirements. OptiBiotix has looked to overcome these challenges by working closely with partners during the product development process and believes it has created a product portfolio of sweet prebiotic fibres, called SweetBiotix®, which meet a large and growing unmet industry and consumer need. SweetBiotix® are unique in being classified as dietary fibres creating the opportunity to replace unhealthy calorific and cariogenic sugars with healthy fibres in a wide range of food and beverage products or as an ingredient in its own right.

Comment: Although the attitude amongst the general public with regard to Aspartame may be that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, most would probably welcome a non-carcinogenic sweetener. OPTI could certainly put itself on the map with SweetBiotix®. Given the perennial bear market in the stock, this would be most welcome.

Argo Blockchain (ARB), a cryptocurrency mining group, announced the successful pricing of the non-pre-emptive placing at 10p per Placing Share raising gross proceeds of approximately £5.134 million. The company said the proceeds of the Capital Raise will be used to reduce the company’s outstanding indebtedness and to pursue strategic growth projects.

Comment: Interestingly enough ARB could have raised much needed cash into rallies in the stock a few times in recent months, but today it finally gets one over the line, albeit at a rather hefty discount.

Pennpetro Energy (PPP), an independent oil and gas company, announced it has now completed the legal processes in Texas to complete the transaction with Millennium PetroCapital Corporation, as announced on 27 June 2023, to increase its stake in the Whistling Straits 5H well from a 25% working interest to a 100% WI with 75% net revenue interest and to assume operatorship of the well with immediate effect in addition to 2,036.38 acres of oil leases. The company said it has fortuitously gone from having a minority interest in just the Whistling Straights #5 well, to now having operatorship and a 100% interest in four (4) potential oil production wells in Gonzales County in Texas.  This is a big game changer for the Company.

Comment: After a strong start PPP shares have been back peddling. Today’s news could / should be the trigger for a decent recovery in interest, if not in the share price.

Afentra (AET) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Afentra (Angola) Ltd, has signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement with Azule Energy Angola Production B.V.  to purchase a 12% interest in Block 3/05 and a 16%1 interest in Block 3/05A, offshore Angola for a firm consideration of $48.5 million and deferred contingent payments of up to $36 million subject to oil price, production and development conditions. The company said it was delighted to have agreed terms with Azule and signed the SPA increasing Afentra’s interest in the high-quality producing Block 3/05 and a material increase in our Block 3/05A interest offering access to existing discovered resources. This highly accretive transaction further demonstrates the Company’s commercial discipline and focus on robust cash flow, increasing its net production to ~6 kbbl/d and 2P reserves to 32 mmbbls.

Comment: Afentra shares have been a firm market in recent months, and today’s chunky RNS underlines the reason why as far as its deal making capabilities. It is all about execution in the small cap space.

Invinity Energy Systems (IES), a manufacturer of utility-grade energy storage, updated on current trading ahead of its AGM today. The company said it has performed strongly in the year to date and continues to trade in line with expectations as set out in its 2022 Full Year Results and Current Trading announcement on 28 June 2023. Driven primarily by the delivery of a number of large-scale projects in the U.S., Canada and Australia, the company advises that it now expects to recognise total income of no less than £13.0m for the first half of 2023 (HY22: £1.4m), representing a more than 9.3x increase period-on-period and a 3.6x increase when compared to total FY22 income (£3.6m).

Comment: IES has been pleasantly surprising in recent months in terms of genuinely performing strongly and proving its business mode.

Golden Rock Global (GCG), a SPAC, provided an update on potential acquisition discussions. Further to the announcement made 28 June 2022, the Board of Golden Rock has been working with a small number of potential acquisition targets and is pleased to announce that it has now short listed two of these with an expectation of moving forward with one in the near future. Any acquisition, if completed, would constitute a Reverse Takeover. The Board said it still feels that the company’s current share price continues to undervalue the company and would be looking to conclude any acquisition at a valuation that would represent fairer value to shareholders.

Comment: It is good to see GCG deliver the kind of upbeat update that we normally only see in a bull market. It will be interesting to see whether the stock really is undervalued.

Bidstack Group (BIDS) reported that the 5.2% of its shareholders requesting an GM to vote in a new CEO has been withdrawn.  Prior to this board changes were made and the AGM this Friday the 21st July, will allow the current management to respond to the deep dissatisfaction that caused these shareholders to revolt. Bidstack raised £10.4m in October 2022 at 2.85p to conquer the world of in-game advertising with its brand activation platform but then reported a £7.7m loss for the year-end to December. It had £8.7m left in which to grow  a global network of premium developers and game publishers.

Comment: There is a good chance for price recovery from its low of 0.85p, although the business case is yet to be proved.

ATOME (ATOM), the green hydrogen, ammonia, and fertiliser project development company, announced an update on its Paraguay operations. The company said major progress continues to be made on all levels of the Company with significant milestones being achieved. Whilst it recognises that it has set itself a challenging target for FID at the Villeta Project at or around the end of the year, it is progressing with its technical and funding partners in a systematic manner in order to achieve that goal.

Comment: Given the recent share price disappointment, ATOM really needed to progress its business model. Today’s news may at least be a psychological boost for shareholders.

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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