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Tesco (TSCO) reported its Q1 2024/25 trading statement. TESCO said market share was growing ahead of all key competitors, up +52bps to 27.6%, supported by 15 consecutive periods of positive switching gains. Food sales up +5.0%, including strong volume growth across the quarter, particularly in fresh food; non-food sales up +0.7%, driven by strong growth in clothing. Following another strong quarter, it was pleased to reiterate its guidance for the full year, with sales trends in line with its expectations and the business well-positioned for the months ahead.

Comment: It would be interesting to understand the interaction between TSCO being perceived as providing value in a cost of living crisis, and those who are not cash strapped veering to the retailer on the basis of a perceived improvement in quality. 300p a share looks to be fair given the latest news, and after a decent run already.

Raspberry Pi announced that its entire issued ordinary share capital, consisting of 193,415,715 Shares, has today been admitted to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority and to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market for listed securities under the ticker “RPI”.

Comment: Presumably all the service providers here are jumping for joy as RPI has been a story and company that essentially IPO’d itself. One would imagine that there will be some who missed out on buying the stock looking for a dip in coming weeks.

Pantheon Resources (PANR), the oil and gas company with a 100% working interest in the Kodiak and Ahpun fields updated the market. PANR estimates the funding up until the point of Ahpun FID is in the range US$60 – US$85 million. PANR said that a year ago it embarked on a refreshed strategy to drive progress towards financial self-sufficiency as quickly as possible and at minimum possible value dilution to existing shareholders. The progress of the past twelve months – independently certifying the contingent resource estimates and securing a significant agreement for the potential long term gas supply with the State of Alaska – have the potential to significantly de-risk the Company, and could at the same time, shrink the remaining funding requirement to manageable proportions.

Comment: Although the shares briefly spiked to 45p in April, it may be that the $60-$85m funding matter could be preying on one or two people’s minds. Ideally the shares now stay on the right side of recent 25p support.

First Class Metals (FCM) the UK listed metals exploration company seeking economic metal discoveries across its extensive Canadian, focused in northern Ontario land holdings announced its audited annual results for the year ended 31 December 2023. FCM said it was continuously evaluating and advancing various strategies to enhance the value of our portfolio and ensure the sustainable growth of the company. To this end, it is exploring potential joint ventures, partial divestments, or even project sales that align with our objective of maximizing value within the shortest possible timeframe. The board of directors is fully committed to exploring innovative ways to unlock the full potential of our assets and capitalize on strategic opportunities as they arise.

Comment: FCM certainly deserves A for effort in terms of its activities, that underline how tough life is currently for explorers on the London market. As the company suggests, it will literally leave no stone unturned in terms of extracting value from its portfolio.

Arc Minerals (ARCM), an exploration company forging partnerships to discover and develop Tier 1 copper deposits, announced the commencement of an exploration drilling programme over its PL135/2017 and PL162/2017 licences at its Virgo Project within the highly prospective Central Structural Corridor of the Kalahari Copper Belt in the Republic of Botswana.  On 30 May 2024, the Company reported on the results of an encouraging Induced Polarisation Survey which confirmed potential drill targets along two distinct trends of high chargeability close to the interpreted redox contact.

Comment: A stock with plenty of speculation surrounding it, and not a few false dawns. At least the actual on the ground activities continue.

Bradda Head Lithium (BHL), the North America-focused lithium development group, provided drill hole geochemical results for its Basin Project in Arizona. The lithium-in-clay, resource-expansion drilling programme has concluded with the completion of eight drill holes on the Basin North target portion of the Basin project and all assays have been received. A resource expansion exceeding 2.5 MT of lithium carbonate equivalent would generate a US$3 million royalty payment to Bradda Head from Lithium Royalty Company.

Comment: With a £6m market cap, the market should be licking its lips at the prospect of $3m hitting the bank account sooner rather than later. Perhaps just as important is that the pesky seller in the stock has, or will depart soon.

Zephyr Energy (ZPHR), the Rocky Mountain oil and gas company, provided an update on operations on the State 36-2R LNW-CC well at the Company’s flagship project in the Paradox Basin, Utah, U.S.  ZPHR said it was delighted that drilling operations have completed safely and successfully.  It can now look forward to commencing the highly anticipated production test over the course of the next fortnight.

Comment: There has been a great and stealthy rally in ZPHR shares, and with newsflow like today one would expect this to continue towards the main 7-8p resistance zone.