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STOCK MARKET NEWS – RNS HOTLIST

RNS Hotlist June 9: Acuity RM, Altona, Hummingbird, Oberon, Shoezone, Versarien

09/06/2023

RNS Hotlist June 9: Acuity RM, Altona, Hummingbird, Oberon, Shoezone, Versarien

Acuity RM Group (ACRM) announced that it has won a new customer for its STREAM™ Integrated Risk Manager software product. The company said it is focussing on its partners as the channel to accelerate its growth.  Whilst the first orders are often small; as both partners and customers grow in confidence it expects a significant multiplier effect to grow its customer base, orders and so revenues.  Further with recent publicity about cybersecurity breaches at major British companies there is increasing awareness of the need for security measures and many of its partners are cyber security specialists.

Comment: The positive momentum continues for the company formerly known as Drumz. It is clear that ACRM’s software offering is currently hotter than July, and right on the zeitgeist given heightened cyber security concerns.

Oberon Investments Group (AQSE: OBE), the boutique investment management group, announced that it has received FCA approval for the change of control in Logic Investments Ltd and has therefore completed the acquisition of its majority stake in Logic. Logic has also raised £500,000 funding from the family office of John Gunn. Logic has developed its own proprietary FinTech platform and provides custody and operations services to third-party wealth managers. Oberon said it was thrilled to welcome the Logic team into the Oberon Group.  It was also excited about the involvement of John Gunn and his family interests as an investor in Logic.

Comment: It is worth noting one of the few OBE RNS’s which does not involve the company announcing a new hire from the great and good of the City. The latest news of a purchase from City bigwig John Gunn, is a decent operational move by OBE.

Altona Rare Earths Plc (REE), a mining exploration company, announced the admission of the company’s entire issued share capital today to the Official List by way of a ‎Standard Listing. The company has raised gross proceeds of £2.0 million at 5p through an oversubscribed placing of £1,677,300 and a subscription of £322,700.

Comment: Congratulations are in order to all concerned at REE on today’s admission to the official list, after what has been a long journey. The company should now be able to enjoy and capitalise on being right at the heart of the rare earth metals gold rush.

Hummingbird Resources (HUM) announced first gold pour at the Kouroussa Gold Mine in Guinea on 08 June 2023, ahead of the end of Q2-2023 schedule and on budget. The company said the achievement of first gold pour at its second operating mine, Kouroussa in Guinea, is a major strategic milestone for the company, transforming Hummingbird into a multi-asset, multi-jurisdiction gold producer, that more than doubles its production profile to 200,000+ oz pa. Kouroussa is the second mine Hummingbird has built on time and on budget, made up of a construction team of African and predominately (80%) Guinean personnel. Its operations team is now focussed on safely ramping up towards name plate production, expected during H2-2023.

Comment: Hummingbird has its white smoke above the Vatican in terms of the first gold pour at Kouroussa, and this has been achieved on time and on budget. While the shares have rebounded well since March, it can be said that the market is yet to factor in the latest doubled production profile at the company.

Versarien (VRS), the advanced engineering materials group, announced its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 31 March 2023. The company said the period under review was extremely challenging from a financial perspective, both from a balance sheet point of view and with the decline in Graphene revenues reflecting the ending of the DSTL development contract. However, following the Annual General Meeting it has, with the assistance of David Stone and his team, been developing a strategy that focuses on maintaining appropriate IP to support its core end-sectors of construction and textiles whilst reducing cash-outflows to a level that can be supported by proposed asset sales, marketing of which is in process.  It believes this strategy will ensure a brighter future for Versarien.

Comment: It would appear that the turnaround strategy at VRS has been enough to scare and squeeze out the bears, with the shares rising from 1p to 6.5p at best over the past month. Presumably, they have had more than their fingers burnt, and not surprisingly have at least for now, gone quiet about badmouthing the company.

Shoe Zone (SHOE) announced that since the publication of its Interim results on 16 May 2023, trading has exceeded expectations due to particularly strong recent trading through May and early June. This is a combination of strong early demand for summer products and lower container rates contributing to improved margins. As a result, the Company now expects adjusted profit before tax for the financial year ending 2 October 2023 to be not less than £10.5m.

Comment: Although one might expect that during a cost of living crisis consumers may be focused on buying groceries and paying for energy bills, it would appear that when the going gets tough, the tough buy shoes as keenly as Imelda Marcos. Shares of SHOE have five bagged since the lows in autumn 2020 off the back of what appears to be the nation’s footwear addiction.

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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