Skip to main content

Your stock market edge

EARNZ (EARN) announced the appointment of Elizabeth Lake as a Non-Executive Director with immediate effect. Bob Holt, Executive Chairman of EARNZ, said he pleased to welcome Elizabeth to the Board and looks forward to working with her as continue to search for acquisition opportunities. Elizabeth brings a range of experience and skills spanning multiple sectors and will be a valuable addition to the Company.

Comment: With a first class track record in the public markets, we await with bated breath what will happen to the former Verditek, given someone of Bob Holts pedigree at the helm.

Vinanz (AQSE: BTC), the London listed Bitcoin mining company,  announced that it acquired the first ten units of S21 Bitmain Antminer 200 Terahash miners to start upgrading the processing power of Vinanz’s North American bitcoin mining fleet in preparation for the up and coming bitcoin halving event estimated to occur around the 20th April 2024. BTC said it has ordered an initial batch of Bitmain Antminer S21 200TH/s machines to test their compatibility with the racking space it uses in Canada, their connectivity, processing speed and bitcoin mining rates. Once tested, Vinanz plans to use these S21 miners as the new backbone of our mining fleet as it moves through the April halving and beyond.

Comment: Probably the only stock on the London market with no “red candles” on its daily stock chart since November, BTC is riding the new record breaking crypto run for every dollar. Today’s machines upgrade finesses this position.

Sovereign Metals (SVML) announced its Half-Year Accounts. At 31 December 2023, the Group had cash reserves of $39,436,707 (30 June 2023: $5,564,376) placing it in an excellent financial position to continue with the development of Kasiya. During the period Rio Tinto made an investment of A$40.6 million in Sovereign resulting in an initial 15% shareholding plus options to increase their position to potentially 19.99% within 12 months.

Comment: One can never mention Rio Tinto with relation to SVML enough, given the way that even after all this time, the shares are essentially the same price as before RIO knocked on the door with its initial 15% stake.

Power Metal Resources (POW), the London listed exploration company, announced the signing of a HoT to conditionally dispose of the Company’s entire 49.9% interest in New Ballarat Gold Corporation plc which wholly owns Red Rock Australasia Pty Limited, the local operating company holding exploration interests in the Victoria Goldfields, Australia and in South Australia. POW said it has now agreed to dispose of its interest in NBGC to joint venture partner Red Rock Resources plc. The Transaction enables the ownership of NBGC to be focused in one entity which is the optimal holding structure for its continuing development.  It is also part of a streamlining process of the Power Metal portfolio converting the NBGC interest into a balance sheet investment holding and additional incoming cash.

Comment: CEO Sean Wade has really got POW ship shape since his arrival at the company last year, and honing the company in terms of core and non core investments is part of the process, as we have witnessed today.

NetScientific (NSCI), the deep tech and life sciences VC investment group, provided a business, strategy and portfolio update for the year ended 31 December 2023, and the period to date. NSCI said that with a more diversified investment approach, it was preparing for profitable investment returns and strategic divestments that align with its growth strategy. It is now also actively exploring new fund opportunities which fit its criteria and expertise.

Comment: While one might count the number of people familiar with NSCI and what it does on the fingers of one hand, it is the case that the company has been positioning itself well in its deep tech space, and one would expect a return towards last year’s resistance through 80p, sooner rather than later.

Afentra (AET), the upstream oil and gas company, updated on its operations. AET said the strong performance of the Block 3/05 and 3/05A assets has continued into 2024 and highlights the significant upside potential of these assets. It expects the Angolan government’s approval of the Azule Acquisition to be given in the coming weeks, and this will enable it to proceed with the completion of its third transaction in the country, providing Afentra with meaningful exposure to both of these quality assets.

Comment: AET has been one of the steadier ships in terms of its position in the small cap space, and one would fully expect a push to new 2024 share price highs through 40p in coming days and weeks.

Centaur Media (CAU) reported finals to December where a transformation is underway and  comfortably exceeded management EBITDA margin expectations. It is an international provider of business intelligence, learning and specialist consultancy in the fast chancing  Legal and Marketing sectors. Its ongoing revenue is slightly lower at £37.3m and adjusted EBITDA increased to 26% from 21% following through to a PBT improvement of 75% to £4.9m. The EPS is 4.2p giving a P/E of less than 10x, while yielding 4.5%. In 2019 the business was transformed by divesting/ selling 21 of its smaller and ex-growth brands managing to raise £16.3m of which £8m was paid out as a special dividend, and the net cash is £9.5m. The focus is increasingly  on the higher quality revenue streams of Premium Content,  Training and Advisory representing  76% of revenue which is  valuable repeat and recurring. The Board have, been persistently buying shares back most recently paying 38.8p. The top three shareholders own over 50% , Harwood Capital 28.8%. Aberforth,  23.9% and Hearld 7.3%.

Comment:  At 40p with a £58m mkt cap the new strategy seems to be going well and should be worth a premium.

Quantum Blockchain Technologies (QBT), the AIM-listed investment company, provided an update of its recent R&D activities in the development of its disruptive Bitcoin mining technologies. QBT said all of the large North American and Chinese Bitcoin mining and chip manufacturing companies with whom QBT has engaged, are waiting for the results of its live tests, in particular with Method A and B, using currently available commercial mining rigs, before it can move to the commercial stage  As announced on 20 October 2023, it can confirm that Method A and B have been redesigned to be technically available as a SaaS client-server cloud application.

Comment: Given how hot the area that QBT is in, it is perhaps surprising that the shares have not rallied that significantly of late, indeed, the open today sees the shares down 20%. Perhaps a rather more serious comms effort is required?

OptiBiotix Health (OPTI), a life sciences business, announced it has signed a partnership agreement with Dr Morepen Ltd for the sale of SlimBiome® containing products in India under the Dr Morepen brand. Morepen is a 100% owned subsidiary of Morepen Laboratories Ltd, an Indian pharmaceutical company listed on the Indian Stock Exchange. OPTI said it was pleased to announce this agreement with Morepen, a well-known and trusted supplier to pharmacies, physicians, and retail customers across India.  Morepen brings an extensive sales team with experience of highly differentiated scientific products and countrywide access to a network of around 500,000 pharmacies across India. Based on current forecasts, the Directors anticipate this agreement could contribute in the region of £6-7 million revenue per annum in the next four to five years.

Comment: The international rollout is continuing apace at OPTI – and it is starting to show. All that it left is that the post summer 2023 consolidation in the stock gives way to a fresh rally through 30p.

Hochschild Mining (HOC) announced its final results. The company said it made strong progress at its new Mara Rosa mine in Brazil, which is now in production, on time and on budget. Furthermore, it obtained a crucial permit at Inmaculada in Peru, ensuring an exciting, long-term future for the operation. It remains confident of a strong year ahead as it continues to execute its stated strategy of driving long-term production growth whilst reducing costs.

Comment: Final results highlight declining profit margins and deepening balance sheet losses which justify the 6 month sideways chart trend around the £1.00 per share barometer. However, increased productivity in the New Mara Rosa discovery and steepening in the underlying asset should lead to profitability- volatility could be a traders dream in the coming weeks.

Anglo American (AAL) announced the value of rough diamond sales for De Beers’ second sales cycle of 2024, amounting to $430 million.

Comment: The company reported rough diamond trade profit of $430m provisional and $374 actual sales in Q1 to date. Interesting to note declining purchasing from US retailers and a slowing in Chinese demand, whilst growth from India sparkles alone. One would expect high end luxury and jewellery to have topped out and AAL to encounter greater challenges for the foreseeable future. The share price below 50 day suggests trading opportunities near term.

The Gym Group (GYM) announced its 2023 Full Year Results. Revenue for the year increased by 18%, with average members up 8% and average revenue per member per month up 9%; like-for-like revenue grew 8%. GYM said with a strong start to 2024, and clear signs that demand for health and fitness has never been stronger, these are solid foundations on which to build our Next Chapter growth plan.

Comment: Results for the year point to beats on the top and bottom line, a remarkable achievement given the inflationary environment of the previous year. New CEO Will Orr, previously of Premier Inns fame, has a proven track record confirms ‘there is substantial headroom for low cost gyms in the UK’. One would agree the roll-out of 100 new sites make this stock seem cheap around £1.09p.

Balfour Beatty (BBY) announced full year results for the year ended December 31 2023. Revenue was up 7% to £9.6 billion (2022: £8.9 billion. Underlying profit from operations from earnings-based businesses up 2% to £236 million (2022: £232 million). BBY said the Group’s reliability and resilience has again delivered a solid performance, with increased revenue and profit from its earnings-based businesses and strong operating cash flow. This success against a challenging economic backdrop is driven by its disciplined contract risk management across a geographically and operationally diversified portfolio.

Comment: A strong order book, healthy balance sheet and sound operative model underpin the value of this construction heavyweight and the yield remains favourable to investors.