Angel Biotech (LON:ABH) (ABH 0.5p / £13.40m)*
AIM listed biopharmaceutical contract manufacturer last week announced the signing of a 5 year pricing agreement with Materia Medica Holding, a leading pharmaceutical company in Russia. Under the agreement, contract prices between the companies are agreed over the next 5 years. It is Materia Medica's intention to sign a minimum of three further GMP manufacturing contracts with Angel over the period with a potential cumulative value of over £4.5m.
Last month saw a run of good announcements for Angel. First a positive update on trading for the year ended 31 December 2010, with over £5.3m of new contracts signed in 2010, and the Company already having signed 81 per cent of revenues forecast for 2011. Second a placing raising £1.94m was announced. And third, right at the end of January, the Company announced that it had signed a new contract with Pathfinder Cell Therapy, a company based in Massachusetts, and focused on the development of its Pathfinder Cell Platform in regenerative cell therapies. The contract is to provide pre-GMP services for this novel cell therapy. It is good to see Angel taking advantage of this market opening up in the US and fully imagine under Obama to see Angel benefitting from a new political openness to stem cell therapies and other advanced biologics.
Angel is in the process of increasing its manufacturing capacity as a direct response to the continuing demand for Angel’s products and to help capitalise on growth in the EU and US market. The recent placing should help with that strategy and great to see the announcement of new contracts underpinning this stellar growth.
Ant (LON:ANTP) (ANTP 32p / £7.77m)
Good news for ANT. Humax, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of set top boxes, has launched its new TV portal which uses ANT’s Galio platform. Humax have released updates to all HDR-FOX T2 Freeview HD Set Top boxes across the UK, thereby resulting in a wider reach of ANT related products. Users are now afforded the luxury of having access to content providers such as Flickr, BBC iPlayer, and in the near future, Sky Player. User experiences will provide a clearer indication as to whether the product will gain traction with the wider market, though Humax’s willingness to roll out the product in what is a highly demanding market (the UK) demonstrates some early confidence in the product. We can’t help but admire the innovative steps being taken by ANT to ensure their product really does do what it says on the tin, as well as the highly respectable collaborations it is engaging in, and we certainly look forward to seeing how this company progresses through this dynamic and exciting industry.
Avingtrans (LON:AVG) (AVG 56.5p / £14.40m)
We write for the first time on Avingtrans, the engineering technology group that serves the aerospace, energy and medical and industrial products markets. Last week the company reported its interim results for the six months ended 30 November 2010 building on the positive trading update issued on 11 January this year. The company attributes the improvement in trading to the global recovery, noting that contracts are with global OEM’s and are not dependent on public sector spending in the UK. The stock has recovered to levels not seen since mid -2008 - reflecting trading that has moved in line with economic conditions - and the announcement of the resumption of the payment of a dividend for the full year should provide further momentum to the share price.
BGlobal (LON:BGBL) (BGBL 31.5p / £31.40m)
The leading provider of smart metering solutions to the energy market announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Samsung C&T Corporation; the Korean based global trading and Investment Company. Under the terms of the MoU, Bglobal and Samsung have agreed to work exclusively with each other in order to provide a fully funded solution for the installation of smart meters across the residential and industrial and commercial sectors in the UK. There are approximately 27 million residential electricity meters in the UK and around 2 million electricity meters in the industrial and commercial sector that will need to be replaced with smart meters. The Government will announce in its Spring Package the technical specification for residential meters and the timescale for the roll out and the relationship with Samsung will mean Bglobal is well placed to play a major role in this market as it develops. It is envisaged that Bglobal and Samsung will establish a joint venture through a special purpose company. Samsung will provide this company with smart meters and will work with Bglobal to secure funding to allow the joint venture to offer a fully funded rental model for the deployment of smart meters by energy suppliers to their residential and commercial customers. This venture will exploit opportunities in energy management and home automation – both of which are enabled through smart metering.
Discovery Metals (LON:DME) (DME 84.5p / £368.95m)
Discovery Metals, a copper exploration and development company, has announced that it has mandated a syndicate of banks to provide debt finance for $180m to provide the remaining funding required completing the DME owned Boseto copper project in Botswana. The project is currently under construction and is expected to be completed and commissioned in H1 2012. $105m of the funds will be used for the Boseto processing plant and the balance of $75m for the Boseto mine mobile fleet. In addition to this finance, the syndicate will provide a $25m overrun and working capital facility plus hedging lines for both copper and silver production. The facility will be secured over the Boseto copper project assets and 100 per cent of the shares the Company owns in the project entity. Clearly this finance facility underpins the Boseto project and we look forward to further positive news from Botswana.
Enegi Oil (LON:ENEG) (ENEG 18.25p / £16.03m)
Enegi Oil, an independent oil and gas group, said that Dragon Lance Management Corporation, the Company’s partner in the development of its Newfoundland regional play, has provided an update of operations on the PaP No.1 Garden Hill South well, saying that the results are an indication of improved connectivity between the well bore and the reservoir which, if maintained, would be expected to result in higher achievable production rates. In a separate announcement, ENEG said it has been offered a 100 per cent interest in an Onshore Petroleum Licensing Option to undertake a work programme on areas of interest in the Clare Basin, located onshore Western Ireland and is within the same fault system trend as the prospects and discovery in the Company’s Newfoundland play. The Company believes that the Clare Basin has the potential to contain shale gas with well log analysis indicating the presence of a hot shale area. Should the work programme, identify prospective targets, the Company intends to apply for the relevant Exploration Licenses. The programme is expected to cost up to £500,000.
Frontier Mining (LON:FML) (FML 7.12p / £132.59m)
The AIM listed gold and copper E&D Company focused on Kazakhstan, announced the completion by independent consultant Wardell Armstrong International of its updated resource estimation, on the Benkala copper deposit in Kazakhstan. Oxide resource increased by a total of 5.9 per cent of Copper and Sulphide resource increased by a total of 9.2 per cent of Copper. This marks an important stage in Frontier's development at Benkala, confirming the project's significant resource endowment and their commitment to the highest technical standards.
Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX) (GPX 329p / £401.06m)
The oil and gas production, E&D Company with activities in Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, Italy and the U.S.A., announced an update on operations in Syria. Testing operations are now complete on the Twaiba-1 exploration well, with recovery of only very high salinity. This well will now be suspended and all the information gathered during the drilling and evaluation operations will be the subject of extensive analysis to determine the likely source of the very high salinity water that appears to be obstructing the flow of any hydrocarbons to surface. Further analysis will be important in continuing the operations of the well.
Lifeline Scientific (LON:LSI) (LSI 237.5p / £19.80m)
Revenues continued to accelerate at Lifeline’s Organ Recovery Systems business throughout the second half of 2010. In a trading update, Lifeline reports that it expects revenues for the period to come in ahead of market expectations at approximately $23m and that profit before tax is likely to be significantly ahead of expectations due to the high operational leverage. Apparently, not only is the number of LifePorts in use increasing, but the usage and associated disposable sales per unit is also increasing. Lifeline is the world’s leading provider of innovative products and services for organ preservation servicing more than 100 renal transplant centres around the world. The Company’s product development efforts are focused on extending the product line with devices for the preservation of the liver, pancreas, heart and lung of which a liver transporter is the most advanced product.
Lonrho (LON:LONR) (LONR 18p / £211.34m)
Lonrho announced that it has signed a Sales and Purchase Agreement to acquire the AFEX Group of Companies ('AFEX') subject to certain conditions, at Lonrho's sole discretion, being satisfied. AFEX is a service provider based in Kenya that owns and manages secure accommodation based in Kenya and Juba, Southern Sudan. Lonrho has purchased 100 per cent of AFEX for an initial cash consideration of US$3m. The existing management of AFEX will remain in place to develop and grow the company during the transitional period. AFEX's main focus of current operations is in supplying secure accommodation in Juba in the Southern Sudan. This infrastructure is in great demand from corporate clients and Government Aid Agencies working in Southern Sudan. For the year ended 31st December 2009, AFEX reported a profit before taxation of US$1.568m. This is a great investment for Lonrho as AFEX brings established access to the rapidly developing Southern Sudan market.
Mariana Resources (LON:MARL) (MARL 43.25p / £78.50m)
The AIM quoted E&D Company focused in Chile and Argentina, provided a good update on exploration activities across the Company's portfolio of gold-silver and copper projects in Argentina. Two diamond drilling rigs commenced drilling in the El Nido area at the beginning of 2011 and the first assay results are expected in the next few weeks. El Nido is an area of highly prospective rhyolite domes west of the Calandria Sur and Calandria Norte gold-silver discoveries, located in the eastern sector of the highly prospective Deseado Massif gold-silver province. Drilling results at the Los Amigos Joint Venture gold-silver project indicated a high level low temperature epithermal system at the Gator target with economic potential at depth. Mariana is in the early stages of drilling, but so far so good.
Medicsight (LON:MDST) (MDST 6p / £9.33m)
Industry leader in the development of Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) and image analysis software, announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Allan Rowley, is to focus entirely on Medicsight as it works towards its anticipated regulatory approvals in the US and Japan. Allan Rowley has resigned as Chief Executive Officer and as a director of MGT Capital Investments Inc. (“MGT”) – the majority shareholder in Medicsight. Whilst there is no guarantee that regulatory approvals will be forthcoming, the Directors of Medicsight believe that as the Company works toward finalising its regulatory approvals in the US and Japan it is well placed for the development and marketing of the Company’s computer-aided detection platform for use in the CT Colonography market post regulatory approval. This recent news will be important for the company's regulatory approval process. If they gain access to the US and Japanese markets, Medicsight should see a bounce in its share price and valuation.
Monitise (LON:MONI) (MONI 25.75p / £179.89m)
Monitise, which provides end-to-end solutions that enable banks and their customers to undertake banking transactions via mobile phones, announced interim results for the 6 months to 31 December 2010. Highlights include an impressive 207 per cent increase in revenue to £5.3m, with gross margins improving to 62 per cent (H1 2010: 54 per cent). Whilst the Company’s pre tax losses for the period widened to £8.7m (H1 2010: £6.7m), much of this was apparently as a result of heavy investment into expanding the Company’s range of services into new markets. This should come as little surprise given the volume of contracts it has tendered for and won over the course of the last year across new territories and we expect this to continue going forward. The business model appears most fascinating and well thought, in that Monitise is spreading its operations rapidly in order to capture many infant and growing markets. We would however keep a close eye on how the Company funds future expansion given the falling level of cash on the Company’s balance sheet.
Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG 0.74p / £11.85m)
Nostra Terra announced that the Agnello number 1 well in the Vintage Hills Prospect in Brazos County, Texas, has been drilled to a total vertical depth of 10,400 feet. The curve into the horizontal leg (the lateral) of the well was successfully completed. The drilling of the horizontal leg is now in progress using modern steering techniques. This is very good news for Nostra in the Successful completion of turn into horizontal leg.
Plus Markets (LON:PMK) Group (PMK 2.1p / £8.13m)
AIM listed provider of cash trading and listing services last week said that 18 new companies were admitted in 2010 and that a number of companies were looking to be admitted to the market this year. PLUS Markets Group PLC is the holding company for the PLUS Stock Exchange. The stock exchange, which admitted the same amount of companies a year earlier, said corporate activity grew in the second half of 2010. Rachel Maguire, Business Development Director at PLUS Stock Exchange, said: “despite the tough environment in 2010, companies continued to make the most of their listings, raising funds and making acquisitions.”
Rockhopper (LON:RKH) Exploration (RKH 278p / £717.35m)
The North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company announced that exploration well 14/10-3 located 8 km to the north west of the Sea Lion oil discovery was drilled to a total depth of 2,830m. The well was designed to explore the northern lobe of the sea lion fan feature and is the first well to be drilled in that area. The well encountered good quality reservoir from 2,425m to 2,535m in a sequence of 4 main sandstone intervals. Further technical work will also now be undertaken to determine the likelihood of oil being present elsewhere in the northern Sea Lion lobe and the likely contribution, if any, of this well to any commercial oil development on the Sea Lion feature. The well, which was the first to be drilled in this area, 8 km to the north west of the Sea Lion discovery, is encouraging.
Serabi Mining (LON:SRB) (SRB 34p / £15.27m)*
AIM-traded gold exploration company last week said that it has now filed a preliminary prospectus with certain of the securities regulators in Canada as part of its listing process there. The ordinary shares will continue to be listed and traded in the UK on AIM. Drilling activity is on-going at Palito and the Company expects to announce results from each of the nine target drilling areas for each discrete area as soon as it has received and interpreted all results from that area. The Company still hopes that first results will be available before the end of the first quarter. The previously announced 8,000 hectare helicopter borne VTEM survey was flown and completed during January and the Company is waiting for the contractor to review, verify and collate the various data files gathered, before being able to pass this information to the Company's own geophysical consultant for interpretation and correlation with other geological data that the Company holds.
A dual listing should assist in creating greater liquidity in the ordinary shares, which will provide all shareholders with increased flexibility to trade the ordinary shares. The Company's target is to establish a resource of 1.5m ounces (gold equivalent). Investors should be able to continue to look forward to an interesting series of news flow over the foreseeable future.
Sirius Minerals (LON:SXX) (SXX 16.75p / £147.08m)
Sirius Minerals, a diversified potash development group has reported good progress at the recently-acquired York Potash Project, including the continued acquisition of mineral rights within the project area. Also, following the receipt of assay results for the Dakota Salts EBY-1 wellbore, the Company has commenced a comprehensive regional geological review in North Dakota. This information is now being modelled with existing seismic data and historical regional oil and gas drilling but the process will take a “number of months” to form conclusions as to what the next steps should be in the ongoing exploration programme.
Stellar Diamonds (LON:STEL) (STEL 10.25p / £14.27m)
The AIM listed diamond mining and Exploration Company focused on West Africa reported an encouraging initial diamond grade from bulk sampling at the Company’s 100 per cent owned Tongo kimberlite project in eastern Sierra Leone. 90 per cent of diamonds have been classified as gem quality and eight diamonds greater than 1 carat recovered. The predominance of gem quality stones in the diamond population so far observed can only bode well for the future diamond value of this kimberlite body.
Strategic Natural Resources (LON:SNRP) (SNRP 21.5p / £22.38m)
SNRP has announced a share placing with Cooch 1095 Limited to raise just over £1 m. Cooch is a company nominated by SNRP’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partner, Rapitrade 644 (Pty) Ltd in agreement with SNRP’s 74 per cent owned subsidiary, Elitheni Coal (Pty) Ltd. The placing proceeds have already been received by the Company and will be used to fund the continued development and commercialization of the Company’s coal mining assets in the Eastern Cape, RSA. This is in addition to an investment in 10 million shares by Rapitrade announced in January 2011. The Company is currently engaged in advanced discussions with interested parties in connection with an off-take agreement and the Board will make an announcement regarding these discussions upon completion. David Nel, CEO of SNRP said: “We are delighted that Rapitrade, through their appointed nominee, have decided to increase their holding in SNRP.” In addition the Company is looking to strengthen its management team and expects to announce appointments over the coming months.
Surgical Innovations (LON:SUN) Group (SUN 6.32p / £24.13m)
Medical device maker Surgical Innovations (SI) who delivered a stunning interim result for the six months ended 30 June last year, has announced in a trading update that it expects to report results for the second half of 2010 that will be in line with market expectations. Last year, sales to original equipment manufacturers such as Teleflex, Gyrus and CareFusion was one of the main drivers behind SI’s performance, and the Company is working on establishing additional contracts this year.
SI continues to invest heavily in product development and has several new devices at various stages of development. The Company is building on the momentum created by its successful “responsible” products concept that combine disposable parts with reusable elements which are demanded by surgeons and procurement managers as cost-effective solutions.
In a separate announcement, SI reports the appointments of two additional members to the Company’s Clinical Advisory Board. We note with interest that one of these, Mr Jon Conroy, is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon specialising in joint replacements and arthroscopic surgeries to the hip and knee. So far, SI’s devices have been for the bariatric surgery market, so this signals the Company’s intention of developing minimally invasive products for the larger hip and knee market.
Titan Europe (LON:TSW) (TSW 78.25p / £64.93m)
Yesterday Titan Europe, the wheel and undercarriage engineer issued a positive trading update for the full year ending 31 December 2010. Sales for the year are expected to be £355m; approximately £7m ahead of market forecasts. This was attributed to a strong fourth quarter but even more importantly the board reported a strong order book for the early part of 2011. Notwithstanding the name, the company is actively pursuing the diversification of its business including developing further its manufacturing presence in Turkey for Wheels and Brazil and China for Undercarriages. The payment of a dividend was suspended following the amending of bank facilities in 2009 but we will continue to watch the performance of the business with interest.
Toumaz (LON:TMZ) Technology (TMZ 8p / £47.49m)
AIM listed wireless infrastructure technology Company announced last week a strategic investment by a US investor. Dr Patrick Soon Shiong, who has had considerable success in the pharmaceutical sector, having developed and sold two multi-billion dollar companies, is investing in Toumaz's future though California Capital Equity LLC. The idea for this involves both parties working to bring the Sensium platform to the North American sports scene. Toumaz's Sensium Plaster provides a complete technology platform to allow operators the ability to monitor the human body continuously, wirelessly, intelligently and at low-cost. With 25 strong patents in place, a thin comfortable and user-friendly packaging and profile, and the use of low power multi-band RF technology for communication the product ticks many of the right boxes for successful products in the sporting world. Dr Shiong is currently head of Abraxis Health, exec director of the Wireless Health Institute and founder of the National Coalition for Health Integration. This high profile collaboration enhances the credibility of the product and its implementation in real world situations- an attractive investment opportunity at current price levels, and very much one for the long haul.
Tower Resources (LON:TRP) (TRP 5.88p / £60.64m)
The AIM listed oil and gas exploration company, with interests in sub-Saharan Africa, announced that it had raised £4,275,000 before expenses through a placing with institutional and other investors of 90,000,000 new ordinary shares at a price of 4.75p per Placing Share. The Placing was significantly oversubscribed and it is intended that the proceeds of the Placing will be used to increase the Company's working capital resources and provide the facility to fund near term seismic operations in Uganda. In addition, Tower Resources released an update on its operations in Namibia and Uganda, which contains the following quote from Peter Kingston, Executive Chairman of Tower Resources: “I am delighted that a first well in Namibia, to test the huge potential of the Delta prospect, is now a target for this year. I am also pleased that the final commitment well in Uganda will test a good prospect which could yield material value to shareholders if successful.” Given the recent equity raising and confirmed target well at Namibia, Tower Resources should have a successful quarter in 2011.
Transense Technologies (LON:TRT) (TRT 5.5p / £7.27m)*
Transense’s subsidiary, Translogik, has joined forces with DURATread, the OTR (Off the Road) and Mining Tyre specialists, to launch the state-of-the art OTR iTRack Asset management system in Latin America. In line with Translogik’s business strategy of forging alliances with major regional mining and off-road companies in order to leverage existing customer networks and accelerate market adoption, Duratread will provide rapid, high quality technical and after-sales support to end-users. The OTR iTrack Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) monitors and transmits live, uninterrupted real-time data about individual tyre pressures and temperatures as well as vital vehicle information such as speed, acceleration, braking and route traveled. Tests conducted since the Spring of 2010 on 400 ton dump trucks, have already proven the durability of the system in large mining operations. The benefit to fleet owners is that they get immediate, uninterrupted information in real-time on their computer or mobile phone which means they can act quickly and efficiently to maximise tyre performance, reduce vehicle downtime and increase safety for the vehicle and driver. In a market where tyre prices are rapidly increasing and demand is already exceeding supply, the OTR iTrack Asset Management system will allow companies to make tyres last longer and get a better return on their tyre investment. We imagine that mmanagement would have hoped to have been able to release details of orders from significant customers by now, and the pressure is on, but knowing the management team and the opportunities that have to exist in the market place for this kind of technology, we expect them to come through with flying colours.
*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP
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