Solid State sparks rally with bullish trading update

A look at some of the biggest risers and fallers in London on Tuesday

Zinc element
The electronics maker said profits would be “slightly ahead” of market forecasts, despite analysts already upgrading them twice in the second half of its fiscal year

Solid State PLC (LON:SOLI) sparked a rally in its shares in late afternoon after delivering a bullish full year trading update.

The electronics manufacturer said its profit for the year would be “slightly ahead” of market forecasts of £3.5mln, which it said was “particularly pleasing” as market forecasts had already been upgraded twice in the second half of its fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Cadogan Petroleum PLC (LON:CAD) shares gushed 5.4% higher to 12.7p as the explorer told investors that the Blazh-10 well has continued to improve during clean-up.
Production has now increased to around 385 barrels of oil per day, up from 150 bpd earlier this month, the group said.

It will now be followed by an exhaustive well test programme and after that the company expects to have a better sense of the well’s sustainable rate of production.

In the mid-caps, FTSE All-Share estate agent Countrywide PLC (LON:CWD) saw its shares crumble 4.8% to 6.7p after confirming that profits at the start of the year were being held back as conditions remain difficult in the residential and commercial property markets.

Unveiling total income of £140.3mln for the first quarter of the year, down 3% on the same period last year, the group said first-half underlying earnings (adjusted EBITDA) were now likely to be down £5m year on year, around the bottom of its previous guidance of £3mln-£5mln.

1.00pm: Griffin Mining nosedives as falling zinc prices take toll on profits

Griffin Mining Limited (LON:GFM) saw its shares nosedive 13.2% to 95.5p in lunchtime trading after falling zinc prices took a toll on its full year profits.

The AIM-listed firm, which focuses on its Caijiaying mine near Beijing in China, reported that pre-tax profits in 2018 had fallen to US$34.8mln from US$60.9mln the prior year, blaming lower zinc metal prices as well as lower production and higher treatment charges.

The company’s zinc sales in the year dropped to US$78.8mln from US$99.9mln in 2017, while the average price achieved per tonne slipped to US$2,149 from US$2,305.

Meanwhile, FTSE 250 chemicals maker Elementis PLC (LON:ELM) was a prominent mid-cap faller after it warned progress in the current year would be slower than expected amid “challenging” market conditions.

The group, which makes chemicals for use in paints and cosmetics, said the drop-off in performance reflected “broader macroeconomic trends”. The shares themselves suffered a drop-off following the news, tumbling 8.4% to 162.3p.

In the risers, Location Sciences Group PLC (LON:LSAI) hit the mark with news that it had partnered up with US group SITO Mobile Ltd (NASDAQ:SITO), the first data supplier to use the company’s Verify platform.

Verify works by auditing a company’s data and acts as a hallmark of quality for supply-side platforms such as SITO.

This in turn allows SITO to show potential advertisers and agencies that the location data it uses to help target adverts has been verified by an independent third party.

The shares were sent 7.6% higher on the news to 2.9p.

11.15am: Mirriad makes the right noises as it appoints ex-CEO of Virgin Radio as chairman

Mirriad Advertising Plc (LON:MIRI) struck a chord with investors with a board appointment on Tuesday that sent the shares 7.7% higher to 7p in late-morning.

The firm, which uses artificial intelligence to insert adverts into the background of media such as movies and TV shows, said it had appointed John Pearson to the role of non-executive chairman as part of a “strategic refocusing” spearheaded by CEO Stephan Beringer.

Pearson is the former CEO of Virgin Radio and Virgin Radio International and also served as the chairman of Shazam, a song identifying app that was sold to Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) for US$400mln in 2018.

Switching from arrivals to departures, Greene King PLC (LON:GNK) was toasting a strong performance in its latest full year as it delivered a trading update on the last day of Rooney Anand’s tenure as CEO.

The FTSE 250 pub chain said like-for-like sales were up 2.9%, ahead of the market, while LFL sales for the last 16 weeks were up 2.4%.

The chain had also seen a strong performance over the latest Easter period, with LFL sales up 4.6%, amid good weather and “particularly strong trading” from its Chef & Brewer pub restaurants.

However, the good results coupled with a recent strong run in the shares attracted profit-takers, sending them 7.1% lower to 643.6p.

Another notable faller was FTSE 100 Whitbread plc (LON:WTB), which sank 3.8% to 4,573p after the Premier Inn operator posted annual profits below forecasts and said soft market conditions in the fourth quarter have persisted into the new year.

Underlying profit before tax and earnings per share both rose 1% to £438mln and 193.2p respectively, while the full year dividend of 99.65p was down from 101.15p a year ago. City analysts had expected revenue of £2.09bn, underlying PBT of £477mln and EPS of 204.6p.

9.15am: Proton Power surges as it inks profit-sharing agreement for hydrogen fuel cells

Proton Power Systems Plc (LON:PPS) surged 14.3% to 28p in early deals after the fuel cell developer inked a 50/50 profit-sharing agreement with Dutch engineering firm MTSA Technopower to design, manufacture and sell large hydrogen fuel cell power systems.

The AIM-listed firm said the fuel cell stacks, which would range from 0.5 megawatts (MW) to 10MW, would be used in industrial and residential areas to reduce the amount of energy purchased from utility firms at peak times (known as peak shaving), as well as providing power for industrial units, ship propulsion and power supply in remote areas.

Meanwhile, Anglo African Oil & Gas PLC (LON:AAOG) was up 4% at 10.4p after telling investors it had received a letter formally offering a new licence to the company’s subsidiary Petro Kouiliou covering the Tilapia oil field in the Republic of the Congo.

Higher up in the FTSE 100, oil major BP PLC (LON:BP.) eked out gains of 0.2% to 553.7p despite a drop in profits of almost a third in its first quarter as the company still came in ahead of forecasts with higher production and a stronger trading performance offsetting lower oil and gas prices and weaker refining margins.

The oiler also hiked its quarterly dividend by 2.5% to 10.25 US cents a share.

There was less good news in the mid-cap FTSE 250, with Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) tumbling 17% to 18.2p after the firm unveiled plans for a US$3.8bn financing that would include a US$400mln discounted equity raise.

The price for the new shares, the majority of which are expected to be sold to institutional investors, is expected to be between 15p and 18p, below Monday’s close price of 21.9p.

The rest of the financing is comprised of a US$644mln issue of convertible bonds, a US$500mln senior secured bond issue and a credit facility up to a maximum of US$2.5bn.

The money is aimed at funding development of the group’s North Yorkshire polyhalite project to completion.

Other Proactive News headlines:

AFC Energy PLC (LON:AFC) has signed a deal with one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of electric vehicle (EV) charging points to create systems using AFC's fuel cell technology. It and Rolec Services hope to showcase the first demonstration product in the second half of the year.

Location verification specialist Location Sciences Group PLC (LON:LSAI) has partnered up with US group SITO Mobile Ltd (NASDAQ:SITO), which will become the first data supplier to use Location’s Verify platform.

MTI Wireless Edge Ltd (LON:MWE) has said it will deploy a tethered balloon system as part of a US$1.4mln deal for installation and integration support services.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) (ASX:THR) has released interim results from drilling at the Bonya tungsten deposits, adjacent Molyhil, in the Northern Territory of Australia. The Bonya project is held in 40:60 joint venture with Arafura Resources Ltd (ASX:ARU), with both parties contributing to the cost of the program in proportion to their project equity.

C4X Discovery Holdings plc (LON:C4XD) confirmed it is in confidential discussions with “multiple” potential partners for a promising drug programme. Its NRF-2 activator that could help treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pulmonary arterial hypertension as well as sickle cell disease.

Property group Custodian REIT PLC (LON:CREI) blamed the woes of the high street for a dip in net asset value in the past three months. Rental values (ERV) fell at 17 of its 33 high street properties, said the trust, though it sees potential to recover some of this through ongoing lease re-negotiations.

Frontier IP Group Plc (LON:FIPP) has been selected as a partner in a major European project to boost research into the continent’s marine economy.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) is to carry out a share buyback programme over the next 12 months. The US-focused oil and gas group said the programme will allow it to buy a maximum of about 54.3mln shares while also maintaining its current dividend policy.

Australian gold giant Newcrest (ASX:NCM) has now begun work on the Havieron gold property owned Greatland Gold PLC (LON:GGP), after it signed a major earn-in deal earlier this year. Newcrest has the right to acquire up to a 70% interest in a 12 block area by spending up to US$65mln. Big Pic in March.

Aminex PLC (LON:AEX) told investors it continues to seek the completion of its farm-out deal in Tanzania which will unlock new funds and see operations advance to the drilling of the Chikumbi-1 well. The company, in its results statement for 2018, also highlighted that its cost reduction programme is underway following a recent review of corporate overhead costs, and, it ended the period with US$1.86mln

Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (LON:CGH) has appointed Darin Cooper as chief operating officer. Cooper has more than 30 years' experience in the metals and mining industry, most recently as head of mining at Fusion Capital, a Swiss investment firm.

European Metals Holdings Ltd. (LON:EMH) (ASX:EMH) ended the quarter to March with A$1.32mln cash in the bank. The company completed a significant amount of drilling on its Cinovec lithium project during the period.

KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM), the AIM-listed technology and software investment company focused on risk management for capital markets, has announces the appointment of Garry Jones as an independent non-executive director of the company. It noted that Jones has over 35 years' experience in financial services and has been CEO of three of the largest derivatives and OTC exchanges in Europe: BrokerTec, LIFFE and the London Metal Exchange. The group said Jones will replace David Ellis who is stepping down from the board with immediate effect to focus on other business commitments and a relocation to the United States.

discoverIE Group PLC (LON:DSCV) a leading international designer, manufacturer and supplier of customised electronics to industry, has announced the appointment of Clive Watson as a non-executive director with effect from 2 September 2019. It noted that Watson recently retired as group finance director of Spectris plc (LON:SPS), the FTSE 250 measurements and controls business.

Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE) said Tim Crane has resigned as a non-executive director of the company with effect from 30 April 2019 under the agreed term of appointment between Seeing Machines and Caterpillar Inc. The company pointed out that Crane will continue his relationship with Seeing Machines, becoming a member of the group's newly established Technical Advisory Council.

Sareum Holdings PLC (LON:SAR), the specialist small molecule drug development business, announced that its CEO, Dr Tim Mitchell, will give a company presentation at BioTrinity 2019 in London, which takes place from 30 April-1 May. The presentation, to be held today at 11:05am BST, will introduce Sareum and provide an overview of its lead programmes.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU), the exploration and development company with gold mining operations in Turkey, noted that, further to its announcement on 8 April 2019, its board will be hosting a shareholder update evening and presentation, followed by a Q&A session today, 30 April 2019, at 6:00 pm, at 1 America Square Conference Centre, 17 Crosswall Street, London EC3N 2LB.

Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE), the AIM-quoted natural resources business, announced that an updated version of its corporate presentation is now available on the company's website.

Chagala Group Ltd (LON:CGLO) is to delist from the London stock exchange, citing demands on management time and the regulatory burden as the principle reasons.

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