Stilo putting on the agony after a profit warning

A look at the day's major movers, including Aura Energy, Hydrogen, AJ Bell, Mitchells & Butlers, Mucklow, Georgia Mining and Enquest

Cloud computing
Stilo's tools help organisations create and process structured content in XML (extended mark-up language) format

Software tools developer Stilo International PLC (LON:STL) hit the skids on Thursday after issuing a profit warning.

The company said it expects to report a material drop in revenue and a loss for the first half of 2019 as sales have been slower than planned. Stilo shares were down 29% at 1.25p.

2.00pm: Aura Energy provides shareholders with a warm glow

Dual-listed Aura Energy Limited (LON:AURA) provided its investors with a warm glow after passing a milestone at the the Tiris uranium project.

The shares climbed 40% to 0.7p after it revealed it has produced its first samples of yellow-cake product.

The UO4 yellowcake was produced during the Aura test work phase being conducted in the Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation (ANSTO Minerals) laboratories.

12.45pm: Hydrogen joins the list of recruiters grumbling about Brexit

It’s been a bad month for recruitment companies and today Hydrogen Group PLC (LON:HYDG) joined the list of those getting hammered in the market.

Ahead of its annual general meeting (AGM) today, the group said that trading in the UK – its main market – has been affected by “Brexit related uncertainty dampening demand for certain skill sets.” On the plus side, it looks like there will soon be a new vacancy for leader of the Conservative Party…

The recruiter’s sentiments echo those of Staffline, which issued a profit warning last month. Shares in Hydrogen lost nearly a tenth of their value after the AGM statement was released, shedding 9% to 71.50p.

11.45am: Interims provide a tonic for pubs group Mitchells & Butlers

Mitchells & Butlers PLC (LON:MAB) shares frothed up on Thursday as the pub chain reported a rise in first-half sales and profits.

Revenue rose 5% to £1.19bn in the six months ended (H1 18: £1.13bn) 13 April, driven largely by like-for-like sales growth of 4.1%.

Converting top-line growth into higher profits has proved challenging for pubs of late, given soaring tax bills and staff costs but M&B’s first-half pre-tax profit surged by almost 9% to £75mln (H1 18: £69mln) as margins widened to 12.7% (H1 18: 12.5%).

The shares were up 7.6% at 261p.

11.00am: AJ Bell finds the market hard to please

Shares in AJ Bell PLC (LON:AJB) were off 7.2% - the sort of fall that would normally elicit a comment from market commentator, Russ Mould. As Mould works for AJ Bell, he has wisely swerved this particular assignment.

The investment platform operator’s shares tanked after the half-year results failed to live up to expectations raised by the company’s first-quarter update in April.

Revenue in the six months to the end of March was up 17% to £50.1mln from £42.9mln the year before. Profit before tax was up 27% to £17.7mln from £13.9mln.

10.15am: Mucklow in the money after knockout bid

Shares in A & J Mucklow Group PLC (LON:MKLW) soared after the board recommended a shares plus cash offer from LondonMetric Property PLC (LON:LMP).

Mucklow shares rose 19% to 650p after LondonMetric revealed it had made a recommended offer worth around 655.2p a share, valuing its fellow property group at around £415mln.

LondonMetric is offering 2.19 of its shares plus 204.5p in cash for every Mucklow share.

9.30am: Georgian Mining slumps after issuing shares at a deep discount

Georgian Mining Corporation (LON:GEO) – a company focused on mining in Georgia, not a company using 18th-century mining techniques – slumped in early morning trading after announcing a cash call.

Shares in the copper-gold project developer fell 18% to 2.1p after the company raised £380,000 by way of a placing and share subscription at 2p a share.

The group said the net proceeds of the placing will be primarily used to sustain operations in Georgia during the extended exploration permit renewal process and for identifying compelling new assets on which the company can add short term value.

Elsewhere in the resources sector, North Sea oil operator EnQuest PLC (LON:ENQ) fell back after an operations update.

The shares were off 7.3% at 21.24p after the company revealed production in the first four months of the year averaged 69,973 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).

The group has continued to enter hedges with the total for the year now roughly 12.5mln barrels, of which roughly 5mln had a floor price of around US$66 a barrel, settled by the end of April.

For the remaining eight months of 2019, around 6.2mln barrels are hedged at an average floor price of around US$66 a barrel, compared with the current Brent crude spot price of around US$73 a barrel.

Proactive news headlines:

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) said drilling will start early next month on Kalahari Metals’ Ngami Copper Project following environmental sign-off from the authorities in Botswana. This first-phase, 2,100-metre programme will test what's called fold-hinge geology over three areas.

BigDish PLC (LON:DISH) has continued with its expanded growth strategy to roll out its yield management platform for restaurants to more UK locations including into London commuter towns.

One of America’s top aerospace museums is to use VR Education Holdings Plc’s (LON:VRE) Apollo 11 virtual reality experience in a “major new attraction” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) has appointed Simon Davies as the Morocco-focused gas firm’s new independent non-executive chairman. Davies joins the company with immediate effect, replacing Richard Liddell who intends to spend more time on his other business interests. Liddell, meanwhile, remains with Sound as its independent non-executive director.

S & U PLC (LON:SUS), the car finance and bridging loan specialist, has been encouraged by improving trends in its business this year.

88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) has told investors that a final decision is expected next month for the anticipated farm-out of interests in the conventional portion of Project Icewine in Alaska. In a statement, the company said that the process is continuing with the preferred bidder and third party due diligence work is now largely complete.

StatPro Group PLC (LON:SOG) is targeting improved earnings (EBITDA) margins going forward as it delivered an in line update ahead of its AGM on Thursday.

Shefa Yamim (ATM) Ltd (LON:SEFA) is targeting expanded exploration at its Kishon Mid-Reach project in Northern Israel across 2019 and 2020. In an update ahead of its AGM on Thursday, the first for current chairman Michael Rosenberg, the precious stone miner said it expected to continue planning and regulatory procedures to begin mining at the Kishon Mid-Reach Zone 1 area by 2020, and thus become revenue generating.

CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) is to hold a series of fixed income investor meetings from the start of next week to try and secure funds for its acquisition of Australasian domain name and hosting reseller TPP Wholesale.

Alliance Pharma PLC (LON:APH) gave a confident assessment of prospects in an AGM statement and, separately, said it hoped to resolve objections raised by the watchdog over prescription drug pricing. The AIM-listed firm was one of a number of companies cited in a document called a Statement of Objections issued by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA). The mention related to the pricing of an anti-nausea treatment called prochlorperazine.

Ormonde Mining plc (LON:ORM) has told investors that the new process plant at the Barruecopardo mine is now ‘effectively complete’ and is operating well. The company, in a statement, said that the Spanish tungsten mine is now achieving throughput rates of up to 190 tonnes per hour which is sufficient to meet the steady state processing target of 1.1mln tonnes per year. Big Pic in December.

Rockfire Resources PLC (LON:ROCK) has exercised its option to acquire the Copper Dome project in Queensland, Australia. The company has been carrying out exploration work at the deposit and had until the close of play today (Thursday) to decide whether it wanted to acquire it.

Taptica International Ltd (LON:TAP), a global leader in advertising technologies for brand advertising and performance-based mobile marketing, has appointed Christopher Stibbs as an independent non-executive director with effect from the Annual General Meeting on 13 June 2019. The group noted that Stibbs is currently chief executive officer of the Economist Group, a position he has held since July 2013.

Futura Medical PLC (LON:FUM), the pharmaceutical company developing a portfolio of innovative products for sexual health and pain relief, has announced the appointment of Liberum Capital as its nominated adviser and sole broker with immediate effect.

Polarean Imaging PLC (LON:POLX), the medical-imaging technology company with a proprietary drug-device combination product for the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) market, has said it will be hosting a Capital Markets Day for all investors on Wednesday 12 June 2019. The event will take place at the London Stock Exchange, 10 Paternoster Square, London EC4M 7LS from 9.30am.

Collagen Solutions PLC (LON:COS), the developer and manufacturer of biomaterials and regenerative medicines for the enhancement and extension of human life, announced it will be presenting at the ShareSoc Growth Company Seminar in Manchester on Tuesday, 4 June 2019. The event will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, One Piccadilly Place, 1 Auburn Street, Manchester, M1 3DG.

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