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Augean has proven to be resilient throughout the pandemic. In particular, the growth in processing incinerator ash residues from energy from waste (EfW) facilities continues unabated and additional new contract wins should drive improved returns in FY21. Management expects FY20 adjusted PBT to be slightly ahead of last year and we have marginally reduced our FY20 adjusted PBT and EPS estimates by 1%. Our FY21 estimates are maintained. Cash flow has been stronger than we expected, underpinning the indication that dividends should resume in FY21.
After an eventful 2020, ReNeuron released updated 12-month Phase ll data in January on its lead human retinal progenitor cell (hRPC) project. This continues to show a consistent and robust, sustained average gain in visual acuity in retinitis pigmentosa (RP). A continuation study in nine patients using two million cells is underway with three- and six-month data due over H2 CY21 and the first three patients treated. This will facilitate partnering negotiations. A pivotal hRPC study may start in 2022. Deals are possible in CY21 on the exosome genetic drug delivery platform, which could be very ...
We are adjusting our estimates following completion of the SpaceQuest acquisition just before the end of FY20. With a negligible income and cash flow impact in FY20 due to the timing, the deal will be reflected in an expanded balance sheet. However, with an EBITDA margin of more than 20% and significant growth expected in FY21, the deal is a major enhancement to group performance going forward.
Osirium expects to report FY20 bookings ahead of our forecast, with revenue for the year in line. The flurry of contracts announced in Q4 reflects the pick-up in order activity after COVID-19 depressed activity in Q2/Q3. Management is confident that the momentum achieved in Q4 will continue into FY21. We maintain our forecasts pending FY20 results.
CentralNic has made a small acquisition of SafeBrands, an online brand protection software provider and corporate ISP based in Paris, for a cash consideration of up to €3.6m (0.9x FY19 revenue). €3m is payable upfront and €0.6m will be paid subject to meeting FY20 performance objectives. SafeBrands operated at close to break-even in FY19. Separately, CentralNic has also reorganised its Corporate division, rebranding it as the Enterprise division. Based on our estimates, the company trades on an FY21e P/E multiple of 15.8x and 9.8x FY21e EV/adjusted EBITDA. We expect earnings-accretive M&A to b...
CVC Credit Partners European Opportunities (CCPEOL) has achieved a total NAV return of 1.9% (target 8% annual return) in the last 12 months. Its index outperformance was helped by sector rotation early in the COVID-19 crisis and by staying positive on the market. The manager sees the greatest opportunity in the upper CCC and lower B segments and in structured finance. CCPEOL remains optimistic in the credit opportunities segment, despite the market recovery. It expects 2021 will bring more leveraged loan issuance from broader industrial segments, thus providing greater investment prospects. Po...
Henderson Opportunities Trust (HOT) has performed strongly since experiencing sharp NAV and share price declines in the Q120 market sell-off, powering to the top of the AIC UK All Companies sector over the past 12 months with an NAV total return of c 40% in the second half of 2020. Managers James Henderson and Laura Foll say performance has benefited from holding a number of ‘next-generation leaders’ in the UK. The portfolio is esoteric in its make-up and seeks to avoid being overly exposed to trends in the global and domestic economy. The managers continue to see good value opportunities acro...
Hepion has announced interim results from its ongoing Phase IIa study of CRV431 in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The preliminary results are from the low-dose arm of the study (75mg, n=12) and showed a 18.4% decline in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and a 12.1% decline in aspartate aminotransferase (AST) liver biomarkers after 28 days. Although these data were underpowered for significance, this is the first indication of meaningful clinical activity in this patient group. This is the first look at the potential for this drug and, although small, it is very encouraging.
Esker has confirmed it is still generating revenue growth, despite the continued COVID-19 restrictions around the world, with constant currency (cc) growth of 11% for Q420 and 9% for FY20. Order intake was 17% higher in FY20, accelerating to 30% growth in Q4, providing support for the company’s double-digit revenue growth expectations for FY21. We have trimmed our forecasts to reflect FY20 revenues and the stronger euro, reducing normalised diluted EPS by 3.4% in FY20e and 5.1% in FY21e. In our view, Esker is well positioned to benefit from the accelerating adoption of digital automation solut...
As we look across the E&P investment universe, few companies potentially offer greater asymmetric risk/reward upside compared with Canacol. The company is playing into a tightening Colombian gas market, which should continue to support favourable pricing and longer-term growth plans. However, even with existing pipeline infrastructure and a conservative outlook on exploration and appraisal success, our 2P + risked exploration base case valuation of C$5.87/share represents 59% upside to the current share price, while the downside is protected through existing take-or-pay contracts that suggest ...
1Spatial has won a $0.6m contract with California’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES). This multi-year contract is for 1Spatial’s 1Integrate and 1Data Gateway software-as-a-service (SaaS) products and contains a $0.1m recurring revenue element. Following recent wins with the State of Michigan and the US Geological Survey, momentum in the United States and for the 1Data Gateway product appears encouraging.
Sales performance continued to improve in the seasonally important Q321 period. Core billings were well ahead of the prior year and December was the strongest month ever. Management is confident H221 will see the normal swing back to profitability, with the full-year performance at least in line with its expectations that underlay the H121 reinstatement of dividends. Accelerated digitalisation of the business has mitigated the effects of the pandemic, supported the Q321 progress, and positions it well for sustainable growth beyond the current financial year.
Boku continued to see strong demand after its early December trading update, finishing the year with revenue and EBITDA ahead of consensus expectations. The Payments business was the driver of revenue upside, and lower costs in both businesses contributed further to EBITDA upside. We have revised our forecasts to reflect the strong H220 performance, upgrading FY20 normalised EPS by 15.5%. We maintain our FY21/22 forecasts as we expect the company to revert to pre-COVID-19 spending behaviour when lockdown restrictions are removed.
Carr’s trading update for the first 19 weeks of FY21 notes that trading in Agriculture was ahead of management expectations because of strong sales of supplements. This was offset by a weaker than expected performance in the Engineering division caused by continued low crude oil prices. We note that net debt (excluding leases) was 24% lower year-on-year at the end of November, reflecting close inventory control and lower commodity prices. We leave our estimates broadly unchanged and reiterate our indicative valuation of 170p/share.
XP reported a strong finish to 2020, with Q4 revenues up 24% y-o-y and 4% ahead of our forecast, driving FY20 profitability ahead of expectations. Order intake has normalised to pre-COVID-19 levels, reflecting continued strong demand from the semiconductor sector. We have revised our estimates to reflect strong Q420 performance and the weaker dollar, driving a 3.0% increase in FY20 EPS and a 2.3% cut to our FY21 EPS.
Gamesys has reported a positive pre-close trading update. Strong momentum continued into Q420 and management now expects FY20 pro forma revenue and adjusted EBITDA will be at or above the upper end of current market expectations. We increase our FY21 and FY22 adjusted EBITDA forecasts by 4–6% due to higher revenue growth from a larger active customer base, and a higher and stable EBITDA margin that reflects ongoing investment in growing a sustainable business with a focus on responsible gambling. On our new forecasts, the free cash flow (FCF) yield for FY21e is 10.1% and the dividend yield is ...
Atlantis Japan Growth Fund (AJG) invests in a diversified portfolio of listed Japanese equities, with the aim of realising long-term capital growth. It has a bias towards growth stocks. Lead adviser Taeko Setaishi believes several trends accelerated by the coronavirus crisis and new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s structural reform agenda have the potential to generate new investment opportunities and productivity gains, which will benefit companies in many sectors. AJG’s performance has been positive in absolute terms and it has outperformed its benchmark over one, three, five and 10 years. T...
On 6 January Pixium Vision announced it and Second Sight (EYES, Nasdaq) had entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to combine their businesses. Second Sight is developing the Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis System, which is in a US feasibility study and is designed to provide useful artificial vision by sending electric impulses directly to the visual cortex. The stock-based transaction, which will also comprise a c $25m capital raise, will enable both companies to pool their resources in complementary sight-restoration neuromodulation technologies and build a one-company solution for ma...
InMed Pharmaceuticals has now announced top-line results from both the 755-101-HV and 755-102-HV Phase I trials. Trial 755-101-HV was conducted in 22 healthy adult volunteers with intact skin, while 755-102-HV was conducted in eight healthy volunteers with small wounds. Both trials indicated that INM-755 was safe and well tolerated. There were no systemic or serious adverse effects, nor were there any adverse event-related withdrawals. Additionally, systemic drug concentrations were very low, which is desirable in a topical therapy.
Carmat announced that it has received a CE Mark for its physiologic heart replacement therapy (PHRT) and that the product will be launched in Q221 under the brand name Aeson. The approved indication is a bridge to transplantation therapy (BTT), although over time we expect approval for Aeson as a destination therapy (DT), which will enable commercialisation to a larger number of patients. The initial commercial focus will be on France and Germany, which Carmat estimates to account for 55% of the EU mechanical circulatory support market.
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