Gulf Keystone raises production guidance after resuming drilling activities ahead of schedule

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Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited (LON:GKP) was 8% higher at 192.2p after an operational and corporate update.

The operator and oil producer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq said production this year is likely to be towards the upper end of the company’s guidance range.

“Today, we are pleased to announce that we have restarted work to complete SH-13, marking the resumption of drilling activities ahead of schedule. As a result, we now expect to increase gross production towards 55,000 bopd in Q4 2021 and to be at the upper end of 2021 guidance (40,000-44,000 bopd) as we continue to develop and realise the value of the Shaikan Field’s substantial reserves and resources for the benefit of all stakeholders,” Jon Harris, the Gulf Keystone chief executive, told shareholders.

1.40pm: Hurricane Energy rallies as bondholders unanimously approve restructuring plan

Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) clawed back some recent heavy losses, rising 29% to 1.45p after the results of the bondholder plan meeting were announced.

The resolution to approve the oil producer’s restructuring plan was put to the bondholders and was duly passed on a poll.

The voting was unanimous.

12.45pm: Avacta’s lateral flow tests get EU green light

Avacta Group PLC (LON:AVCT) shares got a shot in the arm from the registration of the company’s AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Lateral Flow Test in the European Union.

The shares rose 15% to 252p on the news.

Avacta said it has multiple ongoing commercial discussions with distributors and end-user customers in countries that accept the CE mark for in vitro diagnostic products.

11.50am: Frontier Developments‘ guidance deemed to be less than elite

Frontier Developments PLC (LON:FDEV) shares have glitched their way down 11% to 2,332p after the video games maker has given lower revenue guidance than expected for the current year.

After its most recent title, Elite Dangerous: Odyssey, came out in late May and received some pretty brutal reviews – with Frontier boss David Braben issuing a public apology – the company has pushed back the release of its planned F1 2022 management game to after June next year as opposed to its previous guidance of “before 31 May 2022”.

For the year to May 2022 the consensus forecast was for £146mln of revenue but Frontier said it now expects £150mln-£150mln, while the projected revenue range for the 2023 year is £160mln-to-£180mln.

After Polish gaming company CD Projekt last year made lots of negative headlines in the gaming world and was hit by a consumer backlash for releasing its much-anticipated Cyberpunk 1977 game that was full of bugs and glitches, with the market value of the company more than halving, Frontier maybe should have been wiser about its latest version of Elite Dangerous, said analysts at AJ Bell.

“[Cyberpunk  1977] should have been a wake-up call for the gaming industry not to release titles until they are fully tested and ready to enjoy. However, it seems as if Frontier Developments got the message too late.”

“Given the disappointment associated with the latest Elite game, it’s prudent that Frontier doesn’t rush release any more releases.”

10.55am: NWF fattens up guidance

NWF Group plc (LON:NWF) lifted profits guidance for the fiscal year just ended, sending the shares 4.4% higher to 212p.

The specialist distributor of fuel, food and feed saw a strong overall trading performance in the fourth quarter and as a result, headline profit before tax for the financial year ended May 31 is now expected to be ahead of market expectations which were established before the pandemic.

Net debt at the year-end is now expected to be lower than previous expectations as a result of the stronger trading result.

10.00am: IQ-AI lifted by patent award

IQ-AI Ltd (LON:IQAI) climbed 12% to 8.8p after its synthetic T1+C (Gad-Free) software application was awarded a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The technology eliminates the need to intravenously inject contrast agent during medical imaging procedures, the company said, adding that the patent underscores the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), its ability to streamline workflows, enhance diagnostic quality, and improve patient safety.

“The 0% contrast dose approach offers remarkable benefits which include a more comfortable patient experience, and the alleviation of potential problems arising from the long-term effects of repeated Gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) use”, the company said in a statement.

9.05am: Sigma Capital succumbs to private equity offer; Warpaint London scrubs up well

Sigma Capital Group PLC (LON:SGM) shot up 35% to 201p after the board recommended a 202.1p per share offer.

The recommended bid is from a subsidiary of investment funds managed by PineBridge Benson Elliot.

The acquisition values the provider of build-to-rent housing at about £188.4mln.

Warpaint London PLC (LON:W7L) jumped 12% to 157p after it revealed in its annual general meeting statement that trading in the year to date has been encouraging.

The management team said it is particularly pleased with the performance of the performance in the UK, where sales of its brands in the first five months of the year were up 64% on the same period of last year and up 18% on the same period of 2019.

“E-commerce sales of W7 products across all markets for the first five months of the year were approximately three times the level in the same period in 2020 and we anticipate further significant growth, albeit from a modest base,” the company revealed.

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