Small-cap movers: 88Energy surges as it clears its debt but Tricorn gets bent out of shape over acco


88Energy Ltd (LON:88E), riding high after the positive results at the end of June from the drilling of the Merlin-1 well in Alaska had another good week.

Despite strong competition from sector peers, the stock topped the weekly small-cap risers, more or less doubling in share price after the group completed the sale of its Alaskan oil and tax credits and used the money to pay off its outstanding debt.

The dual-listed company is now debt-free with cash holdings of around A$14.8mln.

It has been hard to keep Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) out of the small-cap movers this year but this week it makes a pleasant change to see the stock featuring among the risers with a 72% gain after the High Court declined to sanction the company’s controversial restructuring plan.

A spokesman for Crystal Amber, the activist fund that owns around 14.7% of Hurricane, described the court’s verdict as “a victory for shareholders big and small who faced having their legal rights being overridden”.

Crystal Amber withdrew its request for the requisition of a general meeting to vote on the planned restructuring and all of the Hurricane non-executive directors resigned from the board with immediate effect.

It’s been quite a week for resignations, hasn’t it?

Completing a win-treble for oil & gas stocks, i3 Energy PLC (LON:I3E) was the third-best small-cap performer with a gain of 55%.

The company declared itself “very pleased” with the outcome of the drilling operation at its first Marten Hills Clearwater well in Canada.

Eight horizontal lateral sections were successfully drilled from this well-bore with operations having progressed on time and within budget, i3 said in an operational update.

All laterals drilled have encountered a clean upper shore-face sandstone, with porosities ranging from 24% to 27%, and oil has been evidenced throughout by oil shows on cuttings. The rig has been moved to the second well in the Marten Hills Clearwater drilling programme at 02-12-075-26W4, with drilling expected to finish mid-July.

Moving on to the mining sector and IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR), which has persuaded Piedmont Lithium Inc, a Nasdaq listed lithium exploration and development company, to fully fund and fast track to production the Ewoyaa Lithium Project, which is part of IronRidge’s Ghanaian Cape Coast Lithium portfolio.

The shares jumped 38%.

Away from the resources sector, Cambridge Cognition Holdings PLC (LON:COG) clearly had a brainwave, with the shares surging 55% after the company announced the spin-out of Monument Therapeutics, a drug development company applying digital phenotyping to central nervous system disorders.

Cambridge Cognition has been incubating Monument Therapeutics since 2018.

The biggest loser of the week was Tricorn Group PLC (LON:TCN), the tube manipulation specialist, whose shares slumped 29% to 6p after its results for the 18 months to the end of September 2020 revealed more details of the “breakdown in the control and oversight of the finance function” during the period, which the chairman, AndrewMoss, said was “extremely disappointing”.

The group has made a solid start to the current fiscal year but warned that the impact of COVID-19 and the shipping delays of imported material will continue to put pressure on labour costs and associated labour productivity in the near term.

Bidstack Group PLC (LON:BIDS) has raised GBP10.86mln to fund the development of a new platform for its native in-game advertising technology, which it believes will help speed the growth of this form of advertising.

Almost 500mln shares were sold in a placing at a price of 2p apiece, a one-third discount to the previous day’s closing price, so it is small wonder the shares plunged by 25% this week to 2.175p.

7digital Group PLC (LON:7DIG) was another technology stock under the cosh; the shares slumped 24% to 0.975p after the company, which provides a cloud-based platform that powers music apps, posted a loss of GBP1.4mln for 2020 on revenue that declined to GBP6.5mln from GBP9.3mln in 2019.

“The sales momentum from the end of last year has continued in 2021, which we expect to translate into significant year-on-year revenue growth and deliver a full year of positive EBITDA,” said Paul Langworthy, the chief executive of 7digital.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here