Small cap movers: QUIZ provides the right answers in trading update while Xtract eulogises about Foo

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Fast-fashion retail group Quiz PLC (LON:QUIZ) was the top-performing small-cap this week on the back of a reassuring trading update.


The shares rose 36% to 13.275p after the retailer said that while trading remains affected by the various restrictions on social activities and events, sales in the second quarter of 2021 were in line with expectations.


Sales through QUIZ’s own websites totalled GBP4.6mln (2020: GBP2.2m) with revenues steadily improving through the reporting period. Sales through third party websites totalled GBP1.8mln (2020: GBP1.2mln) with this channel affected by the cessation of sales through the Debenhams website from early April 2021.


Gross margins compared favourably with those seen in the same period of last year and in the pre-pandemic corresponding quarter of 2019, although the group did not reveal how favourably.


Star Phoenix Group Ltd (LON:SAT) was lifted by news that it has commenced arbitration proceedings against LandOcean.


The AIM-listed oilfield services provider is claiming various sums, currently estimated in excess of US$8.4mln, from LandOcean.


There are additional claims of US$1.8mln that fall outside of the arbitration request, and the company is exploring options of bringing these claims separately in the courts of Trinidad and Tobago – a touch of the old Trouble In Paradise, there.


Star Phoenix’s shares were 32% higher at 1.85p, lifting its stock market value to GBP2.8mln.


System1 Group PLC (LON:SYS1), a marketing and brand consultancy, climbed 22% to 22.25p after it announced an increase in full-year profits on reduced revenue.


Adjusted profit before tax in the year to the end of March rose 46% to GBP3.0mln while statutory profit before tax – which includes so-called exceptional items – soared 601% to GBP2.1mln.


Revenue declined 11% to GBP22.8mln but the second half of the financial year saw revenues 8% higher year-on-year.


The company specialises in automated prediction products so presumably had some grounds for claiming it plans “to remain profitable and to continue to generate cash” in the current financial year.


Xtract Resources PLC (LON:XTR) was lifted by results of a MIMDAS induced polarisation geophysical survey at the Footrot prospect on its Bushranger copper-gold exploration project, located in the Lachlan Fold Belt of New South Wales, Australia.


The project is located seven kilometres southeast of the company’s Racecourse asset, where phase two drilling has just commenced on schedule.


“We are pleased that the Footrot prospect is demonstrating a similar geophysical signature to Racecourse. Arising from the Phase One drilling programme and geophysics testing at Racecourse we have learned much about the mineralisation patterns relative to geophysical models. In addition, we have learned that strong pyrrhotite and pyrite mineralisation is a good indicator for copper mineralisation. We plan to undertake further geophysics using drone technology over the Racecourse project whilst identifying the best drill site to test the Footrot geophysical signature,” said Colin Bird, the executive chairman of Xtract.


Never has a man sounded so happy talking about Footrot.


Xtract shares were up by a fifth this week as were the shares of Pantheon Resources PLC (LON:PANR), which on Friday projected a 50% plus upgrade in the resource at one of the sections on its Talitha project in Alaska.


An internal analysis of the SMD-B sequence encountered by the Talitha #A well has led to a new estimate of 2.6bn barrels of oil in place (OIP) and a mean recoverable contingent resource (P50) of 404mln barrels.


The previous estimate across all three SMD intervals was 1.8bn barrels OIP and a 483mln barrel P50 recoverable resource.


Symphony Environmental Technologies PLC (LON:SYM) said it has received approval from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for its d2p antimicrobial food contact technology.


The shares hardened 17% to 22p after the company explained the FDA’s approval applies to all types of polyolefin and polyester film for wrapping bread, instead of just linear low-density polythene; as a result, Symphony expects an “acceleration of the commercial process in the near term”.


Petro Matad Ltd (LON:MATD), down 55% at 3.255p, was the week’s worst performer after it raised roughly US$10mln by offering shares at a heavily discounted price of 3.5p.


Trading in the shares of Immedia Group PLC (LON:IME) resumed this week sharply lower after the supplier of multi-media content and digital solutions terminated bid talks with Sprift Technologies.


When the potential reverse takeover was first announced in March 2021, Immedia agreed to provide Sprift with a secured loan facility of GBP900,000 for working capital purposes. Sprift has drawn down the full GBP900,000 and the loan is now repayable in full within the next 12 months.


The board of Immedia believe Sprift will be able to pay back the loan but this may depend on Sprift’s future trading performance and its ability to secure additional working capital funding as and when required.


Immedia shares are now trading 51% below the level at which trading in the shares was suspended.

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