Small cap movers: Glass half full at Hurricane Energy, Somero impress again


Hurricane Energy shares rose by as much as 8 per cent on Friday as the beaten-down offshore UK oil producer said it received acceptances for its subsidiary to buy back US$78mln of a US$230mln convertible bond series, at 78p in the pound.

Chief executive Anthony Maris highlighted that Hurricane had reduced the amount held by third-parties to US$152mln and used only US$62mln of free cash.

Maris described it as “a positive development” for the company.

It provides the company and shareholders some relief. It is not so much a stay of execution but maybe, for now, it reduces the heft of the executioner’s blade.

When making the bond tender, Hurricane said it was “a proactive liability management exercise” that would give “certainty of outcome for the bondholders that accepted”.

The Lancaster field still produces some 10,000 barrels of oil per day, which is much less than originally estimated by Hurricane, nevertheless, an asset remains and so the story will continue – for now.

No such uncertainty at Somero Enterprises, which hit an all-time high this week.

Shares climbed 14 per cent to 536p as the concrete-levelling equipment specialist’s half-year results dazzled.

Florida-based Somero’s technology enables construction companies to install high-quality horizontal concrete floors faster, flatter and with fewer people.

And business is booming thanks to demand for new warehouses to meet the surge in online shopping.

Underlying profits of $24.6m and operating cash flow of $16m for the first six months of 2021 were the highest in the company’s time on AIM, having floated in 2006.

The board now expects full-year revenues of roughly US$120mln, underlying profits of around US$42mln and year-end net cash of close to US$36mln.

It is just “amazingly active” at present said chief executive Jack Cooney.

Another US-focused group doing well is the theme park ticketing software group Accesso Technology.

People have been flocking back to parks run by customers such as Six Flags since the easing of lockdown restrictions and revenue is back to 2019 trading levels or around US$117mln.

Cash and underlying earnings meanwhile will be significantly ahead of current market expectations for both the half and the full year, it added, sending the shares up to 1,005p or their highest for more than two years.

One Media iP shares stomped and twirled higher after it snapped up the rights to more songs penned by northern soul legend Ian Levine.

The latest batch includes a new recording deal Levine made with multimillion-selling artist Evelyn Thomas who topped the charts with ‘High Energy’ in 1984, with the pair now working on three new recordings due to be released before Christmas.

Maestrano rose more than 10% as Network Rail gave the go-ahead for its technology to be used across the UK rail network.

The kit determines whether a different train will fit along a given route making it easier to introduce new trains onto the network, the AIM-listed firm said.

Powerhouse Energy had a rollercoaster week as it surged on rumours of a deal with German chemicals giant Linde only for the more prosaic reality to take some wind out of its sails.

A DMG licensee has been working with the German firm on a technical feasibility study said the waste-to energy group.

“HUI and Linde are in discussions to enter into an agreement to develop a plant in Konin, Poland, which would use Powerhouse’s technology,” it explained.

“There can be no guarantee such an agreement would be finalised and any agreement regarding building a facility would be subject to material conditions including financing, permitting and planning permission.”

Shares were 5% higher on Friday to 5.4p, even so.

On the downside, IQE was out of favour as the Wales-based semiconductor maker underwhelmed with its numbers at a time when everyone is complaining about chip shortages.

Sales and profits were flat as was the mood after the numbers with the shares dropping over 10% to 46p.

Aim, too, had a low-key week generally with the junior market’s all-share index down just over 1%, mirroring falls among the big caps.


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