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RNS Hotlist April 4: Ascent, Corcel, Genflow, Likewise, Marula, Rockfire, Smarttech, Tirupati, United Oil & Gas, Venture Life, Wishbone

This post was written by Zak Mir, a Technical Analyst, Events Host, Presenter, CEO Interviewer and established Market Commentator

Ascent Resources (AST), the onshore Hispanic American and European focussed energy and natural resources company, announced that it has entered into agreements to settle a portion of its revenue recognition claim against Geoenergo and to settle in full the dispute with the JV service provider, Petrol Geo. The company confirmed that the Tribunal for its ICSID registered €500+ million damages claim against the Republic of Slovenia has been constituted. The company said it was pleased to continue to make progress in achieving resolutions to its various disputes. Whilst there is still a way to go, resolving the matter with the service provider has resulted in a significant retrospective cost saving alongside a re-profiled and more sustainable ongoing project cost base for our Slovenian asset.

Comment: The market cap for Ascent has slipped to just below £5m, which might be considered unfair, if only on the basis of today’s settlement news. Of course, investors / punters continue to be mesmerised by the prospect of a €500 damages win, and may tuck away some AST just in case.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR), the specialist graphite and graphene company, provided an update on operations at its Vatomina & Sahamamy flake graphite projects in Madagascar and announces that it has successfully achieved commercial production of 97% pure flake graphite from its Vatomina project in Madagascar. The company said achieving commercial production at a grade of 97% is another significant milestone in Tirupati’s continued progress as we establish ourselves as a leading supplier of flake graphite outside of China. The increasing output is timely with a demand supply gap forecast over the next year and it is well positioned to play our role in the evolving flake graphite opportunities.

Comment: TGR has finessed its acquisition news yesterday, with production news, and news that underlines the quality of the production. Once again we are reminded that the company is now poised to be a leading world graphite producer, with all the positive revenue implications associated with such a position.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN), announced further analysis by Expert Geophysics of MobileMT survey of the Red Setter project. Under some geological assumptions yet to be tested, EG have now stated that they interpret the Red Setter structure as a potential analogue of the +26 million ounce Telfer deposit, Newcrest’s major gold/copper mine 15 km northeast of Red Setter. The company said Expert Geophysics have produced a fascinating conclusion to their work that it may well be looking at a similar deposit to Newcrest’s Telfer Mine only 15km NE of it. It will proceed with additional heritage surveys for the newly defined drill areas and further refine the targets and look to start drilling the major new targets as soon as the extreme summer heat in the area abates.

Comment: It will be interesting to see whether after the share price falls of recent months, whether today’s news of a potential analogue to the 26 million ounce Telfer deposit, causes the bulls to sit up and notice Wishbone again.

Smarttech247 (S247), a provider of AI-enhanced cybersecurity services, announced the financial results of its principal subsidiary, Zefone Limited, for the year ended 31 July 2022. EBITDA increased by 20.2% to €2.0 million (31 July 2021: €1.67 million). Operating profit increased by 32.2% to €1.76 million (31 July 2021: €1.33 million) The company said the last financial year was transformational for the Business which won a significant number of new contracts to deliver its Managed Detection and Response capabilities for global customers.

Comment: Smarttech247 seems to be one of the rare examples in cybersecurity which has a genuine edge versus its peers, and is making growing profits, rather than necessarily ARR etc, which most in the market are yet to understand or appreciate.

Likewise Group (LIKE), the UK floor coverings distributor, announced that Group Revenue in Q1 2023 increased by 19.7% against the corresponding period last year. Revenue in the Likewise Branded businesses has grown by 25.7%, reflecting a continually improving return on the investment in the sales infrastructure. The company said Q1 has been positive and the Group will continue to take market share in existing geographical regions notwithstanding the huge opportunity as the Group moves into new UK territories.

Comment: Likewise seems to be a remarkable example of a company being able to not only withstand the economic headwinds of the moment, but actually to flourish in them.

Marula Mining (MARU), an African focused mining and development company, updated on its Nyorinyori Graphite Project, in which the company has a 75% interest, located in the Simanjiro District, in the Manyara Region of Tanzania. The company said the high-grade graphite mineralisation and presence of jumbo graphite flakes are indicative of the immense potential that it believes this project holds. As a result, it will be fast-tracking on-site activities and accelerating exploration work to further demonstrate and realise this potential.

Comment: It is clearly the case that the ever rising share price is based on ever improving fundamentals, as witnessed today. The run up to a LSE listing is already resembling something of a lap of honour.

Rockfire Resources (ROCK), the base metal, gold and critical mineral exploration company,  announced that the company’s geotechnical drilling programme at the Molaoi zinc deposit in Greece continues to intersect high-grade zinc. The company said results from its geotechnical drilling continue to confirm the location, continuity and high-grade nature of the zinc resource. Potentially economic zinc grades continue to occur over widths deemed suitable for mechanised underground mining. The close association of zinc, silver and lead continues to be demonstrated. Rockfire is committed to proceeding as quickly as possible towards a resource upgrade and to commence feasibility studies before the end of the 2023 calendar year.

Comment: Shares of Rockfire are already significantly up on their autumn lows, and with the relatively short time frame given to the start of feasibility studies, one would expect the squeeze higher to continue.

Genflow (GENF) provided an update to investors on the company’s progress during the first quarter of 2023. The company said the outlook for the company is positive as it is in a secure financial position. Genflow’s current cash, and grant funding, allows for a 2 year runway until March 2025 (based on the Company’s current, planned expenditure). This puts Genflow in a more favourable financial position compared to many other biotechnology companies.

Comment: Despite the odd swivel-eyed detractors, Genflow’s business as usual attitude, the 2 year runway and being on the permanent zeitgeist of anti-ageing, suggest that at current share price levels there is value and opportunity.

Venture Life (VLG), which is developing, manufacturing and commercialising products for the international self-care market, announced its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2022. Gross profit increased 36.3% to £17.7m (2021: £13.0m). Adjusted EBITDA2 increased 35.8% to £9.0m (2021: £6.6m). The company said it was delighted that the whole team at Venture Life has delivered strong growth in both revenue and adjusted EBITDA, ahead of market expectations.

Comment: Venture Life remains something of an enigma, coming in ahead of market expectations, but so far having had limited success in getting its message to the market. A brilliant company which is yet to be fully appreciated.

Corcel (CRCL), the extractive industries exploration and development company, announced that it has exercised its option to acquire the Canegrass Lithium project, as originally announced on 22 February 2023. The company said building upon its recent acquisition and farm-out of the Mt. Weld REE project which is now approaching drilling, Corcel is pleased to have now acquired a high-upside / low-cost lithium project, adjacent to Aldoro Resources’ Wyenmandoo lithium-rubidum-tantalum project in Western Australia.

Comment: Shares of Corcel have improved well since the February option announcement, so one would assume exercising the option should continue the positive re-rate.

United Oil & Gas (UOG), the full-cycle oil and gas company, provided an update on operations in the Abu Sennan licence, onshore Egypt. United holds a 22% non-operating interest in the Abu Sennan licence, which is operated by Kuwait Energy Egypt. The company said it was happy to report that the next well in its 2023 drilling campaign has spud at ASD-3, in an area of the field it believes contains extensive unrecovered resources.

Comment: Progress in Egypt has stabilised sentiment towards UOG. However, it could be that much more of the same is required to get the share price anywhere near where the company’s valuation should be.

Disclaimer:

Zakmir.com is a purely journalistic website – Zak Mir is a member of the National Union of Journalists. There is no intention here of providing financial advice. It is recommended you seek an independent professional opinion before deciding whether or not to take any action with regard to anything written or said here.

 

Zak Mir

Zak Mir

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