RNS Hotlist May 16: Atlantic, Canadian, Cornerstone, Hercules, iEnergizer, Oracle, Oriole, Sabien,Trinity, Zephyr

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

Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL), an international oil and gas company, announced the publication of its Financial Statements and Management Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2023. The company’s average crude oil sales before royalties averaged 974 bbls/d as compared to 1,177 bbls/d in the fourth quarter of 2022. COPL said the decrease in oil production was due primarily to operational interruptions at certain high impact wells, including unusually severe winter weather conditions, which caused multiple field wide shut-ins due to road closures to the fields and blockages within the fields restricting access for crude oil offtake. The cash position of $10.7 million as at March 31, 2023 as compared to $4.0 million as at December 31, 2022.

Comment: Just for a change there was no comment from the company’s rambunctious President / CEO, although perhaps the cash position speaks for itself?

Atlantic Lithium (ALL), the African-focussed lithium exploration and development company targeting to deliver Ghana’s first lithium mine, announced the appointments of Keith Muller as CEO and Len Kolff as Head of Business Development & Chief Geologist, both effective immediately.

Comment: The latest appointments at ALL are timely and appropriate as the company continues to shake off the recent shorting activity which amounted to the most random of black swans.

Oracle Power (ORCP), a developer of energy projects, said it has signed a MOU for the off-take and development of its 1.32 GW Thar coal fired power plant in the Sindh Province, Pakistan. The company said the Thar Project is a key part of Oracle Power’s stated strategy of monetising its asset base. By partnering with K-Electric through this MOU, Oracle Power will seek to further de-risked the Thar Project with a strong potential off-take partner which has a strategy to build a base-load energy capacity of 2,000 GW. The Thar Project’s 1.32 GW could provide a significant proportion of that strategy.

Comment: Ironically, but not unusually, ORCP has started to deliver the goods for shareholders, just as many had perhaps doubted on the company’s ability to execute its energy project development strategy. Once what the market realises what company has achieved, the long-awaited re-rate should gather pace.

Cornerstone FS (CSFS), a foreign exchange and payments company, announced its final results for the year ended 31 December 2022. Revenue increased 110% to £4.8m (2021: £2.3m). Gross margin improved to 60.9% (2021: 51.6%). Adjusted EBITDA loss reduced to £0.9m (2021: £1.3m loss). The company says the strong trading momentum experienced in 2022 has been sustained into the current year, and we remain on track for a significant increase in revenue for full year 2023 and are optimistic in terms of adjusted EBITDA positivity.

Comment: It should be the case that, to paraphrase Amy Winehouse, Cornerstone’s journey Back To Black will see a resumption of the recovery in the stock which started briefly at the beginning of this year.

Oriole Resources (ORR), the AIM-quoted gold exploration company focussed on West Africa, provided an update on the Senala gold project in Senegal. The company said it was delighted to see activity re-start at Faré, where it knows there is potential to extend the existing maiden resource at Faré South, identify additional resources at Faré South and Faré North, and to test additional targets identified during the 2022 auger drilling programme.

Comment: Oriole has seen its shares enter recover in recent months, something one would imagine may accelerate now that Faré is back in the game.

iEnergizer Limited (IBPO), an international and full service Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company, is pleased to announce the appointment of James Reed-Daunter as Head of Investor Relations. The company said that Reed-Daunter, who is based in the United Kingdom, has worked with the company since 2006 and has over 20 years’ experience in financial services in London.

Comment: One hopes that the new Head of IR will deliver the goods for iEnergizer at this current critical juncture having had 17 years of experience with the company.

Trinity Exploration & Production (TRIN), the independent E&P company focused on Trinidad and Tobago, announced that the company has commenced drilling of the deep “Jacobin” prospect. The company said Jacobin is a significant well and potential growth catalyst for Trinity.  Jacobin is targeting virgin-pressured reservoirs with higher initial production rates than conventional wells and offers Trinity the potential for reduced payback cycle times and a meaningful production increase.

Comment: Given that shares of TRIN are at the lows in the run up to today’s news, it would be rather churlish of the market not to greet the drilling news with at least a token mark up.

Hercules Site Services (HERC), a technology enabled labour supply company for the UK infrastructure sector, provide a trading update for the six months ended 31 March 2023. The company said it is trading in line with market expectations for the full year to 30 September 2023, with revenue expected to be over £37 million for the first six months. This represents an increase of c. 85% on the six months to 31 March 2022 (£19.9m). All income streams grew, each with their own individual drivers, underpinned by the substantial demand in the infrastructure sector.

Comment: A brilliant, soaring revenue company with very capable management, in a gravy train space, which has alas, hidden its light under a bushel for too long. Unfortunately, even its forthcoming “live presentation” is unlikely to change the status quo for all but a very select group.

Sabien Technology Group (SNT), a company focused on a green aggregation strategy, provides an update on b.grn Group Limited, the Special Purpose Vehicle. Formed in partnership with Parris Group Limited on 21 December 2021, b.grn has made significant progress in pursuing its waste plastic recycling strategy. SNT said it was very excited to welcome COF into the b.grn business family and to lead the economic internationalization of their RGO technology. Over the past 18 months, we have developed a shared vision to spread RGO technology globally as a key solution to the plastic waste problem.

Comment: While many small cap observers may have decided that there is not much to see at SNT, it would appear that it is indeed pushing towards its plastic waste solution goal, something which could be transformational.

Zephyr Energy (ZPHR), the Rocky Mountain oil and gas company, provided initial first quarter 2023 results related to hydrocarbon production and cashflows from its non-operated asset portfolio in the Williston Basin, North Dakota, U.S, as well as an update on the State 36-2 LNW-CC well. The company said that over the last two years, Zephyr has built a successful and profitable non-operated asset base comprised of a diverse mix of working-interests in 223 low-risk, high-margin producing wells.   This production is well-hedged at above current market prices, and delivers rapid payback and solid cash flows to fund future growth within both our operated and non-operated portfolios.

Comment: Perhaps rather unfairly ZPHR was marked out as a stock market darling a couple of years ago, before a lot of the good work it has done since then. But has not managed to retain the honour. Now would appear to be a good time for management to highlight this inequitable state of affairs.


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Zak Mir

Zak Mir

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