Feel good story of the day came for the stock market’s current favourite crypto plays, Argo Blockchain (ARB) and Mode Global (MODE). Both enjoyed ongoing recoveries as Bitcoin itself rallied over 10%, as we found out why Elon Musk had changed his bio on Twitter to Bitcoin: it was revealed that Tesla is to accept payment in Bitcoin, as well as having bought $1.5bn worth of the digital asset. Shares of crypto miner Argo were up 20%, with Bitcoin app Mode up 14%.
SPAC of the day was undoubtedly Golden Rock (GCG), with the shares up 273%, as hopes of a RTO were chased. As has been the case of late, there was a rather angry battle between those on the outside looking in, and those who had managed to multi-bag a thin, small free float situation in just a matter of a couple of days. Interestingly enough, there was no speeding ticket RNS – presumably, this could be on its way…
A couple which did have to explain itself was Omega Diagnostics (ODX), the medical diagnostics company focused on CD4, infectious diseases and food intolerance. It said it noted the article published online the previous day by the Financial Times. Omega confirmed that it is continuing to modify its Alva-based facility to upscale significantly its lateral flow test production capacity. The company said that contracts or supply agreements are signed to utilise this capacity, the stock market would be the first to know. The result was that Omega shares rose 32%.
Rather more solid was the latest update from graphite / graphene play, Tirupati Graphite (TGR), which continues to deliver decent newsflow in the wake of its IPO late last year. The latest was to announce that in response to continued increased demand for its high quality flake graphite from Madagascar, it will upscale the capacity of the first module at its Vatomina Project by 50% to a planned production of 9,000 tonnes per annum. Tirupati added that increased demand from current customers, including a London listed FTSE 250 company recognised as a global benchmark flake graphite user, and interest from new target buyers globally highlight the strong graphite market dynamics. Tirupati shares rose 5%.
While it is somewhat difficult to tell where the smart money is in a bull market, especially in the small cap space, it was clear that the more professional investors were entering the fray at Microsaic (MSYS). This came after Friday’s announcement at the point-of-need mass spectrometry company that after last month’s fundraise, Gerard Brandon of Deepverge (DVRG) fame, and Dr Nigel Burton had been appointed to the Board of the Company as Non-Executive Chairman and Non-executive Director respectively. Life sciences investor Intuitive investments Group (IIG), led by David Evans, announced it had bought £250,000 worth of stock last month. Shares of Microsaic were up 4%.
With Crude Oil prices continuing to rise to the $60 a barrel zone, it was a good time make a positive noise for companies in the space. Indeed, Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL) was able to show that there can be very positive results from borrowing cash. On this occasion Canadian was able to thank Riverfort and Yorkville for providing a loan in June of last year which was strategic to the restructuring of the Company, allowing it to proceed to nearing the completion of its $54m Atomic Oil & Gas acquisition.
Finally, while sprawling pharma service group Open Orphan (ORPH) has risen more than five-fold since the Venn Life Sciences deal in the summer of 2019, the start of the week witnessed an acceleration in the share price. This came off the back of speculation regarding the fate of the company’s non core assets, which have only increased in value during the pandemic. In addition, Open Orphan has been able to announce increased capacity, especially with regard to human challenge studies. Shares of Open Orphan rose 7%.
There was a return to double figures for shares of Tern (TERN), the investment company specialising in the Internet of Things. There was fresh news from investee companies: Device Authority has formed a strategic partnership with EPS Global, and Intrinsic-ID. While Fundamental VR has secured an important contract from a new client to create a simulation in the field of regenerative medicine, valued at approximately £0.5 million in its initial phase, and a further £0.2 million over the following three years for enhancements. Shares of Tern rose 12%.
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