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Faron Pharma weak on profit-taking after an uninspiring report on ongoing phase III trials

Analyst Julie Simmonds at broker Panmure Gordon said: “No negative or positive read through on the likely outcome of the trial can be made from the statement”

Respiratory patient
Panmure reiterated a 663p price target on Faron shares, around a 20% discount on Friday’s closing price

Faron Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:FARN) saw a chunk of its recent strong gains reversed in late afternoon trade, with the stock losing 23% to 620p on profit-taking after an uninspiring report on ongoing phase III trials for its Traumakine respiratory disease product.

Faron said the Independent Data Monitoring Committee report for its Traumakine study for the treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome recommended the trial should continue as planned.

In a note to clients, analyst Julie Simmonds at broker Panmure Gordon  said: “No negative or positive read through on the likely outcome of the trial can be made from the statement.”

READ: Faron Pharmacueticals' Traumakine study progress

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She added: “Given the recent performance of the shares we expect a fall back in price today, though retain our expectation of long-term performance.”

Panmure Gordon reiterated a ‘buy’ rating and 663p price target on Faron shares, which was around a 20% discount on Friday’s closing price.

On the up, there was fresh speculative interest in two stocks which were strong performers last week.

The Myanmar-language social media, entertainments and payments platform operator MySquar Ltd (LON:MYSQ) jumped another 25% higher to 2.35p following a 50% leap last week which made it the top AIM performer.

The jump came after one of the investors in MySquar’s recent £2mln placing bought another lump of stock, with Imperium Ltd purchasing a further 90,000,000 shares to bring its overall interest in the social media group to 15.7%.

READ: Small cap movers: Speculative interest boosts Myanmar-focused MySquar

Meanwhile, Porta Communications PLC (LON:PCTM) also added to a near 24% surge last week by taking on another 27% to 4.13p.

The City seems to think that news of the departure of David Wright as Porta’s chairman might pave the way for a bid for the communications and marketing group.

1.35pm: Bank contract a spur to MediaZest gains

MediaZest PLC (LON:MDZ) was squeezed higher in early afternoon trading, up 19% to 0.13p as the media agency confirmed it has recently completed a substantial project for Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks.

MediaZest said it has provided audio-visual services under the client's new Studio B initiative in High Street Kensington, which opened to the public last month, and said this is one of the new business wins announced in its last update in early March.

On March 3, MediaZest said it had won business worth around £500,000 in new revenue so far in 2017, including a new project for a "UK high street bank.”

Another big gainer was Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO) which rose almost 12% higher to 23.5p after one of its non-executive directors, a well-respected industry veteran invested another £250,000 of his own money into the radiotherapy company

READ: Director invests another £250,000 into Advanced Oncotherapy

AVO has issued 833,333 new shares to Dr Nick Plowman – who is the UK’s senior radiologist – at a price of 30p each; an almost 50% premium to Friday’s closing price of 21p.

Among the fallers, stockbroker Numis Corporation PLC (LON:NUM) lost 0.2% to 277.,75p after it reported a 38% drop in half year pre-tax profits to £10.5mln and announced its founder was stepping down from the board.

READ: Numis reports 38% decline in half year profit

Oliver Hemsley, the company’s founder and former chief executive, will leave the board with immediate effect but will continue to be an adviser to the business for the next 12 months.  Hemsley handed over the chief executive role to Alex Ham and Ross Mitchinson last September.

11.35am: MYCELX spurts higher on first Nigerian oil and gas market contract

Clean water technology company, MYCELX Technologies Corporation (LON:MYXR) saw its shares jump by 25% to 50p in late morning trading, lifted by news the firm has won its first contract in the Nigerian oil and gas market.

The group will provide onshore water treatment to an undisclosed independent oil and gas producer, which is developing reserves in the Niger Delta.

The operator will use MYCELX’s system for water injection and enhanced oil recovery techniques to increase its production and reserves.

Elsewhere, Challenger Acquisitions Limited (LON:CHAL) climbed almost 18% higher to 3.65p as its convertible debt holders gave it some breathing space to restructure itself.

The observation wheel investor said holders of £1.16mln worth of convertible notes had agreed to the maturity date being pushed out until May next year and to interest being paid at maturity/conversion rather than quarterly.

And CML Microsystems  PLC (LON:CML) gained almost 7.5% at 467.5p after the tech firm said its full year profit will exceed market forecasts after a strong second half performance.

The maker of radio frequency semiconductors for the industrial storage and communications markets reported that unaudited figures indicate that annual revenue was above £27.6mln and profit before tax will exceed analysts’ expectations at about £4.2mln.

On the downside,  a 10-for-1 share sub-division saw CLS Holdings PLC (LON:CLS) technically lose 89% off its value to 201.4p.

9.30am: Fuel cell boost for Intelligent Environment

Shares in Intelligent Energy Holdings PLC (LON:IEH) surged almost 50% higher in early morning trading to 8p after the firm revealed it will be the technical lead on an EU-funded programme for the development of a blueprint for the mass manufacturing of fuel cell stacks for the automotive market.

Intelligent Energy said it will be the technology lead on the €3.5mln programme, named DIGIMAN, receiving funding from the Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking under the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) PLC (LON:EOG) was also a strong early gainer, jumping over 10% higher to 7.75p after it detailed two additional new exploration prospects offshore Ireland that are estimated to have potential for 553mln barrels of oil.

WATCH: Europa O&G's boss hails CPR firming up two large Offshore Ireland prospects

A new competent persons report (CPR), provided by ERC Equipoise, has confirmed two significant prospects – Ervine and Edgeworth – in the Europa’s wholly-owned Licence Option (LO) 16/2 in the South Porcupine basin, in Ireland’s Atlantic Margin.

Meanwhile payment products provider Eckoh PLC (LON:ECK)  saw its shares gain 3% to 42p after the firm said it is on course to hit market forecasts this year thanks to a strong showing from its US operations.

WATCH: Eckoh boss says 2016 trading update "an excellent result"

The group also revealed that its non-executive chairman Chris Batterham will stand down at the next AGM.

And Anglo Asian Mining Plc (LON:AAZ) edged 1.5% higher to 17.5p on news it has completed the second phase of its drilling campaign at the Ugur gold deposit in Western Azerbaijan, where first production is planned for the fourth quarter of this year.

Proactive news headlines...

Active Energy Group PLC (LON:AEG) is to sell off its WoodFibre operations in Ukraine as part of the new plan to refocus and reorganise its business which it unveiled today.

The AIM-quoted firm said it is shaking up its structure in order to focus more on the global roll-out of its CoalSwitch fuel product as well as the development of a forestry management business.

Hurricane Energy Plc’s (LON:HUR) Lancaster field in the West of Shetland region, offshore Scotland, is now deemed to host more than half a billion barrels of oil. A new competent persons report by RPS Energy has outlined a ‘best estimate’ for the field’s recoverable resources amounting to 523mln barrels, up 162% from the last CPR back in 2013.

Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) Plc (LON:EOG) has detailed two additional new exploration prospects offshore Ireland that are estimated to have potential for 553mln barrels of oil. A new competent persons report (CPR), provided by ERC Equipoise, has confirmed two significant prospects – Ervine and Edgeworth – in the company’s wholly owned Licence Option (LO) 16/2 in the South Porcupine basin, in Ireland’s Atlantic Margin.

Eckoh PLC (LON:ECK)  is on course to hit market forecasts this year thanks to a strong showing from its US operations. Revenue and margins at the secure payments specialist rose by over 20% for the fourth year in succession to March 2017 with the US seeing record sales and orders.

Faron Pharmaceuticals Ltd's (LON: FARN) has received another recommendation that its ongoing INTEREST trial for lead drug Traumakine can continue as planned with no changes. The independent data monitoring committee has now reviewed the trial data four times with the next scheduled review at 240 recruited patients and likely to be in the third quarter of 2017.

Sula Iron & Gold PLC (LON:SULA) has identified a potential new target at Ferensola in Sierra Leone through its latest drill programme. This "step out" drilled the underlying geological formation at the Kuwait artisanal mining area that lies to the west of the TZ2 (Eastern Target) anomaly.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL) in its first quarter statement told investors it has engaged two investment banks for a potential funding for the group’s plans in Nigeria. Paris based COFARCO SAS and London’s Zeus Capital have been tasked to raise funds for drilling on the OPL 226 asset, offshore Nigeria.

Anglo Asian Mining Plc (LON:AAZ) has completed the second phase of its drilling campaign at the Ugur gold deposit in Western Azerbaijan, where first production is planned for the fourth quarter of this year.

Anglo Asian’s 2017 production target remains in the range of 64,000 to 72,000 ounces of gold, but the source of this production will temporarily change as Ugur comes on stream: mining operations at the Gedabek open pit will simultaneously be scaled back till the end of the year to allow for a greater focus on existing stockpiles.

Wolf Minerals Limited (LON:WLFE) has appointed interim managing director  Richard Lucas to its board with effect from today. Lucas was appointed on 7 April as part of the leadership transition and the need for a greater onsite executive team commitment to ensure the long term successful operation of the Drakelands mine.

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