Share Talk Weekly Small Cap Movers & Shakers, Saturday 20th May 2023

The AIM-All Share Index was not able to keep up with the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250, declining by 0.7% to 811 points, while the FTSE indices saw modest gains.

There were brighter spots in the London market, particularly among bio-medical companies. ImmuPharma saw its share price surge by 32% to 3.4p after receiving US FDA approval for a late-stage clinical trial for CIDP treatment, while Genedrive rose 13% to 23p on the back of an endorsement from the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for its CYP2C19 gene test.

Egdon Resources, the week’s largest riser on AIM, is set to leave the market after being acquired by US-based Explorers Petroleum Corp, trading as Petrichor, in a £26.6 million deal – a significant premium to its closing value.

Online estate agency Purplebricks also announced its exit from the market, albeit under less positive circumstances. After successive profit warnings, the company agreed to be purchased by competitor Strike for a paltry £1, causing its shares to drop by 44% to 0.84p.

Circle Property, a property investment and development group, will also leave the market at the end of this month following a shareholder meeting, with its stock price plummeting by over half to 3.5p.

In the natural resources sector, IOG reassured investors about a successful resolution to a “well control event”, resulting in its shares growing 9% to 7p.

The past week brought mixed outcomes for the two top online clothing brands in the UK – Boohoo and ASOS.

Boohoo saw a spike in shares, increasing from 13p to 45p, following better-than-anticipated full-year results. Despite witnessing a pre-tax loss of £90.7 million and an 11% dip in revenues to £1.7 billion, the company’s surprisingly positive cash generation attracted investors. The online retailer’s net cash stood at £6 million as of 28th February, debunking predictions of a £60 million debt load.

In response to these promising numbers, Shore Capital, an authority in online fashion, upgraded Boohoo’s stock recommendation to ‘buy’, signalling robust confidence. Shore further noted that the forthcoming fiscal year bodes well for Boohoo, given potential favourable year-on-year comparisons, streamlined inventory, and the planned launch of a US warehouse.

Contrasting Boohoo, ASOS experienced negative financial developments, with an upsurge in debt and negative cash flow. This led to speculation about the company needing to secure additional funds, causing its shares to tumble by 10.5% over the week.

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