A look back at some of this week’s more interesting stories from London’s junior market.
The big news in the markets this week has been the fall from grace of superstar stock-picker Neil Woodford, who on Monday said he had suspended trading in his Woodford Equity Income Fund for at least 28 days after a slew of investors started to pull their cash.
Neil’s message to investors following Link’s decision, after discussions with Woodford, to suspend all investor dealing in the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund.
There has also been collateral damage in the junior market, with several AIM-listed firms backed by Woodford suffering hefty share price slides in the week.
These include pharma firm Circassia Pharmaceuticals (LON:CIR), which dropped 9.3% to 20p in the week, as well as mattress maker Eve Sleep PLC (LON:EVE), down 9.5% at 5.9p, and lorry group Eddie Stobart Logistics PLC (LON:ESL), which slumped 9.7% to 74.5p.
Woodford was a significant shareholder in each of these firms, with his funds holding stakes of 27.8%, 46.8%, and 25% respectively.
Elsewhere during the week, pharmaceutical firm Motif Bio lost nearly two thirds of its value, plunging 60.3% to 3.5p after the US drug regulator encouraged the company to carry out another trial on its iclaprim antibiotic to assuage concerns over possible liver toxicity.
In an update on Thursday, the firm said that it had requested a meeting with the Food & Drug Administration to discuss the design of a fresh clinical evaluation, including the appropriate patient population.
The company has already completed a phase III trial for iclaprim, which is being designed to treat acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections.
While another clinical trial is unlikely to cause issues, Motif’s investors may have been spooked by the prospect of an equity raise as the company looks for ways to fund itself past September.
Investors were also evaluating the performance of Scapa Group PLC (LON:SCPA) after the adhesive products group said it was assessing the profitability implications from the termination of a supply agreement with colostomy bag maker ConvaTec, with the shares crashing 45% to 162.6p in response.
Surgical Innovations Group PLC (LON:SUN) got a scalping after a Brexit-inspired profit warning sent its shares plunging 33% to 2.8p.
Meanwhile, levelling machinery specialist Somero Enterprise Inc (LON:SOM) was underwater, with the shares sinking 22.7% to 280p after record rainfall across the US in the first part of 2019 dampened its performance, resulting in an earnings warning for the full year.
Miner Ironveld PLC (LON:IRON) was looking distinctly rusty after tumbling 33% to 1p on the back of news that discussions with a potential commercial off-take partner for its project at the Bushveld Complex in South Africa had collapsed.
The AIM All-Share was down 2.4% at 937.3 during the week while the FTSE 100 was up 2.1% at 7,312.8.
In the risers, gold explorer KEFI Minerals PLC (LON:KEFI) shot up 37% to 2p in the week after the National Bank of Ethiopia approved a financing package for the company’s Tulu Kapi project in the west of the country.
Mass spectrometer maker Microsaic Systems PLC (LON:MSYS) spun 24.5% higher to 1.7p after inking a distribution agreement with South Korean life science and analytical equipment firm CM Corp.
Renalytix AI PLC (LON:RENX) climbed 26.2% to 255p after some positive findings from a kidney transplant study which showed that the company’s FractalDx portfolio technology could accurately predict early acute kidney rejection in transplant patients.
The data also suggested that FractalDx could be used to mitigate toxic side effects and damage to transplanted kidneys from immunosuppression therapy.
Elsewhere, shares in Pay-TV group Amino Technologies PLC (LON:AMO) were given a boost jumping 14.5% to 106.5p after a well-received trading update that said it was making good progress with a transformation plan.
Housebuilder Inland Homes Plc (LON:INL) rose 9.3% to 62p following news that local authorities had passed a resolution to grant planning permission for its flagship project in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.
There was also some sparkle from Jubilee Metals Group PLC (LON:JLP), which surged 16.8% to 3.3p after the platinum miner laid out plans to increase production capacity at its operations in South Africa.
Author Calum Muirhead
Source Link www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk
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