16:00  Micro Focus loses all perspective as chairman departs

Micro Focus International plc (LON:MCRO) slumped by more than 20% as it announced the departure of its long-serving chairman Kevin Loosemore and a slide into the red.

Loosemore leaves after a turbulent year that saw it demoted from the FTSE 100 and revenues tank 30% to US$3.3bn.

He will be replaced by experienced chair Greg Lock later this month, who will retain a non-executive role.

Lock has more than 45 years of experience in the industry and has been chairman at several companies such as Computacenter plc (LON:CCC), Kofax and SurfControl as well as a director at Informa plc (LON:INF).

Hopes that Micro Focus might be sold have seemingly been dashed by today’s announcement said observers, with one commenting there were clearly ‘no serious offers’.

Problems integrating the enterprise software business acquired from Hewlett-Packard in 2017 have dogged the group in recent years.

The now FTSE 250-listed software group announced costs between US$70mln and US$80mln in each of the next two financial years to help fix the problems.

Origo Partners PLC (LON:OPP) slumped 31% to 0.125p after collapse of the proposed sale of one of the assets in which it has invested.

The possible sale of Celadon Mining to a third party will not proceed because a third party has served a demand for arbitration on Celadon, which has dissuaded the purported buyer from proceeding as Celadon had earlier reported.

In Origo’s most recently published audited financial statements Celadon had a carrying value of US$1.13mln,

1.45pm: XLMedia slides down the rankings

XLMedia PLC (LON:XLM) was high on investors’ blacklists with a 26% fall at 25p after it issued a profit warning.

The company expects revenues to be down by between one and two million dollars as a result of many of its websites falling down the search rankings of the dominant search engine, Google, for reasons as yet unknown.

Currently, 107 sites have been hit by an apparent change in Google’s algorithms since the media company alerted the market to the issue with the search engine back on 20 January. The sites that have been demoted by Google are predominantly in online casino sites.

12.30pm: No panic at Disko

There was no panic at Disko for Bluejay Mining PLC (LON:JAY), which saw its shares surge 7.5% to 8.41p after from the Disko-Nuussuaq polymetallic project.

Bluejay released encouraging results from the first geochemical survey undertaken at the project in Greenland.

Disko is prospective for nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum group metals and gold, Bluejay said.

11.30am: Andalas Energy and Power surges as new management team pumps in money

AIM-listed tiddler Andalas Energy and Power PLC (LON:ADL) topped the risers with a 28% rise to 0.16p after announcing a new management team.

Leslie Peterkin has been appointed as the chief executive and Mark Rollins has joined as the non-executive chairman, replacing Simon Gorringe and Robert Arnott respectively.

Rollins and Battrick have subscribed for £500,000 of shares in the company, which announced it intends to change its name to Advance Energy.

10.30am: Wizz Air dips as chairman’s investment company slashes its stake

Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ) dipped 1% to 4,116p after a top shareholder axed its 20.6% stake in the company.

Private equity firm Indigo Partners is now left with only 4% of the budget airline after selling 12mln shares at a 4% discount through an accelerated process, raising £500mln.

Wizz Air’s chairman Bill Franke is managing partner and founder of Indigo.

9.30am: Petards plunges as customer fails to catch the eyeTrain

Shares in Petards Group PLC (LON:PEG), the security and surveillance systems, bombed in early trade on Tuesday, slumping 24% to 9.5p after a profit warning.

The group expects to post a full-year loss before tax, largely as a result of a customer delaying an order for the group’s eyeTrain system, plus much lower than forecast profitability from two unrelated rail projects after problems were identified in end of year project reviews.

The group expects to report 2019 revenues of £15.8mln, some £1.5mln below current market expectations.

In contrast, logistics and parcel distribution company DX Group PLC (LON:DX.) delivered the goods, with a trading update that sent the shares 3.1% higher to 12.5p.

Trading over the first six months of the financial year-  the second half of 2019 – was described as “encouraging”, with DX’s performance benefiting from improved service levels and increased new business.

DX’s board expects further progress in the second half and should, therefore, achieve current market expectations for the financial year.

Proactive news headlines:

Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) shares jumped by 7% at the open on Tuesday, after the company revealed it has completed initial due diligence at the Alamo project in Arizona. The Alamo project shows evidence of possible epithermal mineralisation related to a deep-seated porphyry intrusion. Evidence of intrusive dykes and structural conduits also support the prospectivity of the project. 

Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB), the cryptocurrency miners, mined 247 bitcoins in January, generating revenues of £1.63mln. The company said mining was more efficient in January than in December despite increasing algorithmic difficulty. Argo remains ahead of schedule in its aim to bring 17,000 machines into production by the end of March, with 16,500 machines now grinding their way through calculations to produce “blocks” of verified transactions that are added to the blockchain.

Tower Resources PLC (LON:TRP) is expecting to finalise its drill schedule later this month for the NJOM-3 well, offshore Cameroon. The explorer, in a statement, told investors that Geoquip Marine’s survey vessel MV Investigator is presently in the anticipated NJOM-3 area conducting a site survey.

Bluejay Mining PLC (LON:JAY) has released encouraging results from the first geochemical survey undertaken at the Disko-Nuussuaq polymetallic project in Greenland. Disko is prospective for nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum group metals and gold. Mobile metal ion survey and spatiotemporal geochemical hydrocarbon soil geochemical surveys at Disko identified multiple nickel and copper geochemical anomalies, further enforcing both new and pre-existing anomalies.

Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO) has told investors that talks with ONE Dyas over a possible acquisition are continuing, with a view to renegotiating terms to enable the deal to proceed.  In a statement, the junior oiler said that, in support of the potential acquisition, it continues to assess all debt and equity funding options available to the company. Solo also said it continues to progress a number of complementary business development opportunities, in line with its European gas strategy.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) said it has been notified that, on 28 January 2020, Black Star Gold Pty Ltd distributed 19,880,000 ordinary shares in the company, being its entire holding in Metal Tiger, to its shareholders. It noted that Black Star is a dormant, private Australian company, of which Terry Grammer, a non-executive director of Metal Tiger, is a shareholder and director. Accordingly, Grammer was transferred 3,000,000 Metal Tiger ordinary shares which means he is now beneficially interested in 83,963,426 ordinary shares, representing approximately 5.52% of the company’s issued share capital.

Sure Ventures PLC (LON:SURE), a London listed venture capital fund which invests in early-stage software companies in the rapidly growing technology areas of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR),  Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Fintech, provided an update on its investment portfolio.  Sure Ventures director, Gareth Burchell, said: “We remain pleased and positive about the progress made by the AIFM this quarter. The sale of Artomatix has demonstrated the potential for value creation in our chosen investment areas and a 5x cash on cash return in such a short space of time was very pleasing indeed. We have constructed a portfolio that has a potential that we believe is far greater than the current mark to market valuation used in our NAV calculation and we look forward to updating the market on the progress of not only our current portfolio, but further investment opportunities being progressed in our pipeline of deals.”

Curtis Banks Group PLC (LON:CDP), one of the UK’s largest independent SIPP operators, said it will announce its full-year results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2019 on Wednesday 18 March 2020.