Cineworld PLC (LON:CINE) is starring in its own horror movie; the shares are down 47% today at 19.99p as doubts grow over its future.
Its Regal Entertainment Group subsidiary said yesterday it would temporarily close all of its 542 US cinemas.
Meanwhile, Comcast‘s Universal Pictures has said it would make its films available for digital download even if they are still on theatrical release.
1.30pm: Down the hatch!
Following an initial launch with a leading mobile operator in the US, the mobile commerce firm said customers will now be able to subscribe to Hatch Premium Gaming by paying on their monthly phone bill.
The firm added that the partnership will benefit from Bango’s Boost product, which uses the company’s data insight technology to identify users that are more likely to be interested in subscription-based 5G gaming, helping Hatch to then offer for paid gaming services to these users.
12.30pm: Shoe Zone receives a kicking after footfall declines
In view of the reduction in footfall and the adverse effect the coronavirus is having on the company’s trading, the board is to seek the permission of shareholders to cancel the recently approved final dividend of 8p a share.
The decision to cancel the dividend has been taken with the unanimous backing of the board and is one of a number of measures being implemented to conserve the company’s cash balances during a sustained period of challenging trading.
11.30am: Itaconix has enough funds to last at least until the end of May
Itaconix PLC down 71% at 0.375p, was the top faller in London as it counted the cost of the coronavirus outbreak.
The speciality chemicals group will maintain production but reduce costs, negotiate payment terms and assess whether asset sales are appropriate, as well consider whether to maintain its AIM listing.
Itaconix says it has enough funds to operate until at least the end of May.
10.30am: SOS for Morses shareholders as CFO abruptly quits
Andrew Hayward has left his role as the chief financial officer (CFO) with immediate effect.
Andy Thomson, a non-executive director (NED) and Morses Club’s previous CFO, will take on the position of CFO on an interim basis and will step down from his current role on the board as NED.
9.30am: IndigoVision tickled pink by cash offer from Motorola Solutions
The closed-circuit television software and hardware firm, which returned to profit in 2019, said its board is recommending acceptance of the offer, which values the company at about £30.4mln.
The only downside to the offer for shareholders appears to be the cancellation of the 2p dividend announced earlier this month but with the shares up 208p this morning few are likely to be complaining.
The company, which develops and markets digital solutions to assess brain health, has won a contract for three phase II studies with a new pharmaceutical client.
The directors believe these studies demonstrate significant progress for the company in delivering its strategy of combining the sale of its CANTAB cognitive assessments with additional electronic clinical outcome assessments.
Proactive news headlines:
Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC (LON:BPC) has agreed a doubling of its existing zero-coupon, second-ranking, unsecured convertible loan note facility by £8mln to £16mln. The loan is provided by an institutional family-office investor based in the Bahamas The expansion of the facility will see immediate additional cash inflow of £1.8mln.
Bango PLC (LON:BGO) has launched carrier billing payment services for Hatch, a monthly subscription-based 5G games streaming platform. Hatch allows users to stream top tier gaming titles to their phone without the need to use storage capacity on their devices. In a separate announcement reporting its results for the year ended 31 December, Bango reported that adjusted earnings (EBITDA) had swung to £450,000 from a loss of £870,000 in the prior year while revenues jumped 41% to £9.3mln.
OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) said it has signed an agreement that will see the medical formulation of its weight loss product sold in some of the world’s richest countries. The group has inked a one-year deal with Lebanon-based Prosperous Pharma, a pharmaceutical distributor that also supplies nutraceuticals to doctors, pharmacies and consumers. It will have exclusive rights over OptiBiotix’s SlimBiome Medical for the Gulf Cooperation Council States and the Levant.
Stobart Group Limited (LON:STOB) has responded to press speculation and confirmed it has had talks about selling a minority stake in London Southend Airport. No acceptable terms have thus far been agreed and discussions have been put on hold while both parties navigate the current coronavirus outbreak. In a separate trading update, Stobart said the performance of its core aviation and energy divisions was broadly in line with management’s expectations in the financial year just ended.
Nu-Oil and Gas PLC (LON:NUOG) is now considering reverse takeover targets in sectors other than oil and gas, following several months of commodity price volatility. The oil price has traded significantly down in recent weeks. The company has particularly focused its efforts on the environmental industries sector and is pleased to confirm that it is in discussions with several potential targets.
Crossword Cybersecurity PLC (LON:CCS) says that its Rizikon Assurance product will be used by IT services firm Barron McCann to automate their supplier onboarding process. The AIM-listed firm said Barron will use Rizikon to provide “a holistic risk overview” of their top 250 suppliers in order to “mitigate the potential risks originating from their supply chain”.
e-therapeutics PLC (LON:ETX) is in late-stage discussions regarding a number of exciting potential collaborations, Ali Mortazavi, the executive chairman has revealed. Mortazavi, the former chief executive of Silence Therapeutics, took the helm last month and revealed in his first full-year results statement with the company that he did due diligence for more than three months before purchasing his stake in the drug discovery company.
Horizonte Minerals PLC (LON:HZM)(TSE:HZM) remains well-funded to achieve its business goals, and has the financial stability to see out the ongoing uncertainty related to coronavirus, the company said in a statement on 17 March. The company continues activities related to the various workstreams required to advance the Araguaia nickel project in Brazil to the construction-ready phase. Horizonte will also continue to progress the financing process.
FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD), a company focused on making investments in fast-growing and industry-leading businesses, has highlighted an announcement released on 13 March 2020 by its investee company, Portage Biotech Inc. (OTMKTS:PTGEF). AIM-listed FastForward has a 1.18% interest in Portage, which, based on yesterday’s closing price on the US OTC of US$0.11 per share, is worth around US$1.4mln.
Equals Group PLC (LON:EQLS), the e-banking and international payments group, said revenues so far in this tumultuous year have held up well. Group revenues to the end of February 2020 were resilient and 33% higher than the same period last year. Corporate revenues, which account for the majority of the group’s revenues, have remained robust in March to date but there has been a market slowdown on travel cash and retail card revenues in the last week as the coronavirus outbreak has hit the travel industry.
Shield Therapeutics PLC (LON:STX) has initiated an independent analysis of the nuanced datasets from last year’s AEGIS-H2H clinical trial of its lead product, an iron deficiency drug known as Feraccru here in the UK and Accrufer in the States. It will assess the methodology used around determining the treatment’s “non-inferiority” against a leading intravenous medication in treating iron deficiency anaemia in adults with inflammatory bowel disease.
Itaconix PLC (LON:ITX) (OTCQB:ITXXF) said it was making operational efforts to conserve its £300,000 cash reserves in the face of the mounting disruption to global business caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It will maintain production, but reduce costs, negotiate payment terms and is assessing asset sales as well considering whether to maintain its AIM listing.
City Pub Group Plc (LON:CPC) has unveiled several measures to “reduce costs and preserve cash” as it moves to lessen the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on its operations. The AIM-listed group said it will reduce employee costs both at its head office and its pubs around the UK, which its directors will also have their salaries reduced by 25%.
Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE) says it is implementing several contingency plans and cost containment initiatives which it says leave it in “a strong position” to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on its business. The AIM-listed firm, which develops driver monitoring technology, said that while the short to medium-term outlook was “uncertain” and that it may be impacted by current market conditions, there was “positive momentum” across all transport sectors and the company had “significant confirmed order books for both its fleet and automotive divisions”.
Echo Energy PLC (LON:ECHO) is to reduce costs at its Santa Cruz Sur assets in Argentina. In a statement, the AIM-listed firm said that, in light of the current weakness in oil and gas prices, the Santa Cruz Sur assets are no longer cash flow positive. As a result, Echo is exploring all options available to it to preserve existing cash resources at a corporate level and, together with the operator of Santa Cruz Sur, has identified and prioritised a number of field operating cost reductions to seek to ensure that operations are sustainable at current commodity prices.
Columbus Energy Resources PLC (LON:CERP) is continuing to produce in Trinidad with limited coronavirus disruption so far, while testing of the Lower Cruse is also ongoing. Leo Koot, Columbus’s executive chairman said: “The company is aware of the effect that coronavirus may have on its operations and the knock-on effect of volatility in the capital markets, including the oil market.” He added: “The company will plan as necessary to minimise any disruptions to its operations and will update the market as appropriate.”
Condor Gold PLC (LON:CNR) (TSX:COG) announced that, following an exercise of warrants, it has issued 500,000 new ordinary shares in the company at a subscription price of 31p each, for which it received gross proceeds of £155,000.
Verona Pharma PLC (LON:VRP) confirmed that both its 2019 Annual Report and Accounts and Notice of Annual General Meeting (AGM) are available within the Investors section of its website, www.veronapharma.com. The AGM will be held at the offices of Shakespeare Martineau at 60 Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 0HR, United Kingdom at 10.30am on April 16, 2020.