Game on for MySQUAR as takeover chatter heats up

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It’s fair to say the past few months have been challenging for MySQUAR investors.

Towards the end of last year the Myanmar-language social media, payments and entertainment group teamed up with a couple of partners. This included a deal that will see its games distributed on the Huawei InTouch platform.

Yet the shares haven’t responded, with investors harbouring concerns over a slight slowdown in daily revenue growth in the first quarter, while the civil unrest in the country probably hasn’t helped either.

My Squar has received an approach from a mystery organisation which could lead to a takeover

My Squar has received an approach from a mystery organisation which could lead to a takeover

The market’s sentiment took a significant turn for the better this week though as MySQUAR delivered a belated Christmas present to its shareholders.

It said on Wednesday it had received an approach from a mystery organisation which could lead to a takeover offer at some point in the near future.

MySQUAR hinted that it would prefer to be taken out further down the line, stating that it appreciated the interest but is not actively seeking a buyer as it expects to become an “even more attractive prospect over time”.

The firm muttered the usual line that there can be no certainty of any offer, but investors were willing to chance their arm, sending the stock soaring by almost 50 per cent to 2.4 pence.

Also going up was healthcare group Futura Medical which saw the credibility of its MED2002 erectile dysfunction gel given a timely boost after data from the treatment’s phase II trial was published in the well-respected and peer-reviewed Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The publication is a bit late to the party given that the headline results were announced back in September 2016 but Futura said it nonetheless shows the growing “level of scientific interest” in the gel.

That study showed that the gel was faster working than the current crop of pills on the market, with 70 per cent of participants experiencing onset of an erection within ten minutes.

The first of two phase III trials is set to kick off in the first half of this year and the markets are certainly upbeat on MED2002’s chances, with the stock up another 30 per cent to 39 pence this week.

Struggling for lift-off though was blood-flow-monitoring technology firm Deltex Medical.

The company blamed “procurement process headwinds” as full-year sales of its oesophageal Doppler monitor probes fell to £5.9 million from £6.3 million a year earlier.

The UK – which until last year was comfortably Deltex’s largest market – continues to prove a tough nut to crack as NHS budgets come under increasing pressure.

International sales also fell due to order delays, although there was a small bright spot in the shape of the US which saw revenues grow on the back of major account wins. Shares dived 45 per cent to 1.2 pence.

Overall, it was a record-breaking week for the small caps, with the AIM All Share closing with a 15.1 point, or 1.4 per cent gain to sit at 1,065.4. At one point on Friday it even hit 1,068.3

The blue chips also hit new highs as the FTSE 100 finished the week at an all-time closing peak of 7,718.4 – a 0.4 per cent, or 27.3 point, gain.

Symphony Environmental was one of those hitting all the right notes after the biodegradable plastics specialist said profits in the year just finished will be significantly higher than current market forecasts.

Symphony Environmental expects revenues for 2017 to clock in at around £8.2 million, up from £6.8 million the year before

Symphony Environmental expects revenues for 2017 to clock in at around £8.2 million, up from £6.8 million the year before

Symphony Environmental expects revenues for 2017 to clock in at around £8.2 million, up from £6.8 million the year before

The company – which says its technology “makes plastic smarter” – expects revenues for 2017 to clock in at around £8.2 million, up from £6.8 million the year before.

That would also be nicely ahead of the £7.5 million City analysts had been looking for.

Back in October Symphony said that full-year pre-tax profits would be not less than £350,000, but it raised this guidance to not less than £400,000.

That compares with just £123,000 in 2016 and market expectations of closer to £200,000. Shares jumped 21 per cent to 15.4p as investors unsurprisingly investors cheered the statement.

Traders were also ploughing into Plus 500 after the spreadbetting group revealed full-year profits and revenues should come in ahead of expectations.

The AIM-listed firm – which provides an online trading platform for retail customers to trade contracts for differences (CFDs) – added almost 250,000 new customers in 2017, which helped it to deliver record revenues in the final quarter.

With the rise of Bitcoin et al last year, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Plus 500 achieved strong volumes in cryptocurrency CFDs during the year.

Plus 500 achieved strong volumes in cryptocurrency CFDs during the year

Plus 500 achieved strong volumes in cryptocurrency CFDs during the year

Plus 500 achieved strong volumes in cryptocurrency CFDs during the year

The rise in customer numbers and strong trading more than offset challenges from a sector-wide regulatory clampdown as European and UK authorities look to better protect traders from racking up big losses. Shares finished the week 27 per cent higher at £11.39.

The first week of 2018 wasn’t full of happiness or prosperity for everyone though – stamp and rare coins group Stanley Gibbons took another licking as investors dumped the stock following last week’s interim results.

Buried in that statement – which was written in such small writing that it could have fit on the back of a stamp – was the admission that around £5 million is needed just to get the business back on an even keel.

To put that into context, Stanley Gibbons currently has a market cap of just £2.5 million.

Stanley Gibbons: Shares are down 25 per cent over the past week to 4.1 pence.

Stanley Gibbons: Shares are down 25 per cent over the past week to 4.1 pence.

Stanley Gibbons: Shares are down 25 per cent over the past week to 4.1 pence.

The numbers themselves didn’t make for good reading either as it booked a loss of £3.1 million on lower revenues of £16.6 million.

Stanley Gibbons said talks with its lenders have been “constructive” and it is also considering offloading more assets to beef up its cash position.

However investors seem to think that might not be enough and that the last rites may well be read soon. Shares are down 25 per cent over the past week to 4.1 pence. 

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