Movers of Friday 23 April 2021

Francesca Morgan
Market Report
15:30, 23rd April 2021

First Group (FGP) shares ticked up 5.88% to 90.13p as it sells First Student and First Transit

Shares in the transport group ticked up on Friday announcing the sale of its North American contract divisions First Student and First Transit to EQT Infrastructure for $4.6 billion.

The Group said a portion of the proceeds of the sale will be used to pay down debt, with part of the capital received also likely to be contributed towards FirstGroup’s pension schemes. 

“This transaction, which follows a strategic review by the Board of all options to unlock value, enables FirstGroup to address its long-standing liabilities, make a substantial contribution to its UK Bus and Group pension schemes and return value to shareholders, while ensuring the ongoing business has the appropriate financial strength and flexibility to deliver on its goals.”

FGP price chart

Bezant Resources (BZT) shares soar 21.95% to 0.25p after identifying significant copper

The copper-gold exploration and development company said recently encountered a further significant copper intercept in its second drill hole at the Minemba prospect within the Kalengwa exploration project area in Zambia in which it operates and has a 30% interest in. 

The group said on Thursday that it has identified 350m of mineralised strike to date and, in order to build up a significant copper tonnage, it intends to carry out a ground IP geophysics survey and drill at least two further holes in the vicinity of the two already completed holes.

Looking ahead, the Group said further drilling is being planned which will be guided by geology and geophysics. Meanwhile, the Company highlighted that the provisional results are subject to lab assays which are anticipated to be available in the second half of May 2021. 

BZT price chart

Novacyt (NCYT) shares jump 17.41% to 436.15p as it expands COVID-19 portfolio

The Company, which operates as an international specialist in clinical diagnostics, told investors that it continues to develop and expand its COVID-19 portfolio ‘to address rapidly evolving testing demands, particularly as SARS-CoV-2 continues to mutate around the world.’

“We remain committed to identifying patient needs and overcoming healthcare challenges today and in the years ahead as we continue to strengthen our position as a leading innovator in diagnostic testing,” Graham Mullis, Chief Executive of Novacyt told investors in an update.

NCYT price chart

e-Therapeutics (ETX) shares rose 14.72% to 22.95p as it receives two milestone payments 

E-therapeutics announced this morning that it has reached two key milestones in its collaboration with Galapagos NV in line with its previously announced collaboration. The Group said that despite global pandemic that the collaboration remained on schedule.

Using its Network-driven Drug Discovery platform, e-therapeutics said it has successfully identified hit compounds against a specific biological process of interest to Galapagos involved in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis ("IPF") and potentially in other fibrotic indications.

ETX said that following the project’s initial phase, experimental testing of the computationally predicted compound set was carried out in several relevant assays and yielded a hit rate orders of magnitude higher than industry standards for early phenotypic drug discovery.

The companies are now working to characterise these hits further. Under the terms of the agreement with Galapagos, e-therapeutics is eligible to receive additional milestone payments through pre-clinical and clinical development as well as commercial milestones, it noted.

ETX price chart

Workspace Group (WKP) shares fell 3.95% to 802.5p as the stock is downgraded by analysts

Shares in the firm which rents out offices, studios, and warehouses to small and medium sized enterprises fell today after the stock was double-downgraded by analysts at Barclays.

Analysts at Barclays moved the stock two levels down to an 'underweight' rating on the shares from its previous 'overweight' rating, slashing the share price target to 700p from 745p.

Vacancy rates have almost doubled while space availability has neared 20-year record levels. The investment bank added that the downturn that started last year could be “structural rather than cyclical, with permanently lower London-office demand due to work-from-home.”

WKP price chart

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