Francesca Morgan
Market Report
16:06, 23rd February 2021

SSP Group (SSPG) shares ticked up 14.68% to 361p as investors hedge their bets

Shares in the British multinational contract food service company which operates food and beverage brands across airport and railway stations saw some relief during Tuesday trading as investors placed their bets on which stocks they think will benefit from the reopening of trade.

SSP raised £216m in March last year while it has also borrowed £300m from the Government's coronavirus lending scheme. SSP said in its preliminary results, released on 17 December 2020, that its current monthly cash burn rate was around £25 - 30m and that it expects to remain in this range during the second quarter ending 31 March 2021.  

‘Whilst SSP is confident in the medium-term recovery of the travel market, there remains significant uncertainty with regard to COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions.  

In that context, SSP continues to evaluate the merits of a range of funding options, both debt and equity, that would further strengthen its balance sheet,’ the company noted. 

SSPG price chart

Arena Events Group (ARE) shares rose 30.43% to 12p as investors eye up summer plans

Shares soared in the immediate aftermath of Boris Johnson’s publicised roadmap for the re-opening of the UK economy. Investors are now eyeing up a potential summer surge by placing their interest in Arena which supplies temporary structures at major sporting events.

While the stock has shed more than half of its pre-pandemic value, the ongoing vaccination programme continues to make rapid progress and following yesterday’s announcement from the Prime Minister, there are now hopes that all UK restrictions can be lifted by mid-June.

In its 1H21 results for the six-months ended 30 September 2020 published back in November 2020, Arena Events told investors that both revenue and profit had fallen substantially, decreasing to £42.8m (1H20: £88.3m) and £14.8m (1h20: £24.9m), respectively. 

ARE price chart

Catenae Innovation (CTEA) shares jump 44.74% to 2.75p as it is asked to participate in the UK Government’s digital identity policy 

The digital media and technology provider, said yesterday that it has been invited by the UK Government 's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to participate in the development of a ‘Digital Identity Policy’ which will explore the future use of digital identities. 

The creation of a digital identity policy is part of the UK Government's wider plan to make it quicker and easier for people to verify themselves using modern technology, with the aim of creating a process as trusted as using passports or bank statements, the Company noted. 

Catenae said it will participate in a series of consultations with key stakeholders over the next 6 months, contributing from the perspective of a future identity service provider. 

Once the framework for the policy is finalised, it is then expected to be brought into law. 

“As a participant, we look forward to joining the discussions and highlighting the commercial benefits of the Digital Identity Policy, as well as advising how organisations should handle and protect people's data,” said Guy Meyer, CEO of Catenae Innovation in yesterday’s statement.

In addition, Catenae highlighted that it is currently in discussions with Public Health Scotland in regard to the automated transfer of Covid-19 data using its Covid-19 operating system. 

CTEA price chart

I3 Energy (I3E) shares jump 16.4% to 6.8p with production ‘at or above expectations’

This morning, the group confirmed to investors that production ‘remains predictably stable’ with the period from November 2020 to January 2021 averaging 9,150 boe/d (41% liquids).

The independent oil and gas firm which acquired a low cost, diversified production base in Canada's Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin as well as appraisal assets in the North Sea back in 2020, said its diversified portfolio continues to perform ‘at or above expectations’.

I3 said its production volumes have so far exceeded the forecasted rates of the competent persons reports used for i3's 2020 AIM Re-admission documents by over 1,000 boe/d. 

The Group’s forecasts 2021 net operating income at around CAD$35m (US$27.6m) based on mid-February strip pricing, an estimated maintenance capital budget of around CAD$3m and excluding any volumes from the recently tested Noel well in Northeast British Columbia.

The Noel well is expected to be brought on production at around 500 boe/d during 2Q21.

It is expected that i3 Energy will declare its maiden dividend in Q121 - subject to loan note holder, judicial, and shareholder approval - for payment in early 2Q. As previously disclosed, the Company aims to distribute up to 30% of free cash flow as a dividend to shareholders.

I3E price chart

Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust (USA) shares fell 8.7% to 322.5p with as interest rates rise

Shares in the British investment trust fell during Tuesday trading as inflation concerns dominated investor sentiment. The Times wrote that some stocks “were left nursing heavy, inflation-linked losses come the close of play — namely the big technology funds.”

“Higher interest rates decrease the value of companies with long-dated future cash flows, which is something you can say about pretty much every tech stock, since they have plenty of future growth baked into their share prices,” it highlighted. The publication also cited Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust and Fidelity China Special Situations as having taken a hit today.

USA price chart

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