What a week.

After Thursday’s bloodbath — when the ASX Small Ords index fell into correction territory with most other indicies — Friday brought early signs of a recovery.

The small cap index opened in the green early Friday. About 500 of the ASX’s 1700 small caps (under $400 million market cap) made morning gains.

But it didn’t last.

The Small Ords closed down another 0.7 per cent on Friday — erasing all its gains over the past year. (See graph below).

And the outlook isn’t good with US markets again dropping Friday night.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 1%, or more than 200 points. The Nasdaq Composite shed 2.2%, and the S&P 500 was down 1.4%.

High-flying US tech stocks were taking the biggest hits after posting disappointing earnings.

Amazon’s revenue fell short of expectations and its fourth-quarter guidance disappointed, sending shares into a bear market, down more than 20 per cent from their peak. Google’s parent company Alphabet beat on the bottom line, but missed on revenue. Snapchat owner Snap hit an all-time low after the company said it lost 2 million daily users.

“While a lot of the recent sell-off (and headlines) have been dominated by tech, the sell-off has been very broad-based in nature,” Scott Buchta, head of fixed income strategy at Brean Capital, wrote in an email.

Still, there were a number of big ASX small cap gainers last week amid the gloom — notably in the small cap health sector where BARD1 Life Sciences and Memphasys tried to emulate fellow biotech Biotron.

After this week's drop the Small Ords index has erased all gains made over the past year
After this week’s drop the Small Ords index has erased all gains made over the past year

ASX small cap winners Oct 19-26

Cancer detector BARD1 (ASX:BD1) took investors on a rollercoaster ride Wednesday after adding breast cancer testing to its line-up earlier in the week.

After tripling on Tuesday, the stock put on another 70 per cent Wednesday morning to hit an intraday high of 7.5c — a total gain of about 475 per cent.

It was the highest price seen since Bard1 transformed from a gold miner EuroGold in 2016. (Its share price rose as high as 27.7c in 2009.)

By the end of the week day the stock had fallen back to 3.5c — still a 170 per cent jump for the week.

Semen separator Memphasys (ASX:MEM) swam ahead this week, closing up 81 per cent to 5.8c for the seven days.

The stock more than tripled at one point — attracting an ASX query along the way.

Memphasys is developing a membrane codenamed Felix that separates quick swimmers from flabby floaters to improve IVF procedures.

On Monday Memphasys told investors it had “entered a pivotal stage in the commercial development” of Felix, signing “the first of a number of leading international andrology and IVF clinics as partners to conduct invitro [or test tube] assessments”.

Memphasys is hoping for European regulatory approval in late 2019 which would allow for human trials.

Satellite phone maker World Reach (ASX:WRR) jumped to its highest price since April after its subsidiary Beam Communications sent off the first major delivery — $2.4 million worth of “Thuraya” wireless data terminals.

The stock jumped 58 per cent to 19c for the week.

“We are very pleased to be in a position to fulfill the entirety of this initial order,” said boss Michael Capocchi.

“The WE product will be launched and promoted this month by Thuraya to its channel partners with new Thuraya WE specific plans. We expect the product to be well received by the market.”

Newly listed blockchain stock Security Matters (ASX:SEM) continued to enjoy a strong start to public life.

The stock closed up 62 percent at 44.5c on Friday — compared to its 20c issue price.

Security Matters this week filed a patent application that aims to detect plastic contamination in crops.

The technology allows any solid, liquid or gas to be invisibly marked using a chemical-based barcode and ‘read’ using a proprietary device.

Plastic pollution is a major problem in agriculture with up to 700,000 metric tonnes of microplastic finding its way onto farmlands in North America and Europe.

Meanwhile this week the widespread presence of plastics in the human food chain was confirmed for the first time.

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for Oct 19-26:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort

ASX code Company One-week price change Price Oct 26 Market Cap
BD1 BARD1 LIFE SCIEN 1.69230769231 0.035 30.7M
T3D 333D 1 0.002 1.8M
BDI BLINA MINERALS N 1 0.002 4.3M
MEM MEMPHASYS 0.8125 0.058 19.3M
SPB SOUTH PACIFIC RE 0.8 0.009 1.7M
AHN ATHENA RESOURCES 0.8 0.018 2.2M
SMX SECURITY MATTERS 0.625 0.455 53.6M
LVE LOVE GROUP GLOBA 0.611111111111 0.145 6.0M
WRR WORLD REACH LIMI 0.583333333333 0.19 9.5M
ROG RED SKY ENERGY L 0.5 0.003 1.6M
PCL PANCONTINENTAL 0.5 0.003 13.5M
GLA GLADIATOR RESOUR 0.5 0.003 3.0M
BPH BPH ENERGY 0.5 0.003 3.0M
GRV GREENVALE ENERGY 0.5 0.03 2.8M
RMX RED MOUNTAIN MIN 0.4 0.007 3.4M
EXO ENNOX GROUP 0.4 0.007 8.8M
TMP TECH MPIRE 0.395348837209 0.06 6.1M
PUN PEGASUS METALS 0.357142857143 0.019 3.3M
MNC METMINCO 0.333333333333 0.004 3.1M
LCY LEGACY IRON ORE 0.333333333333 0.004 5.9M
GGX GAS2GRID 0.333333333333 0.004 4.5M
EPM ECLIPSE METALS L 0.333333333333 0.004 3.4M
CGN CRATER GOLD MINI 0.333333333333 0.028 6.4M
CAG CAPE RANGE 0.310606060606 1.73 125.5M
CAE CANNINDAH RESOUR 0.3 0.039 6.1M
TNY TINYBEANS GROUP 0.28125 0.41 13.9M
ENX ENEGEX 0.266666666667 0.019 1.4M
LCD LATITUDE CONSOLI 0.263157894737 0.024 6.6M
SRI SIPA RESOURCES 0.25 0.01 10.8M
IHL IMPRESSION HEALT 0.25 0.02 6.5M
PDI PREDICTIVE DISCO 0.25 0.015 3.5M
AKP AUDIO PIXELS HOL 0.222881355932 14.43 377.6M
GED GOLDEN DEEPS 0.205128205128 0.047 8.6M
SMI SANTANA MINERALS 0.2 0.006 2.8M
ENB ENEABBA GAS 0.2 0.006 3.1M
ETPMPD ETFS-P PALLADIUM 0.196372239748 151.7 1.4M
LSR LODESTAR MINERAL 0.190476190476 0.025 16.5M
E25 ELEMENT 25 0.1875 0.19 15.9M
AER AEERIS 0.181818181818 0.065 3.7M
CFE CAPE LAMBERT RES 0.176470588235 0.02 20.2M

 

ASX small cap losers Oct 19-26

At the other end of the scale, Heston Blumenthal’s Aussie barbeque maker Shriro Holdings (ASX:SHM) had a shocker after issuing a less-than-promising market update.

The stock lost 42.5 per cent to 57.5c over the seven days.

In August the appliance maker told investors it was expecting profit of $10.5 million to $11.5 million for calendar 2018.

That was revised down to $7 million to $8 million this week.

Shriro blamed Donald Trump for a poor outlook for its “everdure by heston blumenthal” range, saying sales would be “negatively impacted by the recent ‘Trump 25% tariffs’ on BBQ / Grill products exported from China, where they are made, into the USA”.

Shriro now plans a restructure to reduce costs and improve margins. It will also shut down showrooms in Victoria and Queensland.

Elsewhere, Cobalt Blue (ASX:COB) plummeted after forfeiting its chance to grab full ownership of its Thackaringa cobalt project.

Cobalt Blue said it would not make a mid-2019 deadline with its joint venture partner to move from 70 per cent to 100 per cent ownership.

The stock finished the week down 30 per cent at 21c

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for Oct 19-26:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort

ASX code Company One-week price change Price Oct 26 Market Cap
SHH SHREE MINERALS L -0.588235294118 0.007 2.6M
RRS RANGE RESOURCES -0.5 0.001 8.5M
PCH PROPERTY CONNECT -0.5 0.001 1.8M
BIT BIOTRON -0.431034482759 0.165 106.3M
SHM SHRIRO HOLDINGS -0.425 0.575 64.7M
TOM TOMIZONE -0.357142857143 0.009 3.8M
RMG RMG -0.35 0.013 12.1M
TTL TRANSCENDENCE TE -0.346153846154 0.017 3.3M
NWE NORWEST ENERGY -0.333333333333 0.002 6.8M
MRD MOUNT RIDLEY MIN -0.333333333333 0.002 3.5M
IKW IKWEZI MINING -0.333333333333 0.002 3.0M
TAS TASMAN RESOURCES -0.329411764706 0.057 28.7M
RAC RACE ONCOLOGY -0.321428571429 0.095 7.7M
NCR NUCOAL RESOURCES -0.3 0.014 10.8M
COB COBALT BLUE HOLD -0.3 0.21 25.6M
WMC WONHE MULTIMEDIA -0.3 0.021 4.1M
PPY PAPYRUS AUSTRALI -0.285714285714 0.01 2.3M
MHC MANHATTAN CORP -0.285714285714 0.005 5.2M
VRS VERIS -0.285714285714 0.125 45.3M
LI3 LITHIUM CONSOLID -0.277108433735 0.06 5.7M
EDE EDEN INNOVATIONS -0.27619047619 0.076 112.6M
LCT LIVING CELL TECH -0.271186440678 0.043 24.6M
SCU STEMCELL UNITED -0.264705882353 0.025 11.8M
AGH ALTHEA GROUP HOL -0.252525252525 0.37 73.2M
SYT SYNTONIC -0.25 0.009 25.0M
XST XSTATE RESOURCES -0.25 0.003 2.7M
VLT VAULT INTELLIGEN -0.25 0.024 27.8M
SUR SUN RESOURCES NL -0.25 0.003 2.3M
SER STRATEGIC ENERGY -0.25 0.003 3.5M
OXX OCTANEX -0.25 0.006 1.6M