• The ASX200 benchmark index has ended the week and February higher
  • IT was far and away the best-performing sector
  • Nyrada was best of the Small Caps by a fair few lengths

 

It was a dramatic week on the local market and, personally – despite some satisfactorily mad small cap action on Wednesday – I thought Thursday took the cake when the benchmark staged a late arvo rally.

But first, this is how the ASX200 (XJO) index looked at 3.30pm on Friday.

The broader ASX All Ordinaries (XAO) index ended Thursday up 42.5 points, or 0.55% to 7,959.5, the XAO’s highest close ever.

It was the last day of February and fundies had a fair bit on the line – as did local markets – which surged 0.5% higher at the close to keep in place its monthly winning streak.

Then there was the new intraday record high that the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index slapped into, smooching its previous intraday high of 7,703.6 from February 2.

And so the benchmark began Friday at 7,698.7, mere teeth-skins away from its best-ever close of 7,699.4, (also from early February).

Friday dealt with that record at the open. Then it ran away. Then it surged past it. As I said. It’s been pretty real.

But back to Thursday…

Flummoxed at the open, the index quickly shed weight before a sudden urge to pile in spread with the warmth, speed and surprise of middle-age incontinence – likely inspired by sleepy ‘sophisticated’ and institutional traders who suddenly realised they need to rake in some action ahead of months-end portfolio readjusting.

So the week was positive and the month snuck home as well, with the ASX200 ending February up 0.2%, its fourth straight month of gains…

The ASX in February

Via MarketIndex

Eight of the ASX’s 11 sectors finished higher this week, with the interest-rate-sensitive sectors surging.

Needless to say it’s been a week and a month indeed for ASX Tech.

ASX Sectors this week

Via MarketIndex

 

A lot of exciting stories behind stock movements during a heavy week of earnings, drama and ex-dividends.

After discovering it was under the regulatory spotlight on Monday for a second government-led inquiry in two years, the naughty casino giant Star Entertainment Group surged by double digits after returning (perhaps briefly) to profitability in the first half with a $9.1mn stat profit.

That’s quite an improvement on the $1.3 billion loss a year ago.

Stock of the week…

Earlier this week, we were fortunate enough to chat with the chief executive, chemist and small molecule maker, the man behind the monster – Aussie drug making minnow, Nyrada (ASX:NYR).

Stock in the biopharmaceutical company – a specialist in “novel small molecule therapeutics” on Thursday morning announced positive results from its preclinical study evaluating the efficacy of its brain trauma program drug candidate NYR-BI03 in preventing secondary brain injury.

CEO James Bonnar told Stockhead NYR has been applying its work in small molecules with an eye to helping the many, many people suffering from neurological and cardiovascular diseases.

Here’s what the trained chemist (“I make a good small molecule”) summarised as three reasons behind the company’s extraordinary outperformance.

“The results from our stroke study are powerful for three reasons,” James told Stockhead on Wednesday arvo.

“Firstly, the drug candidate is a first-in-class molecule which means it offers a new therapeutic approach to treating brain injury.

“Secondly, the pathology behind brain injury is common across both stroke and traumatic brain injuries, such as those caused by a car accident, sports injury or military wound. This means our drug candidate has potential for treating patients in two important markets: stroke and traumatic brain injury.

“Lastly, the target our drug candidate hits is novel, making Nyrada pioneers in an area that no other biotech is currently working in, to our knowledge.”

For those still searching the skies for traces of Nyrada as it leaves the ionosphere… NYR earlier today released new data from it’s brain injury drug candidate (NYR-BI03) and has since lapped local markets and continued ever skywards.

A picture perhaps does the scene more justice.

This was Nyrada vs the ASX on Wednesday:

 

Via Google

 

And that, lads and ladies, is why small caps are best.

So… who won the week? Let’s find out together…

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS THIS WEEK

Code Company Price % Week Market Cap
NYR Nyrada Inc 0.09 309% $15,132,844
WHK Whitehawk Limited 0.036 200% $10,480,192
TD1 Tali Digital Limited 0.002 100% $4,942,733
VPR Volt Power Group 0.002 100% $21,432,416
AUA Audeara 0.058 76% $8,098,033
ENV Enova Mining Limited 0.05 67% $29,482,750
MAG Magmatic Resrce Ltd 0.05 67% $15,284,640
CUE CUE Energy Resource 0.1 56% $69,811,972
ADS Adslot Ltd. 0.003 50% $9,673,487
AOA Ausmon Resources 0.003 50% $3,176,998
EXL Elixinol Wellness 0.009 50% $5,062,973
RBR RBR Group Ltd 0.003 50% $4,855,214
SIH Sihayo Gold Limited 0.0015 50% $18,306,384
SIT Site Group Int Ltd 0.003 50% $7,807,471
5EA 5Eadvanced 0.27 50% $90,819,668
AMD Arrow Minerals 0.006 50% $40,102,591
SRX Sierra Rutile 0.0995 49% $35,635,862
SCN Scorpion Minerals 0.025 47% $7,370,211
OXT Orexplore Technologies 0.029 45% $4,689,976
GHY Gold Hydrogen 1.585 45% $119,594,316
AQI Alicanto Minerals 0.033 43% $15,998,757
REM Remsense Technologies 0.03 43% $2,702,378
APX Appen Limited 0.55 43% $123,871,657
GT1 Greentechnology 0.185 42% $51,000,336
DCC Digitalx Limited 0.071 42% $53,536,370
29M 29Metals 0.37 37% $259,486,672
ANR Anatara Ls Ltd 0.03 36% $4,197,343
ICR Intelicare Holdings 0.019 36% $4,461,665
PNN Power Minerals Ltd 0.21 35% $18,348,981
IAM Income Asset 0.09 34% $29,778,374
AIM Ai-Media Technologie 0.375 34% $77,261,197
AHN Athena Resources 0.004 33% $3,211,403
BP8 BPH Global Ltd 0.002 33% $3,908,232
FFF Forbidden Foods 0.016 33% $3,229,769
FTC Fintech Chain Ltd 0.02 33% $13,015,392
HLX Helix Resources 0.004 33% $9,292,583
RIE Riedel Resources Ltd 0.004 33% $8,895,343
SRY Story-I Limited 0.004 33% $1,505,619
LEL Lithenergy 0.585 33% $61,290,950
GL1 Global Lithium 0.66 32% $154,857,853
ADH Adairs Limited 2.38 32% $415,322,357
GLV Global Oil & Gas 0.021 31% $9,807,007
LGM Legacy Minerals 0.17 31% $16,345,525
PER Percheron 0.09 30% $78,434,412
WC8 Wildcat Resources 0.7625 30% $878,941,020
VMS Venture Minerals 0.0195 30% $37,683,555
HRZ Horizon 0.04 29% $29,441,314
WR1 Winsome Resources 0.895 29% $163,121,219
ASP Aspermont Limited 0.009 29% $22,100,712
KGN Kogan.Com Ltd 7.9 28% $801,363,002
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As mentioned above, local biopharma and novel small molecule therapeutics specialising in treating neurological and cardiovascular diseases Nyrada (ASX:NYR) absolutely left orbit after announcing positive results from its preclinical study evaluating the efficacy of its brain injury program drug candidate NYR-BI03.

 

Already lurching higher on Friday, the local cybersecurity minnow WhiteHawk (ASX:WHK) continued its fearsome run as the AI-related small cap of choice to ride the tail of Nvidia’s success on Wall Street.

The ASX lobbed a seedng ticket WHK’s way which it confidently rebuffed with a handy self-description…

This is what WHK says about WHK:

WhiteHawk is a cloud-based cyber security exchange platform that delivers Artificial Intelligence based Cyber Risk Profile’s, interactive online maturity models, tailored Cyber Risk Scorecard reports, matching to innovative products, solutions and best practices, all via an intuitive virtual consult.

The platform enables customers to leverage their tailored Security Story to find affordable and impactful cyber tools, non-technical context, and relevant services through our algorithms, online customer journey and accessible expertise.

This is what WHK says when the ASX gives it a parking ticket and demands to know why its stock is so stonkingly high… (the cool logo comes free of charge)

Via ASX

The critical minerals hunter Enova Mining (ASX:ENV) entered into a binding option agreement with a private individual – one Rodrigo de Brito Mello – to acquire 100% of the huge, 153.3km2 CODA prospect. 

Located in the mining heavy state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, CODA is viewed by Enova as a potential world class “district sized” ionic clay rare earths project.

So far, 11 shallow auger holes have been drilled within the CODA prospect, with the most significant results revealing the following:

• 10.5m at 2,567 ppm TREO including 4.5m at 4,157 ppm TREO
• 10m at 3,218 ppm TREO including 6m at 3,608 ppm TREO
• 10m at 2,414 ppm TREO including 4m at 4,401 ppm TREO

The highest assaying drill intercepts were recorded at end of hole: 0.5m at 5,697 ppm TREO and 1m at 5,078 ppm TREO.

Enova reports that mineralisation remains open in all directions at CODA with grades significantly increasing at depth.

ASX SMALL CAP LAGGARDS THIS WEEK

Code Company Price % Week Market Cap
CMD Cassius Mining Ltd 0.01 -70% $5,420,045
DCX Discovex Res Ltd 0.001 -50% $3,302,568
KNB Koonenberry Gold 0.015 -44% $1,796,236
VIT Vitura Health Ltd 0.135 -44% $80,622,330
LNR Lanthanein Resources 0.0035 -42% $6,449,060
NME Nex Metals Exploration 0.013 -38% $4,582,923
ARR American Rare Earths 0.26 -38% $125,822,941
E79 E79Goldmineslimited 0.044 -37% $3,497,366
JAY Jayride Group 0.012 -37% $3,072,019
ME1 Melodiol Global Health 0.007 -36% $2,750,973
DGL DGL Group Limited 0.685 -34% $199,609,523
RIL Redivium Limited 0.003 -33% $8,192,564
TMG Trigg Minerals Ltd 0.006 -33% $2,623,293
ASH Ashley Services Grp 0.25 -32% $33,114,458
ATG Articore Group Ltd 0.5 -32% $144,219,477
TNY Tinybeans Group Ltd 0.105 -32% $10,548,418
W2V Way2Vat 0.021 -32% $12,380,560
VBS Vectus Biosystems 0.2 -32% $13,302,340
CDX Cardiex Limited 0.082 -32% $22,945,616
SOC Soco Corporation 0.12 -31% $15,898,780
CPO Culpeo Minerals 0.043 -31% $6,900,133
UCM Uscom Limited 0.023 -30% $5,716,007
WYX Western Yilgarn NL 0.062 -29% $3,227,738
NRZ Neurizer Ltd 0.005 -29% $5,855,643
ACE Acusensus Limited 0.795 -28% $103,647,980
NXD Nexted Group Limited 0.385 -28% $83,068,790
PTR Petratherm Ltd 0.021 -28% $4,944,525
APL Associate Global 0.08 -27% $5,366,780
FRX Flexiroam Limited 0.016 -27% $11,890,929
PPG Pro-Pac Packaging 0.205 -27% $40,879,735
ICL Iceni Gold 0.026 -26% $4,684,660
1MC Morella Corporation 0.003 -25% $24,715,198
AUZ Australian Mines Ltd 0.0165 -25% $18,080,631
HCD Hydrocarbon Dynamic 0.003 -25% $3,234,329
HGL Hudson Investment 0.15 -25% $8,903,990
MOZ Mosaic Brands Ltd 0.15 -25% $26,775,966
RNX Renegade Exploration 0.006 -25% $7,012,066
TKL Traka Resources 0.0015 -25% $2,625,988
WFL Wellfully Limited 0.003 -25% $1,478,832
COB Cobalt Blue Ltd 0.135 -25% $50,733,947
E25 Element 25 Ltd 0.195 -25% $45,681,370
ZNC Zenith Minerals Ltd 0.071 -24% $29,952,375
CNB Carnaby Resource Ltd 0.4575 -24% $73,280,852
RDM Red Metal Limited 0.1475 -24% $46,367,986
MGU Magnum Mining & Exp 0.016 -24% $16,187,228
IIQ Inoviq Ltd 0.6325 -23% $62,572,717
WBE Whitebark Energy 0.017 -23% $2,619,874
AVM Advance Metals Ltd 0.031 -23% $1,242,634
AVA AVA Risk Group Ltd 0.155 -23% $40,981,779
OPN Openn Negotiation 0.007 -22% $9,033,437
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HOW THE WEEK SHOOK OUT

Monday 26 February, 2024

Enova and Whitehawk stole the show on Monday, while Aussie tech-debt collection provider Credit Clear (ASX:CCR) did a decent backup.

CCR upgraded guidance for FY24 following a strong 1H’24 result, which included better margins, revenue, mre customers and a decent balance sheet.

CCR is now tracking ahead of FY24 guidance, and consequently here’s the newly upgraded forecast:

FY24 revenue guidance up from $39m – $41m to $40m – $42m, and FY24 Underlying EBITDA1 guidance up from $1m – $2m to in excess of $3m.

CCR revenue jumped up 15% pcp to over $20mn; Underlying EBITDA improved some $1.8m on the pcp and Statutory EBITDA improved $5.4m on pcp; Gross margin expanded to 54%, up from 50% in 1H’23 .

CCR says it signed on 225 new clients, a 24% increase on pcp, including tier-1 clients in banking, insurance, and essential services (utilities).

And we all like a strong balance sheet: CCR now has $13m cash at the bank, an improvement of $3.7m on pcp.

Investors liked a lot of that.

Also doing quite well was Cygnus Metals (ASX:CY5).

The diversified minerals hunter says first drilling has taken place at the Pegasus prospect within its high-priority Auclair lithium project in James Bay, Quebec in Canada.

And it’s reporting some “strong visual results”, revealing, it says, numerous thick and shallow spodumene-bearing pegmatite intersections up to 77m wide, with an average width of 38m.

The best mineralised section of the drill core appears to be 43.7m of pegmatite with average 10-12% estimated spodumene mineralisation from 46.4m. That includes 3.3m with 60-70% estimated spodumene mineralisation from 83.5m.

Assays are pending, of course, and those are expected in Q2.

 

Tuesday 27 February, 2024

Up circa 90% is the Aussie “global hearing health leader specialising in innovative listening solutions for people with hearing challenges”, – (that’ll be you Mr Audeara (ASX:AUA)) has made a groundbreaking, milestone-making maiden sale –  to mass manufacture AUA audio tech for Avedis Zildjian.

The maiden third party purchase order of $2.1m is also the largest single order Audeara has received since inception.

AUA co-founder and CTO Alex Afflick says the purchase  is “expected to have a significant positive impact on the Company’s cashflow and its push toward breakeven and profitability.”

First announced early last year, the project AUA says, is nearing mass production, ahead of a commercial launch anticipated in H1 FY25.

OD6 Metals (ASX:OD6) says it’s just pumped about the quality of the metallurgical recoveries from samples tested at the Australian Nuclear Science Organisation (ANSTO), including – apparently – up to 90% of Magnet Rare Earth Elements (MagREE) in multiple Prospect areas, across 60 new samples.

Lots and lots happening out of these samples from Splinter Rock with OD6 claiming that recoveries for all MagREO are inclusive of Nd, Pr, Dy, Tb similar.

This is the key to overall project economics for any clay hosted rare earth project.

MD Brett Hazelden says the metrics align closely with the essential value drivers we believe are crucial for the economic viability of clay-hosted rare earth projects.

“The outstanding results from our metallurgical leaching studies continue to affirm the Splinter Rock project as Australia’s premier clay-hosted rare earth deposit. With consistent recoveries averaging over 60% across multiple prospects, and notably high recoveries observed for each of the fifteen rare earth elements, our confidence in the project’s potential remains high.”

Meanwhile, battery metals stocks have been crunched lately, but one brave US-based ASX battery metals player is taking care of Tuesday  with a startlingly comprehensive update on progress at the 5E Boron Americas Complex in California.

Word is: it remains on track to kickstart commercial operations at the new boron and lithium mine in California in the second quarter of this year.

5E Advanced Materials (ASX:5EA) is planning to open what will be only the second major boric acid operation in America. The other is a non-core asset owned and operated by Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) which has been in business since 1927.

5EA CEO Susan Brennan says the company remains on track to start commercial ops in CY Q2 2024, with all mining operations and related activities on track as it moves closer to initial boron and lithium production.

Just how big a deal is it, Ms Brennan?

“I cannot emphasise enough the importance 5E will represent in the US in the coming months as a new and secure producer of critical materials needed for clean energy economies.”

That’s how much.

And new sources of the ‘supermaterial’ — used alongside rare earths metals in permanent magnets, fire retardants, ceramics, fertiliser, detergent and more — are essential given the concentrated nature of the market.

5EA began mining at its Boron Americas Complex at Fort Cady last month, where it plans to produce 2000tpa of boric acid and 100tpa of lithium carbonate from a starter plant in 2024 before ramping up in a US$389m expansion to 90,000tpa and 1100tpa in 2026.

Finally, a shout out to Elixinol Wellness (ASX:EXL), which is up about 88%. It could be the Germans. or it could be that this is just a stunner of a prospects…

 

Wednesday 28 February, 2024

Making big moves on the same day as Nyrada was  the everywhere-listed EcoGraf (ASX:EGR) after reporting positive findings from a research program completed by the Helmholtz Institute in Germany, where EcoGraf ‘s proprietary processing technology has been used to purify graphite particles recovered from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries.

EcoGraf purified the recovered graphite particles to battery grade specification.

The German Government funded program then compared the electrochemical performance of (the recycled) EcoGraf HFfree™ graphite with a number of commercial battery graphite products. And there was much rejoicing.

The company says further research is required before anyone sells the house.

And, 5E Advanced Materials (ASX:5EA) was still killing it on Wednesday.

 

Thursday 29 February, 2024

A strong run over 1H for Motio has traders diving in. Revenues of $3,675,500 are up 31%.

A chuffed CEO and MD Adam Cadwallader told investors that Motio is growing.

“The business has increased its revenue per location this half across each of its media channels. Motio’s software and payments platform (Spawtz) has achieved all of its growth revenue targets and business development KPI’s this half year, which has been extremely pleasing.”

Struggling Sierra Rutile (ASX:SRX) has swung to a more than $20mn 1H loss, with a nasty combination of weak market conditions and uncertainties around everything from Area 1 fiscal terms to power availability which has left the company betweedn rutile and a hard place.

However the stock has surged after Sierra flagged a suspension of operations from 11 March, and given notice of a redundancy programme “anticipated to impact 25-30% of the workforce.”

We’ve got gains for Cue Energy Resources (ASX:CUE) – up early in the morning after delivering its half-year, with a 22% lift in revenue to $29.3 million, and an underlying EBITDAX of $19.3 million, up 21%, and a 34% NPAT increase to $9.1 million.

Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) is continuing its recent run of good form, up another 28.2% after it banked some happy 1HFY24 results news yesterday.

Ardea Resources (ASX:ARL) and its Japanese consortium partners have reached an agreement on the scope and budget for the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project – Goongarrie Hub Definitive Feasibility Study. The Consortium has advised Ardea that they have completed their due diligence, and a final investment decision is in the works.

Norfolk Metals (ASX:NFL) is also higher after an upbeat projects update for its copper-gold play in Tasmania, and an expansion to its uranium exploration in South Australia.

Friday 01 March, 2024

Tony Sage’s European Lithium (ASX:EUR) has announced publicly traded special purpose acquisition company Sizzle Corp (NASDAQ:SZZL) and EUR’s Wolfsberg lithium project in Austria have officially merged to form Critical Minerals Corp.

Critical Metals started trading on the NASADAQ on February 28 under the ticker CRML with the Wolfsberg lithium project in Austria becoming its initial flagship asset with the mine’s future construction and commissioning a key focus.

Family safety app Life360 (ASX:360) has announced its quarter and CY23 results including revenue of $305 million, a YoY increase of 33%, in line with guidance of $300 million-$310 million and core Life360 subscription revenue of $200 million, up 52% YoY. Net loss of $28.2 million was a $63.5 million improvement from CY22.

Focused on project development of low-emission fuels and energy materials Hexagon Energy Materials (ASX:HXG)  says it progressed confidential commercial discussions with potential strategic partners regarding its WAH2 project and received indicative pricing for several key aspects of the project during the December quarter.