• The ASX 200 benchmark has inched forward 0.44pc for the week
  • InfoTech was the winner (again), while Woolies dragged Staples to the mat
  • Way2VAT claimed carry-over champ status, taking out the gong on last week’s news


This week has been kinda mundane, with the notable exception of one of Australia’s most visible companies hauled out into the middle of the town square and beaten with a baseball bat, for the heinous crime of losing a staggering sum of money.

Woolworths banked a shockingly huge loss, felt especially keenly because the company was on track to post a handsome NPAT of $929 million, but then… two one-off write downs that were as expensive as they were unavoidable drove the half-year balance sheet into the ground like a tack.

The big one was Woolworths’ booking a $NZ1.6 billion writedown on the value of its Kiwi operation Foodland, while the smaller one was the $209 million fall in the value of Woolies’ stake in ASX-listed Endeavour Group, which operates BWS and Dan Murphy’s liquor stores.

Any way you slice it, -$781 million is a terrible number on the bottom of a balance sheet – but, if you can believe it, that was just the icing on a gigantic turd cake that Woolies boss Brad Banducci publicly ate.

His appearance on Four Corners to talk about price gouging would have been at home on a comedy sketch show, if it wasn’t so deadly serious for Brad.

He turned up dressed as a regular work-a-day staff member, name badge and all, which is just utterly perplexing – and then got savaged like a dead seal off Kangaroo Island by the interviewer, until he could take no more and stormed off like a toddler with a brick in his britches.

A woeful, emasculating end to a career in corporate Australia for a guy who – let’s be honest here – had one of the easiest gigs imaginable.

One minute you’re driving the world’s 20th-largest retailer, with one competitor to collude with – sorry, compete with – and the next minute you’re the guy no one wants to stand next to at a funeral, because you were driving the car when the fella in the box got killed.


The rest of the week was dull in comparison to that public excoriation, but here’s what happened in a nutshell.

InfoTech went bananas again, because US tech stocks also went bananas again, because the unstoppable Nvidia hit record highs and is closing in on being worth a jaw-cragging $800 a share, which is completely mental.

We had our own successes to crow about, and InfoTech’s almost 4.0% climb this week alone was one to admire.

Consumer Discretionary and Utilities also did pretty well, in a market dominated by half-year results that really felt make-or-break for a lot of companies.

At the bottom of the ladder lay Consumer Staples, bleeding from a Woolworths-shaped hole in its skull.

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



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Way2VAT (ASX:W2V) showed the ASX how to take last week’s great news and make it last a lot longer than a single session, rising relentlessly on news of its new AI-driven auditing package and banking another 64% for the week.

Top of the pops was actually large capper BrainChip Holdings (ASX:BRN) , which soared through an 86% jump on the strength of its half-year report card.

Toys R Us (ASX:TOY) was a surprise inclusion on the winner’s list, too. The struggling retailer has managed to turn things around in recent months, and investors have rewarded it by piling back on in droves.

But it’s still a shadow of its once mighty self, boasting a market cap below $12 million and shares going for less than 1.5c a pop.



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Monday 19 February, 2024

Most of the upward swings in Small Caps Monday could be attributed to the increase in investor confidence in commodities, as the bulk of the big percentage movers made headway without the benefit of their own announcements to pin it on.

Impact Minerals (ASX:IPT) did drop some news, announcing that the company has managed to hit a crucial milestone, by achieving better than 99.99% (4N+) High Purity Alumina (Al2O3) from the company’s Lake Hope mud via its proprietary and patented Playa One Sulphate Process.

This is big news for Impact, as the company’s recent Scoping Study demonstrated an NPV of $1.3 billion for the project and an estimated operating cost to produce 4N HPA up to 50% lower than anyone else globally at less than US$4,000 per tonne.

Elsewhere, it’s mid-cap and large caps with news that made the Monday morning winners list, including APM Human Services (ASX:APM) after it confirmed that it’s received a conditional and non-binding indicative proposal pursuant to which funds or investment vehicles advised by CVC would acquire all of the shares in APM by way of a scheme of arrangement, following ongoing discussions between the pair.

Indeed, it was APM that ended up taking the winner’s spot on the overall podium, finishing the day 48.8% higher on the news.

And A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) was higher on news of a positive interim result with 3.7% revenue growth and 5.0% EBITDA growth for 1HFY24, off the back of the company managing to grow its infant milk formula revenue despite a large, double-digit decline in the Chinese market overall.

Way2VAT’s (ASX:W2V) upward rush has continued from the previous week, again without anything in the way of news since the company announced the launch of its AI-driven automated accounts payable auditing product, AI-AP Compliance, on 15 February.

A letter to shareholders from the boss at 29Metals (ASX:29M) seems to have done the trick, with the stock up close to 38% on Monday afternoon after the company’s recent form slump prompted the CEO to put pen to paper and reassure shareholders that 2024 is “a recovery year to set us up for long term success”.


Tuesday 20 February, 2024

Out in front on Tuesday morning was Way2VAT (ASX:W2V), stretching its two-day run into a third consecutive winner, up 55% before lunch on Friday’s news that it has launched a new AI-driven automatic auditing system.

Parkd (ASX:PKD) has been given the go-ahead to proceed with Stage 2 of the design and construction contract with John Hughes Automotive Group, for construction of a multi-level car storage facility to support its VW service centre in Victoria Park, Perth.

The project value of Stage 2 works is $4.3 million “under terms and conditions that are industry standard for a contract of this nature”, with contract claims due to kick off in March of this year.

Elixinol Wellness (ASX:EXL) was rising on news that it’s set to sell its non-core investment – a minority stake in Altmed Pets – to Altmed Pets, for US$1.5 million in cash… $100,000 up front, the rest later.

Bravura Solutions (ASX:BVS) was trading higher on happy 1HFY24 results including a gross revenue bump of 7.4% to $124 million, putting the company on an EBITDA of $7.9 million, which is $11.5 million better than the previous year.

Toys R Us (ASX:TOY) was up on news that the company has completed a private placement of 84,615,385 new fully paid ordinary shares in the Company at an offer price of $0.0065 raising $550,000 before costs.

And Cohiba Minerals (ASX:CHK) was also up on news of a placement, announcing that the company has raised $850,000 from professional and sophisticated investors, which will see the company issue 708,333,333 fully paid ordinary shares at $0.0012 a pop.

Belararox (ASX:BRX) made headway throughout the afternoon, after nanaging director Arvind Misr delivered a presentation to the Copper in the Americas investor call shortly before lunchtime.


Wednesday 21 February, 2024

Alterity Therapeutics (ASX:ATH) was out in front on Wednesday morning, rising steadily after presenting new data, including new baseline biomarker data on ATH434 from its ongoing Phase 2 randomised, double blind clinical trial, was presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2024 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday.

Australian Mines (ASX:AUZ) was up on news of a new, second exploration target prospective for niobium and rare earths at the Jequie Rare Earth Project located within the state of Bahia in Fabulous Brazil.

Rincon Resources (ASX:RCR) continued to make hay from Monday’s announcement that the company has grown its tenement size in the West Arunta region to more than 260km2, after a new exploration licence application was granted over an area that contains the historic ‘Mantati’ copper-lead-zinc occurrence.

Singular Health Group (ASX:SHG) was also in the good books, announcing that it has raised $4,123,142 through a recent capital raising via institutional, sophisticated and professional investors, resulting in the issue of 37,483,101 fully paid ordinary shares.

Argent Minerals (ASX:ARD) has reported extensive gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc mineralisation has been confirmed by a rock chip reconnaissance program over the Henry prospect within the Kempfield project in NSW, returning high-grade polymetallic assays up to 14.05g/t Au, 85.2g/t Ag, 0.5% Cu, 0.41% Pb and 0.28% Zn.

NickelX (ASX:NKL) was back in the news, after issuing an amended announcement relating to the identification of uranium mineralisation and priority target areas  from data compilation and review at the Elliot Lake uranium project in Ontario, Canada.


Thursday 22 February, 2024

It was all medtech talk here on the small end of the ASX on Thursday. First up we had a strong surge for PharmAust (ASX:PAA) which said it has engaged “globally renowned experts” in MND/ALS and rare neurodegenerative diseases to form a scientific advisory board (SAB) for the next stage of development of monepantel (MPL).

Monepantel is PAA’s lead candidate for the treatment of Motor Neurone Disease (MND)/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and pipeline expansion activities in additional neurodegenerative diseases.

Still doing well was the other local medtech LBT Innovations (ASX:LBT) with the microbiology lab services and tech provider delivered its first homemade environmental monitoring tech (an APAS Independence instrument with APAS PharmaQC software) to a Thermo Fisher facility.

It’s the maiden recognised sale of the technology, according to CEO & managing director Brent Barnes, who says the delivery is six months ahead of schedule and LBT is primed to cash in on “the positive market interest” from pharmaceutical customers following initial market development activities completed 2H23.

Barnes says LBT has now established a “pipeline of potential early adopters” who’ve shown interest in the LBT tech which aims “to provide efficiencies and improve traceability within environmental monitoring workflows.”

Meanwhile,  Way2VAT (ASX:W2V), was still sticking it to the man, up double digits again.

That’s made for a good five days on the bourse, since the riches began pouring in after last Friday’s launch of a new AI-driven automatic auditing system.

Other early movers with news out included 88 Energy (ASX:88E) which said its 20% working interest has been successfully transferred to the company as part of stage one of a three-stage farm-in deal for its Namibian petroleum exploration licence.

As well as Insignia Financial (ASX:IFL) which dropped a 1H statutory (NPAT) loss of $49.9m, which IFL says is down to strategic initiatives and remediation costs. But shareholders who came for the earnings, stayed for the upgraded outlook.

The wealth manager said in its ASX announcement that FY24 group net revenue margin is expected to be between 45.5-46 bps (previously 44.8-45.8 bps) while EBITA margin has increased as well, while in-year transformation costs and benefits remain on track.


Friday 23 February, 2024

There were lots of little small caps moving rapidly without news on Friday morning, with cybersecurity minnow WhiteHawk (ASX:WHK) waaaay out in front on close to +60% being the best of them.

In terms of newsworthy climbs, The Calmer Co International (ASX:CCO) has scored a huge retail win, after US giant Walmart agreed to stock the company’s Fiji Kava Instant Kava 150mg product on its shelves.

Word on the street is that Walmart approached the company after noticing how popular the product had been on Amazon.com, and – never one to miss out on getting aboard a bandwagon – Walmart wanted in on that action as well.

Gold Mountain (ASX:GMN) is getting its neurology on, announcing to the market that it has managed to secure 20 new tenements with a total area of 388.18 km2 for niobium and REE in the Araxá region of Minas Gerais, located about 450 km north of Sao Paulo.

BSA (ASX:BSA) climbed through the day after releasing its half-year report, showing revenue of $121.4 million that led the company to an EBITDA of $10.1 million.


IPOs that happened

Metals Acquisition (ASX:MAC)

Listed: February 16, 2024
IPO:$325 million at $17.00 per share

Metals Acquisition (ASX:MAC) rose 11% on Tuesday, its first day of trading on the ASX.

MAC is one of the largest ASX listings in recent years with $325 million IPO at $17 a share.

The company is already listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker MTAL, meaning that its ASX IPO is a dual listing done through CHESS depositary interests (CDIs).

MAC said it will use the IPO proceeds to repay a deferred consideration facility related to the acquisition of its CSA copper mine near Cobar, NSW.

The CSA mine is thought to be one of Australia’s highest grade copper mines, with estimates of  about 40,000 tonnes of copper each year.

In addition to the current operations, MAC also holds 566 square kilometres of tenements around the area, with the potential to expand and extend CSA’s future mine life.


IPOs we’re (still) waiting for…

All dates are sourced from the ASX website. They can, and frequently do, change without notice.


Golden Globe Resources (ASX:GGR)

Expected listing: February 26, 2024
IPO:$6 million at 20 cents/share

The gold explorer with projects in Queensland, WA and NSW was down to list on the local bourse in October 2023.

In the last four years, the company says it has acquired four projects with high prospectivity including Dooloo Creek and Alma in Queensland, Crossways in Western Australia, and Neila Creek in NSW.

GGR says each of these projects offers substantial opportunities for gold resources, including high-grade copper. The explorer has conducted extensive drilling and sampling at Dooloo Creek, yielding impressive results over the past two years.

There are plans for further drilling across all GGR projects, with an immediate focus on Neila Creek and ongoing efforts at Dooloo Creek.

K S Capital is lead manager of the float.