• ASX Small Cap follows big brother into the green – for a while
  • Geopolitical worries still dragging on markets
  • Infomedia gets funky after second invite to the dance this month

 

Australian investors have spent the day releasing the moths from their wallets to help the ASX climb ~1.0% for the day.

The ASX haul was also buoyed by the ABS releasing positive retail spending figures. The upward trend is, however, slowing, with the most recent figures showing April’s 0.9% dipping behind 1.6% in March and 1.8% in February.

And it’s not just the big kids feeling a bit of Friday spirit. The ASX Emerging Companies (XEC) index also climbed into greener pastures by ~0.7% thanks to some movers in the tech and mining sectors, and then drifted down a little after investors saw the time this afternoon and made a run for Happy Hour.

The final result for the XEC index were numbers that would definitely have some sectors of the community doing jazz hands of delight, as the index pretty much came to rest on net zero for the day.

Elsewhere, it’s not all great news across the Australian landscape, with yet another home builder going belly up and causing headaches for more than 200 homeowners whose mid-construction homes are a little more well-ventilated than what most would consider ideal.

Looking further afield, geopolitical rumblings remain an anchor around the necks of local markets, as investors reacted to Reuters breaking the news that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi might be facing more resistance to China’s plans for the region. They include pushing for a five-year action plan that would give China a much larger presence, but President of the Federated States of Micronesia, David Panuelo, reckons that could kick off “a new Cold War” with the West.

And back to local news, where Infomedia shares finished 6.50% up, after recieving its second takeover offer in the past month. The offer came from Battery Ventures, a US based, global technology-focused investment firm, waving a potential $1.75 per share in cash, a 5 cent premium on an earlier offer from TA Associates and Viburnum.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

(Stocks highlighted in yellow rose after making announcements during the trading day).

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

The winner and undisputed small cap champ is Oklo (ASX:OKU), with an emphatic, and positively Herculean 7.8% climb on the heels of the board unanimously saying yes to a superb “We’re outta here!” takeover bid, the details of which can be found here.

But for the tl;dr crowd, the gist of it is that Canada’s B2Gold has offered investors a mouth-watering 103% premium on top of the company’s 30-day volume weighted average price – with even more to come if it is able to get results from Oklo’s high-grade Dandoko project in Mali.

Meanwhile, Odin Metals must have served up the mother of all Powerpoints yesterday at its May 2022 investor presentation, with its share price climbing to meet the company’s namesake, stacking more than 25% to its value over the course of the day.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

(Stocks highlighted in yellow fell after making announcements during the trading day).

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

Appen (ASX:APX) led the charge into murky waters today, weathering a terrible storm this morning after Telus International’s enthusiastic offer of $9.50 a share disappeared quicker than a detective’s donuts. A leak about the takeover bid saw the whole thing go public well before its time, and Telus jumped ship.

Appen shares dropped a long way from yesterday’s pre-leak highs, but steadied throughout the afternoon after the impossibly poorly-timed Appen AGM – today – heard from the folks up top, who appear to have made all the right noises to calm investors spooked by the disaster unfolding last might.

Finder Energy’s (ASX:FDR) JV partner has drilled a duster at the ‘Kanga-1’ well, offshore WA (FDR 15%).

“Whilst this is a disappointing result, Finder has a high quality and valuable portfolio of drill ready prospects in both the North West Shelf and North Sea, and we remain confident that our portfolio will deliver a material discovery,” FDR boss Damon Neaves says. “Our farmout strategy ensured that Finder had minimal financial exposure in Kanga-1.”

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY’VE MISSED

With the bigger news dominating the small cap headlines, a few odds and ends have also blipped on our radars today. First up is a price spike for B2B data intelligence and solutions company Invigor Group. Invigor’s price jumped more than 57% today, with the only recent announcement for the company being the appointment of Mr Thierry Manor (the company’s Chief Operating Officer) as Joint Company Secretary. We’ll let you know when we’ve wrapped our heads around it.

Meanwhile Compumedics (ASX:CMP) says its sales figures are set to look pretty sweet, with an 8% increase in sales revenue compared to the last financial year, bringing the total to $38 million, with expected revenue of $35 million and an EBITDA of $2.6 million. The company is doing a ton of work in the medical tech space with its sleep, brain and ultrasonic blood-flow monitoring applications.

And to end the week with a bit of a bang, Xtek (ASX:XTE) has got the Last Orders scarecrow pretty excited over its announcement of a $46 million purchase order from an unnamed international customer. It’s a massive deal for Xtek’s HighCom Armor Solution subsidiary and great news for shareholders – but the Stockhead office has been abuzz with speculation as to who this mystery customer is, while quietly murmuring “Please don’t be Russia… Please don’t be Russia…”

 

TRADING HALTS

The following companies went into a trading halt today. They are expected to exit with news in the coming days:
Living Cell Technologies (ASX:LCT) – equity raising to be undertaken by way of an institutional placement

Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK) – initial mineral resource for the Boda project.

Southern Cross Gold (ASX:SXG) – material exploration results at the Sunday Creek Project