Weekly ASX small cap report: who went into orbit, who fell back to earth
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Only about 200 ASX small caps made gains in what was a pretty miserable week.
After sharp falls on Monday and Tuesday, the ASX200 ended the week 4.6 per cent behind.
Of the 1600 or so ASX small caps (those valued at $300 million or less) about 1100 lost ground, while 300 went untraded.
Biotech Invion (ASX:IVX) continued its extraordinary run, gaining 87 per cent to win the week — despite telling the ASX it had no news to share.
The stock has increased 360 per cent in the past month — from around 0.6c — despite only issuing its December quarterly report.
The report showed Invion — which is developing a licensed chlorophyll-based cancer treatment — had just $281,000 left in the kitty and plans to spend $2.2 million.
Invion’s newly appointed chairman, ex-Goldman Sachs exec Thian Chew, hopes to raise $2.5 million.
ReadCloud (ASX:RCL) enjoyed a stellar debut on the ASX — gaining 58 per cent for the week.
An e-learning app developer for secondary school teachers and students, ReadCloud had its first day at ASX big school on Wednesday, getting a tick from investors who pushed its share price up 35 per cent on the day.
The shares closed the week at 31.5c compared to their 20c issue price. The developer raised $6 million.
ReadCloud allows a school’s curriculum to be accessible in one app across multiple platforms and devices. Teachers and students are able to share notes, questions, videos and web links with one another.
Things are looking up for iron ore-turned-gold explorer WPG Resources (ASX:WPG), with grades and tonnages set to increase at its Challenger operation in South Australia.
WPG jumped 47 per cent to 2.5c this week after announcing “a number of spectacular gold intersections”.
WPG drilled out intersections in the Perseverance pit that have returned grades as high as 607.75 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold. Anything above 5 g/t is considered high-grade.
The grades are better than what WPG was hoping for.
Lithium explorer Dempsey Minerals (ASX:DMI) climbed 40 per cent for the week, finishing Friday at 14c.
The landholding is in South America’s “lithium triangle”, which extends through Chile, Argentina and Bolivia and hosts over half the world’s lithium resources.
“This transaction is a potential game changer for our business, providing Dempsey with a landholding in arguably the most productive lithium brine basin in Argentina at a time when the lithium market is experiencing unprecedented significant growth,” non-exec chairman Nathan McMahon said.
Is there something happening at Zyber — the shell company that was momentarily rumoured to be moving into blockchain?
After losing 50 per cent of its value a few weeks ago, the shares recovered 38 per cent this week to 2.2c.
Director Scott Mison just spent $25,491 of his super fund’s money on 1.5 million shares in the shell company.
Mr Mison has been a director since the start of October, around the time the current board gave up on the flailing enterprise security tech and turned to more exciting prospects — a plan that hasn’t so far panned out.
Zyber was one of the most-hyped small caps over January.
The shares surged 193 per cent from the end of December to a peak in mid-January.
Specialty Fashion Group (ASX:SFH) — the owner of Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph, City Chic and Rivers — made big gains after a better-than-expected Christmas and a round of cost-cutting.
The retailer moved ahead 38 per cent for the week, finishing at 29c — still a long way from the 65c its shares were fetching a year ago.
The company also announced that Daniel Bracken, a former deputy chief executive at Myer, will succeed Gary Perlstein as CEO.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for Feb 2-9:
(This table may be best viewed on a laptop or desktop)
The founder of digital research company PureProfile (ASX:PPL) quit as the company’s stock this week hit its lowest point since listing.
Pureprofile is now trading at 11c — down 31 per cent for the week compared to highs of around 58c in mid-2016.
Paul Chan resigned as managing director and chief innovation officer. The company told investors it was because he had achieved his goal to “empower consumers” by “giving them control of their profile as an asset”.
PureProfile collects consumer data by offering “paid surveys, quick questions, insights and content that’s relevant to you”.
The last financial results for the company were the full year numbers in 2017. These showed a $3.1 million loss but revenue not quite doubling to $53 million.
Lithium and cobalt explorer MetalsTech (ASX:MTC) lost 32 per cent to 16c after confirming it was looking to become a single-commodity player again with the spin-out of its cobalt assets.
MetalsTech originally listed as a lithium explorer, but in March last year came across the Bay Lake project, which executive chairman Russell Moran told Stockhead was “too good to turn down”.
“We thought the investor base that we had and the investor base that we were seeking to attract to the company would be happy to invest in a company that had the two commodities being explored for given that they are both battery minerals,” he said. “However, we haven’t really had success with that traction.”
Confusion reigned at Lanka Graphite (ASX:LGR), which announced a u-turn on its board, reappointing Emily Lee as a director just three days after she resigned.
The shares fell buy a third this week, finishing at 4c.
Lanka told investors Ms Lee was reappointed after further discussions with the board and her terms of engagement were unchanged.
Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for Feb 2-9:
(This table may be best viewed on a laptop or desktop)