There was one big shining star among the AIM stocks this week, as intelligent lighting and building controls group PhotonStar LED saw its shares rocket 120 per cent higher today.
The surge – of 0.70p to 1.28p a share – came as the firm told investors that it has received a letter of intent setting out a proposed roll-out of the group’s internet-of-things (IoT) platforms by a UK-based student accommodation group.
PhotonStar said some 50,000 of its halcyonPRO2 and CloudBMS systems will be installed and there will be a process to survey the requirements of the accommodation group’s sites, which are located across 24 UK cities.
Student digs: PhotonStar has received a letter of intent setting out a proposed roll-out of the group’s internet-of-things platforms by a UK-based student accommodation group
The systems have been trialled by the group for nine months from July 2016 across a total of 167 rooms at one site.
Installations are due to take place in the summer months, whilst the accommodation is vacant.
Analysts at ‘house’ broker Northland Capital said: ‘This is a significant initial indication of demand for PhotonStar’s intelligent lighting and building management solution, and validation of practical management and cost reducing attributes, with indications of the potential for expanded deployment.’
There was also good news this week from biotech firm Avacta Group which revealed that a partner company is to acquire the exclusive rights to several Affimer reagents for an undisclosed sum.
Affimers are small, engineered proteins, some of which are of human origin and some of plant origin, capable of binding specific molecular targets, in a similar way to antibodies.
The group said the deal follows the successful evaluation of its technology by a ‘large, global diagnostics developer’.
Avacta has set up a number of paid-for evaluations of the Affirmer platform with a view to securing commercial agreements.
This was the first of these studies to conclude and it has led to a commercial deal.
In reaction to what the group called an ‘important value inflection point’, its shares gained over 28 per cent over the week to 91p.
Takeover moves in the resources sector also provided some excitement this week, with Turkey-focused mining exploration specialist Mariana Resources yesterday agreeing to a near £167million offer.
Canada-listed Sandstorm Gold, which already owns seven per cent of the AIM-listed company, is offering its own paper as well as 28.75p per share in cash in a deal which values each Mariana share at 109.71p, sending the stock almost 50 per cent higher on the week to 90.11p.
Overall the FTSE AIM All-Share index put in a positive performance over the week, adding around 1.6 per cent to 961 points, which broadly mirrored the performance of the blue chips, with the FTSE 100 index ahead 1.5 per cent to 7,219.
Well resourced: Turkey-focused mining exploration specialist Mariana Resources yesterday agreeing to a near £167million offer
AIM slightly outperformed even with the defection of one of its stars to the main market with effect from today.
The move by Yorkshire-focused potash miner Sirius Minerals means membership of AIM’s select £1billion-plus club is cut to four from five.
Online clothing firm ASOS is by far and away the biggest of the AIM-listed stocks, currently valued at £4.7bn, while soft drinks favourite Fevertree weighs in at £1.9bn, antibodies firm Abcam at £1,8bn, and flooring products manufacturer James Halstead at a round £1bn.
Among the small cap firms with shrinking market caps this week, Directa Plus – a manufacturer and supplier of wonder materials graphene-based products – saw its shares drop by 24 per cent today after it warned that it expects a significant reduction in anticipated revenues for 2017, even as its reported an 89 per cent surge in 2016 sales.
The group said adoption of its products by existing and potential customers will be up to 12 months longer than previously anticipated, while there will also be a slowdown in volumes in 2017 in its tyre segment.
Directa, which floated on AIM last May, dropped 22p lower to 68.5p, falling below the 75p per share offer price of nearly a year ago.
Another big faller came as a data technology company undertook a discounted share placing to finance its expansion plans.
Fashion statement: Online clothing firm ASOS is by far and away the biggest of the AIM-listed stocks, currently valued at £4.7billion
Cloud-based data analytics specialist Rosslyn Data Technologies snapped up rival data miner Integritie (UK) in a deal designed to provide a source of recurring sales and broaden its product reach.
The consideration of £2.59m was to be funded from a £2.21m placing and an open offer to raise up to a further £500,000, both priced at 4.5p a share.
Reflecting this, Rosslyn shares shed around 31 per cent over the week, but still held above the cash-raising price of 5.38p.
Among other small caps notching up around a 30 per cent decline for the week was resources group Ferrum Crescent after it called time on its Moonlight iron ore project in Limpopo, South Africa after failing to find a partner.
But the week’s biggest AIM-listed faller was Synairgen, which halved in value to 12.99p after blue chip drugs giant AstraZeneca revealed it has returned the rights to one of the firm’s promising respiratory drug for ‘strategic reasons’.
Synairgen, which developed and out-licensed the AZD9412 product, said it still believes the interferon beta candidate has potential.