SMALL CAP MOVERS: Synairgen tanks; Eve Sleep soars

Morses Club sent out an S.O.S. – save our shares – this week after the doorstep lender issued a massive profit warning.

Controversially, however, Paul Smith, whose departure as chief executive was announced at the same time as the profit warning, sold 464,119 shares in the company at 42.65p just four days before the bad news hit the market.

Morses said it received no prior notification of Smith’s intention to sell the shares.

The shares now trade at around 13.475p, after plummeting 68 per cent this week.

Synairgen shares tanked 83% after it said its treatment for Covid failed to meet both its goals

Sadly, Morses was not even the worst performer of the week; that unwanted accolade went to Synairgen, which tanked 83 per cent to 29.24p after it said its treatment for Covid failed to meet both its primary and secondary goals in a phase III clinical trial.

All is not necessarily lost, however, as Richard Marsden, Synairgen’s chief executive pointed out that the disappointing trial outcome may be the result of significant changes in the way patients are routinely treated in the period between the phase II and phase III evaluations.

‘This improvement in patient care may have compromised the potential of SNG001 to show a clinical benefit in respect of the endpoints for this study, which were not met,’ he explained.

‘Despite this, we have observed an encouraging trend in the prevention of progression to severe disease and death, which we strongly believe merits further investigation in a platform trial. We are now analysing the full dataset to better understand all the findings.’

Also in the doghouse this week were Petroneft Resources, down 44 per cent, and Eurasia Mining, down 41 per cent, as the market punished companies with Russian connections.

Eurasia reiterated on Friday that it expects no impact on its operations from western sanctions imposed on Russia.

The miner, which has operations in Russia producing palladium, platinum, rhodium, iridium and gold, said no individual or entity identified in the sanctions is associated with the company in any way. 

Furthermore, it has no bank accounts with Russian state-owned banks or any relationship with any Russian state-owned banks.

Not all Russia-related stocks were hit hard this week. Ovoca Bio surged 29 per cent to 14.5p after it said it had received marketing approval for Orenetide for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in pre-menopausal women in the Russian Federation.

The nasal spray will be marketed in the Russian Federation under the trader name of Desirix.

Eve Sleep has clinched a retail partnership with DFS (Pictured: Eve Sleep chief executive, Cheryl Calverley)

Eve Sleep has clinched a retail partnership with DFS (Pictured: Eve Sleep chief executive, Cheryl Calverley)

Meanwhile, shareholders in Eve Sleep can sleep a bit easier after the mattress seller clinched a retail partnership with DFS, the furniture retailer.

Initially, the partnership will cover the website, which receives an average 2.71m unique visitors per month, Eve Sleep said.

There are also plans to extend the partnership to the DFS showroom estate later in the year, the company said.

Reabold Resources, the AIM investing company that focuses on investments in upstream oil and gas projects, said the longstop date of the equity exchange agreement with Daybreak Oil and Gas Inc, a US oil and gas operator with assets in California, has been extended by mutual consent to 29 April 2022.

It may not sound that exciting but the shares rose by 49 per cent this week.

Settlement of a legal case is often a cause for celebration and so it proved for Arc Minerals, which rose 31 per cent after announcing last Friday after the market had closed that the parties to the ongoing legal cases in Zambia and in the UK have come to an agreement to settle various disputed matters and for all legal proceedings to be permanently dropped.

‘The settlement is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders and allows us to focus on operations and also accelerate our discussions with interested major mining companies,’ said Arc’s executive chairman, Nick von Schirnding.

Lastly, Invinity Energy Systems climbed 26 per cent to 97p after it was awarded £708,371 of funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) under Phase 1 of the Longer Duration Energy Storage (LODES) Demonstration competition.

This award will fund a comprehensive planning and feasibility study on what could become one of the UK’s largest co-located solar and energy storage projects. 

If Phase 1 is deemed successful, the company then expects the project to progress through financial close and to the construction of a 40 MWh (megawatt hours) Invinity Vanadium Flow Battery funded in part by BEIS via Phase 2 of the LODES programme.