Cambridge Index

Cambridge Index climbs 3.3%

The Cambridge index surged 3.3% or 822.7 points to finish at 25,794.8, as eight out of the top ten index heavyweights posted weekly gains to their share prices. DS Smith, up 3.8%, announced in its half-yearly trading update that trading was in line with its expectations, with return on sales to be mostly consistent with the previous guidance and return on average capital employed to be in the upper end of the target range. Peel Hunt reissued its “Hold” rating on Abcam, up 5.2%, with a target price of 1020p. Barclays reiterated its “Equal Weight” rating on AVEVA Group, up 3.3%, with a target price of 1450p.

LPA Group, up 15.1%, announced in its annual trading update that it witnessed record levels of output during the second half and anticipates it to continue into the new financial year, assuming the current volume of deliverable orders. Its margins returned to normal levels, following weakness in the first half due to unfavourable product mix, while manufacturing efficiency witnessed a substantial improvement. Elektron Technology, up 13.1%, announced in its third-quarter trading update that sales jumped 34% to £8.6m from £6.4m in the third quarter of 2016, while the year-to-date sales increased 15% to £22.9m in the same period last year. Liberum Capital restated its “Buy” rating on Kier Group, up 3.4%, with a target price of 1600p. Bango, up 2.4%, announced that it has appointed Alex Oh as the Country Manager of its South Korean business, in order to expand its presence and business development activity in South Korea. Canaccord Genuity increased its target price on Amino Technologies, up 1.6%, to 200p from 180p and maintained its “Buy” rating.

Peel Hunt dropped its rating on Xaar, down 0.4%, to “Add” from “Buy” rating with a target price of 535p. Numis Securities upgraded its rating on RhythmOne, down 3.3%, to “Add” from “Neutral” with a target price of 42p.

UK markets closed higher in the last week, after the Bank of England (BoE) raised its key interest rate for the first time in a decade, but indicated that any rate hike in future would be gradual. On the data front, UK’s services sector expanded at its fastest pace in six months in October, while the manufacturing sector also grew at a faster-than-expected pace in the same month. The FTSE AIM 100 index added 0.9% to close at 5,363.7, while the FTSE techMARK 100 index jumped 2.4% to end at 4,783.4. Moreover, the FTSE 100 index gained 0.7% to settle at 7,560.4.

US markets finished firmer last week, as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) held its benchmark interest rates, while the US President, Donald Trump nominated Jerome Powell, as the next Fed chair. Also, the Republicans unveiled a new tax plan in the House of Representatives, which would sharply slash the corporate tax. In economic news, the US employment rate surprisingly fell to a 17-year low in October, while the non-farm payrolls advanced less-than-expected in September. The DJIA index advanced 0.4% to end at 23,539.2, while the NASDAQ index rose 0.9% to close at 6,764.4


The Cambridge & FTSE AIM 100 Index Movement

Sector Break-up - Market Cap

Sector Break-up - No. of Comps

Index movers

Abcam PLC

Abcam PLC, a producer and distributor of research-grade antibodies, climbed 5.2% to 1042.0p. Peel Hunt reissued its “Hold” rating on the stock with a target price of 1020.0p.

CyanConnode Holdings PLC

CyanConnode Holdings PLC, the integrated software solution provider for utility metering and lighting control, slid 6.1% to 26.8p.

Dialight PLC

Dialight PLC, a provider of electronic lighting and electromagnetic products, rose 5.0% to 672.0p.

Elektron Technology PLC

Elektron Technology PLC, a provider of fast moving engineered products, advanced 13.1% to 19.4p. The company, in its trading update for the third quarter ended 31 October 2017, announced that its sales jumped 34.0% to £8.6 million from £6.4 million in Q3 2016 while the year-to-date sales increased 15.0% to £22.9 million from £19.9 million in the same period last year. Moreover, sales of its Bulgin business surged 37.0% to £7.8 million from £5.7 million. The Board anticipates full year trading performance to be ahead of its previous expectations. FinnCap reissued its “Corporate” rating on the stock.

Gaming Realms PLC

Gaming Realms PLC (former PDX PLC), an online gaming operator, developing free-to-play and real-money products, fell 10.5% to 8.1p and emerged as the top loser in the Cambridge index.

Greene King PLC

Shares of pub operator, Greene King PLC, advanced 4.8% to 556.0p.

LPA Group PLC

LPA Group PLC, a provider of electronic and electro mechanical systems, jumped 15.1% to 152.5p and emerged as the top gainer in the Cambridge index. The company, in its trading update for the financial year ended 30 September 2017, announced that it witnessed record levels of output during the second half and anticipates it to continue into the new financial year, assuming the current volume of deliverable orders. Also, its margins returned to normal levels, following weakness in the first half due to unfavourable product mix, while manufacturing efficiency witnessed a substantial improvement. The company also stated that the new Yorkshire lighting facility and the electro-mechanical facility in Saffron Walden, both achieved higher output levels.

Quixant PLC

Quixant PLC, a provider of specialised gaming platforms designed for gaming and slot machine applications, declined 8.8% to 415.0p.

Sareum Holdings PLC

Sareum Holdings PLC, which is engaged in the structure-based drug discovery business, dropped 5.1% to 0.9p. The company announced that the latest preclinical data for its Chk1 inhibitor candidate confirmed that a strong and selective Chk1 inhibitor such as Sareum’s SRA737 can effectively synergize with sub-therapeutic doses of gemcitabine to induce replication catastrophe and tumour cell death.

Ubisense Group PLC

Ubisense Group PLC, a market leader of real-time location solutions, lost 3.7% to 39.5p.

Other movers

Amino Technologies PLC

Amino Technologies PLC, a leader in digital entertainment solutions for IPTV, Internet TV and in-home multimedia distribution, gained 1.6% to 187.0p. Canaccord Genuity increased its target price on the stock to 200.0p from 180.0p and maintained its “Buy” rating.

AVEVA Group PLC

Engineering technology company, AVEVA Group PLC, rose 3.3% to 2592.0p. Barclays reiterated its “Equal Weight” rating on the stock with a target price of 1450.0p. Citigroup reaffirmed its “Buy” rating on the stock with a target price of 2080.0p.

Bango PLC

Bango PLC, a developer and provider of technology for mobile phones, added 2.4% to 234.5p. The company announced that it has appointed Alex Oh as the Country Manager of its South Korean business, in order to expand its presence and business development activity in South Korea. The firm looks to boost payment opportunities for digital, physical and Internet of Things (IoT) services across the region.

Cambridge Cognition Holdings PLC

Cambridge Cognition Holdings PLC, which specialises in computerised neuropsychological tests, remained unchanged at 166.0p. FinnCap restated its “Corporate” rating on the stock with a target price of 115.0p.

DS Smith PLC

DS Smith PLC, a manufacturer and distributor of paper and plastic packaging products, advanced 3.8% to 528.0p. The company, in its trading update for the half year ended 31 October 2017, announced that trading in the period was in line with its expectations, with return on sales to be mostly in consistent with the previous guidance and return on average capital employed to be in the upper end of the target range. JP Morgan Chase restated its “Overweight” rating on the stock with a target price of 570.0p.

Kier Group PLC

Building, civil engineering and property development group, Kier Group PLC, increased 3.4% to 1090.0p. Liberum Capital restated its “Buy” rating on the stock with a target price of 1600.0p.

RhythmOne PLC

RhythmOne PLC (former Blinkx PLC), the leading video search engine, lost 3.3% to 266.0p. Numis Securities upgraded its rating on the stock to “Add” from “Neutral” with a target price of 42.0p.

Xaar PLC

Xaar PLC, a provider of inkjet printing technology, edged 0.4% lower to 500.0p. Peel Hunt downgraded the stock to an “Add” from “Buy” rating with a target price of 535.0p.

The Cambridge & FTSE AIM 100 Index Movement

Sector Break-up - Market Cap

Sector Break-up - No. of Comps

Table 1 Cambridge Index - Weekly Top 5 Gainers

Table 2 Cambridge Index - Weekly Top 5 Losers

Table 3 Cambridge Index - Top 5 Weights

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