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Agile and responsive

Outlook | Aerospace & Defence | 13 Dec 2017

Cohort continues to make progress in a tough UK defence trading environment. Our earnings forecasts remain largely unchanged as performances at MASS and EID continue ahead of expectations, compensating for pressures at MCL and SEA. Our fair value calculation currently stands at 483p implying significant unrecognised potential. The recent share price fall seems unwarranted given the maintained outlook.


Going to plan

Flash note | Aerospace & Defence | 28 Nov 2017

Cohort has announced that it has increased its holding in EID to 80% from 57% for the additional consideration of EUR 3.97m from existing cash resources and debt facilities. The Portuguese government retains the remaining 20% and this is all in line with its previously announced strategy. EID brings new geographies, a good order pipeline and further growth opportunities. In addition, the company has indicated that it remains on course to meet FY18 expectations. HY18 results will be published on 13 December when we will adjust our forecasts for the increased holding.

UMT United Mobility Technology

Stepping out into B2C payments & blockchain

Outlook | Technology | 28 Nov 2017

As a result of its work with leading retailers in the Payback loyalty scheme, UMT is Germany’s largest provider of white-label mPay services. Earlier this year the group took a decisive step into the B2C arena with the acquisition of prelado, an online German mobile phone top-up retailer. UMT plans to leverage its mPay know-how and retail contacts to drive an expansion of prelado’s product range as well as to extend prelado’s reach into other major EU countries. The group has also recently reached an agreement with solarisBank of Berlin to allow it to provide customers with full banking services as well as signing an MoU with blockchain specialist Coinsilium, to explore the use of blockchain technology in its service areas. UMT shares currently trade in line with the mPay small-cap sector on current year estimates. EV/revenues, and the current price implies free cash flow growth of 13.6% from 2021 in our reverse DCF analysis.


Strategic Chess move

Outlook | Aerospace & Defence | 20 Dec 2018

Following a challenging first half, Cohort has seen excellent order intake in recent months. These underpin anticipated sales for H219 and provide longer-term visibility through some significant multi-year agreements. In addition, the company has bought Chess Technologies, broadening the geographic reach and product range while augmenting growth prospects. The purchase is aligned with the agile growth strategy and was financed through cash and the recently renewed bank facility. Having strongly outperformed its UK defence peers over the last 12 months, the FY20e P/E of 10.7x represents a discount of around 18% to its UK defence peers.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals

ASH 2018: 50mg cohort on last patient

Update | Pharmaceuticals & healthcare | 10 Dec 2018

The company provided an update at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2018 meeting in December on its ongoing dose-escalation study of vecabrutinib for B-cell malignancies. Four new patients have been enrolled in the past month and the 50 mg cohort is now overenrolled. Safety data is only needed from a single patient, so barring any issues, the trial should progress to 100mg soon, where we may see the first signs of efficacy.

International Stem Cell

Strong biomedical sales and new clinical data

Update | Pharmaceuticals & healthcare | 04 Dec 2018

International Stem Cell (ISCO) reported Q318 revenues of $3.2m, up 73.0% compared to Q317 mainly due to the biomedical business, which had quarterly revenues of $2.8m, up 112.8% year-on-year. Additionally, the company reported updated data from the Phase I trial of ISC-hpNSC in Parkinson’s disease (PD). At the six-month time point, the percentage OFF-Time, a key endpoint for PD treatment, decreased an average of 49% for the second cohort of patients, compared to 24% for the first, with four patients in each cohort.


Further order successes for MASS and EID

Flash note | Aerospace & Defence | 13 Nov 2018

The positive order intake news continues for Cohort. It has announced a further GBP 3.2m contract for MASS to provide business analysis support to the UK’s MOD. In addition, the Portuguese subsidiary EID has won export contracts worth EUR 11m for vehicle intercom systems for two existing customers. The EID contracts include successful acquisition of one of the five potential order opportunities previously indicated in the AGM update. Cohort continues to see improving overall group order inflow, which underpins the outlook for the businesses through FY19 as well as in the medium term. The shares have been performing well in a challenging stock market, and the current FY20e P/E of just 12.3x remains undemanding in our view.


CANFOUR interim Phase I presented at ESMO

Update | Pharmaceuticals & healthcare | 30 Oct 2018

On 20 October 2018, Cantargia presented interim data from part I of its Phase I/IIa CANFOUR trial with nidanilimab (IL1RAP antibody) at the ESMO congress in Munich, Germany, demonstrating a good safety/tolerability profile so far. The maximum tolerated dose has not been reached and so a final dose (10mg/kg) cohort is being recruited. The Phase IIa part of the study is expected to start in Q418 as planned. Meanwhile, on 25 September Cantargia’s shares were up-listed to the Nasdaq Stockholm main market, which will expose the company to a wider investment community. Our valuation is virtually unchanged at SEK1.80bn or SEK27.2/share with the success probability rate subject to revision once the final Phase I data are published in Q418.


First half of CE mark-enabling trial fully enrolled

Update | Pharmaceuticals & healthcare | 26 Oct 2018

In July, Carmat announced the enrolment of the 10th and final patient included in the first leg of its EU pivotal study investigating the surgical implantation of the Carmat total artificial heart (TAH) in patients suffering from end-stage biventricular heart failure (HF). Following the successful surgeries, the company expects to enrol an additional 10 patients in the second cohort by the year end. According to Carmat, data from all 20 patients should be sufficient to obtain CE marking for the bioprosthesis in 2019. Most notably, Carmat announced the first successful donor heart transplant of a TAH patient who was initially too sick to receive a donor heart.


MASS success verifies core capabilities

Flash note | Aerospace & Defence | 26 Oct 2018

Cohort’s largest division, MASS, has been selected as the preferred bidder for a GBP 50m, eight-year contract for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). Success would represent an extension of a core activity that has been undertaken by MASS since 2000. As it was competitively tendered, the down-select also verifies Cohort’s credentials in the provision of in-service support for the MOD. The announcement represents another encouraging sign that Cohort is successfully underpinning its medium- to long-term workloads in its service contracting activities.


Encouraging order development

Flash note | Aerospace & Defence | 04 Oct 2018

The announcement of a EUR 4.8m vehicle communications contract win for the Portuguese Army is in addition to the prospects indicated at the AGM on 11 September. It suggests that positive order book momentum is building as we approach the H118 period end. The shares have continued to perform well since the prelims in July, but remain on a relatively undemanding FY20e P/E of 12.5x.

International Stem Cell

Biomedical sales more than double

Update | Pharmaceuticals & healthcare | 20 Aug 2018

International Stem Cell (ISCO) reported Q218 revenues of $3.0m, up 72.4% compared to Q217 mainly due to the biomedical business, which had quarterly revenues of $2.7m, up 103.1% compared to the same quarter last year. The operating profit of the biomedical business also increased substantially, up 139.6% to $1.1m. With regard to the Phase I trial of ISC-hpNSC in Parkinson’s disease (PD), the company has successfully dosed the first patient of the third cohort and expects to release interim six-month results from the second cohort in Q318.