Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Bioseek LSE:ATD London Ordinary Share GB0009231639 ORD 5P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 0.50p 0.00p 0.00p - - - 0.00 05:00:10
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 15.5 -4.2 -4.5 - 0.59

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Date Time Title Posts
28/9/201623:55Asterand 2008/9 with charts910.00
16/6/201416:47AT's Diary1,403.00
29/5/201318:32Asterand - steady growth play367.00
27/8/200907:28Results out monday, Very good value to buy55.00
18/11/200807:37Asterand - Human Tissue Research. M/Cap covered by cash110.00

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DateSubject
01/5/2012
17:47
buywell2: From the results , and the most important bit I reckon ''Assuming that definitive agreements are executed the Board is expecting to issue a circular to shareholders in the coming weeks with details of the proposed transactions. Then the likely process will be disposal of the assets of each of the two businesses and a solvent liquidation of the Group to return cash to shareholders. Whilst the level of a liquidation dividend, if any, cannot definitely be determined at this time, the Board's current estimation, based on the letters of interest from the buyers and the current share price, is that the maximum payout to shareholders is unlikely to show a significant premium to the share price as of the close of business on 26 April 2012. '' Now it seems to me that any company/s still interested in buying bits of ATD with the share price now as it stands ... is in a very strong position How much actual cash do ATD have as of today ? I did not see this in the results , one would imagine it is now very much , also we know that the biggest tissue contract has now ended , so turnover now must be down and staff knowing that the business is not self sustaining any more will be leaving .... from results ''The modest decrease is attributable to a reduction in sales staff salaries expense due to attrition'' thus creating a downward circle of pressure on whatever business ATD are still managing to achieve, the only bit that seems any good is BioSeek and even that seems to have now flattened out. So IF the potential buyers delay .... then at some point the administrators get brought in Then the bits get even cheaper Why should any buyers rush to make offers ? buywell2 26 Apr'12 - 08:37 - 765 of 771 edit I wonder if selling volumes will rise as Finals Day approaches ? Last 3 days trading suggests they are If they haven't got a buyer by that date surely a statement regarding the break-up of the company will be made Bioseek owners are owed circa $9m by Asterand equivalent to 4.5p a share ´´Additionally, the Group has taken on a total of $9.3 million in debt to finance the BioSeek acquisition with corresponding debt service obligations. ´´ With interest payments this has now probably reached circa $10m I can't see shareholders getting much Technicals now suggest 2.25p coming Fundementals suggest less ..... why ? ATD LOSS for 2011 was OVER $8.2m ...... the present Mkt Cap is $7.9m which is too high considering there is NO INTANGIBLE value to ATD whatsover now, the book value of 4.26p peviously quoted on FT.com included $6m CASH ..... there MIGHT be circa $2m now a shortfall of $4m , and debt has now probably risen to over $3.5m from $3.24m figure in the results This equates to a difference in the FT.com book value of $4.5m or 2.75p 4.26 - 2.75 = 1.51p Which is what the share nearly hit on the last slump after I had posted that it was what I thought the share was nearly worth as it happens http://uk.advfn.com/cmn/fbb/thread.php3?id=18485081&from=592 dyor
15/3/2012
15:27
buywell2: what deal is that ? thus far all we read is about talks which have dragged on or ended I think ATD will get broken up into bits Can´t see any one company taking on the whole , also after poor results any prospective bit buyer will be able to bargain harder with the administrator , hence the delay I think. Mind you .... we might not get results .... has anyone heard yet ? After all there was some doubt as to the ability of ATD to continue trading 31 August 2011 12:48 Inability to meet demand takes Asterand to the brink Author // Lautaro VargasPosted in // Medtech 8 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Asterand today revealed the extent of its financial problems: crippled by its inability to meet customer demand for its human tissue services, the Cambridge biotech needs to raise new financing if it is to avoid defaulting on its debts and continue as a going concern. On a day that Asterand CFO, John Stchur followed the lead of former CEO Martyn Coombs and stepped down, the company's interim results said that a combination of poor trading and repayment of the debt used to acquire BioSeek will result in a breach of banking covenants. In words that sent a chill through investors and precipitated a huge sell off of stock, taking the share price down by over 54 per cent, Asterand's interim statement said there was: "a material uncertainty that casts significant doubt upon the Group's ability to continue as a going concern." BioSeek, the provider of human disease models purchased by Asterand at the beginning of 2010 for a valuation that is now at $9.5m, has single-handed grown revenues for the group which actually saw revenues climb 36 per cent to $11.9m (H1 2010: $8.7m) in H1 2011. However, its acquisition has also led Asterand to take on $9.3m in debt. Meanwhile, the rest of the business - the human tissue based solutions - has been flat, bringing expectations down below previous forecasts. Chairman and interim-CEO, Jack Davis says demand for these products and services remains high, however meeting these needs has been challenging, resulting in a retraction in the non-BioSeek revenues, including the anticipated revenues under the $24.3m NCI contract. Davis, said that following discussions with potential investors there was a reasonable expectation that sufficient funds will be raised within an appropriate time-frame to continue operating as a going concern and provide enough working capital headroom to fund improved tissue sourcing strategies, however, there is no guarantee of shareholder approval for a deal. The board is also reviewing its listing on the premium section of the London Stock Exchange, the costs of which may now be too high. From the following it looks like BioSeek revenues have levelled off .... not good RNS Number : 3316S Asterand PLC 18 November 2011  For Immediate Release 18 November 2011 Asterand plc ("Asterand" or the "Group") INTERIM MANAGEMENT STATEMENT Asterand plc (LSE: ATD), a leading provider of human tissue and human tissue-based services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies engaged in drug discovery research, today issues its Interim Management Statement. In the Company's Interim Results statement on 31 August 2011, Asterand announced that volatile trading conditions had led to a reduced outlook for the year and that further funding would be required as the Company was in breach of its banking covenants. After a downturn in the Tissue business during the third quarter, trading conditions have improved and the Company now expects Tissue revenues to be in line with 2010. BioSeek has consolidated its trading in the second half to date after achieving strong growth in the first half. Overall, the Company continues to expect that Group revenues for the full year ended 31 December 2011 should exceed 2010. Whilst the Company is encouraged with the upturn in the operational performance, the balance sheet remains an issue that needs to be resolved. The Company previously announced that events of default had occurred in respect of both the Silicon Valley Bank debt and the loan notes with former BioSeek shareholders. These debts amount to approximately US$9m in aggregate. The need to settle these notes led the Board to look first at a re-financing of the Group and then to commence, on 24 October 2011, a formal sale process. The Board's initial estimates of the cash available to the Company have been reviewed and in light of both the upturn in trading and improvements in cash collection and working capital control, the Board now believes that it has sufficient working capital to continue into the early part of 2012. As a consequence, the Company has extended the timeframe for the formal sales process and continues to evaluate the options of either a sale of the business or a re-financing. As well as experiencing challenging trading conditions since 30 June 2011, the Company has also experienced management changes with both the CEO, Martyn Coombs, and the CFO, John Stchur, leaving the Company. Alan Fishman was appointed as Interim CFO with Jack Davis, the Company's Chairman, taking on the role of Interim CEO. Discussions regarding the appointment of a new CEO have been suspended for the period of the formal sale process. Jack Davis, Asterand Chairman and Interim CEO, commented: "The second half of 2011 has been a turbulent one for the Company. Asterand started the year with high expectations only to experience volatile trading in the first half which adversely impacted certain key financing arrangements and a weakening of our balance sheet. Whilst the expected increase in revenues for the final quarter has improved the general outlook, our balance sheet issues continue to dominate the actions of the Company." A re-financing IF IT HAPPENS might be at a discount of circa 50% of the SP My guess would be they need to raise around 15m USD with over 9m debt and money needed to improve offerings, and this could be at circa 1.5p to get investors interested Chart seems to indicate a return to somewhere between the blue lines free stock charts from uk.advfn.com dyor
01/3/2012
17:22
saud2237: Summary Asterand plc has shown a dramatic improvement in its financial report for the year 2008 and has turned its consistent financial losses into a £3.9 million operating profit. The revenues doubled from being £7.6 million in 2007 to £15.2 million in 2008. The company has consolidated its position in the human tissue and human tissue-related services market by deals with clients such as the US Department of Defence Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) Tissue Repository. Asterand's stock was also listed as the top performing stock at the London Stock Exchange for the year 2008. The company now finds itself with cash resources of £6.9 million with no long-term debt. These changes along with the rapidly growing market for human tissue and related services make Asterand plc an attractive option for acquisition. On comparing the financial performance of Asterand plc with that of Concateno plc (a chosen standard company), it can be concluded that Asterand is a very lucrative company and is headed in the direction of generating high revenues. A detailed explanation is provided in the report and an acquisition of Asterand plc by GlaxoSmithKline is recommended. Company Overview Asterand plc, a holding company, is the leading supplier of high quality human tissues and tissue-based research services to drug discovery scientists globally. The company primarily operates in the UK, US and Japan. It has its headquarters is in Hertfordshire, the UK and employs 90 people. (Asterand plc, Annual Report and Accounts 2008). The company recorded a revenue increase of 100%, from £ 7.6 million in 2007 to £15.2 million in the year ending December 2008. The company's operating profit was £ 3.9 million in 2008, a significant increase from the operating loss of £ 2.1 million in 2007. The net profit for 2008 was £ 3.9 million as compared to the net loss of £ 1.9 million in 2007. Pharmaceutical research is at a critical stage in the business of drug discovery. Despite the ever rising R&D budgets, the success of drug applications is low because failure during the stage of clinical trials is very high. Animal models just help researchers in assuming the effect of a newly found drug on humans. However, it is just an assumption and can always go wrong. This has resulted in the scientists relying upon human tissue based models for a more detailed and satisfactory experiment. It is here a company like Asterand comes in. Asterand provides researchers with access to human tissues through its global network of 83 collaborative donor institutions. The company's XpressBANK, which is a biobank, contains several hundred thousand specimens from a wide range of therapeutic areas and also diverse ethnic representation. The company provides another service called ProCURETM , where human tissues and clinical data can be custom collected to meet special requirements. Another known service is the PhaseZERO drug discovery, where the company provides a collaborative scientific approach in delivering human tissue-based data on target and biomarker validation as well as the safety, efficacy, potency and disposition of the compound. The company boasts of its experience of over 10 years in providing top multinational pharmaceutical companies with human tissue-based services. The turnover generated by the company over the last 5 years and the profit before taxation has been on the rise at a constant rate. The turnover and profit before taxation are graphically analysed below: In the year (2008) the company saw a sudden jump in its revenue (~100% increase) and its profit before interest. This is mainly accounted for by a successful deal with the US Department of Defence Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) Tissue Repository. This deal lead to the generation of £1.4 million for the one year contract, and also added to the market value of Asterand due to the image AFIP carries. There are possibilities of successful deals in the future between the two parties. Company History § Asterand was founded as BioSamplex in 2000. § The name of the company was changed from BioSamplex to Asterand in 2001. § In 2005, Asterand started its office in Europe. § In 2006, Asterand entered into a licence agreement with BTG, where BTG acquired the rights to a series of compounds discovered and developed by Asterand. § In 2006, the company became a public company by the reverse takeover of Pharmagene by Asterand. Also in 2006, the company entered into a partnership with Rubicon Genomics to discover a novel biomarker for cancer diagnostics. § In October 2007, Asterand entered into an agreement with the US Department of Defence Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) Tissue Repository. This was a big achievement as the one year contract was valued at £1.4 million, and the group also hopes to conclude further agreements with AFIP which a prestigious reputation worldwide. § In June 2008, the company entered into an agreement with Eolas Biosciences to represent its product lines in Japan. Business Strategy Asterand came up with a changed strategic plan in June 2007, shortly after Martyn Coombs joined the company as CEO. The new strategy is aimed at enhancing the selling model and developing more collaborative relationships with key customers. They also aimed at improving the company's tissue supply logistics to ensure enhanced availability of specimens whenever the clients needed them and to increase the efficiency of the company in order to reduce costs and improve profitability. These measures have paid off and the latest financial statement speaks for itself. The company formed an alliance with Eolas Biosciences to improve its performance in Japan. The relationship between the company and customers has been placed high on the priority list. Asterand has also gone to the extent of involving their scientists in order to get a better understanding of their customer needs. The company ensures it provides a proper and friendly environment for all its employees. It has been named in one of the top 20 "Best Places to Work" for 2008 in a survey conducted by The Scientist magazine. This is another important strategic plan of the company. Employees that are happy and satisfied with the company they work for will definitely perform to their best potential. A successful financial year for Asterand resulted in gains in share prices. The company's stock was the top performing stock of 2008 on the London Stock Exchange. The prices continued the upward trend and showed very positive results in the first few months of 2009. The share price of Asterand is compared against the share price of Techmark mediscience in the graph below: In the latter half of 2008, the world faced a severe economic crisis. However, Asterand has achieved strong results amidst this crisis. The reason why Asterand seems to be resistant to recession is that the number of companies requiring their services has increased. Asterand aims to further strengthen their ties with hospitals with which they collaborate and also to establish new ties with hospitals globally. Current Market And Competitors The global market for human tissues and associated research services is estimated to be around £350 million and is growing annually at a rate of 20% to 30%. The high growth rate of this market is mainly driven by the ever increasing demand of human tissues by pharmaceutical industries. The leading pharmaceutical companies now are relying heavily on human tissues for pre-clinical testing of their drugs. At the same time, several pharmaceutical companies are outsourcing their R&D to lower cost specialist companies in order to cut down on costs. Either of the two trends is beneficial to Asterand as it specialises in both. This market has been strong despite the economic crisis and has not been hit significantly. Another important factor in the market of human tissues is that there is no single dominating company in terms of market size and share. There is no single company holding more than 3% of the global market. As a result, the scope of growth is considerable. Asterand claims to be the largest player in the industry. The advantage Asterand has is that its biobank already has over 200,000 samples from a broad range of human tissues. This makes its position safe with almost no threat from new entrants because for a new company to establish and construct a biobank that is comparable in size to Asterand will take years. Asterand stands out in the quality and range of samples and is unmatched by its competitors. The company has positioned itself so well in the last one year that it has also received takeover bids that have failed to work as both parties could not agree upon a common 'fair' price. The annual turnover for Asterand consists of a major contribution from the overseas market. The annual revenue from the UK and the revenue from the overseas market are compared in the graph below. It can be seen that the annual turnover from the UK accounts for a very minor percentage of the Gross Turnover. This indicates that Asterand has a relatively small market in the UK. With the increasing number of research experiments in the UK, penetrating this market is very important. Asterand has a wide range of products and services. The company's key products and services include: Products: § Human Tissues and Biofluids § RNA and DNA § Biofluids § Cell Lines § Tissue Microarrays § Human Primary Cells Services: § XpressWay Profiles § CustomMapping § In situ Hybridization § Immunohistochemistry § Autoradiography § Biochemical Pharmacology Services § Metabolism and Toxicity Services Despite several advantages that Asterand has over its competitors, it has its share of weaknesses. One of the biggest threats to its revenues is the company's heavy dependence on one country for supply of tissues, Russia. In 2007, Russia enforced restrictions on biometric exports. This had an effect on the sales of Asterand. The company is now trying to expand its donation sites in several locations such as Europe and Asia. Over 10% of the sales of the company are accounted for by its top three clients including AFIP. The threat here is that if these companies end their contract with Asterand, sales may be affected. Growth of sales has to be ensured by the company in order to consolidate its position in the market. Porter'S Five Force Analysis: The following companies are the biggest competitors of Asterand: (1) LifeSpan BioSciences, Inc (2) Stem Cell Sciences Plc. (3) CryoLife, Inc. (4) Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. As mentioned earlier, there is no clear cut leader in the market as even the biggest of companies in this sector hold a market share of no more than ~ 3%. However, the above mentioned companies are the closest rivals in terms of products and quality of services provided by Asterand. Financial Analysis To carry out the financial analysis, various ratios for Asterand plc (2008) have been compared against those from Concateno plc's annual financial report 2007. Concateno is Europe's leading drug and alcohol testing provider and also manufactures clinical diagnostic products. The financial statements in Asterand's annual report have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as adopted by the EU, International Accounting Standards (IAS) and IFRIC interpretations and with those parts of the Companies Act 1985 applicable to companies reporting under IFRS. (Asterand plc - Annual Report and Financial Statements 2008). The company follows the policy where every financial year ends on the 31st of December. Comparison of the ratios for Asterand plc against Concateno plc: Comparison Of Performance Ratios: The performance ratios of Asterand have been compared to that of Concateno in the above table and show a very positive result. It can be seen that the Return on Net Assets for Asterand are very high, 31.8%, as compared to Concateno, 1.31%. This indicates that Asterand has utilized its assets very well in the last financial year. It is a significant change from the previous years where the RONA was constantly a negative value. The gross margin Asterand generates over its sales is a decent 56.37%. Although it is lower than that of Concateno which is at 59.27%, it is a steady increase over the values from the previous years. The sales margin for Asterand is a good 25.83%, far better than that of Concateno at 7.58%. The sales margin has shot up significantly and indicates that the business is highly profitable. Asset turnover for Asterand is 1.23 as compared to 0.17 of Concateno. This indicates that Asterand has the upper hand at managing its assets to generate revenue. It should be noted that this ratio has fallen from 1.35 in 2006 to 1.29 in 2007 and finally to 1.23 in the year 2008. However, it was relative very low in the years before that. The asset turnover output is good but steps need to be taken to ensure that the ratio does not suffer further. The sales generated per employee at Asterand are £169,101 which is again better than the £129,030 generated per employee at Concateno. This is an indicative that Asterand are getting more out of every employee which is good for the business. This has increased by over a hundred percent in the last one year. The credits for this can be given to the effective management of the company. The profit before interest and tax generated per employee for Asterand was £43,667. This is very high and is far better than Concateno which generated £9,777 per employee in 2007. In the previous years, this value was constantly negative for Asterand as the company was suffering losses. The graph above shows the significant change in the sales and profit generated per employee over the last five years. This is a very promising sign for the company and also for potential buyers. The stock days for Asterand are fairly high at 245 and are far better than that of Concateno. Debtor days for Concateno are 75 days which is a reasonably small time in which they receive payments from the customers. It is again better than Concateno and helps Asterand maintain a good cash flow. Creditor days for Asterand are 39 days which indicates that the company is in a strong financial position. As far as the working capital is concerned, Asterand are far better placed than Concateno. The graph given below compares the working capital ratios of the two companies and indicates the clear edge Asterand has over Concateno. The current ratio of the financial status of Asterand is 3.62, indicating that the firm has high liquidity. It is far better than the modest current ratio for the financial status of Concateno. This is very attractive from the creditor point of view and will in turn help in maintaining a healthy working capital. The acid test ratio for Asterand is 2.57 and this is highly attractive for possible bidders that look at taking over the company. Concateno on the other hand is not in a position to pay their current liabilities immediately. This is not a very good sign for the company. Asterand fares better than Concateno in the Interest cover as well. The figures from Concateno indicate that it is not in a position to take additional debt, whereas the figures of 115.59 from the Asterand's annual report indicate that it is in a position to comfortably repay its debt. A gearing ratio of 0.35 for Asterand indicates that it is capable of withstanding downturns in the business. The gearing ratio for Asterand has been unsteady over the past few years. It is indicated in the graph below: It can be observed that the company was very vulnerable to changes that were taking place in the business in the year 2006, and the company was in a critical financial position. It has recovered well from there and now seems to be back on track. The return on equity for Asterand was at 31.43% indicating that the company has had a successful financial year overall. It was far more efficient as compared to a mere 0.64% for Concateno. Earnings per share for Asterand are more than 3 times that for Concateno. It should be noted that Asterand plc's stock was the top performing stock in the London Stock Exchange for the year 2008. The financial ratios have given a very positive indication of Asterand and it has done much better than Concateno plc on an overall financial performance basis. The company has come through the global financial crisis seemingly unaffected and has also turned around its losses into high profits with successful and calculated changes in the management and company policies. It is a promising company and generates serious interest for acquisition. Conclusion & Recommendations For Acquisition A thorough financial analysis of Asterand plc indicates that acquiring the company will be a good move. The company has doubled its revenues in the last one year from £7.6 million in 2007 to £15.2 million in 2008. The operating costs of the company have been successfully reduced by 4% from £5.6 million in 2007 to £5.4 million in 2008. Out licensing of certain pre-clinical compounds has lead to an upfront payment of £3.4 million. This deal could also provide payments and royalties of around £36 million in the future. The performance of the company has significantly improved with the Core business revenue up by 60% to £11.8 million as compared to £7.4 million in 2007. The company saw 2008 as the first profitable year of its existence as a public company and this is set to improve. The basic earnings per share went up to 3.53p per share in contrast to a 1.83p loss per share in 2007. The cash resources of the company were written down as £6.9 million. Profit for the year was £3.9 million as compared to the £1.9 million loss in 2007. EBITDA went up to £3.8 million profit, a change of £5.0 million from the £1.2 million loss in 2007. In all the company looks to be promising despite a gloomy history it has had in terms of its financial statements before the 2008 report. The demand for human tissue and related services is bound to increase in the future. Also, valuable clients like the US Department of Defence Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) can be made regular clients by ensuring that their standards for quality are met at all times. This will attract several other clients to work with the company. A significant advantage our company GlaxoSmithKline will have after acquiring Asterand plc is that the R&D expenses of GSK will be cut down. We will have the human tissue samples and other services available at our disposal to carry out our pre-clinical trials for various drugs. This in turn will increase the success rate of our products and help improve the global image of the company and make it better than what it already is. Therefore, to conclude, acquiring Asterand will be a good investment that will strengthen the position of GSK further and will lead to increased revenues. References: Asterand plc, 'Annual Report and Accounts 2008'. Asterand plc, 'Growth and Profitability'. Piper Jaffray Conference, June 2009. Concateno plc, 'Annual Report and Accounts 2007'. Datamonitor, (2009), 'Asterand plc - Company Profile'. Daniel Stewart & Company, (2008), 'Asterand healthcare'. (Daniel Stewart & Company acts as broker to Asterand). www.asterand.com (Visited several times during 15/01/2010 and 08/02/2010).
03/9/2011
09:57
buywell2: Directors can get paid a severance package , this clause forms part of their contract of employment , any pay off also reflects the loss of pension rights, share options and how much the company wants them to leave. Severance as Compensation for Confidentiality Requirements Research suggests that companies offer incoming CEOs a greater amount of ex-ante severance pay when requesting a confidentiality agreement. In the case of job termination, CEOs suffer costs due to an inability to fully utilize their human and intellectual capital. Firms, of course, want to protect their business interests by insisting on CEO confidentiality and are willing to compensate CEOs in exchange for their own future security. I myself think that the two guys that left were asked to , because what was done in acquiring BioSeek has pushed the company to the brink. That is to say Asterand paid too much , and took on too much risk in doing so. The debt burden attached to the acquisition has skyrocketed since as the regular Asterand business has floundered .... money will need to be spent as per Mr Bolitho's comments below ...'The difficulty for Asterand is that a large part of its body parts bank doesn't have this information attached and it will take time to put a system in place that does.' also note Mr Bolitho's comment 'No reasons were given in either case.' I imagine the previous owners of BioSeek are FUMING and want their cash but QUICK before administration could come. Investor's Chronicle now have a SELL on it IC VIEW There's doubts over Asterand's traditional business and top managers have jumped ship. Best to exit and look for opportunities elsewhere in the sector. Sell. Last IC view: Good value, 13.5p, 3 May 2011 Top team deserts Asterand 2 September 2011Written by:Nigel Bolitho In May, Asterand said it was on an "evolution of discovery". That's a journey it may have preferred to have avoided - the group's share price more than halved following these figures. Sentiment wasn't helped by news in July that chief executive Martyn Coombs had left the company. To make matters worse, it was announced with these results that chief financial officer John Stchur had stepped down with immediate effect. No reasons were given in either case. Asterand's figures themselves don't look so bad, but it's what's to come that's the worry. The problem is with the group's traditional business of providing drug companies with human tissue samples, collected during routine surgery. This business should be a steady earner, but it's not. In 2010, Asterand was hit by research and development cutbacks at the big drug companies. Now the problem is that the same customers want to know more about a patient before they buy a body part - including details of the patient's recovery following the operation. The difficulty for Asterand is that a large part of its body parts bank doesn't have this information attached and it will take time to put a system in place that does. By contrast, the acquisition in February 2010 of US-based BioSeek - which produces computer programmes for profiling new drug compounds - has been a success. It was the major contributor to half-year revenues. http://www.investorschronicle.co.uk/Companies/ByEvent/Results/Analysis/article/20110902/2b7ef078-d558-11e0-a36e-00144f2af8e8/Top-team-deserts-Asterand.jsp Inability to meet demand takes Asterand to the brink Asterand today revealed the extent of its financial problems: crippled by its inability to meet customer demand for its human tissue services, the Cambridge biotech needs to raise new financing if it is to avoid defaulting on its debts and continue as a going concern. On a day that Asterand CFO, John Stchur followed the lead of former CEO Martyn Coombs and stepped down, the company's interim results said that a combination of poor trading and repayment of the debt used to acquire BioSeek will result in a breach of banking covenants. In words that sent a chill through investors and precipitated a huge sell off of stock, taking the share price down by over 54 per cent, Asterand's interim statement said there was: "a material uncertainty that casts significant doubt upon the Group's ability to continue as a going concern." BioSeek, the provider of human disease models purchased by Asterand at the beginning of 2010 for a valuation that is now at $9.5m, has single-handed grown revenues for the group which actually saw revenues climb 36 per cent to $11.9m (H1 2010: $8.7m) in H1 2011. However, its acquisition has also led Asterand to take on $9.3m in debt. Meanwhile, the rest of the business - the human tissue based solutions - has been flat, bringing expectations down below previous forecasts. Chairman and interim-CEO, Jack Davis says demand for these products and services remains high, however meeting these needs has been challenging, resulting in a retraction in the non-BioSeek revenues, including the anticipated revenues under the $24.3m NCI contract. Davis, said that following discussions with potential investors there was a reasonable expectation that sufficient funds will be raised within an appropriate time-frame to continue operating as a going concern and provide enough working capital headroom to fund improved tissue sourcing strategies, however, there is no guarantee of shareholder approval for a deal. The board is also reviewing its listing on the premium section of the London Stock Exchange, the costs of which may now be too high http://www.cabume.co.uk/medtech/inability-to-meet-demand-takes-asterand-to-the-brink.html I think Asterand will delist , not to save money BUT to try to stop the share from going through the floor as shareholders flee to the exit door. dyor Sometimes it's good not to believe the hype that's gone before The FT are on the case but have missed the point that the debt burden due to BioSeek is now $9.3m ..... not very good reporting methinks , from Asterand interim results 'The Group has a $2.7 million cash balance on a term loan with Silicon Valley Bank. ' and 'worse than expected trading post period end will result in a breach of banking covenants in August and the re-classification of the $2.7 million term loan as current debt' But more importantly 'In addition exceptional interest charges are anticipated in relation to the BioSeek debt. Additionally, the Group has taken on a total of $9.3 million in debt to finance the BioSeek acquisition with corresponding debt service obligations. ' All FT had to do was read the pigging interims ............... September 2, 2011 6:01 pm Earnings downgrade sees Asterand fall by half By Mark Wembridge Shares in Asterand more than halved this week after the provider of human tissue for drug research companies cut its full-year earnings outlook, broke its banking covenants and parted ways with its chief financial officer. Difficulties in supplying specific types of cancerous human biopsy samples have resulted in inconsistent cashflow, forcing the group to renegotiate the terms of its $2.7m debt burden. Asterand said that full-year revenue and earnings would be "materially lower than current market expectations", in spite of a 36 per cent increase in first half turnover to $11.9m. The group said it was "actively addressing these supply issues" after experiencing flat year-on-year revenues in the first two months of its second half. John Stchur, Asterand's chief financial officer, also stepped down after nine years at the company. Asterand said Mr Stchur's departure was not related to the earnings downgrade. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a7f44468-d4aa-11e0-a7ac-00144feab49a.html#axzz1WsnAK5eU
05/8/2011
10:24
emuphil: "the Board has decided it would be in Asterand's shareholders' interests to pay this amount in cash, rather than diluting existing shareholders." They had already decided to pay it in cash Buywell, and have arranged a loan facility to do so. Furthermore it's Asterand's decision if they pay it in shares or cash. You pasted all that info in your post but then contradict it in your comments...? And legal recourse because a share price has dropped? Have read some very good and knowledgeable posts from you on the SBS board but can't help thinking you have an agenda here with your downbeat comments with little or no basis.
01/8/2011
15:54
petersinthemarket: It doesn't take an expert chartist to see that the BoD has presided over two lengthy and absolutely disasterous share price slides in two years and we are now just about to beat the lowest low of one year ago. I am sure this is a terrible disappointment to the BoD, as well as investors. Many people (including myself)thought earlier this year that we were at last seeing a genuine turnaround developing. However published results tell a very different story. There is not enough main stream growth in atd to generate confidence in the mind of investors and atd's books do not demonstrate an effective management of resources. To offer at least one slightly more generous note, there is perhaps some excuse at present as all markets are flat or falling. Gold is at a high and ordinary investors are pulling out of many stocks in fear of some sort of global flatlining or even a medium/long term slide into even lower territory. But IMHO this does not excuse the BoD at atd. Whilst not quite a unique product they do nonetheless have an excellent product line with few equals but have not managed to capitalise on it. If there is any blame to level for this situation, why should it not be the responsibility of the BoD? Perhaps a new man at the top will help but he will take some time to bed in. atd are in danger of making a habit of disappointing. Investors bitten twice (like me) will leave them to it and will not consider returning until the BoD can convince them that they know exactly how to position the company in the market place, drive up margins, and produce consistant improvements in eps. It is eps which ultimately drives the share price. We are in this to make money, aren't we? best of luck to all. pim
10/6/2011
16:20
petersinthemarket: curious- great summary of your views - I get the feeling you are about as disappointed as I am but even more wary about forecasts than me. emuphil - I take some encouragement from your notes - I admit I am feeling unduly negative at the moment but I also feel that the long view looks better than is reflected in the share price. Barring especially bad news I intend to stick with it. However, I wish the BoD would take a more public and encouraging stance. Curious - tks for your take on profits - I dont dispute your figures as whether we are talking zero or £1.4m its still not good enough to change the market view of the company. For the moment we are staying well clear of my suggested 10p support line and I am grateful for that. I suspect that atd may not start to move up much until the general market does and the footsie 100 and 250 seem to be a little undecided at present. Calling all lurkers - use the filter button on nuisances and come and join us. It works a treat. Lets hope for a better week next week. regards, pim
09/6/2011
19:25
curious: Peter Be careful with your hopes for profit of £1.4 in 2011. I do not know with complete certainty but I think the Diglk forecast probably comes from Daniel Stewart which is about the only broker that follows ATD. Your figure is identical to the Daniel Stewart figure Keep in mind that Daniel Stewart is the house broker. It had an analyst who long gave me the impression of being a booster of ATD rather than an objective forecaster. I personally placed very little credence on his forecast. I do not know if he has been replaced on the ATD account but it is something to think about. They/He may turn out to be right of course about the year ahead but I think all of their forecasts and credibility, based upon the historic track record, are worth treating with a grain of salt. Also keep in mind that ATD reports in US dollars. Some investors do not realise this. Dollar figures become much lower when converted to sterling. I raise this as a question rather than a definite knock at the Diglk forecast. Incidentally, your 28% forecasted increase in 2011 raises some additional questions for me. Recall that revenues rose rose to $21.3 million in 2010 from $18.7 in 2009 and delivered a virtuually unchanged pre-tax loss of $2 million. Some of this loss was exceptional one-off in nature. But even if we eliminate all exceptionals, we see that a $2.6 million increase in revenue (+14%) from 09 to 10 improved the loss figure marginally. Applying the same maths to your forecasted revenue gain figure for 2011 gives me a pre-tax profit figure for 2011 closer to zero than your diglk forecast of £1.4 million. Keep in mind that I am merely playing with numbers and guesses but the bottom line for me is that I am much less confident in an ATD profit for 2011 than Daniel Stewart and Diglk are. Keep in mind that ATD also recently admitted at their analyst presentation last month that they do not expect a profit in 2011, despite higher revenues. Moving on, I share your view that the constant share price slide is worrying. Hopefully it will blow over. I'm not good at preparing graphs but if you can pull up a graph and draw a line that connects the lows of Sept 8, 2010 and November 18, you will see that the support line now sits at 11p, not 10p. I personally would be even more concerned if shares break down below this level. I also think it is deeply offensive that ATD management keep awarding themselves additionasl shares even though they have turned a profit just once in the last four or five years. One last point. They earned virtually zero in interest in the last financial year. This means they had no cash in the bank. Is this a sign of a company in deep poo poo. Any accountants out there who can offer an opinion. Message to all other posters. I welcome other views. My purpose is not to win some stupid argument but to get worthwhile opinons that support or challenge my own views.
28/4/2011
09:34
curious: Spaceparrellax, I wish you well. Sorry that my view differs from your own. I have nothing to gain by trying to talk the price down. Besides, hardly anyone posts on this thread aside from you so it is plain to see that this thread gets few visitors. For this reason, any negative comment from me would scarely be market-moving. There is little doubt in my mind that ATD has some serious short-term problems, despite their optimistic statements. For example, Bioseek's 68% revenue improvement accounts for virtually all of the total company's revenue growth. In other words, little or no growth from the rest of the company. Also recall that the CFO has been consistently positive for the last year or so yet the share price trend has been weak. Clearly, the market does not agree. Also note that they admit Japan will have an affect on this year's business. Also note that many companies in many industries have recently reported that US government contracts are being cancelled or delayed. Like I said above, I wish you well. But I fear an investment here will be dead money for some time. On a personal note, when you talk about "transparent" and a "meaningful impact" consider that some independent readers might view your own constant postings as a transparent attempt to ramp. Recall the old expression about the pot calling the kettle black
24/1/2011
09:50
mandalsputin: Asterand jumps 38.5% on FT share tip Monday, January 24, 2011 by Sergei Balashov David Schwartz called Asetrand "just one tiddler that can prove very satisfying" Shares in Asterand (LON:ATD) soared 38.5% in early deals on Monday after the stock market historian David Schwartz drew investors' attention to the opportunity presented by AIM listed tissue science specialist. In his piece published by the Financial Times on Friday, Schwartz noted that since the stock market crash that wiped out 52% of the FTSE 100's value, small caps offered much better returns compared to large companies as whilst the FTSE 100 rose 22% during the recovery year that was 2009, the FTSE 250 index advanced 46% and the FTSE Fledgling index surged 74%. Schwartz then explained that his favourite target was a "beaten-down tiddler that is ripe for a rebound" and as such he highlighted Asterand, which has recently revamped its strategy and achieved a major improvement on the financial side that went unnoticed by the market. The article explained the share stagnation experienced by Asterand by the small losses the business posted in 2009, likely to be repeated in 2010 when the full year results are in. However, a half on half analysis showed that Asterand posted a hefty loss in the second half of 2009, which proved to be its low point after the conclusion of a one-off contract, which also coincided with a general slowdown in the industry. The 2010 results are expected to show a major improvement. According to the FT's estimates, the newly acquired predictive human biology specialist Bioseek will contribute US$2 million in revenues, in addition to a cost cutting programme that has saved the company US$1 million in expenses in the final four months of the year. Schwartz is expecting to see a small profit in the second half of 2010 after Asterand managed to reduce pre-tax losses to US$1.6 million in H1. The company quietly adjusted its strategy, reducing its reliance on the pharmaceutical majors, which were cutting their spending on contract research, opting to focus on US government work and the target diagnostics market instead. Apparently, the strategy is working, which was confirmed by a prestigious contract with America's National Cancer Institute worth as much as US$24.3 million over five years, which was secured by Asterand in September 2010. Just a little over a month ago, Proactive Investors noted that former Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) analyst Charles Elliott had taken a stake in Asterand. The news that Elliott's firm Inflection Point (IP) now had a shareholding of over 4% in Asterand drove the pharmaceutical junior's shares up 16%. However, even with all these signs pointing to growth, the investment opportunity went largely unnoticed and the potential of the business was hardly reflected in the share price, even after the appreciation that followed IP's taking a stake in Asterand. Back then, Proactive Investors spoke to Asterand's chief executive Martyn Coombs in an effort to find out what the market missed about the stock that IP was able to see and capitalise on. "What we found out is there's a quiet revolution taking place which should eventually prompt investors to re-appraise the valuation they currently ascribe to Asterand – which at less than one times sales is a fairly low one," said the report. This came to pass today, with a little help from the FT's share tip.
Bioseek share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange
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