|@ Peter - Understand fully and hope it all comes good for us both in the end. Lorne and team are not very PR savvy at the moment it would seem. Jim Mellon is a PR man but while he loves being in the limelight he is "doing his own thing" in many respects & is not focusing on FFWD. I am in the fortunate position of intentionally not having a significant holding and will review when the real newsflow comes along. I can always add even if it is higher up, but would prefer that with real news behind us.
Wish I had invested in PVG all those months ago I was asking. Watching for any BREXIT type weakness to take an initial holding now ;-) That chart has to come down again surely? Hydrus and Pet Lover will disagree! See Pet Lover is now "in love" with 7DIG. One I have contemplated taking a stake in too.|
|Seems to be a lot of contract finance unknowns to the FREE tie-up with RBS!|
|>Lauders - FWIW, it is possible that the dog, FFWD, will eventually come up with great returns for you, perhaps even really great returns, if you are happy to hold on for long enough. I, perhaps foolishly, bt in at an AvCost of 18.48 when I hoped they had great prospects. I got it completely wrong and I am down -42% on this one. My frustration is that I rarely hold anything beyond a 10% loss and I rarely hold anything long term and I feel somewhat cheated to be locked in after reading all the early stuff which I believed implied rapid progress. This feeling has been doubled by their continuing reluctance to keep pi's properly informed. I think they treat us like idiots. IMO the Cy is slow, over optimistic, and dismissive of small investors. This may not matter to their long term future, which is largely controlled by the institutions, but it matters to me. I look fwd to excellent news, in fact almost any news. I don't expect to make money, I simply want to cash in and get out without too much loss. I have other fish to fry. rant over, best of luck, pete|
An interesting point (for me) is that Mercia are not talking with the senior techies, but with administrators.
That sentence worries me. I would expect that they would be communicating as a team.
A lot more research is now required.
|Pete, FYI, think of it what you like.... The global market for lithium likely will remain "fairly balanced" for the next 4-5 years, with supply rising to meet increased demand from electric vehicles, Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) CEO Luke Kissam tells the Mines and Money conference in London.Demand for lithium likely will rise by 20K metric tons/year until 2021, but that can be met from additional expansion from the largest global producers, the CEO says.Lithium has become a key material in the battery supply chain as global automakers focus on launching electric cars and China tightens regulations on gasoline and diesel engines, but raw lithium extraction is geographically concentrated in South America, raising fears about supply as electric vehicles come down in cost, driving up demand for batteries.Incidentally, ALB has recently been granted permission to expand its lithium mines in Chile.|
|From APAD's last performance update: Lauders (BVXP/COA/FFWD/FENR/HOC) 12.2%
Cannot complain so far. The dog, as Peter likes to call them, in the pack is FFWD (-4.55% YTD)which is something for the bottom draw anyway. Might need to run this challenge for more than a year to see them perform at this rate APAD! I still have high hopes that I trust are not foolish ones. Updates have been positive but the market really wants proof. I will be very disappointed if none arrives before year end.
No need to comment on BVXP (+3.57% YTD). Followed by many here.
COA (+3.64% YTD) is due to report soon. Last RNS updated the market on two of the three pension cases against it. All will be settled in March leaving one pending. Things will hopefully improve and the company be rerated. Director buying has been encouraging.
FENR (+22.34% YTD) has been doing well and enjoying the rise in fortunes of the commodity sector. It will likely continue after this slight pull back from the year's highs.
HOC (+32% YTD) my star of the year so far which is good as it is by FAR my largest holding. With precious metals likely to gain strength (unless the economy really does get stronger around the world which I am not sure will be reality by the end of the year) the strength should continue. If it were not for a fatal accident at their most important mine earlier this year the share price may be higher. That is the worry for those with family working in mines and for investors. Nobody wishes to see such things occur but it comes with the job and the risks are known.|
|Apad, thanks for the post, very interesting. From my experience, some universities like imperial college in London, they spin out the company partly owned by university and partly owned by management or private investors who sit on the board of the new company. The company is run outside the university until the point that the company is bought by another company, where the university can cash out the many years of research, this happened with SPEEDUP which was a dynamic model which was bought by ASPEN TECHNOLOGY. Another case, the spin out from imperial college has ended up as a private company owned by management and the university, and the company trade as independent until the time that finances are good enough to be floated on the stock market. The example is GPROMS and a large number of other sofisticated softwares have been placed into a separate company called PSE, ie, Process System Enterprise and they trade as independent company. It looks like more spin outs has come out of imperial college than any other universities, but they don't seem to be keen on selling out to investment trusts because they end up giving out a percentage of the company at a highly discounted price.|
|This weeks news may triple the share price when the mob arrives in force.
MQA and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world-leader in music-based entertainment, announced that the companies have entered into a multi-year agreement that will encode UMG’s extensive catalogue of master recordings in MQA’s industry-leading technology, promising to make some of the world’s most celebrated recordings available for the first time in Hi-Res Audio streaming.
The announcement comes shortly after the launch of the cross-industry marketing campaign “Stream the Studio”, launched at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and spearheaded by The DEG: the Digital Entertainment Group, to raise awareness of the advantages of Hi-Res Audio streaming.
Mike Jbara, CEO of MQA, commented, “We’re very pleased to be working with Universal Music to achieve our goal of moving studio-quality sound into the mainstream. Universal’s timeless catalogue and impressive artist roster will fuel music streaming services worldwide and enable the premium listening experience for all music fans.”
Michael Nash, Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy at UMG, said, “The promise of Hi-Res Audio streaming is becoming a reality, with one service already in the market and several more committed to launching this year. With MQA, we are working with a partner whose technology is among the best solutions for streaming Hi-Res Audio, and one that doesn't ask music fans to compromise on sound quality for convenience. We’re looking forward to working with Mike and his team at MQA to make our industry-leading roster of artists and recordings available to music fans in the highest quality possible.”
7dig is MQA'S B2B partner. Valued at £8M ( UMG 32BN )
|Contacted a very senior academic at one of the universities on the MERC list. S/he oversees several large research institutes that have strong industrial support.
An interesting point (for me) is that Mercia are not talking with the senior techies, but with administrators.
Note: mine is not proper research. I am interested because I spent 35 years working in the university environment. It is simply where I would start if I was looking at suchlike companies. So, whatever you do, don't make decisions based on my out-of-date prejudices.
So, FWIW this is the email discourse:
"Are you working with Mercia Technologies?
They may be working with our commercial team. We have a reasonable number of spin-outs. Want me to find out?
Probably not. It’s just a passing interest.
There are a couple of investment trusts for early stage companies that make much of their university links. FIPP is the other one I know.
They have expensive management structures and seem to be a bit of a wheeze to raise money on the AIM casino.
I cannot see why a university with a really good idea would need them (probably for off-balance sheet motives). Far from it, they would play the university for fools. However, my view is mostly prejudice.
Swansea had a good scheme whereby academics held all the rights to any idea they had and the university would help them develop it in partnership if they needed money. Most universities own all IP generated by their employees - a wonderful disincentive :-)
Leeds Uni, I believe, also has a company incubation scheme. Tracsis, for example, was a great Leeds Uni success, also Getech successfully floated.
Not sure whether they use a company like Mercia."|
"Weir delivers the industry's first continuous duty frac pump
Working in partnership with customers, our engineers have designed the the SPM® QEM 3000 which is the industry's first high-horse power frac pump designed for continuous-duty pressure pumping operation at 275,000-pound force rod load.
It's estimated the new pump could lower customers' total cost of ownership by almost 20%.
Given the increasing intensity of hydraulic fracturing operations, traditional frac pumps were reaching the limits of their design capabilities. The SPM® QEM 3000 delivers a pump with unrivalled durability and cost-efficiency which reduces expensive downtime and allows for continuous operation."|
The previous CEO was very upbeat about the performance and interest in their "next generation frac pump".|
Thanks. I will look at it over the weekend.
|I keep returning to the question of why WEIR is valued at the level it is (higher) compared with SPX and ROR.
Doesn't seem sensible.
Maybe WEIR is anticipating recovery (FY late Feb) so that its ROCE and Quick Ratio will recover.
This argument seems a bit thin - anyone any ideas?
|Red,I think FIPP is a better invest trust of early stage companies than MERC, as it actually makes money. I think I have mention it here before around 30p, but it's extremely illiquid bue to very little free float. Most stocks are owned by institutional investors.|
Thanks for your comments. I agree on the expense side, and I know where you are coming from on the Universities front. That said, it is early days and I will have to wait until September, for the AGM, before I suss them out eyeball to eyeball.
My mole has seen them and thinks that they are ok, but then he thinks that I am ok, so don't always trust his judgement!
|Two comments on MERC, for what they are worth.
Looks to be an expensive team.
I'm not convinced that universities are a great source of new, profitable companies. Looks to be good timing in terms of the head honcho's history, however.
Makes a change from Clln, Sse et al.
Yes, they are funding somebody else's decisions, but I believe that they have an intimate knowledge of the businesses that they invest in. The portfolio isn't mature yet but it is moving in that direction.
From their blurb:
"early-stage businesses can be effectively supported through Mercia's complete capital solution" programme, which is undertaken through its managed funds, by scaling the assets through direct investment which has the potential, to be bought by top-tier buyers.
A good example:
Investment firm Mercia Technologies has sold its emerging star software business, to ARM, a semiconductor intellectual property company, for £18.1m, which is 21 times the original investment.
The company sold Allinea Software, which develops tools for developing and optimising high performance computing applications and was one of the its emerging stars at the time of its original public offering in December 2014 after being spun out from the University of Warwick.
I think that is has some legs over the next few years. The dangers are:
1. Possible too big a spread of investments, to keep a close eye on, if Mercia gets too big.
2. More fundraising in future for additional investment.
3. Dilution of quality by virtue of number of investments.
They appear to know what they are doing, so I jumped on board for the ride. They give a brief resume of each business investment in the Annual Report and Accounts.
|red, isn't MERC funding somebody else's decisions. Doesn't sound like you, so I presume there is something special that twitches your antennae.
Apols if you have written what it is before......?
|Threw caution to the wind, ran my fingers through my hair (cos I still can), followed APAD's lead and took a walk on the wild side.
Bought more Merc @46.7p - only .7p above the placing price.
In the bottom drawer now.
|Its probably not PC now to believe in retaining assets. Never mind. Add it to the list of things we buy and dont profit from. Ulvr was a great way into India!!|
|Apad 2nd was mine..
I totally agree. Ulvr is a fine company and great vehicle for the uk to grow with. Such a shame.|