Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Toro Energy: interest from Asian suitors

The Australian Financial Review had a nice write-up in yesterday's paper regarding Toro Energy (TOE).  The article discussed how there was many Asian companies interested in becoming joint venture partners for the Wiluna uranium project in Western Australia however Toro Energy was happy to progress with necessary approvals solo for now.

Also discussed was the fact that other companies from around the world were keen to sign offtake agreements.  Toro Energy is hoping to be in production come 2013 and it is handy that it's major shareholder OZ Minerals (OZL) is still sitting on a lot of cash itself.

TOE shares last traded at $0.099 after being on continuous slide in the last year but bouncing from $0.064 in June 2010.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

CuDeco bounces

CuDeco Limited (CDU) has bounced and seems set to finish on it's high for the day.  At 3:30pm AEST the shares are up $0.545 (32%) to $2.25.  The company share price has been bruised and battered and fallen from over $5 in a bit over a week especially since announcing the Rocklands Resource update on 18/08/2010.  In what was a disorganised attempt at an announcement and to arrest the share price slide CuDeco made clarifications, further clarifications and a press release too.

Finally, poor shareholders that have lost a lot lately have had some losses erased with the rebound in shares today after a letter from Sinosteel (partners in the project) to CuDeco showing continual support for the project was released to the ASX.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Other updates: AVB, NTU

Northern Uranium (NTU) has bounced back after being hit from it's announcement to place shares with Jiangsu Eastern China Non-Ferrous Metals Investment Holding Co to raise over $15million for a 51% holding in NTU.  I'm surprised with such a strong rebound in the shares and especially the volume being traded.  From reading chat on internet stock forums it appears many retail shareholders are going to vote against this and possibly egg-on the FIRB to reject the investment leading to a Lynas Corporation-style combeback.  A 9 million crossing of shares at $0.12 has also set tongues wagging with interest as to who the identity of the buyer may be.  Whatever the reasons the interest in rare earths companies is definitely back (if only for now).

Avanco Resources (AVB) made a nice little announcement today advising the market that Vale (iron ore behemoth) has taken an option to acquire the Trindade North Property from Avanco.  This will enable the company to earn royalties on any "in-situ JORC compliant iron ore resources in the measured and indicated categories" whilst focussing on it's copper projects.

Change in power at India Equities Fund?

I've talked about India Equities Fund a couple of times already because I always have an interest in shell companies and what may eventuate.  Anyway, this one seems to be hotting up quicker than I anticipated.  I mentioned how GW Holdings Pty Ltd popped up on the register as substantial holder.  Only five days later and with it's powers as a substantial share holder the company has called for a general meeting to overthrow the existing directors and replace them with James Chirnside, Alexander Feher and Gabriel Radzyminski.  It clearly shows that GW Holdings Pty Ltd is not going to be a passive shareholder and has plans for the shell...

I've done a quick search on these persons and whilst it didnt prove too fruitful you could generally see that they are of an investment funds-style background.

After a quiet week of trading in INE shares it is also interesting to note the jump in volume today with the shares up $0.005 to $0.062.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BHP Billiton takeover of Potash Corp sparks interest in all things potash, phosphate and fertilisers

BHP Billiton (BHP) has dived over 3.5% today after it announced that it had made a $US130 per share bid for Canadian listed Potash Corp.  Media reports have already speculated that it is likely that BHP will increase it's bid for the company.

One thing is for sure and that is other smaller players in fertiliser and phosphate and potash (ingredients in fertilisers) sectors have awoken.  For those interested in these sectors some of the plays include Incitec Pivot (IPL), a fertiliser supplier, potash companies such as Orecobre (ORE), Reward Minerals (RWD), Elemental Minerals (ELM), South Boulder Mines (STB) and phosphate companies such as Minemakers (MAK), and Union Resources (UCL).

Finally, other companies like Rum Jungle (RUM) are taking the opportunity to spruik their company by announcing responses to the takeover of Potash Corp for PR purposes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Avanco Resources announces review of Serra Verde Copper Project

Avanco Resources (AVB) is another company that I have been following the last couple of weeks.  I posted about the stock approximately two weeks ago when the share price was at $0.019 and it has sinced hit $0.024 before settling at $0.02.

Today the company announced that better sampling results for copper/gold have been returned from its Serra Verde Copper Project and that is was planning a drilling programme.  The share price closed up $0.002 to $0.021 on turnover of just above 9.5 million shares.

I would anticipate the share price to settle for the next week now however it is encouraging that also towards the end of the announcement that it stated "The Company has received significant interest from groups seeking to jointly explore its projects including the Trindade North Property which is prospective for high grade Carajas style iron ore. The options available to Avanco are now being shortlisted and adjudicated. Negotiations are at an advanced stage and strong news flow on these and further Carajas Transactions is expected soon."

Statements such as this are only made when directors of companies are pretty confident.  Expect a bit of a kick in the share price in the next month or so should the directors be able to extract some good value from their projects for shareholders.

New substantial holder in India Equities Fund

I recently created a post on India Equities Fund (INE) on 08/08/2010 regarding the fact that the company appears undervalued considering the cash it will be holding after a capital return to shareholders and the value of the listed ASX shell.

Only 5 days later a new substantial holder noticed was lodged on 13/08/2010 with GW Holdings Pty Ltd declaring an interest of 22,752,981 shares (18.8%) purchased on 10/08 and 11/08.  I am interested to see what the intentions are of this company.  Unfortunately google searches proved unsuccessful so I couldnt join any dots together and work out what kind of investments this company has undertaken in the past to gauge whether they have a track record of using shell companies to effectively 'vend in' or backdoor list other companies.  Watch this space.

For those with experience in company options it is interesting to note that the bid/ask spread on INE is 0.053/0.058 whilst on the options it is 0.05/0.064 so possibilities of arbitrage could occur (liquidity allowing).  The INEO options have an exercise price of zero (0) however expire at the end of August, in other words, don't forget to allow for postage time for your exercise form to get to the share registry.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sell on fact: Northern Uranium

I blogged about Northern Uranium (NTU) late last week after trading volumes suggested that something was up.  Today the company came out of trading halt and announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Jiangsu Eastern China Non-Ferrous Metals Investment Holding Co., Ltd, an affiliate of East China Exploration and Development Bureau (“ECE”).  The deal will result in ECE emerging with a 51% stake to raise approximately $15.7million at $0.145 per share.

The market hasn't reacted all that well which I would believe is a combination of the dilution of existing shareholders, the stake is a controlling one at 51% and that short term traders that bought stock in the lead up to the news are now exiting their positions.  I am interested to see what will be the response (if any) from uranium French giant and large shareholder Areva.

There is a bit of discussion on internet forums as to whether the FIRB will approve the investment especially considering how tight the supply is on Rare Earths and the fact that an investment recently in Lynas Corporation (LYC) was knocked back not too long ago.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Value in India Equities Fund shell company

I've always taken an interest in companies that are more or less an asx listed shell awaiting a further direction.  The majority of the time these companies eventuate because the company has recently gone into administration and possibly a deed of company arrangement has been executed with the company to back door list a new resources project or a complete a change in focus.  Other times a company has been underperforming and so the company is sold off leaving a shell with a bit of cash to buy into some hot new project.  I love this scenario because there is a few catalysts for share price appreciation and these include speculation as to what the new focus will be followed by an announcement that determines what new project or company that is acquired.  If the project is a good one there's a high chance that the share price will continue to rally too.

So what is a shell worth?  I would usually say about $3 to $4 million.  The reason for this is because the costs involved in listing a company on the ASX dont come cheaply.  I think that India Equities Fund (INE) is an interesting one.  The company recently sold down it's portfolio of Indian shares in order to find some value and complete a capital return to shareholders.  I would recommend taking a look at the announcement made to the ASX on 30/07/2010 by the company that details this information.  In summary the company has just over $80 million in cash, will be paying out 90% of that leaving about $8 million.  To wind the company down will cost another $2 - $3 million leaving the value of the company at about $5 - $6 million.  The last traded price at $0.047 gives the company a market cap of $6 million.  If management play their cards right and use the shell effectively we could potentially see a $0.07 - $0.08 share price.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hudson Resources: Well under asset backing

One thing I do like to find in the market is stocks that can be clearly valued but for some unknown reason they aren't reflecting their true value.  You could almost call it an arbitrage opportunity.  Many of these opportunities come up in the property trust sector and India Equities Fund (INE) is a recent example whereby the net asset backing was above the current share price.  In order for India Equities Fund to get the share price to converge with the asset backing they decided to sell down the portfolio and complete a capital return.  I will talk about this company more soon as I believe there is a more compelling story in Hudson Reseources (HRS).

Hudson Resources has about 106 million shares on issue and the stock closed at $0.21 today giving it a market capitilisation of about $22 million.  When you complete a sum of all parts, that is, all of it's investments it is substantially above the market capitilisation.  Hudson Resouces has main investments of:
  • 55,600,000 shares in Australian Bauxite (ABZ) @ $0.50 = $27,800,000
  • 31,800,000 shares in Tiaro Coal (TCM) @ $0.45 = $14,310,000
  • Cash, property, potential royalties etc.
The share holdings by themself equate to $42,110,000!  Whilst anomalies do in fact exist in trusts and investment companies this one seems quite compelling.  If anything, if you are a fan of Australian Bauxite then Hudson Resources is a great vehicle to get exposure or leverage to Australian Bauxite which has had strong share price gains lately.  One concern I do have about Hudson Resources is the lack of liquidity in it's trading.

Northern Uranium in Trading Halt

I was seriously considering taking a position in Northern Uranium today.  The stock piqued my interest after trading volumes spiked (along with share price) yesterday which was backed up again this morning.  I commenced my research.

The basis of my research was to determine if there was any exploration results due or maybe simply renewed interest in the stock because of it's rare earth projects which is a sector that can be hot and have renewed bursts (Lynas Corporation LYC has been strong in the last month).

One of the first things I do like to check is the market capitilisation, number of shares on issue and cash on hand.  Market capitilisation gives me a good idea of what the company is valued at already considering I like to target low value companies with lots of potential upside.  Number of shares will give me an idea of how many shares could potentially flood the market, stifle the share price and thus prevent any upside.  Finally, cash on hand is a good way of seeing if the company has enough cash to keep exploring and won't have to raise cash soon (and thus dilute my share holding).  Northern Uranium ticks most of the boxes - small market capitilisation of $11 million (undiluted), about 100 million shares on issue which is okay but slightly pushing it and $2.5 million in cash, enough for now.  The next step?  The industry that it lies in.  Uranium and Rare Earths.  I always like to go for companies in a sector that is favourable now.  At example at the moment would be companies that surround Sandfire Resources (SFR) Doolgunna region such as Sipa Resources (SRI), Thundelarra Exploration (THX), and Resource & Investment (RNI).  Rare Earths would fit into one of those favourable sectors.  The other thing I did notice was Areva was on the register.  It is always a plus having a big boy such as Areva around because they don't take an interest in little tidlers like NTU without a reason.

However before my research was complete and whilst writing up this post the stock went into pre-open followed by a trading halt.  Talk about disclosure!  There was definitely a leak on this one.  The announcement due to be released on or before Monday is in relation to "a potential corporate transaction".  Hard to know what to make of this.  The company has completed soil sampling at it's rare earth projects recently so I intially thought maybe we may have some further information on that but the mention of corporate transaction blows that idea!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nexus Energy responds to ASX speeding ticket

Nexus Energy (NXS) shares have been setting a blistering trading pace this morning with the stock gapping up on opening at $0.38 (+$0.075) on heavy turnover.  This prompted an ASX query upon which the company referred to an article in The Australian quoting Shell as a suitor in possible takeover bid.

The article mentions that several large shareholders in Nexus Energy have been "sounded out" for a takeover by Shell.  Nexus Energy responded saying that they were not in negotiations with any parties.

Best to put this one on the watchlist, wait for the commotion to die down and then consider taking a cheaper entry.  The shares have been strong lately and are coming off a $0.195 rolling year low in May.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Avanco Resources: Good trading signs

Avanco Resources (AVB) came up on my radar this morning.  At 11:10am there has already been over 7 million shares change hands with the price firming $0.002 to $0.019.  Volumes such as this haven't been seen for about 6 months.

The company mentioned in it's Quarterly Activities Report on 30/08/2010 that assay results from drilling at it's copper project at Rio Verde are pending so news could be around the corner.

A brief mention in 'Pure Speculation' may have also assisted the stock.

A break past $0.02 and the stock may really start to fire up.