April 2020 by far proved to be a comparatively decent month for equities listed on the London bourse, against the corresponding previous month, with the broader – FTSE 100 index increasing 6.07% and the FTSE AllShare index surging approximately 7.2%.
Here, we tracked two businesses from the FTSE AllShare ambit, which significantly outsmarted the return of the broader indices during the reported period.
Oxford Biomedica Plc: Shares of OXB surged approximately 35.4% since March 31st to April 30th, outperforming the benchmark FTSE AllShare index by ~ 28% and broader equity gauge by ~ 29, respectively.
OXB is a leading biotechnology group and has created for itself a global position in the rapidly growing gene and cell therapy. Further in FY19, the group had completed the creation of OxBox, which is all set to strengthen their position among their existing clientele and leading biotech and pharma companies.
Oxford reported strong business update for the financial year ended on December 31st, 2019, with full-year bioprocessing and commercial revenue expected to grow by 20%, driven by double-digit growth in both the segments. It is worth mentioning that the revenue from the two mentioned segments was relatively stronger than the first half of 2019. However, the company's revenue from milestones, license and royalties are estimated to report degrowth of around 36% on YoY basis, even Axovant milestone and royalties are not enough to prevent the overall contraction in this vertical. This would have a slight dampening effect on the group's total revenue for FY19.
In FY19, the company has deleveraged its balance sheet by settlement Oaktree loan of £55 million after Novo Holding A/S, who is now a 10.1% stakeholder in the company made an equity investment of a £53.5 million in the company.
Further, with the development of OXBox, the company is expanding the number of supply and license deals. It also and continue to expand its core bioprocessing and development endeavours, supported by appealing upsides from milestones and royalties with the growth of the partner programmes.
On COVID-19 impact on business, the company stated that it has not experienced any major hindrance and does not expect to experience any material damage from it going forward in supply related issues or any changes in customer demand.
The defensive business model of the group is allowing its shares to stand firm against the market mayhem, with its shares up by 56% on a YTD basis, in times when the broader market has witnessed steep volatility and correction.
Over the last three years, shares of OXB has turned its shareholders fortune as it handed a massive return of 197%, whereas in the same period the benchmark indices delivered a negative price return. Also, on a YoY basis, its shares are featuring a price return of ~ 12.4%, respectively.
In a year-over period, its shares registered a 52-week high of GBX 794.88 on May 29th, 2019 and a 52-week low of GBX 356.7 as on March 18th, 2020 and the at current trading price of GBX 730 (May 05th, 2020 at 01:50 PM, before the market close), its shares are more tilted towards the 52-week high price level, which is a positive trend, given the current market situation.
Moreover, the stock has surged approximately 104% from the recent low it had hit on March 18th, 2020, which reflects the defensive business model and decent performance of the group in FY19 and the trend might likely remain unchanged going further as well.
Aptitude Software Group Plc: In April 2020, shares of APT garnered gains of approximately 25.4% and outperformed the benchmark FTSE All-Share ~ by 18% and ranks as the second-best performing FTSE AllShare stock on the LSE.
Aptitude Software Group PLC (LON: APTD) provides financial management software to over 500 million end customers. It operates with six office locations around the world.
The company’s business in the first quarter of FY20 ended on March 31st, 2020 not impact the group's financial performance, with revenue and profit marginally ahead of the Board's anticipations for the period. On March 31st, 2020, the company's Annual Recurring Revenue increased to £30.3 million (December 31st 2019: £28.6 million), driven by some benefit from the strengthening of Sterling vs US Dollar since the year-end and new licence sales signed in Q1. Consulting utilisation also stayed high in Q1 with all projects continuing to progress and consultants operating remotely and charging their time while working on clients' implementations.
At this time of unprecedented crisis caused by COVID-19, the management has reassured that the company is financially healthy, benefitting from a cash balance of £31.2 million as at March 31st, 2020 and was having no bank loans. Moreover, the business is cash generative and profitable, reported Adjusted Operating Profit for 2019 was £10.5 million.
However, on a YTD basis, APT stocks tanked by almost 29% due to Covid-19 crisis, the group’s business got negatively impacted since it required frequent international travel to tap international opportunities. Travel bans would also slow down the contracts and growth in the Group’s Annual Recurring Revenue.
Despite a near-term pain, the group could witness, its shares are still posting a positive price return of 7.4% on a YoY basis.
In a year-over period, APT shares have registered a 52w high of GBX 670.0 on December 19th, 2019 and a 54w low of GBX 247 on March 19th, 2020 and at the current traded price of GBX 440 (on May 06th, 2020, at 02:37 PM GMT before the market close), its shares traded approximately 34% below its 52-week high price level and approximately 78% above its 52-week low price level.
Although, its shares are still trading approximately 19% below its long-term support level of 200-day simple moving average, but after the recent recovery, its shares are trading above its short-term support level of 50-day and 30-day moving averages.