In the current scenario of diminished business activities, when most of the large companies are faced with a decline in their revenues, there are a select few small companies which could hold the potential for good business performance for the year 2020. Operating in segments that are in high demand during such trying times, most of these companies can expect to do brisk business during the year. Today we look at five of such small stocks belonging to the AIM segment of the London Stock Exchange along with their businesses and how they have performed on the bourses in the past couple of months since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.
- Uniphar Plc - (LON: UPR) Uniphar Plc is an Ireland domiciled international diversified healthcare services company that provides its services to 200 multinational pharmaceutical and medical technology manufacturers in Ireland, the UK, the Benelux, the Nordics and in the United States of America.
In a trading statement published by the company on 23rd March 2020, the company had stated that performance of the company from the year to date had been ahead of expectations with very limited business disruptions experienced till now. Particularly in the last twenty days, predating the company’s statement, it has witnessed significant demand across its divisions as governments across Europe ramp up their preparedness to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The shares of the company were trading at €1.22 on 2nd January 2020 from which level the price rose since to reach a high of €1.50 on 21st February 2020 registering a growth of 22.95 per cent. Since then, however, the share prices have fallen to the current trading level at €1.08.
The company is expected to exhibit a good revenue performance for the year as both government and private-sector health care providers ramp up their supplies. Currently, the company’s share price is trending on the lower side because of the market-wide depressed trading conditions but, during the full year, an appreciation is anticipated from current levels.
- Applegreen Plc – (LON: APGN) Applegreen Plc is a roadside convenience retail chain company in the United Kingdom, Ireland and North America. The company focuses on the delivery of branded premium food in motorways and fuel stations in all the above three countries.
The company Is in an industry which is considered as essential services in the current circumstances. The company via a trading update released on 24th March 2020 has stated that all its stores have remained open despite a reduction in the number of footfalls across its stores. The company, though, is taking measures to conserve as much cash it can to deal with the situation and has taken additional measures like freezing of recruitment, opening negotiations with landlords for rental holidays, deferring bonuses, etc.
The shares of the company were trading at GBX 467.5 on 2nd January 2020. From there, the price rose since to reach a high of GBX 497.00 on 14th January 2020, registering a growth of 6.31 per cent. However, the share price has fallen since to be currently placed at GBX 215.
The food chains of the company operate within the premises of fuel stations which is another essential service and is of critical importance during this time. The company is expected to continue to generate revenue all through this tumultuous period as more and more people are expected to demand that food items be delivered to their homes.
- Clinigen Group Plc - (LON: CLIN) Clinigen Group Plc is the United Kingdom domiciled global pharmaceutical and related services providing company. Its business is unique in the sense that it encompasses several small enterprises which work on providing ethical access to its therapies. The company operates in four geographies of North America, Europe, Africa and the Asia Pacific.
In a trading statement released by the company on 24th March 2020, it has stated that it had been supporting physicians and hospital pharmacies across EU, US and AAA regions in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic in the past two months and is confident that its clinical and unlicensed medical services will be of great help in combating the threat.
The shares of the company were trading at GBX 918.00 on 2nd January 2020, and it rose since to reach a high of GBX 987.50 on 20th January 2020 registering a growth of 7.57 per cent. However, the share price has fallen since to be currently trading at GBX 464.
The company deals with alternative and experimental therapies to patients who are in dire need. During the current crisis, when no effective treatment for the coronavirus has been found out yet, the company’s therapies could very well be in heightened demand.
- Genedrive Plc – (LON: GDR) Genedrive Plc is the United Kingdom-based molecular diagnostics company. It is principally into the business of commercialising and developing a simple to use, low cost, versatile, rapid and robust point of requirement molecular diagnostics platform. These platforms are used extensively in several countries for use in patient stratification (genotyping), in the diagnosis of diseases that are infectious and detection of pathogen and for other indications.
The company has via a trading statement released on 25th March 2020 informed about the development of a Genedrive® 96 SARS-COV-2 test kit which can detect the virus in a patient in short turnaround time. The company expects this product to be available in the market within eight weeks. The company has received assurance that a long-term supply contract with the US Department of Defence can be negotiated for its pathogen detection unit.
The shares of the company were trading at GBX 22.50 on 2nd January 2020, and it rose since to reach a high of GBX 33.50 on 25th March 2020 registering a growth of 48.88 per cent. Today, the stock of the company has reached its highest price since the beginning of the year, and the price is still rising.
The unavailability of appropriate diagnostic kits has been a major issue in the early detection and containment of the coronavirus. Should the diagnostic kit of the company enter the market in time, it is expected to see a huge surge in demand.
- Venture Life Group Plc – (LON: VLG) Venture Life Group Plc is a manufacturer of items required by consumer for self-care. The company operates in the United Kingdom, Italy and the Netherlands and its products include, Dentyl® oral care product ranges, medical devices for dermatology, women's intimate healthcare & proctology and oral care.
The company is a manufacturer and supplier of sanitiser gels in Italy and the Netherlands. Both these countries have been very badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The requirement of these sanitising products has jumped significantly in recent months.
The shares of the company were trading at GBX 32.50 on 2nd January 2020. From this level, the price rose to reach a high of GBX 37.50 on 10th January 2020, registering a growth of 15.38 per cent. Today, the shares of the company are trading at GBX 33.50
The products of the company will be in high demand for at least the end of this financial year and should translate into good revenues. The company is expected to delay in the publication of its results for FY2019 as per the instructions of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The company is expected to fare better than expectations when its results are announced in due course.