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Notes from Underground – Most read articles for the week ending 27 January

By Darren Atwater | Sunday 28 January 2024


Here are the most read articles and the most listened-to Bearcasts over the past seven days. The most read non-Quiz, non-Tom article last week is Steve Moore with SDI Group – “Directorate Change – Appointment of New CEO”. What about the exit of now-previous CEO though?… at No 3 or No 8 including Bearcasts.

The most-read ShareProphets articles this week were:

  1. Diversified Energy and that yield of 29% - if it sounds too good to be true! A cracking £457m short
    I have not weighed in on Diversified Energy (DEC) since 2019 when I managed to get the FRC to rap its knuckles for dodgy accounting. A name change later I sense that there is far worse to come. However, in the interests of balance

  2. Kefi Gold & Copper – Saudi Arabia joint venture moves to make further progress, Strong Buy
    Kefi Gold & Copper (KEFI) has issued an update on its, "GMCO", joint venture in Saudi Arabia with the activity there meaning “a substantial pipeline of results to report, which it will release as appropriate during the current quarter and beyond”.

  3. SDI Group – “Directorate Change – Appointment of New CEO”. What about the exit of now-previous CEO though?…
    Digital imaging and sensing and control-related products group SDI (SDI) has issued an announcement titled “Directorate Change – Appointment of New CEO”. What about exit of previous CEO though?, what’s the ‘directorate change’ detail?

  4. JustGiving: is the FCA really regulating what appears to be outright £31 million pound deception?
    My daughter Olaf is doing a charity swim on January 27 outside on Parliament Hill in London to raise money for the homeless charity Crisis. Well done to the little Trustafarian (mother’s side) and I have made a small donation. You too can do so HERE if you wish. I see that my pal Evil Banksta has already donated a small amount of the money made for him by Adam Reynolds and the blunderers at Belluscura (BELL). Thanks again Adam you are supporting so much. But then the platform Just Giving tried to stiff me with a £3 donation to it on top of the score that I had donated. This really stinks.

  5. Staffline – “pleased to report a robust trading and cashflow performance”. What about the significant forward forecast cuts though?! 
    Previously writing on recruitment and training group Staffline (STAF), in June with the shares at 35p I concluded I was cautious despite a suggested modest prospective earnings multiple considering macroeconomic headwinds, competitive industry dynamics and net debt. A trading update today is headlined “Robust performance delivered full year underlying operating profit in-line with market expectations. Net cash (pre-IFRS 16) significantly ahead of market expectations maintaining ongoing balance sheet strength that underpinned £5 million share buyback programme in 2023”. So what of the shares currently below 23p – including a further more than 7% lower on the back of the trading update?

  6. Diversified Energy - new Short Dossier from SnowCap, this is a £500m potential zero
    As you know Lucian Miers is short and I have been a bear for almost five years, even getting the FRC to rap the knuckles of Diversified Energy (DEC) for dodgy accounting. The latest bear dossier to come out is a good read and reinforces my view that this will end in tears for the bulls and is a zero. Enjoy.

  7. Ilika – interims. Er, what about the grants and cash outlooks that now dare not speak their names?…
    Previously writing on company which states it is “a pioneer in solid-state battery technology” Ilika (IKA), in November with the shares at 44.5p I reviewed why it was trading update “Operating Highlights” before “Financial Highlights” and concluded avoid/sell. Now half-year results see CEO Graeme Purdy emphasising “we were delighted to successfully convert our memorandum of understanding with Cirtec into a ten-year licensing arrangement” and “we have proved that our batteries stand to deliver the clear benefits of solid-state architecture, and from here we will continue to pursue further energy and power density milestones”. So what of a share price currently slightly further down in response to 36p?

  8. Watching Stuart Ashman and his grossly overpaid FD on Investor Meet, Ashman tells a whopping lie
    It was an hour of my time which I may look back on my deathbed and consider an hour wasted. I should say that, on balance, there was enough offered by Ashman to make me content to hold shares in Skinbiotherapeutics (SBTX) but there were also worrying matters not least the CEO telling a blatant lie.

  9. JustGiving doubles down on its lies – email received, the scandal is now £37.4 million!
    Yesterday I revealed how JustGiving almost forces folks to make a voluntary “tip” claiming that the cash will go to help charities raise money/improve its service when in fact the vast majority of it is paid out in dividends, £31 million in the last reported year. Amazingly the FCA regulates the charity platform so appears to sanction this deceit. Today I have received an email from Just Giving…

  10. Two Ex-smokers on Chill Brands...
    Lucian: As a vaper, I watched with interest the excellent 4-part Netflix documentary “The Big Vape” about the spectacular rise and fall of the leading brand JUUL. I thoroughly recommend it to vapers and non-vapers alike. It is a fascinating insight into the workings of Silicon Valley. Anyway, it got me thinking about Chill Brands (CHLL), whose only product right now seems to be a nicotine-free disposable vape called Chill Zero. Last week I listened to a recent interview with the CEO and was struck by how unrealistic the business proposition seemed to be.

The most-listened to Bearcasts this week were:

  1. Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Why I am holding my shares in Skinbiotherapeutics but you might want to sell & why Stuart Ashman needs to be fired
    In today's podcast I discuss retirement postponed thanks to Joshua and to Stuart Ashman. I chat about Optibiotix (OPTI), en passant, but in depth about Skinbiotherapeutics (SBTX) with apologies to those who have lost money. Here is what should happen next.

  2. Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: on death spirals, cowards and liars
    In today's Bearcast I look at events today at Skinbiotherapeutics (SBTX), Cavendish Financial (CAV), Technology Minerals (TM1) and Coral Products (CRU)

  3. Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: #GowokegoBroke, the comical demise of Sports Illustrated
    I start with sports Illustrated, a hilarious tale of pampered and silly Ivy League snowflakes telling we older men how to think and behave, then Nightcap (NGHT) and the March 25 takedown day, More Aquisitions (TMOR) and its new sprightly young directors, Dukemount Energy (DKE), yet another disaster from Brown Envelope man, and ITM Power (ITM)  

  4. Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Diversified Energy and IQE, can you spot the link?
    It is not the superb bear analysis of one Tom Winnifrith but another. This bearcast is largely devoted to why Diversified (DEC), currently valued at almost half a billion quid, could be a zero.

  5. Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Why the FCA should have a butchers at Ceres Power
    Before turning my attention to Daphne du Maurier and underpants I say a few words about betting on the US election where, as I predicted, The Donald is now a racing cert for the GOP Nomination and, I reckon, favourite to win the General. Then it is on to Ceres Power (CWR), Tern (TERN), Zoo Digital (ZOO), Genflow Biosciences (GENF), Verditek (VDTK), Belluscura (BELL) and Centamin (CEY).

  6. Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Diversified Energy can be a zero ( new bear dossier) & why Pete Brailey and the BBMs are being played
    I start with a big day for Joshua. I guess if he does get into expensive King's Chester any thoughts of imminent retirement are off the table. Then it is Peter Brailey and Serinus (SENX), Diversified Energy (DEC), Vast Resources (VAST) and NightCap (NGHT) where, in both cases, AIM Regulation must act, Argo Blockchain (ARB), still a short at 14p, and Supply&ME Capital (SYME) and doing the granular maths on when, not if it is a zero

  7. Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Is Chill a scandal or just the worst timed placing in history?
    In this podcast I look at Chill Brands (CHLL) in light of THIS article, the difference between private and public company reported profits ref SkinBiotherapeutics (SBTX), NightCap (NGHT) and Julie Meyer's sex toy, at Saga (SAGA) and and Superdry (SDRY) 
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