Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
AIM-listed biotech Novacyt [LON:NCYT] has provided the market with an update this morning. The company’s stock has risen more than 20-fold since the start of the year, as the business is seen as a driving force in COVID-19 testing. Total sales and current orders for its PCR tests are now worth £120m, with further COVID-related innovations expected to drive fresh sales into the summer. Some have suggested that the bubble being seen in specific medical stocks is akin to the dot.com boom, but given the damage being caused to the wider economy, for those with the ability to deliver validated technology, the rewards will be there.
- Novacyt shares up over 134% on testing breakthrough
- Hemogenyx up over 260% as it searches for COVID antibodies
- Omega Diagnostics shares up on COVID-19 rapid test
McCarthy & Stone
The impact of COVID-19 has been brutal on many of the UK’s care homes, leading to some suggestions that the model is wrong and that US-style retirement communities or villages may be better placed for infection control. This is something that McCarthy & Stone [LON:MCS], the UK’s leading developer of retirement communities notes in a business update published today. They are in the gradual process of reopening sales channels, but note that fewer cases of COVID on a per capita basis have been reported in its communities than in the UK population of over 65s as a whole. Arguably this has the potential to be more about best practice for public policy, but it certainly helps illustrate benefits of the business model, too. Half year results to April 30th, which will reflect the suspension of sales, will be published on July 15th.
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Full year results are out from Card Factory [LON:CARD] this morning, covering the period to January 31st so well before the impact of COVID-19 was felt. The company did however put in a resilient performance with revenues up 3.6% despite a challenging macroeconomic backdrop, whilst pre-tax profits fell 4.4%. Arguably the real win here could be from the online channels, with cardfactory.co.uk seeing sales jump more than 300% since lockdown, whilst the enforced change in shopping habits also seems to have been sufficient to finally get the company’s online gift order division off the runway. Stores will be reopening from mid-June but arguably it’s going to be the half year results issued in the Autumn that will prove the most telling.
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