A bit of much needed context. Mobile Streams (MOS:AIM) is NOT going to suddenly start making gazillions of pounds for investors. Mobile Streams has NOT suddenly turned into a listed Unicorn overnight, despite the huge leap in the share price today (up 60%-plus to 8.5p). House broker N+1 Singer isn't even confident enough to put forecasts into the market, its estimates remaining 'under review.'

What Mobile Streams is doing is less subscriptions, more ad-funded income, presumably to get more clicks on its Appitalism apps store, more game players etc, and across a wider spread of emerging markets. Argentina has been its main playground, with a bit of Mexico, a bit of the US (progress has been slow here), a little UK and Australia, and Nigeria and now, India.

The later is where the company really sees huge growth scope, but it had said similar about Nigeria in the past, and there's been limited impact so far.

PuzuDra  , Puzzle & Dragons sumaphone apri, Hodo-bu Nagata  reports, May 10, 2013. YOSHIAKI MIURA

So while there appears to be a stampede for the shares today, let's not forget the company quite awful track record. Then devaluation of the Argie peso is out of its control yet Mobile Streams damage limitations exercise has been something of a train wreck, with profit warnings galore (November and again on 7 January the most recent).

For the six months to December 2015 Mobile Streams expects revenues of £8.1 million, down £10.4 million, or 66%, below the equivalent figure of last. It's also 12% below the £9 million to £9.5 million guidance of November. EBITDA won't be breakeven as formerly flagged, analysts at IT consultancy Megabuyte estimate a £800,000 loss. And cash is getting worrying chewed through at pace.

We met founder and CEO Simon Buckingham a couple of years back, and there is no doubt about his passion for the business – it was our impression that he genuinely feels the pain of poor trading and a slumping share price and takes his responsibility towards other shareholders seriously.


But we do start to wonder whether he is a bit too close to the company, a bit too emotionally attached to make rational and strategic business decisions as hard as they may be. Perhaps a more strategic top-down role would better suit him, bringing in an 'at the coal face' manager from outside to run the day-to-day heavy lifting and organising.

A share price that has been a one-way ticket to Palookaville since 2013 suggests, maybe.

MOS for web

Issue Date: 22 Jan 2016