The discovery of oil and gas in Indonesia (4 Feb) sent mid cap Salamander Energy (SMDR) soaring 14% to 211.9p. The £540 million cap hit pay day in the first well of a multi-well programme in the North Kutei Basin. While the South Kecapi-1 well discovery is not commercial on a standalone basis, it has tested oil at a significant rate which implies large upside potential, says stockbroker N+1 Singer.

Coal miner Beacon Hill Resources (BHR:AIM) enjoyed a second-straight session of large gains after laying the ground work for transporting its products by rail. The Mozambique-based small cap added a further 0.44p to 4.45p, giving it a 60% advance over the past two trading days.

Hardy Oil & Gas (HDY) jumped by 5.1% to 115p after winning a court case to extend its CY-OS/2 licence in India. Hot on its heels is Photo-Me International (PHTM) which advanced 4.4% to 68.75p after declaring a 3 per share special dividend.

Across the broader markets, the FTSE 100 was marginally down against Friday's close, trading at 6,326. The FTSE All-Share was down 9 points at 3,318.

A profit warning wiped the smile off Lonrho (LONR), down 24% to 6.75p. Revenues have been less than expected after delays across many of the African conglomerate's operating divisions. These include lower delivery volumes of fish into Costco, delays with importing tractors in Mozambique, being behind schedule with opening the first easyHotel in South Africa and ongoing delays with delivering government contracts in its Kwikbuild pre-fabricated buildings arm.

All is not well in the EMIS (EMIS:AIM) camp. First came news that the finance director was leaving (11 Jan). Then came a profit warning (24 Jan). Now the chief executive of the healthcare software supplier is retiring. The market has not liked this string of information with the shares down on the latest news by 6.7% to 700p, leaving EMIS considerably below the 915p level at which it started the year.

Software fans may also raise their eyebrows at back-office optimisation specialist EG Solutions (EGS:AIM) which has raised £1.2 million through increasing the size of its share capital by 10%. It has placed new stock at 73p, a massive 32% discount to the previous closing price, with reseller Aspect. This is because the fund raising was first agreed in November, taking the three-month average (at the time) as the placing price. A legal matter delayed the transaction so today's announcement looks punishing for shareholders which have enjoyed large share price appreciation in the past few months. The stock has today dropped 19% to 87p, reflecting the cheaper-priced stock about to be issued and a profit warning.

Shares in online gambling group 888 (888) doubled between July and December 2012 but have since struggled to get beyond the 120p level. Even though fourth quarter results beat market expectations, the figures haven't proved to be the catalyst to achieve the necessary break-out. The shares eased back 1% to 121.25p on the results as they weren't good enough to warrant large earnings upgrades to revive the stock rally.

Elsewhere on the market, a handful of resource stocks enjoyed good news. Mwana Africa (MWA:AIM) jumped 5% to 6.2p after announcing a 152% increase in its Trojan nickel mine resource. Amara Mining (AMA:AIM) advanced by 2% to 54.13p on a positive exploration update for its Yaoure gold prospect.

And finally, investors seeking new blood in which to sink their teeth can look forward to a new stock joining Aim in mid February. Digital Globe Services is a US-based marketing specialist, helping companies to acquire new customers via the internet. The company says that trading in the financial year to June 2013 has exceeded expectations. Digital Globe Services, which has been profitable every quarter since 2009, has built its business in the North and South American markets and now wants to expand into Europe.


Salamander pic credit: John Hepler

Issue Date: 04 Feb 2013