The market applauded a small acquisition by FTSE 250 technology play Anite (AIE), sending its shares up 6.5% to 150p in morning trading on 28 January. Stockbroker Panmure Gordon called the €31 million purchase of Finnish testing group Propsim a 'neat cheap' deal. It says the acquisition opens up a new opportunity in network infrastructure testing for the £450 million cap with a strong existing network equipment manufacturing client base. As such, Panmure has nudged up its price target by 5p to 1470p and raised its 2014 earnings per share forecast (reflecting the first 12 months of the deal) by 3.5% to 9.1p.
In broader trading, the both FTSE 100 and FTSE 350 were flat at 6,284 and 3,361 respectively on a quiet day for corporate news among the large and mid caps.
More activity was seen among the smaller end of the market with large swings noted among many resource stocks. US-based Nostra Terra (NTOG:AIM) jumped 15% to 0.66p after exceeding expectations with its third oil well at the Chisholm Trail prospect in Oklahoma. The small cap's shares have now risen by a third since the start of 2013.
Mwana Africa (MWA:AIM) advanced 4% to 6.2p after a progress report on studies into processing gold-rich mine waste next to its Freda Rebecca gold deposit in Zimbabwe. It will build a pilot plant to test the material from the third quarter of the year onwards. The long-term goal is to prove that it is economically-viable to build a full-scale plant which will retreat the tailings and contribute to Freda Rebecca's gold production.
Among the losers is coal specialist Altona (ANR:AIM) which has crashed by 21% to 1.48p after a heavily-discounted share placing to raise £1.3 million. The new stock is priced at 1.5p, one fifth lower than its closing price on 25 January.
Outside of the resources sector, industrial engineer Chamberlin (CMH:AIM) issued a profit warning, dragging its shares down by 14% to 126p. And the shine was taken off hazardous waste specialist Augean (AUG:AIM) which dipped 7.6% to 30.5p after saying that full-year results would be at the lower-end of forecasts.