Small Talk: Soaring games group Sci can go higher still

Durlacher cash denial - Cape of good hope - Zi needs sales cure - Egdon takes AIM

Given the recent share price performance of Sci Entertainment, today's annual results from the computer games publisher are very unlikely to disappoint. In the past month alone the stock has soared by more than 50 per cent, while since April its share price has more than doubled.

Sci is the company behind games such as Conflict Desert Storm 1 & 2, The Great Escape and Richard Burns Rally. Its broker KBC Peel Hunt expects profits to come in at £4.3m, up from £3.5m a year earlier, but word has it they are likely to top this figure.

Meanwhile, 2005 looks likely to be a great year for Sci. It has an impressive pipeline of new releases including Constantine, to be based on the forthcoming big budget Keanu Reeves film, Battlestations: Midway, which recreates the Second World War naval and air battles between Japan and the US over the Pacific island of Midway, and the action game Rogue Trooper.

Peel Hunt forecasts pre-tax profits at Sci to have easily reached £5m by the end of next year, which translates into earnings per share of 21p and leaves the group's stock trading at just 9 times earnings.

Durlacher cash denial

Even after last Friday's statement from Durlacher, rumours that the stockbroker is looking to raise fresh cash refused to go away. The company was forced to put out the statement after a sharp drop in its share price, but the update failed to spark much of a rally. This is partly because Durlacher's rather wordy release to the Stock Exchange failed to deny the fund raising speculation outright. So here it is on the record from a spokesperson for the broker: "Durlacher is not looking to raise new money. "

Cape of good hope

Is the building materials group Cape a takeover target? A gaggle of City brokers are convinced it is. From a distance, Cape certainly looks an attractive proposition. It trades at just 9 times next year's earnings, boasts real estate assets worth 120p a share - compared with Friday's share price of just 143.5p - while its operating business seems to be booming. In September, the group said it was very optimistic about the remainder of its financial year.

Schroder Investment Management and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers have both been busy building up stakes in Cape in recent months. There also seems to be a large bull position in the stock held in the form of a contract for difference through Cantor Fitzgerald. At the last count it stood at 4.3 per cent of Cape's share capital. Given the company's lowly valuation, even without a bid its shares look set to continue their march higher.

Zi needs sales cure

Zi medical stock jumped 10 per cent on Friday to close at 8.25p. But with a valuation of £6m it looks to be a risky proposition for investors. The firm, which is developing a new type of drip for hospital patients, is in desperate need of securing sales of the product. A look at Zi's September interims reveal that the company generated sales of just £51,000 for the first six months of its financial year.

Meanwhile, it is burning through its cash at quite a speed. Zi spends £100,000 every month, leaving it with enough money to keep going only until June. If Zi fails to win some major deals before then, it will face a cash crunch.

Egdon takes AIM

The march of companies from Ofex to AIM continues. Expect to see the oil and gas explorer Egdon Resources move up from the lightly regulated exchange within the next few weeks and raise some fresh cash on the way. Egdon hopes to strike it big at one of its 16 onshore UK licences.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?