Motion Media moves to silence bulletin board rumours

Motion Media, the videophone developer beloved of day traders and other small investors, has slapped down market rumours that it was close to signing a big order for its innovative products.

A statement denying the speculation yesterday came as a particular blow to Colin Blackbourn, the widely followed investor based at Shore Capital and known in the market by his nickname, the Black Prince.

Mr Blackbourn has built a 7 per cent stake in Motion Media and has been talking up its prospects enthusiastically in recent days.

Motion Media's share price had tripled in a fortnight after a marketing tie-up with the US telecoms network giant Cisco Systems and amid frenzied speculation in internet chatrooms that some big orders were imminent.

Motion Media decided that the latest share price surge, which included another 11 per cent rise on Wednesday, had sent the shares too high.

The chairman, Rex Thorne, said that the company had decided to respond to persistent rumours.

"Whilst the company has great hopes of success for its mm146 videophone in the cable television market and is in discussions with a number of significant companies operating in that market, it cannot yet be said that a substantial order is 'imminent'," he said.

Motion Media was the worst performing share on the stock market after the announcement, falling nearly 29 per cent to 13p.

Mr Blackbourn was unbowed, however, saying that he had used the share price slide to boost his holding by another one million shares to 7.5 per cent.

"If you read the statement carefully, they are effectively confirming that they are talking to substantial cable television companies," Mr Blackbourn said. "There are lots of things going on. I am not a short-term player and I am hoping for good things over the next 18 months."

Mr Blackbourn has been an investor in Motion Media since the company was traded on the lightly regulated fringe market, Ofex.

The stock moved to the main market in 2000 and traded as high as 191.5p, but moved to AIM as part of a rescue refinancing at 3.5p-per-share last December.

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