SMALLER COMPANIES : Directors show confidence in young biotech venture
Sunday 09 March 1997
Dr Richard Palmer, the chief operating officer, stepped up to take his place. The company also announced its preliminary results. Income, a paltry pounds 191,000, was overwhelmed by costs of pounds 1.1m to produce a deficit of pounds 1.02m after interest payments. More intriguing, however, were the heavy share purchases by directors that followed the announcement on Monday morn- ing. The full details - including Mr Porter's purchases - are detailed in the chart on the right.
What prompted the spending spree? One reason was that the directors had been unable to buy before the results. And Dr Palmer, who arrived in September, had also just been getting his feet under the table.
Even so, the purchases were unusual for the breadth of buying. There is clearly a view that the shares are undervalued right across the board - a belief emphasised by Dr Palmer: "At 32p, the shares only reflect the cash value of the business, so there is little or no perception in the market of any added value our work has created. I have a confidence and faith in the company that it's going to progress."
He says the company has already made substantial progress since July in creating value, while there is also a strong management team in place.
The question for investors, however, remains how to value a biotech company that may have many years to go before its dreams come to fruition. The question still exercises analysts. Some of the markets in which Alizyme operates have huge potential - any treatment for obesity, whether prevention or cure, would be a big money-spinner.
And it is cracking on with new trials, products and joint ventures. It has signed up a service agreement with Nichimen Corp, the Japanese trading house, and is testing several compounds for inhibiting lipase, the digestive enzyme for fats in the gut.
The shares have fallen from the 60p flotation price last June, and crept up a few pence last week to close at 37.5p. With a board this enthusiastic, the shares are worth a punt.
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
iJobs Money & Business
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...