22nd-26th Jan 2018 (Abbreviated)

Alfacomp

3 February 2018

On Monday the 22nd the Q4 2017 Operational update was published  - although quarterly production was down this was entirely due to the second phase of the Vametco expansion project being implemented. EBITDA were up more than 550% compared with CY 2016 somewhat as a result of the increased price of Vanadium in the marketplace - averaging $33/KgV over 2017 (we are at over $60 now of course !)

On Tuesday there was an RNS detailed the Atlas Conversion of 700K of debt at 8.12p

Following the excellent Q4 Operational production update the opening share price was marked up from 8.60p to 9.00p, and then within a minute was increased again to 9.26p (!) - this had the somewhat predictable result of choking off buying interest. Strange but true - evidently traders don't like paying high prices. As a result the MMs were able to spend the rest of the morning walking the price back down looking for some significant further buying pressure. 

This did not really arrive until the buying price fell to 8.70p - at which point NickD and a number of others jumped in with a strong series of 100K buys. There is a brief spike evident in the Ask just after this but despite the nett trades going past 1M more Buys than Sells the Bid and Ask fell further with prices as low as 8.61p being paid by cozza99 for his/her 149,605 Buy.

After hours we got our now traditional End Day Trade pair - this time 2x 750K at 8.583p - most likely interpreted as one Sell (pres. Erongo) and one inter-MM transfer.

The SP finished down 0.23% on the day at 8.60p from 8.62p.

Following the clearly counterintuitive performance of the previous day (you don't expect Calendar Year EBITDA rising more than 550% from 2016-2017 to produce a fall in share price) the MM activity on Tuesday appeared to be slightly more understandable. When there were lots of buys the Bid-Ask went up, and when less it fell back slightly. 

Significant selling did not return until 11am when more than 8.70p was being paid by the MMs, so anyone who was able to buy at 8.61p the previous day could have walked away with 0.1p (1.1%) on the deal. The matching of 200K trade sizes as both buys and sells at this time suggested that it was not profit taking but simple rolling-over that took place between 11am and midday.

The 1:33pm RNS notification that Atlas were converting another 700K of their loan to BMN into shares had little impact on trading patterns. Buying again exceeded selling for the rest of the day, up until the end of trading bell was struck and we received our regular End Day Trade pair - this time 2x 250K.

Volume was 2.6M - a figure we see with surprising regularity, with 650K more Buys than Sells before you factor in the End Day Trade pair. The interpretation here is 1 Sell (Erongo assumed) and 1 Transfer - a fairly conservative interpretation that makes the fewest assumption - specifically that Erongo is currently the only significant seller.

The SP finished unchanged at 8.60p.

After a busyish start to the day trading tailed off in the afternoon. There was a Bed & ISA at 11:11am and then the MMs dropped the Bid, thereby enlarging the spread and consequently the advertised SP fell by 1.2% to 8.50p.

Nothing else happened save for the 2x1.25M End Day Trade pair - this time unusually occurring before 4:30pm - maybe it was picking up the kids from school day ?

Total trading volume was 3.2M but the ED pair was 2.5M of this. Before the ED pair there were 450K more Buys than Sells on the day.

SP down to 8.50p.

The Bid opened up 0.1p on Thursday but was dropped back after a couple of 100K sells at 9.10am. There was balance until 2pm when a 300K Sell prompted the Ask to be dropped to 8.50p. Then what appeared to be 1x1M + 2x0.5M Buys appeared at prices above the Ask. More significant Buys of 2x200K, 105K and 100K followed lifting the balance of Buys to almost 2M more than Sells.

A 2x500K End Day Trade pair arrived, this time at the usual time of just after market closing - as is now traditional this has been interpreted as one Sell (Erongo) + 1 IMM transfer.

Volume was 4.6M with 1.3M more Buys than Sells.

SP unchanged at 8.50p.

Friday was relatively uneventful - the vacillations of the Bid and Ask were purely for show as buying appeared to stay within the relatively tight band of 8.50-8.60p and selling 8.34-8.42p.

2x500K trades appeared at the end of the day - but unusually they were not both priced at the same level. One was at 8.50p and the other at 8.40p. Normally we would class this as some sort of rollover - 1 Buy and 1 Sell, albeit with a somewhat large-ish spread. On this occasion given the recent pattern of paired End Day trades we will interpret this pair in the same way - one Sell by Erongo and one transfer between Market Makers, and assume that the different prices is simply a mistake or attempt to obscure.

Volume 1.8M with 417K fewer Buys than Sells.

SP unchanged at 8.50p.

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