Hits: 13

16 April 2020

Aquis Exchange– FY Results

Share Price 335p

Mkt Cap £91m

Conflict Disclosure: No Holding

 

  • Results Revenue up 73% to £6.9m and EBITDA loss of £0.2m. Cash is £11m (2019 £11.6m). Market share pan Euro trading is 4.6%. The technology is reported to be coping well with higher volumes post COVID 19 and NEX acquisition has recently completed. 19% of revenue was from licensing technology, and 5% from market data. Cash generated from operations was £385k.

 

  • Estimates Results look to be better than expectations at the EBITDA level and in line at the PBT level. Going forward a positive EBITDA is expected and a small £0.3m PBT loss is forecast in the current year.

 

  • Valuation EV/revenue is 7.1X. BATS exchange was acquired by CBOE in 2016 at c 8X revenue in 2016.

 

  • Conclusion While the shares appear fairly valued on today’s numbers I have a feeling with revenues growing at 70% that investors will make money in this. I suspect that AIM has had its day on regulation by the NOMADs and there is a place for a high integrity alternative.

19 December 2019

Aquis Exchange – Trading Update

Share Price 440p

Mkt Cap £119m

Conflict Disclosure: No Holding

  • Results The acquisition of NEX, announced in July is now unlikely to receive FCA approval until next year. Trading is said to be in line with expectations despite a challenging market. Revenues are expected to be up 70% on 2018 and the company is approaching break even. The company has decided to invest and extra £1m p.a going forwards in sales and technology resource.
  • Estimates a 70% revenue increase would equate to £6.8m of revenue against £6.7m expected. Revenue is in line with expectations and PBT is 5% ahead. Going forward a 18% increase is anticipated to £55.2m. A £1m loss is expected for 2019 and £2.5m profit for 2020. The statement says that despite the extra investment the company expects to be profitable in 2020.
  • Valuation 10.9X 2020 revenues. BATS recorded revenue of $436m in 2016 having been taken over by CBOE in September for $3.2bn, 7.4X revenue.
  • Conclusion It is a tough job to re vitalise NEX but AIM is becoming costly and is declining so the timing may be good. Investing in sales may also be good timing.  While the valuation is perhaps forward looking by a year if this model succeeds it is possible to see the shares double in 2 years.  With close to £10m on the balance sheet and the company moving into profitability the company is in a strong position.

17 September 2019

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Aquis Exchange- H1 Results 

Share Price 475p

Mkt Cap £129m

Conflict Disclosure: No Holding

  • Results –.Revenue up 165% to £3.4m and the EBITDA loss was £160k. Cash was £11.2m. The number of trading members is only 29, up from 27, but the company is close to break even and since the year end has agreed to acquire NEX exchange for £1.
  • Estimates. The company is forecast to lose £1m in the year to December 2019 from Revenue of £6.5m, before turning a profit of £2.4m in 2020.
  • Valuation Chi X Europe was taken over 4 years post formation just as it turned profitable for $300m in 2011. Perhaps we shouldn’t concern ourselves that it trades on 53X Dec 2020 earnings.
  • Conclusion My recent meeting was one of those rare meeting you leave genuinely excited.  In excitable moments I am imagining 3X upside until I remember they still only have 29 clients. And I hope NEX exchange can become profitable to disrupt the stranglehold of the expensive NOMAD’s.  It is well financed so I suspect this company will succeed.

5 July 2019

Aquis Exchange – Acquisition  

Share Price 486p

Mkt Cap £131m

Conflict Disclosure: No holding

  • News The company, which is listed on AIM, has agreed to buy Nex Exchange from the CME for £1. Last year Nex Exhange’s revenue was £1.5m and loss was £2m. It aims to build the largest technology driven exchange services group across Europe. Nex Exchange has 89 companies listed on it.
  • Estimates For December 2019 the company is expected to do £6.5m revenue and lose £1m before moving into profit in 2020 after an increase to £10.4m revenue.
  • Valuation The company trades at 13X expected 2020 revenues which is a forward looking valuation. This acquisition will reduce that valuation but may push profitability to the right.
  • Conclusion This looks interesting at a time when AIM is becoming increasingly expensive driven by price inflation for Qualified Executives and increasing burden while the broking community is suffering the effects of Mifid 2.  It may have a chance this time to take significant market share from AIM.  This looks like a binary call but with £11m on the balance sheet it looks well placed to reach profitability.