19 AIM stocks that doubled in H1

by Graeme Evans from interactive investor |

Small-caps are where the growth is, but which AIM share rose 526% in the first half of 2019?

AIM success stories were not hard to find in the first half of 2019 after a spectacular 19 companies more than doubled in value on London's junior market.

The list of unheralded wealth generators was led by gaming technology group Bidstack (LSE:BIDS), whose shares jumped 526%, and by pharmaceuticals company Futura Medical (LSE:FUM) after a jump of 473%.

But, as always with AIM, the period also left some shareholders nursing big losses. The list of heavy fallers included the usual collection of resources companies, along with some previously fancied stocks such as Motif Bio.

Among the better-known companies on AIM, fast fashion chain Boohoo (LSE:BOO) outperformed rival ASOS (LSE:ASC) with a rise of 31% while Fevertree Drinks (LSE:FEVR) managed a modest 5% rise in the first half.

Insolvency litigation financing company Manolete Partners (LSE:MANO) was the best performing stock in the AIM 100, having only joined the market in December. It has rewarded investors handsomely since the IPO, with the stock up 134% in the first half as investors drew comparisons with another AIM high-flyer from the sector, Burford Capital (LSE:BUR).

Underlying profits at Manolete recently rose 85% to £6.8 million after the company doubled its number of new UK insolvency cases based on its ability to analyse and price complex legal risk.

Manolete is the only AIM 100 stock to have doubled in value over the first half, with this list of 19 companies dominated by some of the junior market's lesser-known names. Despite this, all but three have market capitalisations of £10 million or more.

Bidstack was worth £69 million at the end of June, having joined AIM in September 2018 following a reverse takeover by Kin Group. The funds raised have enabled the company to expand its sales team and refine its technology, which is used to provide targeted and automated in-game advertising across platforms in the video games industry.

The development of streaming services by the likes of Google and Apple mean the industry is expected to evolve even further, allowing gamers to access high resolution games without having to own a console or high spec PC.

Bidstack believes it is well placed to exploit this growth opportunity, having also recently raised £5 million from the placing of 40 million new shares at 12.5p. The stock is now trading at 28.6p.

Open Orphan (LSE:ORPH) is another AIM newcomer to watch following a recent reverse takeover of Venn Life Sciences. The business was founded in 2017 by Irish investor Cathal Friel with the aim of building a European rare disease and orphan drug focused pharma services company.

The orphan drug sector is expected to grow two times faster than ordinary prescription drugs, with 58% of US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approvals currently being in this area. With a plan to grow through acquisition, Friel and the management team have set a target of paying a dividend within two years.

Motif Bio (LSE:MTFB) highlighted the risks of investing in the healthcare sector, however, after its shares crashed 88% in one session in February. This followed a surprise ruling by the FDA not to approve a new drug application for the company's superbug antibiotic.

The regulator said it wanted additional data on iclaprim, which treats acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections, so it can further evaluate the risk for liver toxicity. The stock is one of three stocks down more than 90% in the first half of 2019, the others being 7digital Group (LSE:7DIG) and Staffline Group (LSE:STAF).

Recruitment and training group Staffline slid after it was forced to delay its 2018 results due to historical issues relating to the National Minimum Wage. When the figures were eventually published in June, exceptional costs of £15.1 million pushed the company into a £9.6 million loss despite revenues of more than £1 billion.

Staffline also announced the placing of new shares to raise £34 million, adding that with the wage issues now resolved it expected to return to normalised trading.

19 AIM stocks that doubled in H1 2019
Company +/- (%)
Bidstack Group (LSE:BIDS) 526
Futura Medical (LSE:FUM) 473
ReNeuron Group (LSE:RENE) 341
Integumen (LSE:SKIN) 322
Open Orphan (LSE:ORPH) 300
Zoltav Resources (LSE:ZOL) 281
Block Energy (LSE:BLOE) 264
Shield Therapeutics (LSE:STX) 261
Petro Matad (LSE:MATD) 202
Quadrise Fuels International (LSE:QFI) 183
REACT Group (LSE:REAT) 158
Manolete Partners (LSE:MANO) 134
Agronomics (LSE:ANIC) 125
Pathfinder Minerals (LSE:PFP) 124
Ten Lifestyle Group (LSE:TENG) 119
Crossword Cybersecurity (LSE:CCS) 118
Yu Group (LSE:YU.) 115
Trans-Siberian Gold (LSE:TSG) 111
Bacanora Lithium (LSE:BCN) 108

Source: interactive investor

These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

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