Time for a VERY GOOD roundup

By Frank Buhagiar on Monday 28 November 2022

Time for a VERY GOOD roundup
Image source: Time for a VERY GOOD roundup

Food on the Move: FFF’s weekly roundup of listed FoodTech’s movers & shakers

No second consecutive ‘up’ month for FFF’s listed FoodTech space then.  That’s because the last full week in November saw 30 fallers, 17 risers and two non-movers, bringing the tally of ‘down’ weeks (more fallers than risers) during the month up to three, while the ‘ups’ (more risers than fallers) remained anchored at one – a reversal of October’s split.  Move over November, bring on December.  Can the final month of the year bring some festive cheer to the sector?    

Speaking of cheer, finally there was some for Kalera (KAL) – shares put on a hefty 39.5% to close the week at US$0.12.  Still a long way to go before the vertical farming co., which raised US$8.84 million via a 13 cents per share public offering last month, regains the US$13+ share price levels it enjoyed as recently as July.   The company is in a race to profitability having recently announced its intention to offload its seed genetics business as well as some international assets.   As CEO Jim Leighton highlighted at the time of KAL’s recent Q3 results: “…our #1 priority of cash flow break-even in our U.S. farms by the end of fiscal 2023.”

There may be another priority for the CEO to deal with, however: this week Kalera received a non-compliance notice from the Nasdaq for violating the minimum required stock price for listed companies.  KAL said it had appealed, buying itself more time to comply with the listing rules.  Profitability can’t come soon enough, otherwise a reverse stock split could be on the cards…

Speaking of reverse stock splits, Waitr Holdings Inc. (WTRH) has done just that at a ratio of 1:20 - shares were off 38%.  The food delivery company also changed its trading symbol to ASAP this week.  Management in a rush to get the corporate to-do list ticked off ASAP it seems.

Elsewhere Desert Control’s (DSRT) Q3 earnings release underwhelmed investors, if the 15.5% decline in the share price is anything to go by. The AgTech, which focuses on tackling desertification, soil degradation and water scarcity, reported Q3 revenues and EBITDA of NOK 0.1M and NOK -21.6M respectively. Both metrics are moving in the wrong direction - Q3 2021’s revenues stood at NOK 2.3M while the EBITDA loss had ‘only’ been NOK 7.8M.  Cash balances too were lower at NOK 100 million compared to NOK 191.2M in Q3 2021.

DSRT is looking to commercialise its Liquid Natural Clay product and “After 12 years of R&D, the innovation underwent academic independent validation and pilots in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 2019 to 2021.”  Management will be hoping no doubt, it will soon be raining profits at the company.

Finally, shares in The Very Good Food Company (VERY) were marked up by almost a quarter.  Shares in the plant-based FoodTech responded well to news that “The Very Good Butchers brand products are now available at 107 Wegmans Food Markets stores in the United States. Additionally, VERY GOOD has expanded its product placements at existing retailers including Save-On-Foods, Farm Boy, and The Giant Company, adding over 3,000 points of distribution for the Company's brand across North America.”  The market clearly thought the news was…well…Very Good.