Jinxing the listed FoodTech space

By Frank Buhagiar on Monday 5 June 2023

Jinxing the listed FoodTech space
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CommentaryFoodTech Investment

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

Last week’s Food on the Move highlighted the “relatively painless US debt ceiling negotiations”.  Flippant comment it may have been looking in from the outside but enough to trigger a wave of anxiety inside FFF HQ itself. Would such a brazen observation come back to haunt Food on the Move?  The negotiations, after all, had yet to reach a successful conclusion - hence the “here’s hoping that’s not jinxed them” caveat.  In the event, as reported by Reuters on 4 June: “President Joe Biden on Saturday signed a bill that suspends the U.S. government’s US$31.4 trillion debt ceiling, averting what would have been a first-ever default with just two days to spare.” Relief all round. FFF didn’t scupper the negotiations and importantly didn’t send the world into crisis mode once more. Phew!

Talk of jinxes though got Food on the Move thinking.  Could a jinx be deployed to end the run of consecutive down weeks in FFF’s listed FoodTech space? By close of play on 02 June 2023, the tally of weeks in which share price fallers have outnumbered risers had increased to seven – 26 share price fallers, 21 risers and one non-mover during the week ended 02 June. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so here goes... “Surely, FFF’s listed FoodTech space can’t make it eight down weeks in a row? That would be just remarkable. Couldn’t possibly happen? Could it?” Jinx in place. Sit back. Let the jinx do its stuff.  Then tune in next week to reap the results! Instructions seem simple enough but only time will tell if the jinx works.    

In the meantime, a handful of movers and shakers to catch up on.  Opticept Technologies (OPTI) shares tacked on an impressive 27.6% to close at SEK10.68. Only announcement from the FoodTechie over the course of the week was “the outcome of the exercise of warrants of series TO5, which were issued in connection with the Company's rights issue of units during the fourth quarter of 2022. In total, 1,275,683 warrants of series TO5 were exercised, corresponding to approximately 92.4 percent of the total number of outstanding warrants of series TO5, for subscription of 1,275,683 shares at a subscription price of SEK 5.64 per share. OptiCept will receive approximately SEK 7.2 million before issuing costs through the exercise of the warrants of series TO5.”  That works out at roughly US$666,500.  Every little bit helps.

Among the fallers, AgriForce Growing Systems (AGRI) shed 11.5% after announcing that it “…has formally ended its efforts to acquire Delphy Group BV., a leading Agriculture and Horticulture consulting firm based in the Netherlands.” The reason? “The mutual decision to end the sales and purchase agreement was reached after extensive due diligence, an evaluation of the historical and projected financials, potential for impairment risk, as well as current market conditions. Based on these factors, a revised purchase price could not be agreed upon by the parties.” In short, the numbers didn’t stack up.

How about this for a share price move? Rewind to close of play on Friday 26 May and the Calyxt share price stood at US$5.39.  One week on and shares in the plant-based synthetic bio specialist closed at an eye-catching US$24.4 a pop.  Takeover news? Technological breakthrough? Forecast-busting results? None of the above.  Just the implementation of a 1-for-5 reverse stock split of its common stock as part of its “combination with gene editor Cibus…to create a new industry-leading company that combines the two pioneers in agriculture-based gene editing and establishes one of the world's most sophisticated facilities for trait development and next-generation plant breeding.” Oh well, did get the pulse racing for a little while at least.

Finally, Balchem Corp (BCPC) was in demand. Shares in the US ingredients firm closed up 8.4% at US$132.82. No news out although Nasdaq did report that the shares have now “crossed above their 200 day moving average of $129.74…”, a potentially bullish signal.  Question is then, can BCPC shares kick on from here?  Or…has mention of the 200 DMA crossing only gone and jinxed it? Easy to get in a muddle with all this jinx talk.