Could Internetq Plc (+182%), Trans-Siberian Gold plc (+133%) And Tribal Group plc (+105%) Double Again?
Markets have been volatile during the first quarter of this year, but some shares have rocketed -- the ones I discuss below have all more than doubled in value since the start of the year.
Have investors missed the boat, or can these three stocks go on to post further spectacular gains?
This boat has sailed
Shares of AIM-listed Internetq(LSE: INTQ) crashed in December, following the publication of a highly critical report on the Greek mobile technology company. That the author of the report was Tom Winnifrith, who had previously done much to expose the dodgy accounting at Quindell (now Watchstone) and the fraud at Globo, led Internetq -- which "does not normally comment on such matters" -- to release an initial statement denying "the assertions made and the conclusions drawn" and a further statement responding to specific assertions.
Nevertheless, Internetq's shares remained thoroughly depressed throughout December and much of January. The catalyst for the lion's share of the 182% rise seen since the turn of the year was news in early February that founder and chief executive Panagiotis Dimitropoulos and private equity investors, who had pumped EUR17m into one of Internetq's businesses, were looking at making a possible offer for the group.
A 180p a share offer came four weeks ago. Internetq is now set to move out of the public spotlight in a stock market delisting, so the boat has certainly sailed with this one.
A recipe for volatility
A recovery in the price of gold in recent months has catapulted the shares of several small gold miners into the ranks of the top risers for the year to date. Trans-Siberian Gold (LSE: TSG), which listed on AIM in 2003, has seen its shares rise by 133%.
As the shares soared, the company released a statement in February saying it was "not aware of any reason for the movement other than the recovery in the gold price and the general macroeconomic environment".
This is the thing with gold miners: their fortunes are highly-geared to the price of gold. Put together the price of gold, a small company and operations in Russia and you've got a recipe for potentially extreme volatility. The shares of Trans-Siberian Gold could easily double again in the coming months; then again, they could just as easily halve. The world of small gold miners is a hugely speculative area of the market, more suitable for casino players than investors.
December was a terrible month for education software and services group Tribal Group(LSE: TRB), with its share price crashing to an all-time low under a welter of bad news: a second profit warning; a warning of a potential breach of debt covenants; a proposed rights issue to raise £35m; and a move down from London's main market to AIM.
The 105% rise in the shares has come on the back of banks agreeing to waive covenants, and the £20m sale of one of Tribal's businesses, enabling the proposed rights issue to be reduced from the originally-envisaged £35m to £21m.
With the injection of cash restoring the balance sheet to health, and a new management team, Tribal can now focus on the longer-term future. If the company can impress the market with a reduced cost base, improved operating efficiency and a compelling strategic plan from the new chief executive, the shares could make impressive progress over the next few years. A stock investors with a higher tolerance for risk might be interested in looking at.
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G A Chester has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.