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Markets strong despite economic recovery on hold.

This month, despite gloomy economic figures coming out of the USA, the Eurozone and the UK, the markets gained further ground; most gained around 2% with the exception of some European markets that either stayed firm or lost up to 2% in value. But there is no escaping the surge in the value of markets all over the world in the last three months--European mainland markets have gained around 9%, the UK and US markets around 12 to 15% (FT100 = 15%; Dow Jones = 12%; NASDAQ = 13%) and the Asian markets between 11 and 26% (Hang Seng = 11%; Nikkei = 25%). There is no performance related basis for this major increase--it is based on instinct or market sentiment.

We had statements from two hologram companies this month--one had a significant effect.

API: Sale Process Terminated

Last month as we went to press, the API board announced that they contin- ued with the aim of securing a firm offer from one of the interested parties but, as indicative proposals received were all below the closing mid-market price of API shares of 90p on 24th January 2013, it emphasized that there could be no certainty that any formal offer would be made and that it reserved the right to terminate the sale process. Within two days of that statement the share price dropped around 20% to 76p and then on February 13th API announced the termination of the sale process, which caused a further fall in value; ending the period at 59.25p, a 28.6% loss in the month. The reason given, was that a sale at this time was unlikely 'to gain sufficient recognition for the underlying value of the business', which in layman's terms means the offers were not high enough. It also issued a trading statement indicating that the Hobographics division had not recovered as anticipated but its Foils and Laminates business, in contrast, was doing very well and as such the year end results would show substantial year-on-year improvement.

De La Rue Makes Interim Management Statement

On February 1st De La Rue made a second Interim Statement (this financial year) following the one on November 27, which caused De La Rue's share price to fall by 8.4% to 938p. This Statement was more positive in that it confirmed trading being in line with the board's expectations and (consequently) the board expected the financial results for this year to be in line with those of the previous year, as predicted in its November Trading Statement. It also stated that it remained confident in achieving its forecast of [pounds sterling]100m+ operating profit in year ending March 31 2014.

On February 6 the company made another announcement--in celebration of its 200th anniversary--this one focussed on the company's long history and significant achievements. Neither made any significant change to the share price--together they brought about an improvement of less than 1%, 2.5% below its market's gain.

OpSec Improves Again, But Lags Behind its Market

OpSec's share price gained 1.7% for the second month running taking the company's market value to [pounds sterling]35 .6m (+[pounds sterling]0.5m) but its market gained twice as much (+3.5%) in the period and in the last three months OpSec has underperformed its market by 14%.

Hologram Industries Loses Ground

Hologram Industries' share price lost 2.5% in the month but that was pretty well the same as its market. However, despite its commendable sales results for 2012, in the last three months HI has under-performed its market by 7.5%.

K Laser Gains Continue

K Laser continued its steady recovery with its share price gaining 1.7% in the month. It has gained 15% in value in the last three months.

Shiner Becalmed

Shiner's share price remained at 15 cents and its market value at just $4.1m
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Title Annotation:Stockwatch
Publication:Holography News
Article Type:Industry overview
Date:Feb 1, 2013
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