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Bargain shares opportunities

Simon Thompson updates several companies from his market-beating annual Bargain Shares portfolios

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC:100p), a provider of medical laboratory systems, cyber security and network solutions, is clearly firing on all cylinders after the directors guided shareholders to expect 2020 revenues to be at least 25 per cent higher than last year, or more than double the 11 per cent growth embedded into Stifel’s forecast.

The growth is being driven by BATM’s biomedical division, which was quick off the mark to launch a new diagnostics antigen molecular test kit to detect Covid-19 and a lab serological test kit that diagnoses if a patient has had Covid-19 by detecting antibodies against it in their blood. BATM has already shipped several hundred thousand test kits, boasts a backlog of more than 1m orders still to be delivered and is seeing increased demand for its instrument readers, too.

Moreover, BATM is in the process of developing, in partnership with Novamed, a rapid Covid-19 diagnostics antigen test kit for home use, which is expected to be complete in the summer, with sales commencing in the fourth quarter. The biomedical division is also delivering 1,000 critical care ventilators (order value €29m) for a European government to support their response to Covid-19. Reassuringly, the pre-close trading update also revealed that BATM’s network and cyber division will now only suffer a minimal impact from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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