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Watchlist small caps on the upgrade

Simon Thompson highlights a number of companies on his watchlist that have beaten earnings guidance, and prompted major analyst upgrades
Watchlist small caps on the upgrade

The Covid-19 enforced lockdown has forced millions of organisations to adopt remote working practises, providing a boom for remote conference meetings companies and one that could signal a major structural change in working arrangements longer term.

That’s the key reason why I suggested buying shares, at 138p, in LoopUp (LOOP:179p), a London-based premium remote conference meetings company (Alpha Report:Tap into the remote working boom with LoopUp’, 2 July 2020). The company offers its information secure, reliable and easy-to-use remote conferencing technology to customers in key professional service verticals (law, accountancy, investment banking, corporate finance, private equity, asset management, insurance, PR and marketing). The client base includes more than 20 per cent of both the AmLaw Global 100 firms and the world’s top-100 private equity firms. With offices in North America, Europe, Hong Kong, Sydney and Barbados, LoopUp’s geographic footprint covers the world’s major business capitals.

A trading update at the tail end of last week highlights just how these secular trends are increasing the number of users, and profitability, too. LoopUp’s first-half revenue soared by 43 per cent to £31.9m, and on four percentage point higher gross margin of 71.5 per cent. Moreover, with overheads lower year on year, the operational gearing of the business really kicked in, so much so that first cash profits (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) soared by 249 per cent to £12.2m.

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