Stocks: Eland elated by ‘milestone’ oil flow

OIL industry veteran Les Blair didn’t hold back in his reaction last week to news that the black stuff was finally flowing from Eland Oil & Gas’s Nigerian field.

Eland Oil & Gas Managing Director, Les Blair. Picture: Contributed
Eland Oil & Gas Managing Director, Les Blair. Picture: Contributed
Eland Oil & Gas Managing Director, Les Blair. Picture: Contributed

Blair, the industry veteran who heads Aberdeen-based Eland, described the ­announcement as a “hugely significant milestone”.

The company had experienced delays in restarting a field that had stopped production seven years ago under previous owners following ­security concerns.

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The 2,500 barrels of oil Eland that expects to extract from the field each day will provide valuable cash flow to fund future activity.

Eland pulled off one of Scotland’s biggest ever Aim flotations a couple of years ago, and although the market reaction to the announcement was fairly modest, a number of ­analysts believe the shares could have much further to run from their current levels of just over 100p.

Canaccord Genuity raised its target on the stock to 175p following the news and Northland Capital Partners reiterated its buy advice with a 161p target.

• A recent trading update from email marketing software specialist dotDigital has helped shares hover around record high levels in recent weeks.

With its interim results due on Tuesday, investors will be hoping to see continued strong growth,

Sales are expected to be up by almost a third compared to the same period last year after the company said average monthly billing per client has increased from £238 to £284 per month.

Revenues from the US grew significantly following good early progress being made by its New York office, with ­contract wins in the first half included Harley Davidson, ­Fujifilm and Fruit of the Loom.

At the time of the trading update, joint house broker finnCap said it expected ­investors’ increasing confidence in the 57 per cent forecast growth for 2015 to be justified.

It has pencilled in a 35p price target for the shares.

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• It has still to turn a profit, but those who invested in ­online grocery delivery firm Ocado just over a year ago are sitting on stellar gains.

In late 2012, shares in the company were trading at below 60p and were still being tipped as a sell by many commentators.

But last week shares in the firm rose past 550p despite the firm announcing that losses had widened to £12.5m due to expansion costs.

Fair value for the company’s shares still divides opinion among analysts with target prices ranging from 275p to 600p.