Don't worry, Sharesport, there will be no danger of that until orders are announced and the cash starts to come in!
IMHO, the directors either need to deliver something substantive by the AGM or get cutting those salaries and buying shares etc in the meantime.
At least the annual report confirms that the 160kw unit is still due to be ready in June which is not far away now and orders could be made in advance based upon the smaller unit...
Personally, I think that it is quite positive that AFC is going ahead with the AGM as planned. The easy solution if there were any problems would be to delay the AGM and to avoid questions from shareholders.
The explanation that I just posted seems to reinforce this positive sentiment, with progress still being made rather than there being any problems or major delays to the plans (which would need to be announced if the directors were expecting them).
I still feel that AB will want to release some news before the AGM and the decision to press ahead with the AGM, followed by an investor day once possible, suggests to me that news is expected before the AGM.
The AGM explanation is out: https://www.afcenergy.com/update-on-agm-and-annual-report/
This morning we have posted the Annual Report and Notice of AGM a cover letter from our Chairman, setting out some of the practical arrangements for this year’s AGM in these difficult times which can be found here.
In accordance with Government advice limiting gatherings of more than two persons and enforcing strict social distancing practices, the Board have taken the decision to separate the formalities of this year’s AGM, set for 23rd April, from the management presentation. In recognition of the importance given to this presentation by shareholders in prior years, we have made arrangements for shareholder questions to be submitted electronically and we will publish answers on the day of the AGM to as many as possible.
We have undertaken to hold a physical investor presentation day when the Government lifts restrictions on social gatherings. If the current lock down continues for an extended period, then we will organise a web-based meeting to answer any further questions arising from the present circumstances.
The AFC Energy team continue to make progress across a number of fronts and have implemented various practices enabling the effective working from home which are allowing us to continue staff, customer and partner engagement.
In the meantime, I trust you and your families stay well in these unprecedented times.
To continue to take a full salary and to refuse to buy any shares in the company when there has effectively been a distress fundraising at a heavy discount to the share price just days before the fundraising is at best morally indefensible, especially when a lot of the company's shareholders are going through tough times and when a lot of the fundraising is going to end up in the pockets of the directors in the event of a lengthy delay.
As I have said, none of this would be an issue if there was no delay but then there should not have been a discounted fundraiser so that would lead to further more serious questions being asked in any event.
How AB or anyone else cannot see this and act accordingly is beyond me so I suspect that everyone appreciates it but, as is often the case, nothing happens until the pressure becomes unbearable! It is not too late for the directors to do the right thing and I hope that they do it soon rather than waiting until they feel forced into doing it by others.
DW, you are absolutely right. Whilst Schroders buying back in should help support the share price going forwards, it is disgraceful that AFC has enabled this to happen and this IMHO makes it even more important for the directors to put their hands in their pockets. A lot of shareholders will have lost a lot of money selling into the fall whilst Schroder's have made £2million+ and whilst the directors have continued to be paid handsomely. Even by AIM standards, this is ridiculous and I expect the directors to take some responsibility!
As the share price almost inevitably drops on the day that the new, heavily discounted shares enter the market, now is the time for action from the directors.
Either cut your salaries, buy a sizeable chunk of shares or explain to your shareholders why you aren't able/willing to do this.
If the company has imminent news then there should never have been a discounted placing (which was blatantly sold into before it was announced) and if there is no news then get buying those shares or cutting your salaries.
It seems like a no brainer to me: AB, JR and others put 20% of their salary into shares, the AGM gets put back a couple of months due to restrictions and everyone can see if AFC were right to be confident about the future post-pandemic.
This seems like such an obvious option compared to either taking a pay cut or risking angering shareholders at the AGM and beyond by refusing to take either a pay cut or buy shares. If they are right to be optimistic then they will be able to sell their shares at a much higher price further down the line!
Rightly or wrongly, AFC has been disproportionately hit compared to the wider market and its peers and today's fundraiser has on the one hand suggested that there is no imminent prospect of orders whilst on the other hand providing some additional medium-term security.
If there is no impending news then the directors should take a pay cut and invest some of their own money, even if only a small amount given the current climate, in buying some shares to show support for the company that has paid them handsomely for years.
Of course, if there is news pending, then they can keep their full salaries and would not be allowed to buy shares in any event but then there would have been no need for the latest fundraiser.
Given this, i am working on the basis that it is the former action that should be taken and, once they do this, they will then have my full support at this difficult time. I really do not think that this is too much to ask.
Volcano, another one of those magicians?
No, I will not been silenced from supporting a company that is trying to improve the world and that I am invested in just because it doesn't fit your agenda, whatever that may be. Perhaps you could give it a rest, mate!
As I have been saying all week, AFC has clearly been manipulated and IMHO this is due to a combination of shorting, fearmongering, panic and lack of communication from the company. As AFC's belated statement explained yesterday, there is absolutely no reason for the recent drop and with the FTSE set to return to where it was at the start of the week, there is no reason why AFC shouldn't get back to where it was (i.e. 19p+).
It is sickening to see people take advantage of this situation and a lot of the posts on here have clearly been designed to add to the panic. We can now watch lots of posters magically saying that the "future is bright for AFC" rather than "there is no future for AFC".
I take what a lot of people write on here with a bucket load of salt. Of course this has, in the long-term, a lot to do with fundamentals. In a few weeks or months, the pandemic will come to and end one way or another and there will be even greater demand for green technology. During this time, there is plenty of scope for forward thinking companies to invest in new technology and to take advantage of the downtime to test and install new concepts etc. Lots of companies have piles of cash lying around, supermarkets are busier than ever and the government is going to be throwing money at the economy.
Whatever the case, I am keeping that bucket of salt at hand whenever I read posts about the world coming to an end and AFC now being doomed. If it was doomed before then it is still doomed but if it was the "holy grail" before then it is still the "holy grail", with just a delay to plans at worst!
In the meantime, it is a question of whether the shorters have enough cash to drive the price down further and/or create enough scaremongering to get others to sell along the way. The decent buying on Tradegate , which doesn't seem to have the same shorting problem, suggests that the bottom might have been reached and, if it has, there could easily be a strong bounce back as buyers return and shorters run for the exit.
Whilst it is a great shame that they waited until the SP had already been decimated, rather than posting this earlier in the week when I first raised the need for a statement, I am reassured to see that there are no apparent skeletons in the closet to worry about at the moment.
Seemingly, this has done little to stop what I strongly believe to be a shorter attack rather than a representation of a real change to the fundamentals (as the RNS itself explains), but this should make it harder for the shorting to continue and make it more likely that a support level can be found or even a rebound as the panic recedes and people actually process what the company has said.
Thanks, all. I know from experience that market sentiment can turn around very quickly, especially when there is lots of shorting going on. MKS is just one current example of this although is not yet clear whether the shorters will win in the end.
Hullaballoola, good work on contacting AFC. I gave up on that a while ago as it never seemed to achieve anything but it sounds like the message is getting through, even though it is unbelievable that the communication issue has yet to be addressed. Just an RNS along the lines of what you wrote would help a lot i.e. business as usual and cracking on with the task at hand etc, although it shouldn't be too hard to come up with something a lot more supportive than this.
As I say, the turnaround could be quite rapid so it will be interesting to see if this starts to happen before a statement comes from AFC, especially if word gets around there is no reason for the recent disproportionate drop compared to the wider market.
I continue to believe that AFC is under a shorter attack but, whatever the case, it is simply unacceptable for the directors to sit there in silence as the share price halves in the space of a week. There is no guarantee that they could stop the drop but, as I have written already, there are several clear methods to address the situation.
They have a duty to talk to their shareholders in these unprecedented times and I know that I would be unable to draw a salary as CEO if i was sitting there watching this happening and not even trying to address it.
I would have hoped that even the most ardent of the company's defenders will be starting to think that the current strategy is neither working nor defensible but, no doubt, there will be claims from certain people that I am being unreasonable and naive in the analysis on the basis that we should all just sit there and trust the strategy being employed by the company.
Some good points, DW. Whatever is going on, there is a lot that the company could be doing:
- AB could release a statement to explain whether there have been delays in the discussions or whether the discussions are still going on as planned. If there are delays, he can give his assessment of what the likely effect is going to be on timelines and profitability, as well as discussing the options for accessing funding (e.g. via the government) if the delays are lengthy.
- The company can produce a coronavirus strategy to explain how it is approaching the crisis, including with reference to staff safety and meetings with potential customers.
- Directors can offer to take a pay cut if the situation is serious.
- Directors can buy shares to show confidence, especially if there is no imminent news to prevent this due to delays.
Whatever the case, sitting there watching this unfold in silence is just not acceptable and the market has made that clear by knocking 35% off the share price this week whilst the FTSE has lost just 5%. Shareholders have a right to know whether there is justification for this drop (as there clearly has been for airlines, cinemas etc) and, if so, what the company is doing to address/mitigate this situation.
Without an update, the negativity will continue and any attempts to start even a small recovery will be sold into and/or shorted as is currently the case, especially as the markets continue to fall.
Chippyjo, as for your "FCI again you cast dispersions on my personal integrity with regard to legal obligation without any knowledge to base that on." People in glasshouses shouldn't throw stones and I note that you are still not following your own advice yet.
To all other, polite shareholders, I note that the FTSE is starting to recover and is almost back to where it started yesterday but time will tell if it is sustained. As for AFC, my sense is that there has been a pretty disgraceful shorter attack mixed in with genuine panic over the least couple of days and I really do feel that the company's decision to remain silent has been far from helpful. Hopefully, a combination of closed shorts, improved market sentiment and some belated reassurance from the company that recent events have not materially impacted AFC any more than many other companies should undo at least some of the recent damage.
Chippyjo, you are continuing to demonstrate that you are someone who I would most certainly not want to be in possession of personal details. As you sit there waging your keyboard warrior war, perhaps read your own post from last week and engage that grey matter!
"Guys, its a public BB get used to the fact that you are neither the policeman or sage here. If its against posting rules then report to LSE. Otherwise filter as appropriate. We (hopefully) all wish AFC to prosper and internal squabbles aren't helpful."
Chippyjo, you are an offensive individual and it is a great shame that you feel that you can behave the way that you do in the current climate. If nothing else, it shows that I was right to not join your shareholder club as I would not trust someone with your arrogance and delusion to hold any personal details. Good luck to all holders who entrusted you with their information.
In the meantime, I will continue to post my thoughts as I watch AFC fall 35% in a 2-day period when the market has fallen just 5%, and I will continue to ask for AB to clarify whether or not there is any justification for the disproportionate effect that the market turmoil is having on AFC, whether Chippyjo likes it or not!
Each drop in SP, strengthens the need to talk to the market and we are seeing plenty of those drops in SP without a peep from the company. Just a short blog press release or interview would be enough, whether the news is good, bad or ugly.
Chippyjo, you are unnecessarily rude and it speaks volumes about you not the company.
How long do you expect a CEO to sit in silence during a crisis? Are the CEOs of the companies that you mention sitting in silence or are they rightly talking to the market and dealing with their specific exposure and vulnerability? Yes, precisely!
I am simply asking AB to put his face out there and give his best assessment of how AFC is likely to be affected, something that he doesn't seem willing to do of his own volition.
Before you reply, please have some civility or , at least, wind your neck in.