BioProgress Gains Ground on Talk Big Seller Has Gone

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Byline: MICKEY CLARK

SHARES in BioProgress are showing signs of a revival after a spell in the doldrums, which is good news for what is traditionally one of the most heavily traded stocks on AIM.

To describe BioProgress, which rallied 101/4p to 753/4p yesterday, as a small company is disingenuous because it boasts a stock market value of almost [pounds sterling]90 million and enjoys a quote on Nasdaq in New York. But in City terms, anything less than [pounds sterling]100 million is considered a tiddler these days.

It has been a helter-skelter ride for the group's shareholders in the past year, the price dropping from a peak of 1473/4p in March to a low of 563/4p in July. It then rallied to 130p in October before falling back to 621/4p last month.

BioProgress has many interests, ranging from vegetarian alternatives to gelatine pill coatings, biodegradable nappies and colostomy bags. Bulls of the company have been on the back foot of late, saying a big seller of the stock has been thwarting them. More than five million shares changed hands yesterday amid whispers that the seller had finally been cleared out of the market.

Now hopes are high the shares can climb back above the 110p they were floated at two years ago.

A big seller has been cleared out in Biotrace International, lifting the price just shy of 100p. Broker to the company Evolution Beeson Gregory handled the sale of 3.12 million shares at 90p. A line of 3.58 million later went through at the same level.

Shares of recruitment specialist Whitehead Mann slumped again to a record low, stretching the twoday loss to 381/2p and valuing the company at just [pounds sterling]13 million. Less than a year ago, its market value was almost [pounds sterling]100 million.

Numis Securities remains bearish about the outlook following the group's second profits warning in four months. …