Food on the Move: Three is the magic number

By Frank Buhagiar on Monday 26 September 2022

Food on the Move: Three is the magic number
Image source: Food on the Move: Three is the magic number

FFF’s weekly roundup of listed FoodTech’s movers & shakers

Three primary colours; three course meals; three leaf clovers – lots of things come in threes.  To the list can be added the number of risers in the listed FoodTech space over the course of the week ended 23 September 2022.  Yes three!  That means at 45, fallers outnumbered risers by a multiple of 15 times.  Tough week for listed FoodTech then.

Every cloud has a silver lining though and, in this case, it does at least make it possible to cover all the week’s risers.  Top of the list was AgroFresh Solutions (AGFS).  Only news out was an announcement confirming the AgTech’s presence at the upcoming Fruit Attraction international trade show in Madrid.  Here, AGFS will be showcasing “its wide range of innovative freshness solutions”. Must be some show because the shares closed up 9.5% at US$1.61.

Next up, with a gain of 2.8%, was Green Earth Institute (TKS:9212).  No new news out from the biofuel producer so no earthly reason, at least one that this writer can find, for the shares to finish up on the week at 699 yen.

Final riser on the list with the smallest of gains (0.79%) was Olo (OLO) but, hey, a gain is a gain.  No company press releases, however, shares in the SaaS platform for restaurants could still be benefiting from the 7 September announcement of a US$100million share repurchase programme.  Always helps to have a US$100m buyer out there…

As for the fallers, bottom of the list was Calyxt (CLXT) which finished the week down a third at US$0.166. Shares in the plant-based synthetic biology company reacted badly to the news that “…its Board of Directors is evaluating potential strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.” Furthermore, “There can be no assurance that the evaluation of strategic alternatives will result in any strategic alternative, or any assurance as to its outcome or timing.” Seems a number of shareholders weren’t prepared to wait for any kind of ‘outcome’.

Elsewhere, Ocado (OCDO) shed 17.5%, adding to last week’s losses that were triggered by a disappointing trading update.  And this was despite Apple III Limited, a company fully-owned by a trust in which independent non-executive director Jörn Rausing is a “discretionary beneficiary”, bought £7.4mn-worth of shares in the online grocer.  Not enough to soak up those sellers who may have followed HSBC’s advice to sell the shares after the bank’s analysts downgraded their recommendation on the stock to reduce.

Finally, Steakholder Foods (STKH) finished the week down 27% at US$2.34.  No company announcements but FFF recently caught up with STKH CEO Arik Kaufman who provided a comprehensive run through of the company, its achievements to date and the challenges the cultured meat sector still needs to overcome before meat grown in labs can find its way onto consumers’ plates.  The podcast, ‘Episode 13: Steakholder foods’ secret sauce’, was published on Friday 23 September, too late to stem share price losses already racked up, but there’s always next week…