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Displays technology developer is back in favour but there are reasons to be wary
Thursday 22 Feb 2018 Author: Steven Frazer

Shares in cadmium-free quantum dot technology developer Nanoco (NANO) are on the move as the company signs a commercial supply agreement with a large US electronics manufacturer.

The news excited investors to chase the stock from 23.55p to heights of 44.35p, before easing back to the current 39.4p. But Shares believes that investors need to tread carefully. This may be the company's first actual supply deal for its cadmium-free quantum dot technology but Nanoco has had major licensing agreements to use the technology in place since 2014 (with Dow Chemical), with a second major agreement with Merck coming in 2016.

Yet meaningful revenue remains stubbornly elusive. Revenue in the year to 31 July 2017 barely topped £1.3m and was dwarfed by operating losses of £10.9m.

While the latest contract is welcome news, Nanoco has been seemingly on the cusp of a major financial breakthrough for years. Estimates for 2017 published by the company’s broker Peel Hunt in November 2016 suggested £7.8m of 2017 sales, rising to £21.9m in 2018.

Those estimates proved wildly optimistic with 2018 revenues now anticipated at £7.5m, demonstrating how long it takes for commercialisation to find scale.

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