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Why Are Lonmin Plc, Oxford BioMedica plc & Bango plc Among Today’s Biggest Gainers?

Shares in Lonmin (LSE: LMI) have soared by over 5% today after the mining company announced the appointment of a new CFO. Barrie van der Merwe will take over on 17 May and the market seems to have welcomed this prompt decision by the company following the resignation of Simon Scott.

Clearly, this is a time of major change for Lonmin as it seeks to implement an updated strategy in response to exceptionally difficult trading conditions. As part of this, it is restructuring its business and also seeking to cut costs; both of which are likely to have a positive impact on Lonmin’s bottom line over the medium to long term. And with Lonmin having the capital through which to effect its new plan following last year’s fundraising, its future seems to be brighter than it was just a handful of months ago.

This increased confidence plus a more stable commodity price environment has led to a rise in Lonmin’s share price of 99% since the turn of the year. This rapid increase could continue, although Lonmin remains a relatively high risk play and may only be of interest to less risk averse investors.

Also rising today are shares in Oxford BioMedica (LSE: OXB), with them being up over 11% despite no significant news flow having been released by the company today. In fact, the gene therapy specialist has not released an update since 7 March when it announced a new and expanded collaboration with Immune Design Corp. Since then its shares have fallen by around 6% but looking ahead, the company has clear potential to deliver profitability.

The challenge for investors, though, is that profitability may still be a long way off. And in the meantime Oxford BioMedica is in a cash burn phase which could require further fundraisings following its £8.1m placing in February. As such, and while Oxford BioMedica has a bright long term future in a very appealing space, it may only be worth a closer look for less risk averse investors.

Meanwhile, shares in mobile payments company Bango (LSE: BGO) have risen by 12% today despite a lack of news flow. Despite this, its shares have still fallen by 60% since the turn of the year even though Bango’s full-year results have showed that it is making progress. For example, it experienced significant growth in end user spend, with the company also doubling the rate of spending through the Bango payment platform. And with a stable cost base, it seems to be well-positioned to move towards profitability.

Of course, the market seems to be somewhat downbeat on Bango’s prospects judging by its recent share price fall. While today’s upward movement could indicate a change in sentiment, it may be prudent to await confirmation of this over the medium term before piling in.

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Peter Stephens has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.