Why are these two shares so hot today?

It’s a very quiet day for company news, but here’s a couple of big risers you might want to think about over the weekend.

A nice four-bagger

Shares in Sound Energy (LSE: SOU) had soared by 380% to 78.75p between 29 June and close of play on Thursday, though that does include a fall-back from a peak of 102p. It’s mostly down to the company’s Tendrara licence in Morocco, with confirmation of a “significant gas discovery” coming in August.

Today we’ve seen the shares gain 6% to 83.5p, on the news that the firm has renegotiated its acquisition of another three gas permits in Morocco (the ‘Sidi Moktar Licences’) from PetroMaroc Corporation. The acquisition was agreed in March, but the rising price of Sound Energy shares has meant the two sides want to “ensure that their respective interests are protected in a reasonable and fair manner.

Now, any sale of the 21,258,008 new Sound Energy ordinary shares to be issued to PetroMaroc as consideration for the acquisition will result in any proceeds above 50p per share being split between the two companies (with PetroMaroc pocketing the first 50p).

But are the shares still worth buying now? Sound Energy is an upstream explorer and has been running at a loss for some years. But liquidity doesn’t seem to be a problem, with $27m in cash on the books at 31 August. On top of that, analysts are forecasting a profit in 2017. It’s only a modest one, which would put the shares on a P/E of 120, but a profit nonetheless.

It’s risky, but possibly less so than others that have no profits forecast yet, and future growth could quickly turn that P/E around.

New boss, same as…?

A million Sports Direct International (LSE: SPD) shares changed hands in the first hour-and-a-half of trading this morning, with the price quickly pushed up 7% to 307p, after news broke of the resignation of chief executive Dave Forsey.

Sports Direct has been under pressure over working practices, with MPs describing the management of the firm’s Shirebrook warehouse as more like “a Victorian workhouse than that of a modern High Street retailer.” Zero-hours contracts, lengthy body search delays leading to less than minimum-wage pay — it’s all been big news and has put pressure on the company’s shares, which had fallen by 48% so far this year before today’s pickup.

Mr Forsey has stood down after 32 years at the helm, although independent shareholders had been calling for the head of chairman Keith Hellawell, and he’s been replaced by founder and major shareholder Mike Ashley. Will this be enough to stem the shareholder revolt, and are the shares are worth buying now?

Whether you think Mr Ashley will make a better CEO (and I have my doubts), even a cosmetic change in top management can be all it needs. It gives people the chance to place all of a company’s woes at the feet of the outgoing regime, and provides breathing space for the new boss to be seen to put things right, regardless of who was actually to blame for the problems.

As for the shares, they’re probably reasonable value on a forward P/E of 12, but they don’t pay any dividends and I see better bargains elsewhere.

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