TTSE: Demand up for TT Cement shares

Friday, 5th July 2013 | The level of trading on the Trinidad exchange amounted to 250,000 units valued at $12 million as 12 stocks changed hands with 7 increasing in price versus 2 declining.

Shares trading in reasonable quantity are Republic Bank with 91,064 shares for a value of $10,018,860, Trinidad Cement with a volume of 50,000 shares amounting $50,000, Scotia Investments with 19,378 shares with a value of $35,849, National Flour Mills 18,588 shares valued at $14,870 and West Indian Tobacco Company traded 5,000 shares with the price up by 22 cents to end the day at $117.25. Conversely, Clico Investment Fund was the only active security on the Mutual Fund Market, posting a volume of 36,820 shares valued at $828,450 and the stock price declined by $0.01 to end at $22.50.

Trinidad Cement traded 50,000 shares at a $1, up 5 cents and has a solid bid for 623,000 at $1 at the close.

One Caribbean Media traded at a 52 weeks high of $17.43 with 6,800 units trading with the price gaining 3 cents. Prestige Holdings lost 2 cents while trading 10,852 units at $9.35 each.

IC bid-offer Indicator | At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer market sentiment indicator shows that bids for 3 stocks were higher with 2 stocks having offers lower than their last selling price.

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WITCO profit up 20 percent

West Indian Tobacco reported profit of $115.4 million before tax for the three months ended March 2013, an increase of 18.4 percent over the corresponding period in 2012. Profit after tax for the quarter ended at $84.9 million, representing $1.01 per share, an increase of 19.6 percent over 2012 but is down on the December quarter’s figure. IC Insider estimates earnings to exceed last year’s figure and should end up around $4.40 for 2013.

While revenues climbed, the company was able to hold, or lower cost in the period. The cost of sales moved down by $1 million compared to March quarter 2012, as gross profit increased by $16 million and gross profit margin moved up to 73 percent from 70 percent in 2012. Distribution cost just barely inched up around $100,000 but administrative cost slipped slightly while other operating cost declined by $2 million to $14.5 million. The holding of expenses is quite a feat in a country where consumer prices rose by 7 percent since last year.

WITCO_Tobacco150x1502012 results | For the year to December 2012 the company reported $4.16 with the December quarter being $1.08 or $91 million which was up strongly from the $79 million earned in 2011. Revenues for 2012 increased by 10 percent to reach $1.1 billion up from $1 billion in 2011.

Finances | Witco’s equity stands at $309 million at the end of March with cash funds of $212 million. Current assets total $308 million and current liabilities $137 million and there is no interest bearing debt.

Dividend | The Board has accordingly approved the payment of a first interim dividend of $0.82 per ordinary share payable on 10 May 2013 to shareholders of record at close of business on 01 May 2013. Last year the company paid out 92 percent of its profit as dividends and the same is expected this year, which has been the norm for several years. The stock last traded at $117.25 and has a PE of 27 and the dividend yield around 3.4 percent much higher than long term rates in the twin island republic. The stock traded at $70.17 in early July last year and has gained 67 percent since then, well ahead of the movement in profits.

SSL uses IPO as fund raiser

[Press Release] Stocks & Securities Ltd is using a novel approach to raise funds for the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET). Read below to lear how voluntary donations can be made by applicants of the JamaicaStock Exchange IPO that opens today.

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US economy on the bounce

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Employment in the USA improved by about 195,000 jobs in June according to the Labour department, above expectations for 165,000. There were also positive revisions to previous months, though the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent.

The announcement this morning sent stock prices higher in the USA and resulted in a surge of the US dollar against the other major currencies as the data indicates continued recovery for the largest economy in the world and is bringing the time frame for the Federal Reserve to start cutting back on easy money much closer to hand.

The news is good for Caribbean countries that depend a great deal on the health of the US economy. For Jamaica it will be increasing earnings for the tourist sector going forward as more Americans feel financially empowered.

Immediately, the rate of exchange for the Pound and Canadian dollars should reflect the increase US dollar strength when the Forex rates are release by Bank of Jamaica later today.

FX: Rate changes mixed

Thursday, 4th July 2013 | The US dollar selling rate rose by 18 cents in Forex trading with the rate closing at 101.68 as buying took place at 12 cents less than on Wednesday at 100.63. US$15.66 million was purchased and selling took place for US$16.86 million.

There was more buying of pound and Canadian dollars than the amounts sold. Overall the equivalent of $19.05 million were purchased and US$19.6 million was sold on a day when buying rate for the Canadian dollar moved up 38 cents to $94.85 but the selling rates slipped by 17 cents to close at $96.59. The pound dropped by $1.38 buying and $1.07 selling.

The highest a lowest buying and selling rates also showed a mixed picture with the highest buying rates moving up 1 cent for the US dollar, $1.25 for the Canadian dollar and down $1.75 for the pound. There was no change for the lowest selling rates for the US and the Canadian dollars but the Pound put on $1.83. The highest selling rates were 53 cents up for the US dollar, no change for Canadian and $2.67 up for the Pound. The lowest selling rates were $15.25 down for the US dollar and 65 cents up for the Canadian dollar and 30 cents off for the Pound.

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JSE: What will happen Friday with the Lasco Splits?

Thursday, 4th July 2013 | One question on investors’ minds is what will be the market’s reaction to the 10 for 1 stock split of the three Lasco companies when trading starts on Friday with the new share structure. In today’s trading all three stocks pulled back in price from yesterday’s last traded prices. The other main issue will be the market’s reaction to the opening of the JSE IPO that opens on Friday as well.

In today’s activity, 30 stocks traded, or 50 percent more than yesterday, but the dollar value fell to $22.35 million as Cable & Wireless traded 2.65 million shares valued at only $371,427. The advance decline ratio was tilted in favour of declining stocks with 13 declining and only 7 advancing. A total of 5.6 million shares traded, as all the indices with movement, fell moderately.

Main Market | Trades of note include Carreras of which 60,000 shares traded between $54.01 and $56, the closing price. Jamaica Broilers gained 15 cents to close at $5.20, a 52 weeks high, with 606,510 units crossing hands. Jamaica Producers climbed to $19.50 up $1 while trading 134,000 units between $18.20 and the closing price. Mayberry, a stock investors should keep a keen eye on for price movement, traded 965,000 units at $2.60. Scotia Group traded 125,000 units and closed at $21.15. Scotia Investments traded up 25 cents as 12,000 units traded with the closing price at $26.50 still below the price in Trinidad of nearly $29.

jse_logo150x150Junior market | Of the 10 stocks traded on the junior market, only Caribbean Producers closed up and by just a cent, as 125,000 units traded. Lasco Distributors closed at $16.25 and 68,000 units trading the stock lost 35 cents. Lasco Finance lost 77 cents in closing at $12 as it traded between $12 and $13 with 158,000 units changing hands. Lasco Manufacturing traded at $16.30 at the close with 87,000 units trading between $16.26 and $16.50. The only other trade of note was 27,000 units of Access Financial Services which traded at $8.25.

Market intelligence | The bid for 2.6 million at 14 cents on Wednesday for Cable & Wireless was fully supplied in today’s trading at the bid price. Its removal exposes a bid for 1 million units at 12 cents while the amount on offer at 15 cents moves up to 30.4 million units at the end of trading. The next bid after the 1 million at 12 cents is at 11 cents for 9.76 million units. RJR still has a bid of $1.23 to buy 4.79 million shares, the supply seems to be drying up with the lowest offer which was at $1.89 at close on Wednesday shifted to 8,430 at $1.30 at Thursday’s close.  The next offer is at $1.89 with only 54,000 units in all on offer currently.

Carreras traded up to $56 as the offers are waning around the $56 level and the bids are rising with good support now at $53.50 and $53. Of interest, while Mayberry Investments put out a buy recommendation for Desnoes & Geddes, they have a sell order for 1 million units at $5.18 which is preventing the stock from moving up. At the same time, there are two bids for 500,000 units each at $4.67 as the only visible major bids. Grace Kennedy stock picked up in price recently and still has a 700,000 unit on offer at $61. Jamaica Producers have 20,000 shares on offer at $20, the next offer is at $28 with bids for about 200,000 units at $19 or more, an encouraging sign for early price appreciation. Kingston Wharves have very limited supply of under 60,000 units on offer but demand is not great either. Mayberry Investments stock still has one bid at $2.60 but there is no indications of great level of supply either. The strongest bid on Scotia Investments is at $26 for 221,000 but an offer of 6 million units at $30 may act as a short term barrier on the upside.

IC bid-offer Indicator | At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer market sentiment indicator shows that bids for 3 stocks were higher with 2 stocks having offers lower than their last selling price.

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TTSE: Unilever up $1.47

Thursday, 4th July 2013 | Unilever Caribbean stock gained $1.47 to end the day at $54.01, a 52 weeks high, as 1,000 shares valued at $54,000 traded. This stock was included in this week’s Stock to Watch list.

At the end of trading, 10 stocks traded with 3 advancing, 4 declined and 3 traded firm as a total of 198,330 shares crossed the floor of the exchange valued at $3,023,973 in the main market and 90,134 shares valued at $2,029,102 traded in the Mutual Fund Market.

Sagicor Financial Corporation saw 101,730 shares changing hands for a value of $635,808, Jamaica’s National Commercial Bank with 47,946 shares trading amounted to $57,535. ANSA McAL chipped in with 20,948 shares with a value of $1,407,308 and Guardian Holdings contributed 18,392 shares valued at $296,841. Clico Investment Fund, another stock in the watch list, suffered a 49 cents drop to close at $22.51.

IC bid-offer Indicator | At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer market sentiment indicator shows that bids for 3 stocks were higher with 3 stocks having offers lower than their last selling price.

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JSE: Insiders’ trading

Trade by insiders keep popping up — a development that investors should keep an eye on for buy or sell signals. When Mayberry insiders are buying, investors should pay keen attention as it usually means a big profit increase ahead. The same can’t be said about the others below, but pay attention to Consolidated Bakery.

  • A related party to Mayberry Investments Limited (MIL) has purchased 628,612 MIL shares between June 28, 2013 and July 3, 2013.
  • An Executive of Sagicor Life Jamaica sold 408,647 of the company’s shares on July 2, 2013
  • A director purchased 820,000 Consolidated Bakeries Jamaica Limited shares on June 28, 2013.
  • Scotia Group Jamaica Limited (SGJ) advised that sixteen senior employees will obtain a total of 182,763 SGJ shares which have matured by way of the Employee Share Ownership Plan.
  • A Jamaica Money Market Brokers Limited (JMMB) related party sold a total of 1,069,780 JMMB shares between June 25 and 26, 2013. Insiders have been making a few million share sales since the release of their March final year accounts.

Jamaican Teas expands property arm

Jamaican Teas Limited (JAMT) has advised that an agreement has been signed to purchase Orchid Estates in Yallahs, St. Thomas. The property comprises eleven acres and has been approved for the construction of 71 individual housing solutions. The total cost of the purchase is $63,000,000 and construction should commence during 2013 with the first units being delivered in 2014. The low-income scheme, which was at an advanced stage of development before the acquisition by H Mahfood & Sons, requires completion of some units which require roofs and internals fittings, the full build-out of other units plus road works.

The development will be undertaken by H Mahfood & Sons Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of JAMT.

The company successfully developed a 19 unit apartment complex at Kingsway in Kingston this year and the units should be handed over to prospective owners by the end of the company’s financial year in September.

Jamaican Teas reported profits of $51.2 million for the six months versus $43.2 million in the six months period of the prior year, an increase of 18.6 percent from improvement in sales of 44 percent to $528.2 million versus $365.9 million in the prior year.

Scotiabank wins Service Award

Press Release, 3rd July 2013 | Scotiabank Jamaica scored high marks to cop this year’s PSOJ/Jamaica Customer Service Association’s (JaCSA) Service Excellence Award. The Bank emerged as one of three large companies with top scores in leadership strategy and governance, service standards, the existence of a service charter and its deployment throughout the organisation. The awards were held recently, in Kingston.

Rosemarie Voordouw, Director Customer Experience stated that customer insights and feedback; people; technology & processes; and governance are the pillars of Scotiabank’s customer service strategy. The judges’ report acknowledged this focus, noting that the company demonstrates world class practices in its delivery of customer service throughout its branches and contact centre, and that rich Service Excellence systems were “alive and integrated into the fabric of the organisation”.

Scotiabnk_psoj trophy150x150The judges report also stated that “passion for service excellence is rife among leaders and other employees”. This shows up in Scotiabank’s practice of continuous customer feedback measurement which includes daily, monthly and quarterly monitoring via surveys. The survey results form the basis action planning to address service gaps. Scotiabank’s strategy of creating a team dedicated to monitoring customer service delivery, and the well-defined complaint resolution process, also came in for commendation by the PSOJ/JaCSA team the bank said.