Inflation drops again in Jamaica

The inflation rate declined further in January, according to data released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).
All Jamaica Consumer Price Index recorded a decline of 0.2 percent for January 2019, the Consumer Price Index compiled by Statin shows.The decline in January follows fall in November and December last year as well as declines for the first 5 months of 2018.
According to Statin, the movement was mainly attributable to a fall of 0.5 percent in the index for the heaviest weighted division Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, a 0.1 percent decline in the Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels division and a fall of 0.6 percent for the Transport division.
Prices trended downwards by 2.5 percent for the group Vegetables and Starchy Foods. Electricity, water and sewage rates fell and led to the groups Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services related to the Dwelling and Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels registering declines of 0.3 and 0.1 percent respectively. Lower costs for petrol resulted in the 0.6 percent fall recorded for Transport. Increased tuition fees contributed to the 1.5 per upward movement recorded for Education while the index for Miscellaneous Goods and Services went upwards by 0.3 per cent.
Inflation for the past twelve months comes out at 2.3 percent the fiscal year-to-date shows a 2.5 percent rise in prices, well down on the country’s central bank’s original forecast of 4 to 6 percent.

Everything Fresh picks up Meat company

Everything Fresh traded at $1.61 on Monday.

Everything Fresh completed the purchase and takeover of Meat Experts for a consideration of $50 million, the company reported to the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
The company expects to spend an additional $30 million for upgrades, the release stated. “Meat Experts is a widely integrated manufacturing operation located in Bog Walk, St. Catherine. It has its own abattoir, cutting, processing, packaging and cold storage facilities and logistics network. This acquisition will add several new products to the Everything Fresh lineup, promote the support of local livestock and produce farmers and reduce costs. Everything Fresh will be serving both its bulk and retail clients with additional products that will be launched under the Meat Experts and Everything Fresh brands. Everything Fresh continues to pursue other salient opportunities which exist,” the company stated.
The acquisition provides diversification for Everything Fresh that was previously a purely a distributor of edible goods including fruits and meats.

Everything Fresh two major owners and directors, Mr. & Mrs. Pullen.


Everything Fresh is listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, with the stock closing at $1.61 on Monday.
The suffered a reduction in revenues in the September 2018 quarter from $450 million to $422 million but the nine months period enjoyed a rise from $1.365 billion to $1.39 billion. A loss of $17.5 million was realized in the September quarter versus a profit of $11 before tax in 2017 and for the nine months, profit declined to $27 million before tax from $35 million in 2017. The acquisition could add between $20 to $30 million in profit for the group, based on the capital involved in acquisition and the upgrade to take place.

Big leap in BUY RATED Wisynco profit

Profit at Wisynco attributable to shareholders, rose a strong 36 percent to $776 million for the December quarter and 30 percent for the half year, to $1.54 billion.
Profit for the period would have been even better had the company not picked up a foreign exchange loss of $128 million in the December quarter. Profit before Taxation increased 24 percent to $942 million over the $760 million realized in 2017. The company earned of 21 cents per share for the quarter and 41 cents per share for the six months.
Revenues for the December quarter rose 16 percent to $7.1 billion over the $6.1 billion achieved in the corresponding quarter of 2017, while revenues rose 14 percent to $13.9 billion in the half year period.
Gross profit increased 18.3 percent, to $2.8 billion over the $2.4 billion achieved in the same quarter of 2017, for the half-year gross profit grew 18 percent to $5.4 billion. The company is eking out greater operational efficiencies with gross profit margin of 39.8 percent bettering the 39 percent for the 2017 second quarter. For the six months, gross profit margin grew to 38.8 percent from just 37.4 percent in 2017.

Sugar canes from which sugar is made.

Selling and distribution cost rose at a much slower pace than revenues, with a 12 percent increase for the quarter to $1.47 billion and 11 percent for the half year to $2.94 billion. Administrative Expenses increased 21 percent for the quarter to $284 million and grew by a sharp 79 percent to $544 million for the six months.
“Sales of Worthy Park spirit brands which include Rum-Bar Rums, Rum Cream and Vodka, commenced in November. The distribution of the Worthy Park packaged sugar commenced at the beginning of January,” Wisynco stated. The expanded products range, will lead to increased sales and profit, this fiscal year.
The company closed out the calendar year, with healthy looking financials, with just under $10 billion in equity capital, borrowing of $2.3 billion, cash funds of $3.63 billion and net current assets at $5 billion.
Wisynco is an IC Insider.com BUY RATED stock with the potential to earn around $1.10 per share in 2019 and $1.55 for the next fiscal year that starts in July, with the stock price hitting at least $15 by the end of this year.  Usally reliable reports is suggesting that the company could land the distribution rights for another major local brand that would ahve a big impact on revenues and sales. The stock traded on the Main Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at the close on Friday at $10.40 for a PE of less than 10 times this year earnings compared with an average of 16 based on earnings for the market at the end of 2018.

Twice a year dividend for Wisynco

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Shareholders at Wisynco 2018 AGM.

Wisynco declared a dividend of 7 cents per share payable on February 26, 2019 to shareholders on record at February 12, 2019.
The company in its report to shareholders accompanying the half results, states, that “going forward dividends will be declared semi-annually, with the first interim dividend being in January and the final dividend in July of each year.”
Wisynco reported a 36 percent rise in net profit for the December quarter to $776 million and 30 percent for the half year to $1.54 billion.

JSE main market drops – Thursday

Trading picked up over that on Wednesday on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange ended on Thursday with JSE All Jamaican Composite Index falling by 1,009.17 points to 407,175.49 and the JSE Index declining by 918.47 points to 370,989.95.
Main market activity ended with, 4,986,769 units valued at $74,552,633, in contrast with 2,541,810 units valued at $57,485,785 on Wednesday.
The main and US markets traded a total of 31 securities, with prices of 13 rising, 9 declining with 9 remaining unchanged, compared to 34 securities trading on Wednesday.
JMMB Group 7.5% preference share led trading with 2,001,000 units for 40 percent of the day’s volume, followed by Jamaica Broilers with 1,531,165 shares and accounting for 21 percent of the total main market volume changing hands and Wisynco Group with 589,188 stock units for 12 percent of the day’s volume.
IC bid-offer Indicator|The Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator ended with the reading showing 9 stocks ending with bids higher than their last selling prices and 5 closing with lower offers.
An average of 184,695 units valued at $2,761,209, in contrast to 42,483 units valued at $1,358,497 on Wednesday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 523,805 units valued $16,891,062 and previously, 523,805 units valued $16,891,062. Trading for January resulted in an average of 101,980 units, valued at $3,042,494, for each security traded.
In main market activity, Barita Investments fell $1.52 to close at $49.48, with 5,691 shares changing hands, Caribbean Cement shed 95 cents to finish at $42.05, trading 15,476 shares, Jamaica Broilers dropped $3.51 in trading of 1,531,165 units, to close at $29. Jamaica Stock Exchange closed trading with 35,508 units changing hands, with a rise of 45 cents to a record close of $13.95. JMMB Group concluded trading with 12,319 shares but rose 80 cents to $32.80, Kingston Wharves lost $1.10 and settled at $68.90, with 6,557 units changing hands, 138 Student Living rose 41 cents to $3.40, in trading 1,000 units, PanJam Investment rose $1 to end at $75 with 11,974 units changing hands. Sagicor Group fell by 20 cents in trading 30,407 stock units, to close at $38.55, Scotia Group climbed $2.94 and finished trading of 59,319 shares at $53.99 and Seprod lose $1.41 to end at $34.92 with an exchange of 13,581 shares.
Trading in the US dollar market resulted in 10,022 units valued at US$4,728 changing hands. JMMB Group 6% preference share concluded trading with a gain of 2 cents to settle at $1.06 with 950 units, JMMB Group 5.75% preference share finished with a rise of 1 cent to $2 with 486 shares trading, JMMB Group 5.5% preference share settled ended at $2 with 486 shares and Proven Investments traded 8,100 units and rose 1 cent to close at 22 US cents. The JSE USD Equities Index was unchanged at the close at 169.42.

JSE trading volume drops 95% on Tuesday

The main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange major indices roseat the close on Tuesday, but with sharply lower volume that dropped 95 percent from Monday’s levels.
Main market activity ended with just 1,062,072 units valued at over $33,962,415, in contrast with 22,820,352 units valued at $1,138,660,815 on Monday.
At the close, the All Jamaican Composite Index advanced by 335.04 points to end at 406,501.02 and the JSE Index gained 304.93 points to close at 370,376.09.
The main and US markets traded a total of 29 securities, with prices of 9 rising, 11 declining with 9 remaining unchanged, compared to 32 securities trading on Monday.
Scotia Group led trading with 216,870 units for 24 percent of the day’s volume, followed by Mayberry Jamaican Equities with 140,980 units and accounting for 22 percent of the total main market volume changing hands and Supreme Ventures with just 86,305 units for 8 percent of the day’s volume.
IC bid-offer Indicator|The Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator ended with the reading showing 9 stocks ending with bids higher than their last selling prices and 3 closing with lower offers.
An average of 42,483 units valued at $1,358,497, in contrast to 786,909 shares valued at $39,264,166 on Monday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 684,936 units valued at  $22,375,029 and previously 952,625 units valued at $31,131,917. Trading for January resulted in an average of 101,980 units valued at $3,042,494, for each security traded.
In main market activity, Jamaica Broilers jumped $3 to finish trading of 66,896 units at $33, Jamaica Producers lost $1 to close at $22, with 12,548 shares changing hands, Jamaica Stock Exchange closed trading with 62,328 units changing hands with a rise of 35 cents to $13, JMMB Group fell 50 cents to close at $32, trading 10,248 shares. Kingston Wharves gained 80 cents and settled at $70.00, with 3,678 units changing hands, Sagicor Group fell 99 cents trading 53,111 stock units, to close at $39, Salada Foods jumped $1.25 to $39.25 in trading 1,067 units. Scotia Group lost 97 cents and finished trading of 216,870 shares at $53 and Seprod rose $1.48 cents to end at $34.50 with an exchange of 20,208 shares.
Trading in the US dollar market resulted in 236,650 units valued at $83,993 changing hands. JMMB 5.75% preference share traded 5,000 units and lost 1 cent to end at a 52 weeks’ low of US$1.99, JMMB 6% preference share concluded trading of 52,960 units at US$1.04, Proven Investments traded 26,040 units and rose 1 cent to close at 22 US cents and Sygnus Credit Investments closed trading of 152,650 units to close at 9 US cents. The JSE USD Equities Index advanced 3.46 points to close at 169.09.

NCB hikes dividend 29%

NCB hiked dividend to 90 cents from 70 cents in 2018.

NCB Financial hikes dividend 29 percent, to $2.2 billion or 90 cents per share, as profit from ongoing operations jumped 40 percent in the first quarter to December last year to $5.7 million before taxation.
Profit after taxation and one-time gains, resulted in net profit of $7.4 billion for the first quarter of the 2019 financial year, slightly lower than the prior year’s results that included a gain (negative goodwill) of $4.4 billion relating to the acquisition of Clarien Group. Profit for the latest quarter, includes a gain of $3.3 billion from the disposal of 326,277,325 JMMB Group shares at $28.25 per share.
The strong improved results climbed on the back of 24 percent in net income, to $20.7 billion from $16.7 billion in 2017, offset by a 21 percent increase in expenses. Included in expenses is loan loss provision of $1, up from just $146 million in 2017 and seems tied to the need to adjust loan provisioning in line with new Accounting Standards. Depreciation and amortization cost almost doubled to $1.3 billion, from $667 million in 2017. Other operating expenses jumped 29 percent to $6 billion from $4.7 billion in the prior year. The big improvement in revenues flowed from increases in net interest income from $7.55 billion to $9.85 billion, an increase of 30 percent, while exchange trading delivered a third more, at $4.2 billion.
Retail and Small Business Banking segment profit grew a strong 36 percent to $1.34 billion, but Payment Services fell just 2 percent to $1.2 billion. Corporate Banking jumped sharply by 76 percent to $1.25 billion, Treasury and Correspondent Banking was up by just 14 percent to $1.65 billion. Wealth, Asset Management and Investment Banking, grew attractively by 39 percent to $1.2 billion, Life Insurance & Pension Fund Management rose 29 percent to $1.3 billion while General Insurance moved from a loss of $107 million to a profit of $227 million.

NCB giving back to the community.


The Group’s loans and advances, net of provision for credit losses, rose 16 percent to $373.5 billion. NCB stated that “the growth was driven by our Jamaican that increased by 22 percent or $50.4 billion. Non-performing loans totalled $18.5 billion as at December 2018 (December 2017: $15 billion) and represented 4.9 percent of the gross loans compared to 4.6 percent as at December 2017.”  Customer deposits grew just 7 percent to $461 billion. The varied growth rate between loans and deposit is a strong positive for profit as the revenues climb faster than cost.
The group re-launched a revised take-over to acquire up to 32.01 percent of the outstanding shares of Guardian Holdings which, when combined with NCB’s existing 29.99 percent holding will bring the total to 62 percent. The profit of the group will get a further boost from this acquisition. IC Insider.com has updated the earnings per share for 2019 to $14 from continuing operations and with the stock price at $145, the PE is just over 10 times earning making the stock BUY RATED with a 2019 target price of $225.

JSE – directors cannot override AGM decision

Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay.

Palace Amusement shareholders approved a dividend of $2 per shares at the annual general meeting held in December last year with the record date of January 7 and payment to be made on January 18.
IC insider.com was informed that the Jamaica Stock Exchange stopped the payment. In discussion with the JSE they indicated that the company did not comply with the rules of the exchange to inform them of the dividend. Accordingly, the change in dividend payment was to allow for the public to have notice of the ex-dividend date.
That of course is only partially true, while the company did not advise the exchange when the directors were to meet to approve the dividend and what was the outcome of the meeting. The exchange had adequate notice of the payment from October 31. The exchange JSE staff did nothing about the information that they got and approved for posting on their website.
The company’s directors’ report clearly states that the dividend had an xd dividend date of January 4 with the payment to be made on January 18. The annual report was posted on the JSE website from October. The directors, report along with the audited report were put to the meeting for acceptance which was done.

Andre Tulloch, head of the JSE regulatory arm.

Shareholders after approving the directors’ report, approved the resolution for the payment of the dividend, effectively agreeing to ex dividend and payment dates as set out in the directors report.
In the wisdom of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, they ignored the supremacy of the AGM and forced the company to submit information to change all the dates relating to the dividend. They failed to understand that the directors have no powers to change what the shareholders approved, and if a change is to be made, then the directors would need to call a general meeting to get shareholders to make the change. The correct remedy would have been some reprimand not a call for a non-legal action.
The requirements of the JSE is that any meeting at which a dividend is to be consider should be communicated to the JSE no later than 7 days before the date of the meeting and within 48 days of the meeting the decision taken. This was not done by Palace, but the JSE who had notice of the declaration from the end of October, did nothing about it for more than two months.
On 17 January, a posting on the JSE website showed that the record date was changed to January 31. The posting stated the “Palace Amusement (PAL)  has advised that following decision made at their Annual General Meeting in December 2018, to pay a dividend of $2 per stock, the payment will be made on February 8, 2019, to the shareholders on record as at January 31, 2019,  The ex-dividend date is January 30, 2019.”
The added problem is that shares were traded in January after the xd date of January 4. The seller would have expected to collect the dividend that was approved. It also means that cheques already drawn, may have to be redone, to record the new record date.
The JSE has clearly, made a huge error in this matter and should immediately correct it, to prevent a messy situation from getting worse. You cannot correct a wrong by another wrong.

Barita rights issue closes in March

Barita Investments – 2018 best performing JSE stock.

Barita Investments held an Extraordinary General Meeting on January 17, 2019 and passed the Resolution to issue up to 262,280,484 ordinary shares as a Rights Issue to Stockholders and gave the power to the directors to set the other terms.
Subsequent to the meeting, the directors agreed the terms of the issue with offer opening on February 25 and closing on March 18 to shareholders on record at February 5 at a price of J$15.50 per share. Shareholders will be entitled to ten shares for every seventeen shares owned on the record date. Shares not taken up by existing shareholders will be available to other shareholders who apply for excess shares. The deadline for applications for any excess shares is March 25.
Barita’s stock has been trading in the $50 region for sometime, spurred partially by announcement of the rights issue plus other positive developments for the company, including new business.
Barita’s share was the best performing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange in 2018, with gains of 593 percent.

Fall again for JSE main market – Thursday

Trading on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Thursday, resulted in another day of moderate fall in the two main indices, but market volume and value increased over that of Wednesday.
At the close, the All Jamaican Composite Index dropped 1,118.62 points to close at 407,309.91 and the JSE Index declining by 1,018.09 points to end at 371,112.27.
Market activity ended with 5,588,296 units valued at $115,025,442 compared to 2,621,751 units valued at $79,656,335 changing hands, on Wednesday.
JMMB Group led trading with 2,084,124 units for 37 percent of the day’s volume, followed by Pulse Investments with 986,375 units accounting for 17.7 percent of the volume changing hands and JMMB Group 7.50% with 400,000 units and 7 percent of the day’s volume.
The main and US dollar markets, had 36 securities changing hands, with prices of 13 rising, 10 declining with 13 remaining unchanged, compared to the same number of securities trading on Wednesday.
IC bid-offer Indicator|The Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator suggest that the market could enjoy strong gains on Thursday with the reading showing 8 stocks ending with bids higher than their last selling prices and 5 closing with lower offers.
An average of 169,342 units valued at $3,485,619, in contrast to 79,768 units valued at over $1,781,160 on Wednesday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts 70,913 units valued at $1,992,151 compared to 61,632 units valued at $1,838,617, previously. Trading for December ended, with an average of 835,037 units with a value of $25,906,477, for each security traded.
In main market activity, Barita Investments lost $1 to close at $51, trading 15,748 shares, Caribbean Cement finished trading 29,100 shares to close at $40, Eppley added $1 and settled at $10, with 5,848 shares trading, Grace Kennedy fell $2.90 in trading 23,247 shares at $56.10, Jamaica Broilers traded 56,842 stock units and rose $1 to $29. JMMB Group concluded trading of 2,084,124 shares but lost $3 to close at $29, Kingston Properties shed 30 cents to finish at $6.20, with 350 stock units, NCB Financial Group lost $1.25 in trading 138,873 shares to close at $143.75, PanJam Investment gained 50 cents to close at $71,50, with 24,178 units changing hands. Pulse Investments rose 34 cents and concluded trading of 986,375 shares at $3.50, Sagicor Group fell 90 cents to settle at $39, in trading of 17,250 shares, Sagicor Real Estate Fund ended trading rose 48 cents trading 13,000 shares to close at $10.60, Scotia Group traded 99,524 shares after rising $1.01 to close at $55. Sterling Investments lost 36 cents and ended at $3.70, with an exchange of 38,070 shares and Supreme Ventures rose 50 cents and concluded trading at $20, with 119,504 stock units changing hands.
Trading in the US dollar market resulted in 32,240 units valued at $12,360 units. Preference share, JMMB Group 5.75% settled at US$2 with 4,867 shares trading. Proven Investments ended trading of 3,099 units at 21.9 US cents Sygnus Credit Investments fell 0.015 cent to end at 0.75 US cents trading 24,274 shares. The JSE USD Equities Index declined by 0.83 points to close at 165.87.