One time cost hits Broilers Q2 profit

Jamaica Broilers recorded profits attributable to stockholders of $230 million or 22.42 cents per stock unit for the October 2018 quarter, down sharply by 48 percent from $446 million generated in the same period in 2017.
The major contributor to the decline was as a result of foreign exchange losses of $231 million.
For the half year to October net profit fell moderately to $644 million compared to $658 million for the similar period in 2017. Sales revenue for the quarter amounted to $13.6 billion, an 18 percent increase over the $11.5 billion generated in the corresponding quarter of the previous year and rose 12 percent to $25.7 billion in the six months to October from $23 million in 2017.
Gross profit inched up by just 3 percent for the quarter to $3 billion, compared to $2.96 billion in the previous year and climbed 10 percent from $5.63 billion to $6.22 billion for the six months to October. Gross profit margin collapsed in the quarter to 22.4 percent from 25.7 percent in 2017 while year to date, it came in slightly lower than the 24.5 percent in 2017 at 24.2 percent.
Jamaica Operations reported segment result of $1.35 billion, 28.4 percent above last year’s $1.05 billion. The directors attribute the improvement to increased poultry sales which was up 7 percent to $17.2 billion and enhanced inventory management. Revenue for increased by 24 percent over the prior year to $7.38 billion. “The increase was driven by increased sales of main products – fertile eggs and baby chicks, as well as, feed sales from the acquired feed mill”, Management stated.  US Operations reported a segment result of $666 million, down slightly from $674 million for the 2017. The “decrease

Christopher Levy – Jamaica Broilers President and Chief Executive.

was primarily attributable to one-off staff cost elements and acquisition costs related to the recent feed mill purchase; these cost elements are not expected to recur”, the directors stated. Haitian Operations increased market share of table eggs to 34 percent, compared to 31 percent of the market at the end of the second quarter last year. Revenue for the Haitian Operations increased13.4 percent over the prior year but the segment result drifted down moderately to $85 million from $86 million in 2017.
The Other Caribbean Operations reported segment results of $1.23 billion an increase of $1 billion over the corresponding quarter of 2017, mainly due to the net results of the JBGL Stockholders Nominee, driven by the unrealised fair value gains and eliminated on consolidation of the Group.
Distribution costs, increased 16 percent for the quarter to $482 million and 7 percent for the six months to $918 million. Administrative cost grew by just 5 percent in the quarter to $1.94 billion and 13 percent for the half year to $4.2 billion. The results also include the operating expenses of the new hatchery in Pennsylvania and the costs associated with the formation of the Shareholders’ Trust – these costs were not in last year’s comparative results.
IC Insider.com projects earnings is $2.30 for the current fiscal year to April and $3 for 2020.The stock is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange and trades at $29.50 for a PE of 15.6 times current year’s estimated earnings, with a premium of 127 percent net book value per share and seems to be fairly valued, currently.
Shareholders’ equity stands at $12.9 billion with borrowed funds at $12.8 billion and cash and investments of $3.9 billion. Current assets total $20.66 billion verusus current liabilities of $14.45 billion.

Blue Power profit jumped 55%

Sales at Blue Power for the half year of its 2019 fiscal year to October, increased 13 percent to $862 million from $761 million for the same period in 2017, while sales for the second quarter to October were up nearly 12 percent to $426 million from $381 million for the same period in 2017.
Profits for the six months grew 55 percent to $87 million, from $56 million in the same period last year. For the second quarter profit after tax jumped 52 percent to $26.6 million from $17.5 million in 2017 in spite of picking up foreign exchange losses in the current period. Earnings per stock rose from 10 cents to 15.4 cents for the half year.
Lumber Depot sales rose 9 percent from $544 million to $592 million and the Blue Power division increased 25 percent from $217 million to $270 million for the six months
The Lumber Depot contributed $38 million before tax compared to $32 million in 2017 while Soap Division jumped to $61 million from $2 million in 2017.
Net finance cost was $9.5 million compared to $2.7 million for the quarter and for the six months it was a net inflow of $13 million in 2018 and was flat for the 2017 period.
For the half year, “exports sales of soap accounted for 24 percent of overall soap sales,” Noel Dawes, Managing Director told shareholders, in a report accompanying the financials. He further stated that “sales in the Caribbean market continue to be brisk as greater interest, acceptance and satisfaction of our product range materialize. The increase in export sales over the same quarter in the previous year was 64 percent from $47 million to $77 million.”
The company should earn around 30 cents per share for the current fiscal year and close to 40 cents for the next fiscal year ending April 2020. The stock trades at $5.45 at a PE ratio of 18 times estimated current year’s earnings.
Blue Power has investments and cash funds amounting to $247 million, with current assets of $655 million versus current liabilities of just $131 million and shareholders equity of $839 million.

Scotia Group stuck in neutral

Investors could find themselves in shark infested waters if they are not careful with the prices of several stocks now at very high levels. Investors need to be careful of being sucked into attractive profit results that are not based on sustainable earnings.
A case in point is Scotia Group. In the July quarter the interim results showed a big jump in profits, but that was based on an unsustainable rise in foreign exchange earnings due to the slippage of the Jamaican dollar, resulting in nearly $2 billion raked in for the quarter. For the October quarter only $396 million is reported for that line item, but the year shows a big jump from $2.5 billion to $4 billion. Net interest income is on the slide, falling from $26.64 billion in 2017 to $25.2 billion in 2018 and in the quarter the decline continues with October falling to $6.1 billion from $6.3 billion in July and $6.7 billion in the October quarter in 2017. While loan provisioning is down, year over year to October, to $1.9 billion from $2.2 billion it rose in the final quarter to $744 million from $695 in 2017 and $620 million in July this year. Net fee income has been steady for the various quarters at just over $2 billion but fell in the fiscal 2018 year to $8.1 billion from $8.6 billion.
Operating expenses rose to $5.74 billion in the October quarter from $5.1 in July and $5.18 billion for the 2017 final quarter. For the full year operating expenses rose to $22 billion from $21.3 billion. The group had a gain on disposal of a subsidiary of $753 million which saved profit from falling for the latest year with a rise to $12.78 billion from $12.17 billion in 2017. For the quarter, profit dropped to just $1.6 billion from $3.36 billion in 2017.
Importantly, the loan portfolio that rose strongly in the July quarter to $177 billion is up at a slower pace of 3.2 percent to $183 billion, an annual pace of 13 percent, but it needs to increase further to really deliver a reasonable increase in profit going forward.
The stock closed at $54.05 on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Thursday, but its recent profit performance does not send very encouraging signals to buy.

Barita directors to consider rights issue

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Barita Investments advised the Jamaica Stock Exchange that a meeting of the Board of Directors will be held on December 13, 2018, at which the consideration of rights issue of the ordinary shares of the company is being considered.
IC Insider.com, has been reliably informed that a large portion of the recent $5 billion bond issue that was raised by Conerstone Investments Holdings the new majority Barita Investment shareholder is earmarked for the rights issue.
The company will need to call an extraordinary meeting of shareholders to get shareholders approval for the rights, it is therefore unlikely that if approved by the directors it will take effect until late January 2019 at best.

New Elite branch now in black

Elite Diagnostics accounted for 31.7M of Wednesday’s Junior Market trading.

Elite Diagnostic lost money at the Liguanea branch in the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year but the CEO Warren Chung told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting held at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Wednesday, that October and November were two very good months at the branch.
The audited financial report on the fiscal year to June 2018 show revenues of $297 million compared to $263 million in 2017 resulting in profit of $45 million after tax credit of $9 million and $44 million in 2017 after tax expense of $15 million.
Liguanea has moved from a loss into profit and will not be a drag on profit from the original operation from now, the CEO confirmed.  Data for the first quarter shows profit before tax dipped sharply from $14 million to $1.8 million the direct result of a loss at the Liguanea branch as well some cost involved in the early purchase of MRI machine to be used in the St. Ann Bay branch to be set up in mid-2019.
While revenues rose, a number of categories climbed sharply partially due to the expansion into a new location on Hope Road. Big increases were experienced in legal and professional fees that moved from just $38,000 to $3 million due primarily to the IPO in 2017, rental expense more than doubled to hit $15.8 million from $7.9 million and Utilities moved from $7.3 million to $17.5 million partially as a result of the new branch as well as some cost for storing the MRI machine to be installed in St Ann Bay location.

Elite CEO Warren Chung with a shareholder at the company’s 2018 AGM.

Revenues in the first quarter to September moved to $85.4 million from $69.8 for an increase of 24 percent, due to the second branch that generated $23.7 million in revenues and a loss of approximately $7 million. Chung in response to IC Insider.com’s question, indicated that revenues at the original location is slightly lower than in the prior year due to some business shifting to Liguanea. The fall in revenues is almost $8 million at Holburn Road and resulted in a fall of approximately $5 million in profit. All MRI scanning for prostate are now being done at Liguanea with the stronger and more precise imagery, Chung stated. In addition, he stated that the Holburn Road branch was previously running above capacity with the location running over time and the new location has alleviated the excess.
Cost to set up St Ann Bay is put at $20-22 million plus U$375,000 for the MRI machine. The company bought the MRI equipment early because it became available locally, but it comes at a cost as it is being stored and incurring cost as it has to be stored in certain conditions resulting in the consumption of electricity along with rent. The MRI Machine for St Ann is being stored with rental cost being incurred as well as electricity cost to maintain it at a cool temperature.
While the company has 3 other MRI competitors in Kingston, there will be no immediate competitor within 50 miles in St Ann. Operating cost at this location will less than at Liguanea with the former being staffed by 7 employees versus a planned staffing of 4 or 5 for St Ann.
For the Liguanea location to move into profit would require revenues around $36 million per quarter or 50 percent above that of the first quarter and that would likely move the profit in the second quarter well above the $1.8 million earned in the first quarter.
Elite last traded on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $2.85.

More TTSE stocks rise than fall – Wednesday

In market activity on the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange on Wednesday ended with trading in 16 securities against 18 on Tuesday, with 4 advancing, 2 declining and 10 remaining unchanged on a day when both the volume a value of trading rose above Tuesday’s levels.
At close of the market the Composite Index gained 8.17 points on Wednesday to 1,305.72. The All T&T Index inched 0.38 points higher to 1,695.89, while the Cross Listed Index rose 2.21 points to close at 123.78.
Trading ended with 920,887 shares at a value of $4,495,578 compared to 261,740 shares at a value of $3,498,832 on Tuesday.
IC bid-offer Indicator| The Investor’s Choice bid-offer ended with stock with the bid lower than the last selling price and 2 with lower offers.
Stocks closing with gainsClico Investments finished trading with a rise of 5 cents at $20.20, with 70,564 stock units changing hands, Grace Kennedy closed with an increase of 15 cents at $3, with 46,000 stock units trading, Sagicor Financial ended trading 9,000 stock units with a rise of 24 cents to end at $9.24 and Trinidad & Tobago NGL finished 9 cents higher to $29.25, after exchanging 6,575 shares.
Stocks closing with losses| National Flour fell 3 cents and ended at $1.65, with 216,535 units changing hands and One Caribbean Media closed with a loss of 49 cents at a 52 weeks’ low of $10.50, after exchanging 9,350 shares.
Stocks closing firm|Ansa Mcal ended at $55 trading 111 units, First Citizens completed trading at $32.76, after exchanging 4,272 shares, JMMB Group settled at $1.77, with 538,692 shares changing hands, Massy Holdings settled at $45, in an exchange of 594 shares, NCB Financial Group completed trading 8,252 shares at $8.93, Prestige Holdings ended trading at $7.50, with 1,000 units being swapped, Republic Financial Holdings settled at $107, after exchanging 8,944 shares, Scotiabank ended at $64.74, trading 250 units, Unilever Caribbean concluded market activity at $23, with 620 stock units changing hands and West Indian Tobacco ended at $95.50, with an exchange 128 units.

Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

Barita profit jumps but 2019 to be big

Barita last traded on the JSE at $29.

Barita Investments reported profit of $374 million after tax for the year to September, a rise of 84 percent over the 2017 results but final quarter profit after tax surged 315 percent, to $193 million.
The September quarter benefited from strong increase in net interest income moving from $69 million to $117 million and from $287 million to $424 million for the full year, even as interest rates declined sharply during the year. Gains on foreign exchange swelled earnings in this category pushing it to $145 million in the quarter from just $12 million in 2017 and to $188 million from $45 million for the fiscal year. Gain on sale of investments came in well below the level in 2017 at $25 million for the quarter down from $62 million in the quarter and from $259 million it fell to $136 million for the fiscal year. Even as realized investment gains fell, unrealised gains rose by $362 million for the year, bringing unrealized gains to $1.1 billion and shareholders’ equity to $3.26 billion.
At the close of the quarter the company had 3.3 billion in marketable securities up from $2.49 billion in 2017. Since the end of the quarter, the exchange rate that was at JS$134.65 at the close of September and $130.39 at June, is now down to just over $127 and that could mean a big drop in the value of the US dollar-based portfolio. With the movement of stock prices particularly NCB Financial and a few others, gains in investments which will now all be reported through the regular profit and loss statement will most likely wipe out the FX losses and leave a nice surplus, unless changes for the worse were to occur in the next few weeks before the end of the calendar year.

NCB stock should add gains for Barita in 2019 fiscal year.

During this year, the majority shares switched hands with Cornerstone majority owners of Myer Fletcher Merchant Bank acquiring 75 percent ownership. Barita was founded by Rita Humphreys-Lewin and quietly built into a force to be reckoned with, within the investment banking arena. The brokerage house has been seen as conservative, but observers within the financial sector are of the view that those days are over, at least for now. As a result, investors have been piling into the company’s stock as they see swelling earnings ahead. The stock which was on the IC Insider.com buy rated list for a long time finally exited recently, but there seems to be a longer road ahead before the gains are over.
Barita has so much potential for growth but was being managed in a conservative manner. Margin accounts, a big source of added revenues was not being pushed, Unit Trust was marketed more as a take it or leave it manner, than a more aggressive approach to pull in many more customers. Not even the stock market, the company best known for, has the potential been fully taken advantage of. Hopefully, the new majority owners will take a more aggressive approach, especially in light of an improving economy and one that could lead to long term growth for the economy, stocks and unit trust investing. There are some hopeful signs. One is a more aggressive dividend policy that will enhance the value of the stock. A more aggressive staff recruitment is under way that will modify the culture and drive business going forward.
IC Insider.com understands that Barita is in the process of acquiring an investment portfolio with assets of more than $10 billion from a large financial institution that they have had a close relationship with for decades. More efficient management of some resources is likely to add significant income to the operations in a full year, estimated by IC Insider.com to be around $100 million per year, not to mention the added income from the investment funds being acquired, that should contribute around $75 million in net revenues per year. But there is more, Cornerstone successfully closed a $5 billion bond issue last week at 7.25 percent per annum. Word is that the vast majority of the proceeds is slated to be used by Barita and will most likely to be invested across a wide spectrum of the investments within Barita and this could add a great deal of income and profit to the operations. With the chnage in accounting policy relating to how investment gains or losses are reported and the added income from the various changes and expansion being undertaken 2019 profit should exceed $1 billion, the first time that this nbenchmark would be acheived.
When all is said and done, the fixed income portfolio is the bread and butter earner but in this environment of a bullish stock market, it is ability of the management to take advantage of the opportunities that the market will throw up that will be the real driver of the company’s stock price in the short to medium term.
Some investors are speculating that the company could be going after a rights issue soon which could absorb much of the inflows from the just concluded bond issue. IC Insider.com had reported previously that the stocks is an ideal candidate for a split. With the current price now at $29 and the prospects looking very bright, a split seems very likely in 2019.

Persons or entities associated with IC Insider hold shares in Barita Investments.

Carib Cement locks in $170M in FX gains

Carib Cement could earn $5.30 in 2019.

Caribbean Cement secured a Jamaican dollar denominated loan from National Commercial Bank amounting to J$3.076 billion and available in United States Dollars. The report from the company advised that Board of Directors approved the facility on November 30 the same day the facility was received.
The company advised that the proceeds from the revolving Loan Facility were received on November 30 and will be used to pay related party debt denominated in United States Dollars, diversifying the sources of funds for the company. Throughout its term, the Loan Facility will also be used for general corporate purposes, reports Caribbean Cement.
The facility is an unsecured revolving loan facility for five years at a fixed interest rate of 7.45 percent per annum.
Cement owed the parent company $11.09 billion plus $1 billion due short term as of September, the September interim results show. The amounts were contracted in US dollars and resulted in devaluation losses of $464 million. Since September, the exchange rate swung in favour of the Jamaican dollar by over J$7. Carib Cement will enjoy a big foreign exchange gain and a reduction in the amount due on the loan to around US$65 million as a result of the revaluation of the local dollar, once NCB facility fund is used to pay down the loan from the ultimate parent company. As of today, the exchange rate is JS$127.4623 to the US dollar and on September 30, the average rate was $134.6486, a gain of more than J$7. The amount received for the loan amounts to just over US$24 million and has cut J$174 million from the devaluation losses incurred in the September quarter. The revaluation of the Jamaican dollar to date have reversed another $470 million in losses incurred on the amount of the loan that will not be paid off, with the combined savings being $640 million.
The facility, will allow the company to pay down the overseas loan from cash flow from its operations in the order of J$4-5 billion per annum. By the end of 2019, the foreign loan exposure should be reduced sharply.

Wisynco expects better Q2

Wisynco held its AGM on Tuesday, November 26, at the Sam Mahfood Distribution Centre, Lakes Pen Road, St Catherine. The well attended meeting was updated on the financials for the 2018 fiscal year ending June and the 2018 first quarter by the managing director, Andrew Mahfood.
Mahfood spoke to the major developments during the year and the quarter including the successful IPO last year. Shareholders were informed on the full resumption of the storage facilities at the headquarters, with cold storage being the latest to come on stream. He stated that not much savings was expected in the switch. There will be cost savings in rental and from a more efficient operation with just one location than two.
The company reported sales revenue of $25.54 billion up 14.8 percent from $21.38 billion in 2017 and generated net profit of $3.29 billion compared to $2.45 billion in 2017. Attendees were informed by the managing director that the 2017 net profit included the one off income from the insurance claim amounting to $636 million before tax which relates to the fire that occurred in May 2016.
The installation of two new bottling lines and one new filler Mahfood told shareholders and guests, should result in 40 percent more efficiency, the lines allows for less packaging material being used to produce bottles and will also result in lower transportation costs. The new lines have created capacity to meet increased demand and facilitate increased exports sales. For the first quarter sales revenue grew

Shareholders at Wisynco 2018 AGM.

just over 12 percent to $6.8 billion but should rise faster in the second quarter with new products for distribution and increased production to meet market demand. Profit grew 15.7 percent to $779 million in the September quarter, from $698 million in 2017, with earnings per share for the quarter ending at 21 cents and is projected by IC Insider.com to reach $1.10 for the full year. Gross Profit also increased to $2.6 billion or 10.4 percent over the $2.3 billion achieved in the same quarter of the previous year. Gross Margin of 37.8 percent was slightly lower than the 38.4 percent for the 2017 first quarter due to the commissioning of the new beverage lines and the devaluation of the Jamaican Dollar, management indicated.
Selling, Distribution & Administrative Expenses for the quarter totaled $1.73 billion or 11.4 percent more than the $1.55 billion in 2017.
Both Andrew and William Mahfood seem very optimistic that the second quarter will show improved sales growth over the first quarter. The settling down of the new lines are major factors as well as continued economic growth in the Jamaican economy.
But the operations were not without problems. The operation of the new equipment took time to settle and this resulted in dislocation in supplying the marketplace with adequate supplies, which held back sales in the first quarter. That problem seems to have been resolved as sales have improved, the two Mahfood brothers told IC Insider and this will show up in increased sales in the second quarter and beyond. Distribution of the Rum Bar brand of spirits produced by Worthy Park Estates commenced in November. Sales from this is expected to reach $500 to $600 million per year, while the distribution of sugar will commence in 2019.

JSE jumps 14,819 points to record close – Thursday

The main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, surged 14,819.23 points on Thursday, the biggest single one day ever, bettering the increase of 12,549.67 points rise on Wednesday.
Thursday move led the All Jamaica Index to close at a record high of 433,307.22, beating the record close on Wednesday of 418,487.99 and the JSE Index rose 10,027.28 points to close at a record high 381,289.90.
Strong gains in NCB Financial Group up $10.01 to end at a record close of $160, PanJam Investment and Sagicor Group were the main contributor to the market’s record move, on a day when five stocks closed at record highs.
Market activity ended with 5 securities closing at record highs as 35 securities in the main and US dollar markets changed hands, compared to a 27 on Wednesday. At the end, prices of 13 stocks rose, 11 declined and 11 remained unchanged.
The main market ended with 9,092,070 units valued at over $158,769,688 changing hands, compared with 62,089,588 units valued at over $136,855,615 exchanged, on Wednesday.
The main market ended with Supreme Ventures leading with 3,003,893 units, accounting for 33 percent of the day’s trades, followed by Mayberry Jamaica Equities with 1,516,695 units or 16.7 percent of the day’s volume and JMMB Group with 1,064,094 units with 11.7 percent of the day’s trades.
IC bid-offer Indicator|The Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading shows 8 stocks ending with bids higher than the last selling prices and 3 closing with lower offers.
Trading resulted in an average of 284,127 units valued at over $4,961,553, in contrast to 2,299,614 shares valued at $5,068,726 on Wednesday. The average volume and value for the month to date, amounts to 403,611 valued at $7,228,391, compared to 410,125 valued at $7,009,413. October closed, with an average of 290,851 shares, valued $5,213,901, for each security traded.
In main market activity, Barita Investments rose $1.01 to a record close of $24.01, trading 1,000 shares, Carreras gained 45 cents and concluded trading of 60,911 units at $9.50, Grace Kennedy declined $3 in trading of 37,477 shares at $55, Jamaica Broilers gained $1, trading 116,853 stock units at $30, Kingston Wharves dropped $2.21 in trading 799 shares to end at $75.79.  NCB Financial Group jumped $10.01 to end trading  at record close of $160 with 103,510 shares, Palace Amusement jumped $300 to finish trading 100 shares at $1,300.00, PanJam Investment jumped $1.50 to $71.50, with an exchange of 38,300 stock units, Sagicor Group rose $4.99 trading 398,452 shares at $50, Sagicor Real Estate Fund fell 40 cents to settle at $11.50, exchanging 11,315 shares. Salada Foods climbed $3.50 to end trading of 1,000 stock units at record high of $29.00, Scotia Group traded 41,371 shares and shed $1 to close at $58, Seprod added 50 cents trading of 27,408 shares, to close at $32.50, Sterling Investments rose 60 cents and closed at $4.70, with 200 shares changing hands and Supreme Ventures fell $1.39 to end at $15.60, with an exchange of 3,003,893 shares.
Trading in the US dollar market amounted to 65,958 units valued at $15,630 as JMMB Group 6% preference share close trading with 1,000 units to close at US$1.05 and Proven Investments rose 1 cent and ended trading of 20,758 shares at 20 U$ cents and Sygnus Credit Investments US dollar based ordinary share dropped 2 cents in trading 44,200 units at 11 US cents. The JSE USD Equities Index closed with a rise of 6.77 to close  at 166.21.