Profit jumps 69% at Main Event

Main Event should earn 50 cents per sahre for 2017.

Revenues at Main Event, rose 14.8 percent in the July quarter, to $290 million, compared to only 10 percent for the year to date to reach $942 million.
The strong growth in revenues coupled with reduction in cost in some areas resulted in a loss of $4.7 million in the 2016 quarter, transformed to a profit of $26 million in this year’s third quarter and $101 million for the nine months, versus $60 million in 2016, for a strong increase of 69 percent.
Revenues in the quarter to April was flat, at $319 million compared to the 2016 period, but contributed $25 million more profit than the July quarter. Direct operating cost as reported were $147 million in both quarters in 2017, as a result, gross profit margin in the July period was less than in April. In the July quarter, administrative cost ended at $92 million, the same as in the April quarter but depreciation rose to $22 million, from $16 million, as the company acquired more equipment for its own use rather than hiring them.
Assuming the growth level in revenues for the third quarter continues, the company seems heading for profit of 50 cents per share for the 2017 fiscal year to October and 70 cents for 2018, providing room for the stock to deliver a good return for investors who get in at the right price.

Three directors of Main Event, including the mentor who is respossible to ensure compliance with the JSE rules.

“We remain very confident in our strategies and the company’s prospects for further growth and new business opportunities,” the company’s Chairman, Ian Blair and CEO, Solomon Sharpe stated in their comments on the nine months results.
The balance sheet shows fixed assets growing to $420 million from $342 million at July 2016 and improved working capital of more than $100 million versus just $12 million in 2016, while borrowings have declined from $156 million to $122 million. With increasing profit, the finances should be looking better by year end and into 2018.
The stock is BUY RATED but closer to the $5 level currently and for a limited time, as it may not trade back down there.

The stock is listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock exchange and is trading at $5.60, just over a PE of 11 compared to 13.7 for the junior market.

NCB Capital stock talk

NCB Capital Markets (NCBCM) recommends that investors maintain focus on stocks of companies with diversified revenue streams by operations, geography and currency in its latest recommendations on the Jamaican stock market.
According to the brokerage house, main market companies tend to have more mature operations, stronger fundamentals and are likely to pay more attractive dividends for investors heavily dependent on cash flows. This should form the core of a moderate investor’s equity portfolio. Investors with the appropriate risk appetite should also take a closer look at some Junior Market stocks given that the potential for growth is greater than their main market counterparts. More aggressive investors should also consider taking an active approach to stock market investing by crystalizing gains on stocks that are trading above their fair value estimates, with a view to re-enter at more favourable prices in the near term.

Jamaica Broilers is a recommended buy by NCBCM

Interestingly, there are only three stocks recommended as buys, with six stocks placed on the sell list.
NCBCM recommends investors buy Jamaica Broiler with a forward price of $24, JMMB Group with a forward price of $23.80 and PanJam Investment with a forward price of $43.63.
The brokerage house is recommending selling Caribbean Cement, based on their assessment that the fair value price for the cement producer is $29.92 which is below the current price of $29.99, also on the sell list is Honey Bun, that they are saying that the PE ratio and price to book multiples for Junior Market manufacturing companies were used to derive a fair value estimate of HONBUN with a forward price of $3.70. Jamaica Producers is on the sell list as well with a forward price of $12.99 based on a price to book valuation, Mayberry Investments’ forward price is put at $3.95 and therefore a sell NCBCM says. The fair value of Scotia Group is estimated at $46.48, which is below the current price. The projected dividend yield of 3.5% is not sufficient to offset expected capital loss the NCB Financial brokerage arm says.

Scotiabank is a recommended sell by NCBCM

Stocks that are recommended as holds are Carreras based on the justified P/E and Dividend Discount Model resulted in valuation for Carreras up to $113.91 per share. Kingston Wharves forward price is $29.24, close to existing market price and Sagicor Group with fair value estimate of $34.21.
Ratings Definitions| BUY: The company has sound or improving fundamentals that should allow it to outperform the broader market over the next 12 months. The risk factors to achieving price targets are minimal.
HOLD: We believe the stock is fairly valued at the current price. The company may have issues affecting fundamentals that could take some time to resolve. The risk factors to achieving price targets are moderate. Some volatility is expected.
SELL: The stock is overpriced relative to the soundness of the company’s fundamentals and long-term prospects or the stock is fully priced.

Berger buyout offer extended

Berger Paints is worth more than $20 per share.

Ansa Coatings International, the major shareholder in Berger Paints Jamaica, announced an extension of their offer to acquire minority shares in the company to October 9.
No other change has been made to the offer and no reasons have been given for the extension.
It may be that the circular containing the recommendation of the directors having just been released at the end of last week would not have given enough time for some shareholders to respond to the recommendations. It is also an indication that the majority of the shareholders are not buying into the price being offered. If they were it would be expected that the extension notice would have mentioned a high level of acceptance and so encourage others to do likewise.
Berger’s minority shareholders are being offered $10.88 for each share, but the price has been consistently above this price for most of 2017 while the value based on earnings and market valuation being in the $20 range.

JSE index up 8,700 points – Monday morning

In a moderate trading session on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Monday the market index recovered almost all of the huge amount in excess of 10,000 points it lost of Friday.
After an hour of trading at 10:30 this morning, the All Jamaica Composite index rose 9,567.14 points to 286,516.50, the JSE main index was up 8,716.75 to 261,048.95, the Composite Index surged 8,138.33 points to 273,201.83 and the Junior Market index rose 9.87 points to 3,044.93.
Carreras traded ex split with 46,723 shares changing hands at $10.80. JMMB Group was trading at an intraday high of $23 but with just 8,968 units. NCB Financial had just 100 units changing hands, back at the $90 it traded at ahead of the pull down in price in the last few moments of trading, on Friday. The stock is offered currently at $88 with 1,460 units on offer, with the bid at $85.01 to buy 1,200 units. Scotia Group traded 680 units at $48, up from the $45.05 it ended at on Friday.

It makes no sense

Berger Paints is worth more than $20 per share.

Berger Paints shares are worth more than $20 each, so why would any rational person recommend that shareholders sell them at $10.88? It simply makes no logical sense as the offer to buy is not a fair price for the minority shares.
Unfortunately, a number of small shareholders are likely to get their wealth sucked out by an awful and unfortunate recommendation by the directors of Berger Paints for them to accept an offer that is clearly not in the interest of minority shareholders.
According to the directors, Ansa Coatings International controls 51.01 percent of the issued Berger Jamaica’s shares and as a result of this Offer, its holding will most likely exceed 75%. That of course is not supported by facts and no evidence is put forth to support this view. What difference does this make anyhow? The vast majority of listed companies on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, are controlled by majority shareholders having more than 75 ownership without minority suffering unduly if at all. Why should that change now?
According to the directors, PwC Advisory has stated in the Fairness Opinion that the consideration under the offer is fair to the shareholders of BPJL from a financial point of view. PwC Advisory review procedures focused on evaluating the fairness of the offer on a stand-alone basis and not relative to the price attributed to other companies included in the LBOH Acquisition.
The circular does not reveal confirmation from any of the major minority shareholders that they intend to sell and thus take the holdings for the majority shareholder beyond 80%. The 80% threshold does not automatically translate to delisting. Argument is made about transfer tax and stamp duty for transferring shares if the company were to be delisted, but no mention is made that investors bought stocks in large quantities at prices that would make the cost of transfer fees an unimportant factor. The directors seem unaware of the regulation relating to delisting and it is not a simple as they state or would want investors to think.

New building in Montego Bay.

The reality is that even if the shares are to be delisted it will likely take months before that takes place.
An analysis who is not unconnected with a major minority shareholder, had this to say “Regarding Berger, the stock is controlled by about 4 to 5 minority shareholders who own roughly half (or a little more than) of the 48.99% remaining. I have it on very good authority that the parties have unanimously chosen to REJECT Ansa McAL’s offer.”
There are other smart investors who will not accept it as well, hence the chance of the offer doing well is slim, especially as the stock has been trading above the offer price. The above assessment mirrors IC earlier comments that 6 shareholders hold more than 31 percent of the shares and they are unlikely to sell at the offer price. That would make the possibility of the offer getting shares up to even 70 percent very slim. In addition there are others who won’t sell either.

20 South, Apartment complex currently under construction in Kingston.

New buildings going up in Jamaica to add to paint sales

The average PE of the main market is 13 times this year’s earnings so even if we used the March results, the shares are worth in excess of $19. Add to that, improved earnings to June and the value grows even higher.
Jamaica suffered from a long period of minimal economic performance and now seems to be on a path to sustainable growth, against this back ground there are several buildings under construction presently that will result in increased demand for paint. Berger is set to reap huge benefits from the increased demand and shareholders will too. Interest rates have been sliding and will continue to do so making stocks more attractive than is currently the case. PE ratios will rise and so will profits, a combination that should put Berger in the $40 region in a year’s time so why would anyone want to sell under $11. Investors should be buying around the current listed price of $11 to benefit from a huge upside after the offer fails.

Perkins leaving Jamaica’s Sagicor Bank

Fresh on the heels of announced changes at the top of Jamaica’s second largest financial entity, Scotia Group, another major financial institution has announced changes at the top of its operations.
Sagicor Group Jamaica today advised that the Board of Directors announced the retirement of Donovan Perkins as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Bank effective September 30, after over 25 years of outstanding service to the Bank. The board advised that Philip Armstrong, the Deputy CEO will act as Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, effective October 1. Armstrong has been with group for several years, joining Pan Caribbean Merchant Bank before the merger with Royal Bank that was renamed Sagicor Bank when Sagicor Group acquired it from Royal Bank in 2014. Sagicor Bank has assets of $115 billion as of March this year or 9.4 percent of the total commercial banking system.
Earlier this week Scotia Group, announced the departure of Jackie Sharp as head of the group, to be be replaced by David Noel a long standing employee of the group. Scotia Group controls $329 billion or 26.7 percent of Jamaica’s banking assets at the end of March this year, data from the country’s central bank shows.

Profit jumps 146% at SOS in Q2

Stationery & Office Supplies Montego Bay office.

Profit jumped 146 percent at the recent Junior Market listing, Stationery & Office Supplies, to $20.3 million in the June quarter this year, before corporation tax of $8.8 million. For the six months period to June, profit before tax rose 33.4 percent to $50.4 million.
Revenues climbed 23.7 percent in the latest quarter to $212 million and 22 percent to $432 million for the six months. Gross profit climbed 25.5 percent to $99.5 million for the June quarter, flowing from increased gross profit margin while year to date, the increase was lower at 20.5 percent to $208 million. Expenses closed the June quarter at $79.2 million versus $71 million, an increase of 11.6 percent. For the year to date, the increase is a high 17 percent but still lower than the increase in revenues.
The 2017 result to date, is almost equal to the total 2016 results before tax of $53 million. Gross cash flow resulted in cash of $23 million being generated after an increase in working capital $28 million. The company spent $32 million on acquisition of fixed assets which required borrowing $4 and utilizing some cash on hand.
Businesses need adequate capital to grow and when debt reaches a certain level it becomes more challenging to access borrowed funding. Sometimes owners become concerned with increasing debt and this may hold back the performance of the business. Growth in the SOS’ business was putting pressure on cash resources resulting in borrowings rising, with $141 million outstanding at the end of June amounting to 50 percent of the equity. The need to expand to meet an increasing demand for its products would have placed added pressure on the owners to find the funds to finance the expansion.
The capital that came from the Issue of shares to the public will go a far way in improving the company’s finances and allow it to fund expansion, including paying for additional fixed assets which it was committed to at the time of the IPO.

Some team members at SOS who helped in the growth in prfoits for 2017

The Stationery and Office Supplies executive body that helped to grow profit in 2017

IC’s observations are that listing on the stock exchange brings huge benefits to companies. The constant exposure results in increased business, the capital injection allows for increased focus on inventory selection and choices, all of which feed into increased sales. The increased pace of sales growth in the second quarter may well be connected with the publicity received prior to listing and it would be surprising if the pace of growth does not pick up in the second half of the year and well into 2018.
At a last traded price of $4.20 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, the stock remains a buy to benefit from future growth. IC projects earnings before tax at 50 cents per share based on the average number of shares issued for the year, up from 40 cents when the shares were offered for sale and $1 for 2018 which is projected to continue to show strong growth in revenues. IC gathers that sales have picked up strongly after the IPO with many more walk in customers being seen than before. later in 2017, online marketing website and increased sales to the Eastern Caribbean will commence which should add to growth in sales going forward.
The company, under the stock exchange rules need not have put out the six months report, having been listed in August. The release is to be applauded. It is in the investing public’s interest, to have pertinent information on which they can make their investment decisions.

Sharp out Noel in at Scotia Jamaica

Change at Scotia Group top slot.

Scotia Group (SGJL) announced that Jackie Sharp, President and Chief Executive Officer and Head of Caribbean Central and North, will be leaving to join her family business, effective October 31.
In August 2013, the group appointed Sharp as its first female president and CEO, effective September of that year. Sharp was also appointed a director of the SGJ and the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica.
As CEO it not only marked the first female to be appointed to that post but the first person who did not have an early career start in the bank to make it to the top executive post, her rise is sharp indeed, taking a mere 15 years after joining the bank. The resignation brings her career at the financial group to 20 years.

Jacqueline Sharp

According to the release from the group, Jackie Sharp joined the group in 1997 as a Management Trainee and held a number of key positions including Private Banking, Insurance, and Finance, before assuming the Country Head role, and most recently Head of Scotiabank’s Caribbean Central and North covering Jamaica, Bahamas, Cayman, Belize, British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands.
“Jackie has made significant contributions to Scotiabank and the community over the years, achieving strong financial results while becoming one of the most respected leaders in the financial sector in Jamaica and the Caribbean”, said Brendan King, Senior Vice President, International Banking, Scotiabank. “We are very grateful for her dedication, consummate leadership and passion over many years at the Bank, and wish her well in her new endeavours as she joins her family business in Jamaica.”
In the first year of her reign Scotia Group Jamaica reported a fall of $774 million or 7 percent in net income to $10.1 billion for the year ended October 2014. Profit rose 14 profit to $11.6 billion for the 2016 year from $10.1 billion in 2015.
Scotia’s closest competitor on the other hand for the year to September 2014 enjoyed a 36 percent, or $3.1 billion increase to $11.6 billion and made profit of $14.4 billion in 2016 versus $12.3 billion in 2015 for a rise of 17.5 percent.

David Noel

Scotia results for six months to April showed profit up 14 percent to $5.7 billion while NCB grew 58 percent to $9.5 billion.
Sharp is being replaced by David Noel as President and Chief Executive Officer, and Head of the Caribbean Central and North regions. Noel joined Scotiabank in Jamaica in 2001 as Legal Counsel before moving to Canada in 2008 on a leadership development rotation in Toronto.
In 2010, he took on the role of District Vice President for East New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. He returned to Toronto in 2012 where he worked in Global Risk Management. In 2013 he was appointed Managing Director, Caribbean East, leading the Bank’s operations in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. In November 2016, he was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Scotia Group with responsibility for the subsidiary units, including retail and commercial banking, life insurance, investment management and brokerage, micro-finance and mortgages.

NCB’s eye-popping $1,200 in 5 years

$100,000 invested in NCB would be worth $1.3 million in 5 years if price rose to $1,200 per share.

“Unless something changes, NCB Financial Group is the best buy on the Jamaica Stock Exchange and will be for the next 5 years. My exit price? $1,200!” That is a recent quote from a seasoned financial analyst.
That is astounding, for a stock that traded on the Jamaica Stock Exchange just below 90 this past week and around $95 on the Trinidad market and was selling at $19 at the start of 2015. To reach $1,200 in 5 years, would require growth in profits averaging close to 30 percent per annum and the PE ratio rising to match that growth rate. If that were to  happen it would mean that $100,000 invested now in the stock would be worth $1,348,314 in 5 years.
How possible is that? First with interest rates receding to lower levels than they have been recently and seems poised to fall some more PE ratios for stocks will increase. Not only will they increase but demand will growth for good quality stocks that are enjoying robust growth.
NCB delivered net profit of $14.7 billion for the nine months to June, this year, an increase of 48 percent over the prior year’s nine months profit of $9.9 billion. In the June quarter, profit grew 33 percent over 2016. Loans, the major fuel for growth in profits, increased a very strong 18 percent, year over year, in an economy that is probably growing around 2 percent in real terms.

Sagicor should be watched for strong gains over the next 5 years.

If growth were to pick up, and that seems likely, with several major projects on the drawing board to commence sooner than later, with some already started, then lending could picked up even more, boosting profit in the process.
In this regard, investors should not ignore Sagicor Group that reported profit jumping 31 percent to $5.65 billion, for the six months to June this year over 2016, with a 5 percent rise in revenues to $30.36 billion and was negatively affected by realized losses on securities that were sold. In the June quarter revenues slipped to $15.1 billion from $15.29 billion in 2016, as net investment income dropped from $5.55 billion to $4.24 billion, but net profit increased from $2.4 billion to $3.06 billion. While growth in insurance premium is important to fuel continued gains in profit, it is the ability to manage the investment funds effectively that will generate the growth that will make the stock price move.
Sagicor not only has the life assurance arm, but a commercial bank as well, health insurance and manages pension and other funds and a property development and management division.
Interestingly, these two companies are heavy dividend payers, investors stand to gain from sharply higher dividend income if the profit continue to grow close to current levels.

JMMB pretax profit up 16%

JMMB Group profits up 16% before tax to June.

JMMB Group posted a 16 percent increase in pretax profit, for the June 2017 quarter over 2016, but increased taxation left shareholders with a much smaller 4 percent increase to $617 million, as taxes climbed from $264 million to $381 million.
Net revenues jumped 19.4 percent to $4.1 billion from $3.44 billion in 2016, operating expenses rose even faster at 20.5 percent to $3.1 billion. Net interest income improved noticeably, moving from $1.55 to $1.9 billion as interest income grew to $1.96 billion, from $3.62 billion and cost fell modestly to $2.04 billion. Gains from securities trading rose to $1.54 billion from $1.1 billion but with revaluation of the Jamaican dollar, the group earned $238 million in the quarter, down from $443 million as the group also benefited from one off gains in 2016.
The Jamaican operations contributed 23 percent to growth in operating revenues, putting it at 75 percent of overall group revenues while Trinidad with its economic challenges, remained flat with just a one percent increase and Dominican Republic generated an increase of 18 percent.
Growth in managing pension funds, unit trust and money market funds, with assets under management moving from $89.5 billion in June 2016 to $114.75 billion helped in moving fee income up from $298 million to $364 million over the same period.
The group gained commercial banking license approval in Jamaica, in the September quarter, started to convert some branches to accommodate the new thrust and were also preparing for the roll out of their pension fund management in the Dominican Republic.
Total assets grew from $252 billion to $268 billion between March this year and June, shareholders’ equity moved from $25.9 billion to $26.8 billion including $2 billion in investment revaluation reserves at June this year, lending was almost static at $48 billion versus $47 at March. Investment in resale agreements stood at $173.8 billion versus March’s $172.5 billion. Customers’ deposits rose to $50.87 billion from $49 billion in March, while securities sold under repurchase agreements stood at $169.5 billion, up from $156.6 billion as of March, representing a fairly significant increase of $14 billion in just one quarter.
On Monday, JMMB Group closed at $21.50 on the Jamaica Stock Exchange and TT$1.20 (J$22.80) in Trinidad on Monday. IC projects earnings of $3 for 2017 up from $2.03 as of March this year, putting the PE at 7 times the March 2018 earnings. The stock continues to be IC BUY RATED.