The ugliness of Wigton demands action

Wigton inadequate disclosures in the quarterly report.

The capital market got a huge body blow with the release of Wigton Windfarm quarterly results for the first quarter to June that suggests a bright future outcome but the reality is vastly different.
Analysis of the results and historical data show clearly that investors have been unwittingly, duped into believing that the earnings of the company had blasted off sharply from 5.5 cents reported for the 2019 fiscal year, but nothing could be further from the truth. The directors’ report accompanying the June quarterly results is just inadequate, as it does not clearly communicate what investors can expect for the rest of the year. There is just very limited historical information to go by to help.
The company posted positive results for the June quarter, with profit jumping 109 percent from $175 million to $366 million with modest foreign exchange gains, resulting in earnings per share of 3.3 cents.  IC’s computation puts full year’s earnings at 7 cents for the year assuming revenues grow 6 percent for the year.
Revenues rose 6 percent to $833 million for the quarter with gross profit rising from $606 million to $641 million. Other income comprising $34 million in foreign exchange gains moved from $60 million to $68 million. Importantly, finance cost fell sharply from $358 million to $147 million while administrative expenses edged slightly higher to $79 million from $78 million. The data is showing revenues in the first quarter of 2018 as 32 percent of the full year’s earnings. The next three quarters earned 68 percent or an average of 22.5 percent. If the similar development takes place this year, then earnings in the balance of the year will be just above that for the first quarter, as fixed costs will reduce quarterly profit considerably from that reported in the first quarter.
Going forward, there will be added cost ongoing cost associated with the listing, including listing fees, registrar services for the more than 31,000 shareholders, production of the annual report and annual general meeting as well as additional staffing.
Directors have a responsibility to communicate critical information to investors so that they can properly interpret the financial information presented and not having to guess exactly what is placed before them.

Jamaica’s Ministry of Finance newest office building

The Wigton’s June quarterly report falls far short of what is expected of a company of its size and with so many shareholders. The quarterly shows that production of energy grew 2.9 percent to 55,331,319 KWH but the directors stated that they expect to produce 169 Giga Watt Hours the average over the past three years. There is no mention of how the first quarter’s production, relates to the full year’s output. There is no mention of seasonality in the report. In fact, a review of the prospectus provides no information about seasonality, a critical bit of information that is missing. “If the company’s business is highly seasonal, IAS 34 encourages disclosure of financial information for the latest 12 months, and comparative information for the prior 12-month period, in addition to the interim period financial statements. [IAS 34.21]”
The shocking discovery is the composition of directors and shareholders of the company. People in authority should avoid conflicts of interest. The big question is, on what basis was the Wigton’s prospectus approved with a board member of the Financial Services Commission shown as a director of the company and subsequently a shareholder? Judges cannot oversee cases involving themselves, to do so, would be a huge conflict.

Big price declines sink JSE on Wednesday


The main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange failed to benefit from the improved profit results reported by companies ahead of trading, as the market pulled back with the heavily weighted NCB Financial falling $4 along with large declines by others that had reported results days earlier.
At the close of trading, the JSE All Jamaican Composite Index dropped 4,286.79 points to close at 575,812.82, the JSE Index shed 3,895.59 points to end at 524,251.34 and the JSE Financial Index lost 1.48 points to end at 142.88.
Trading ended with 38 securities trading in the main and US dollar markets, leading to 14 securities advancing, 19 declining and 9 trading firm, compared to 42 securities trading on Wednesday.
At the close of trading, Palace Amusement jumped $550 to trade at a record high of $2,500 but with just 100 shares changing hands and Wigton Windfarm but ended trading at a 52 weeks’ closing high of 93 cents but recovered slightly by the close after it traded at a high of 98 cents for the day.
Shares totaling 227,434,323 units valued at $478,562,750 traded, compared to 105,567,277 units valued $1,138,000,566 changing hands on Tuesday. Fresh from Wigton Windfarm reporting 3.3 cents earnings per share for the June quarter, investors dived in and pushed the price up to close at a record of 93 cents with the stock being the leading trade with more than 118 million units accounting for 52 percent of total volume. Sagicor Select Fund followed with 102 million shares accounting for 45 percent of the day’s trade and Radio Jamaica with 1.6 million shares for less than one percent.
The market closed with an average of 6,317,620 units valued at an average of $13,293,410 for each security traded. In contrast to 2,706,853 units for an average of $29,179,502 on Tuesday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 1,732,217 units valued at $11,432,307 and previously, 1,155,033 units valued at $11,164,308. July closed with an average of 1,297,718 shares at $17,985,644 for each security traded.
IC bid-offer Indicator| At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading shows 6 stocks ending with bids higher than their last selling prices and 3 with lower offers.
In the main market activity, Barita Investments lost $1 to end at $88 with 11,682 shares changing hands, Caribbean Cement gained 50 cents to end at $77.50 with 73,059 units changing hands, Grace Kennedy fell $1.90 in trading of 8,310 units at $70.10, Jamaica Broilers exchanged 42,145 shares and added $1 to close at $35. Jamaica Producers gained $1.35 cents in trading 13,251 shares to end at $28, JMMB Group fell $1.75 trading 262,330 shares to end at $48.50, Kingston Wharves shed $1.59 while trading 135 shares to end at $66.41, Mayberry Investments rose $1 in closing at $10 with 76,592 shares changing hands, NCB Financial lost $4 in exchanging 234,263 units to close $214. PanJam Investment added $5 in trading of 343,829 units at $106, Pulse Investments fell 70 cents in exchanging 463,377 shares at $3, Sagicor Group closed trading of 277,884 units but declined $1 to end at $74. Scotia Group dropped $1 to close at $53 in trading of 266,479 units, Seprod dipped $3 in trading 94,787 shares to end at $52, Sygnus Credit Investments rose 95 cents in trading 66,430 shares to end at $24.50 and Wisynco Group fell 50 cents to $23.50 after exchanging 311,397 units.
Trading in the US securities market resulted in 55,600 units valued US$7,724 changing hands. Proven Investments inched just 0.01 of a cent and closed at 26.01 US cents with an exchange of 7,200 shares and Sygnus Credit Investments lost 0.50 cents trading 48,400 shares to close at 12 US cents. The JSE USD Equities Index advanced 0.97 points to close at 193.62.

Wigton profit to help light up JSE

Wigton stock could spike on Wednesday.

Profits drive stock prices like nothing else. The Jamaica Stock exchange should see a big hike at the close of trading as a number of companies release some excellent results days before the main earnings season for the half-year ends.
Some main market companies are reporting big gains in earnings after the market closed on Tuesday and these could push prices up on Wednesday. Wigton Windfarm posted positive results for the June quarter, with profit jumping from $175 million to $366 million with modest foreign exchange gains, resulting in earnings per share of 3.3 cents that should translate to over 10 cents for the year. Revenues grew 12 percent at Kingston Wharves to $3.8 billion, over the corresponding period in 2018 and net profit attributable to shareholders increased by 40 percent to $1.2 billion. For the June quarter, net profit rose 54 percent to $729 million on revenues that rose 12 percent to $19.7 billion. Importantly, Kingston Wharves reported earnings of 51 cents per share for the second quarter (annualized $2 per share) and 82 cents for the half-year.
Jamaica Producers increased second-quarter revenues by 12 percent to $5.4 billion over the 2018 period and net profit attributable to shareholders increasing 52 percent to $399 million.

Jamaica Producers snacks

For the half-year, JP posted profit due to the group’s shareholders of $629 million compared to $415 million with revenues that rose from $9.3 billion to $10.16 billion. PanJam Investment reports net profit attributable to shareholders of $3.055 billion for the June quarter, up from $982 million in 2018 and $3.95 billion for the six months from $1.8 billion in the 2018 period.
PanJam results benefited from investments gains and gains from the sale of shares in an associated company. Productivity Business Solutions posted a rise in profits toUS$724,000 in the June quarter compared to a profit of $372,000 in 2018 and a profit of US$184,000 for the six months to June.

NCB solid stock for the future

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NCB Financial Group (NCB) produced net profit of $21.3 billion for the nine months to June 2019 with profit attributable to stockholders of $20.7 billion, a marginal increase of $87 million over 2018.
For the quarter to June, NCB reported $8.3 billion in profit attributable to shareholders inclusive of $2.3 billion resulting from the increased value of the near 30 percent interest NCB owned in Guardian (GHL) before acquiring majority shares, during the quarter. Results include the consolidation of two months of GHL’s income coupled with the gain from revaluing the shares that NCB held in GHL previously, as an associated company.
For the nine months ended June, net operating income rose 22 percent to $63 billion from $51.6 billion in the prior year while it increased 28 percent to $24.5 billion in the June quarter over 2018.
Banking and investment activities netted $55.8 billion, up 13 percent over the $49.4 billion for the comparative 2018 period and for the quarter the enlarged group produced $21 billion compared to $18 billion in 2018. A 14 percent growth in our loan portfolio helped in pushing net interest income to $32.4 billion or 27 percent over $25.4 million generated in 2018. For the quarter, net interest income grew to 30 percent to $12.4 billion.
Net fee and commission income rose from $4 billion in 2018 to $5 billion for the June quarter and from $11.7 billion to $13.4 billion for the nine months period. Gains on foreign exchange trading declined sharply from $11.4 billion to $8.7 billion for the nine months period and from $4.2 billion in 2018 to $2.8 billion for the June quarter.
The net result from insurance activities grew 218 percent over the prior year to $7.2 billion from $2.3 billion in the prior year nine months period. For the quarter, net income tripled the $1.15 billion in the 2018 June quarter to reach $3.4 billion in 2019. “One of our Jamaican life insurance subsidiaries benefitted from improved spread performance and changing mortality assumptions, resulting in a significant contribution to the net profit. The consolidation of GHL’s insurance activities contributed 45 percent of net insurance revenues reported for the third quarter,” the group directors reported in their commentary to shareholders.
Operating expenses including loan and securities losses accounted for $46 billion, an increase of $13 billion or 41 percent over the prior nine months in 2018. “The consolidation of GHL and an additional quarter of Clarien’s results in the current reporting period contributed to 43 percent of this increase,” the group reported.
Impairment losses on loans and securities increased by 166 percent to $3.65 billion from $2.46 in the nine months and from just $941 million in the June 2018 quarter to $1.7 billion in the 2019 period.
Total assets grew with the acquisition of majority shares in GHL to $1.6 trillion, an increase of $635 billion or 68 percent over the prior year. “The consolidation of GHL, net of adjustments, added $517 billion in assets to the Group’s portfolio. The Group’s loans and advances, net of provision for credit losses, stood at $412 billion, an increase of $50.5 billion or 14 percent over the prior year, attributable to strong growth in our Jamaican portfolio along with the consolidation of GHL’s $14.6 billion of loans and receivables” the NCB directors report stated.
Customer deposits reached $509 billion at the end of June, an increase of 10 percent or $45 billion over the prior year. Policyholders’ liabilities increased from $39 billion in June 2018 to $422 billion due to the consolidation of GHL. Investment Securities and Reverse Repurchase Agreements Investment securities, including pledged assets, and reverse repurchase agreements amounted to $780 billion. This portfolio grew by 106 percent or $400.6 billion over the prior year, primarily due to the consolidation of GHL’s portfolio valued at $369 billion. Stockholders’ equity amounted to $137 billion, a 10 percent or $12.8 billion increase over the prior year due primarily to an 18 percent increase in retained earnings.
Earnings per share for the quarter came in at $3.42 but that includes one-time income and expenses, ongoing earnings could be in the region of $3 per share or around $12 annually. For the nine months earnings per share reported was at $8.49. Going forward the growth in the loan portfolio is one of the most critical factors to look for in assessing prospects going forward, with the acquisition of the General Insurance portfolio this area is also very critical to growth in the future. There are areas of duplication in the operations of Guardian and NCB accordingly, investors can expect rationalization to come and with that reduced cost and likely more robust sourcing for new business. NCB stock that last traded on the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $220 is a good long term investment.
The Board of Directors declared an interim dividend of 90 cents per ordinary stock unit. The dividend is payable on August 27, to stockholders of record as on August 13.

Junior Market blast pass 3,500 to record

New record high for the JSE Junior Market.

Investors pushed most prices higher on the Junior Market in trading on Friday with the vast majority of companies contributing to market activity as the market index rocketed to cross the 3,500 mark for the first time.
The Junior Market Index jumped 74.67 points to close at a record 3,537.21 on a day when 35 securities changed hands, up from 32 on Wednesday, as prices of 21 securities rose, 9 declined and 5 remained unchanged.
At the close, Limners and Bards ended at a record close of $3.75, Elite Diagnostic closed at a record high of $6.22, Jamaican Teas ended at a record close of $7.26, but Caribbean Cream closed at a 52 weeks’ low of $4.25.
Market activities resulted in an exchange of 6,412,413 units valued at $28,100,938 compared to 16,230,256 units valued at $62,517,388 on Wednesday.
Trading ended with an average of 183,212 units for an average of $802,884 in contrast to 479,173 units for an average of $2,057,215 on Wednesday. July ended with an average of 138,412 units with a value of $563,215 for each security traded.
IC bid-offer Indicator| At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading shows 3 stocks closing with bids higher than their last selling prices and 2 closed with lower offers.
Stocks ending with price changes|Access Financial gained $1.45 to end at $47.95, trading 500 shares, AMG Packaging rose 3 cents to end at $2.30 with 19,256 stock units trading, Blue Power shed 50 cents to settle at $12.50 with 125,315 shares changing hands. CAC 2000 gained 10 cents to end at $16 with 30,300 stock units trading, Caribbean Cream dived $1.06 to settle at a 52 weeks’ closing low of $4.25 with 9,376 shares changing hands, Caribbean Flavours climbed $1.06 to settle at $17.16 with 50,301 shares changing hands. Cargo Handlers gained 97 to end at $10.97, trading 100 shares, Caribbean Producers ended at $4.80, trading 28,075 shares, Consolidated Bakeries rose 10 cents to end at $2.30 trading 50,536 stock units Derrimon Trading gained 20 cents to end at $2.80, in exchanging 466,558 shares. Dolphin Cove fell 5 cents to end at $12 with 100 stock units trading. Express Catering climbed 20 cents to settle at $6.70 with 69,027 shares changing hands, Everything Fresh gained 4 cents to end at $1.35 with 165,730 stock units changing hands, Elite Diagnostic rose 52 cents to close at a 52 weeks’ high of $6.22, trading 158,926 shares. Fosrich Group added 20 cents to settle at $4.90 with 12,025 shares changing hands, Fontana dropped 15 cents to settle at $8.60 with 311,145 shares changing hands, General Accident climbed 35 cents to $4.90 trading 102,460 shares, GWest Corporation traded 15,899 shares at $1.54. Honey Bun fell 35 cents to end at $5, with 434,837 shares changing hands, iCreate exchanged 68,780 shares to close at 70 cents, Indies Pharma gained 20 cents to end at $3.30 trading 58,782 stock units, Jamaican Teas gained $1.61 to end at a record close of $7.26 trading 39,035 stock units changing hands. Jetcon Corporation climbed 23 cents to settle at $1.93 with 103,043 shares trading, Knutsford Express shed 50 cents to end at $12 with an exchange of 2,643 stock units, Key Insurance dropped 65 cents to settle at $3.25 with 200 shares changing hands, Limners and Bards gained 60 cents to end at record close of $3.75 with 3,292,680 stock units trading. Lasco Distributors added 7 cents to end at $3.40, trading 48,900 stock units. Lasco Financial rose 35 cents to $5.50, in trading 83,035 shares, Lasco Manufacturing inched 5 cents higher to settle at $4.25 with 306,360 shares changing hands, Main Event climbed 95 cents to end at $7.95, trading 50,790 shares, Medical Disposables gained 50 cents to end at $8 with 18,200 stock units trading. Paramount Trading fell 2 cents to $2.38, trading 102,000 shares, Iron Rock Insurance rose 5 cents to settle at $4.05 with 23,679 shares changing hands, Stationery and Office Supplies fell 45 cents to end at $12.20, in trading 17,920 shares and tTech closed at $6, trading 145,900 shares.
Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

$45 for Barita Investments rights

Barita Investments headquarters

Barita Investments will offer 116,845,955 ordinary shares to its ordinary stockholders by way of a renounceable rights issue of 11 shares for each 100 own as of August 20.
The exercise price will be $45 per share with the last date for renunciation will be September 10. Shareholders will have up to September 15, to accept the amount of their offer but can apply for additional shares from amounts not taken up by allottees, up to September 20.
The current offer is the second rights issue to purchase additional shares in the company, in less than a year. The stock traded on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Friday to close at $91.50, for a rise of 72 percent for the year to date. but it has gained 862 percent in the last twelve months, not including gains from the issue of rights in March.

Carib Cement 2019 profit mixed

Carib Cement silos

Caribbean Cement revenues climbed 5.6 percent in the June quarter to $4.68 billion and 4 percent year to June, with $9.13 billion booked.
The company reported lower profit the June quarter than in 2018, due mainly to $485 million incurred as foreign currency losses and ended up with profit after tax at $368 million versus $674 million in 2018. Or the half-year profit after tax grew 48.6 percent to $15 billion. The company reported earnings per share of 43 cents versus 79 cents in the similar quarter in 2018 and $1.76 compared to $1.18 in the 2018 six months period.
Expenses excluding depreciation and finance grew 2.7 percent for the quarter to $2.94 billion and fell 21 percent for the half-year to $5.47 billion. The sharp reduction in cost results from the termination of an equipment lease agreement with the parent company and the purchase of those assets. The acquisition of the assets drove depreciation charge for the quarter to $405 million from $340 million in 2018 and $796 million from $467 million for the six months periods. Finance cost including foreign exchange losses rose to $688 million from $412 million for the quarter and $856 million versus $386 million for the half-year.
The results boosted shareholders’ equity to $7.9 billion from $6.4 billion at the end of December last year as the company wiped out accumulated losses of $994 million at the end of 2018 leaving a surplus of $493 million. Borrowing amounts to $9.8 billion while cash funds amount to $394 million and net current assets stood at negative $759 million.
The stock trades at $80 on the Jamaica Stock Exchange main market. IC projects earnings for the full year to December at $5 per share that would place the PE ratio at 16, just around the markets PE of 17. With the economy doing well and increased construction activities, investors should have their eyes focused on increased future earnings.

Sagicor Group Q2 profit up 40%

Sagicor Group & PanJam hit new closing highs.

Sagicor Group is reporting profit attrib8uutabel to shareholders for the June quarter of $3.69 billion up from $2.70 billion in the first quarter this year and 40 percent higher than the $2.64 billion in the 2018 second quarter.
For the six months to June net profit of $6.39 billion attributable to stockholders rose 21 percent over the similar period in 2018. Earnings per share come out at $1.64 per share for the half-year and 95 cents for the quarter.
According to the report accompanying the results, “the current year-to-date results benefited mainly from overall good new business and portfolio growth which were both better than the prior year. The 2018 numbers included large impairment charges on Government of Barbados and other bonds. There were other factors that influenced the outcome for the period, these include, The fluctuating rate of the Jamaican dollar to the US dollar which reached a decline of 5.5 percent in April compared to the rate at December 2018 and by June bounced back to a 2.9 percent decline. The Group picked-up both realized trading gains and unrealized revaluation gains for higher US dollar positions. Appreciation of the Jamaica Stock Exchange main index which grew by 23 percent during the six months period. The Group picked-up good trading gains and increased bond prices on USA stock markets.”
Sagicor Bank enjoyed an excellent period contributing net profits of $1.04 billion for the current period, versus $772 million recorded in 2018, from revenues of $6.36 billion, 18 percent more than the prior year.
The stock traded on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Tuesday at $58.

FX losses cut Wigton 2019 profit

Wigton shares are still the most heavily traded on the JSE.

Profit before tax at Wigton Windfarms fell from $768 million in 2018 to $727 million in 2019 from sales revenue of $2.44 billion for 2019 compared to $2.36 in 2018.
The 2019 results include a net loss of foreign exchange of $177 million. The company retired loans that were denominated in US dollars and swapped them for loans in local currency at interest rates that were higher than the prior loans but removing the risk of exchange rate adjustments.
Costs are relatively stable as well as income. Depreciation accounts for $665 million of the total administrative and operating cost of $1.17 billion. The audited financial statement had finance expenses of $1.05 billion but that figure includes foreign exchange losses of $663 million, partially offset by foreign exchange gains of $486 million.
Taxation charge for the year came out at $173 million. It will be difficult for the company to earn much more for the current fiscal year to March 2019, than the 5 cents per share recorded in 2019.
Wigton ended the year with shareholders’ equity of $2.9 billion, borrowings of $6.3 billion and cash and equivalent of $1.38 billion. Current liabilities were relatively insignificant.
The stock has been trading around 90 cents on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 17 times earnings.

Pretax profit up 18% at the Lab

Limners and Bards (the Lab) reports pretax profit of $72 million half year to April, up 18 percent versus $61 million last year on revenues of $334.5 million compared to $261 million in 2018.
After-tax profit for the six months ends at $57 million, up 9 percent against $53 million in 2018. For the quarter to April revenues brought in $145 million and delivered pretax profit of $30 million against revenues of $136 million and pretax profit of $24.5 million.
The data suggest seasonality in earnings with full-year’s income of $483 million for the year to October last year and profit before tax of $76.5 million. The 2018 half year’s revenues amounted to 54 percent of income. Of significance is a sharp fall in operating expenses from $100 million in the second quarter of 2018 to $88 million in the 2019 period even as revenues rose resulting in gross profit rising from $36 million to $57 million. For the six-month period, gross profit moved from $100 million to $125 million. Partially offsetting the gross profit improvement is a $15 million in the second quarter is a rise in administrative expenses to $26 million in the quarter but was only up by $11 million for the half-year to $51 million.
The stock was listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange today at traded a small amount at $1.30 but closed with bids to buy at $1.65.