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.

New Elite branch now in black

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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.

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.

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.

Profit jumps 40% at Caribbean Flavours

Caribbean Flavours traded on the Junior Market at $20.

Profit at Caribbean Flavours climbed 40 percent in the quarter to September this year to $25 million from a rise of 21 percent in sales to $120 million, up from $100 million in 2017 and an increase of 137 percent in other revenues to $5 million.
Improvement in profit margin in the in the quarter to 37 percent from 36 percent in the 2017 is also a contributing factor in the improved profit. The effect, gross operating profit rose 23 percent in the quarter to $45 million from $36 million.
Other operating and administrative expenses rose 22 percent to $24 million from $19.4 million in 2017.
Earnings per share came out at 28 cents, for the 2018 fiscal year earnings per share was 97 cents. The company should end the fiscal year to June 2019 around $1.50.
Growth in profit has not been always robust even though it has been positive. Profit before Taxation grew a mere 1.59 percent in 2014, 12.75 percent in 2015, a more respectful 28.34 percent in 2016, a reduced rate of 11.89 percent in 2017 and even less growth of 5.22 percent in 2018.
“The company expects that there will be improvement in our performance in the next period as we

Caribbean Flavours’ produce inputs.

expect sales of Flarorfit, our sugar reduction solution to gain traction,” Chairman of the board Howard Mitchell, stated in his report accompanying the quarterly.
Gross cash flow brought in $26 million. Addition to fixed assets used up $3.5 million and $19 million was used to pay dividends. Cash and invested funds amount to $220 million. At the end of the quarter, shareholders’ equity stands at $424 million with borrowings at just $9 million. Net current assets ended the period at $309 million well over Payables of just $30 million.
The stock traded at $20 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 13 times 2019 earnings. The stock is ripe for at least a 5 for 1 stock split, with limited supply and just 90 million units issued.

Trinidad gets first junior listing

Cinemaone Limited is the latest listing on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange. The company was listed today and is the first company to list on the SME section of the exchange.
There was no trading in the company’s shares and none were offered for sale and there were no bids to buy the stock at the close. a total of 6.4 million shares are issued and the opening price was placed at $10.
Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange established a market for Small and Medium Enterprises, the SME Market after the government of Trinidad and Tobago announced in 2012 special tax concession for companies listing on this exchange.
The company operates cinemas in Trinidad and Tobago and had revenues of TT$15.2 million for the year ending September 2018 and $12.7 million in the previous year, with profits after tax of $867,000 in 2017 versus $1.5 million in 2016 after making $1.5 million before tax in 2017 versus $1.1 million in 2017.

Profit jumps 83% for tTech

Profit at junior market listed tTech, rose 83 percent in the September quarter, to $12.2 million from $7 million in 2017 and for the nine months to September, profit climbed 59 percent to $29 million from $18 million in 2017.
Sale revenues grew 25 percent for the quarter, to $70 from $56 million but was up 31 percent for the year to date, to $215 million, from $164 million in 2017. Investment income brought $12 million for the nine months and $7 million for the quarter
The company is overcoming a period when profit retreated from the high level generated when it went public back in 2015, as the build out of staffing ahead of increased business sapped profits. The company seems to believe that the work they have put out to attract customers is now bearing fruit, with more to come going forward.
Profit having risen to peak at $39 million in 2016, on rising sales revenues, in 2017 both revenues and profit declined, with the profit declining below that earned in 2015 as it hit $19 million down sharply from the 2016 out turn.
Gross profit margin in the first 3 quarters of this year, is up just 14 percent to $161 million compared to revenues that grew 31 percent and it rose by 9 percent in the September quarter to $51 million, just a bit below the growth rate in sales.
Other operating expenses increased 52 percent to $20 million for the nine months but grew 29 percent to $7 million in the quarter. Administrative expenses rose 12 percent to $42 million in the quarter and increased just 8 percent in the nine months period, to $125 million.
Earnings per share came out at 12 cents for the quarter and 27 cents for the nine months and should end the fiscal year ending to December, around 40 cents. IC Insider.com is forecasting 80 cents per share for  a PE of  8 times 2019 earnings
“We have had a good third quarter and our business development team continues to leverage the momentum by closing opportunities presented to us. we expect continued growth and performance as we provide guidance and support for digital transformation,” the chief Executive Officer, Christopher Reckord stated in his commentary on the third quarter results.
Gross cash flow brought in $25 million but addition to fixed assets and investments resulted in a net buildup of funds for the year to date. At the end of September, shareholders’ equity stood at $207 million with no borrowings to support the operations. Net current assets ended the period at $164 million inclusive of trade and other receivables of $151 million, cash and investment balances of $152 million. In addition, the company has $31 million in non-current investments. Current liabilities stood at just $57 million.
The stock traded at $6.50 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 15 times 2018 earnings. Net asset value per share s $1.95 with the stock selling at 3.3 book value.

General Accident nearly doubles profit

General Accident stock is undervalued.

Profit at General Accident Insurance rose 88 percent to $144 million, in the nine months September from $77 million in the similar period in 2017 even as profit for the quarter to September 2018 slipped 29 percent from $68 million to $49 million.
Earnings per share amounted to just 5 cents in the September quarter and 14 for the year to September and IC Insider.com estimates 40 cents for the full year and possible 80 cents for 2019. The stock last traded at $4, just less than twice net book value of $2.05. Annualized return on average equity of 9.45 percent up from 5.2 percent in 2017.
Gross premium for the year to September, grew 20 percent to $7.4 billion, while growth for the quarter was up an extremely strong 69 percent to $2.75 billion over the same periods last year. The company that is also looking to branch out to other parts of the region, also earned 51 percent more commission that the year before with nine months’ earnings rising to $495 million and it grew 104 percent for the quarter to $159 million but commissions paid grew 32 percent for the nine months to $212 million and by 44 percent for the quarter to $96 million. Net earned premiums grew 24 percent, for both the nine months to $1.20 billion for year to date and $531 for the quarter. Investment income including of foreign exchange gains is up 158 percent for the quarter to $144 million and 56 percent for the first nine months to $228 million.
Net claims grew by just 10 percent to $866 million for the nine months but jumped 42 percent for the quarter to $353 million. “Administrative expenses increased by 19 percent compared to the same period prior year, due to new hires to drive the strategic plan” management stated. Management expenses rose 35 percent to $554 million in the nine months and by 47 percent for the quarter to $201 million.
“General Accident ended the third quarter with a book value of $2.05 billion and generated annualized return on average equity for shareholders of 9.45 percent. Despite, low interest rates and increased competition in a very challenging operating environment. For the first nine months of the year, we were able to improve on our performance when compared to the similar period for 2017. The board and management team are committed to ensuring that General Accident’s financial performance continues to improve for the remainder of the year,” Paul Scott, Chairman and Sharon Donaldson, Managing Director said in their report to shareholders that accompanied the quarterly results.
The company ended the period with equity capital of $2 billion with $4 billion in insurance reserves. Assets total $6.7 billion and comprise liquid funds of $3 billion with amounts due from re-insurers and co-insurers of $1.5 billion representing a big jump from $875 million in 2017.