Everything Fresh picks up Meat company

Everything Fresh traded at $1.61 on Monday.

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

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

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

Big leap in BUY RATED Wisynco profit

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

Sugar canes from which sugar is made.

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

Twice a year dividend for Wisynco

Shareholders at Wisynco 2018 AGM.

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

NCB hikes dividend 29%

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

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

NCB giving back to the community.

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

Indies shareholders exposed to tax risk

Indies Pharma reported lower profit for the year to October as slower gains in second half revenues and a more meager profit margin sapped the contribution from the increased sales.
While the company needs to sort out the loss in profit margin. There is also another big issue directors need to deal with. Included in receivables is shareholders’ loan of $136 million with no movement in the year and no information in the audited statements of terms relating thereto including the date for liquidation. IC insider.com source suggest that the recent two large blocks of shares of approximately 115 million units traded in the market this week, is a move to clear off the balance and that should show in the March quarterly report.
Additionally, directors owe the company $37 million, an amount that increased during the year. The company needs to clean up the balance sheet as it could be subject to taxes on distribution for the amount owed to the company by directors and possibly the shareholders. The other factor is that it appears that these amounts are free of interest. Other related party indebtedness also needs regularising with specific terms for transparency.
Profit for the full year is down to $120 million after tax, from $137 million in 2017. At the half way mark, profit was $54 million versus $52 million in 2017, the growth in profit for the 2018 second half was less than in 2017.
Revenues from sales grew just 2.5 percent for the year, down from 9.9 percent at the half-year mark. Cost of sales rose 16.6 percent for the full year compared to the 17.5 percent at April, but with sharply differing sales growth. The net effect is a fall in gross profit for the full year to $393 million from $412 million in 2017. Gross profit improved to $187 million at the 2018 half-way mark, from $177 million in 2017.
Administrative cost was virtually flat at the end of April at $110 million versus $108 million and climbed 6.7 percent to $240 million for the year. Finance cost, inclusive of foreign exchange losses, was flat at $16 million for the year.
As the company listed on the Junior Market, the corporate tax bill is down to $18 million, from $35 million in 2017.
The statement of financial position reflects pretty strong financials, with equity capital of $668 million, strong working capital including $102 million of liquid funds.
Indies last traded at $3.35 on the Junior Market, based on these results the PE ratio would be 37 but investors are looking for a brighter 2019 results.

Strong food & insurance sales gains at Grace

Grace new HQ close to the end of construction in downtown Kingston

Grace Kennedy reported net profit attributable to shareholders of $3.26 billion for the year to September compared with $3.3 billion in 2017 on strong gains in Food and Insurance segments. For the September quarter, the group earnings of $1.06 billion was realized, down from $1.5 billion.
The current quarter’s result is negatively impacted by one off expenses.
Segment results show declines in the Money transfer business with segment results down to $2.34 billion from $2.46 billion in 2017. Banking was flat with results of $401 million but both Insurance and Food trading recorded healthy increases. Food reported $1.35 billion in 2017 and climbed a strong 12.5 percent to $1.52 billion and Insurance jumped a robust 22.7 percent from $508 million to $734 million.
When adjusted for non-recurring gains in 2017 and one-time expenses of $236 million in the September 2018 quarter, profit for the nine months would have been greater by approximately $600 million.
For the nine-months, the Company revenues rose 7 percent to $73.8 billion but climbed a healthier 11 percent to $25.46 billion for the September quarter, over the same period in 2017. Group Chief Financial Officer, Frank James, informed IC Insider.com that the savings from the rationalisation exercise will generate savings considerable higher than the cost, due partially to some former employees being retired and not incurring separation cost.
Operating cost rose faster than revenues, with an increase of 13 percent to $24.6 billion for the

Group Chief Executive Officer, Don Wehby.

quarter and an increase of 8 percent to $71.4 billion for the nine months. Unfortunately, Grace continues the backward practice of not breaking out direct selling cost from other costs in their interim results as such investors cannot determine how movement in cost is affected by changes in revenues versus fixed and administrative cost.
Shareholders’ equity increased of $3.2 billion to $48.4 billion over 2017. Loans receivables remained flat at $26.4 billion compared to $26.58 billion in September 2017 and is down from $27.55 billion at the end of 2017. At the end of the period total assets increased $7.3 billion to $137 billion since September in 2017 and liabilities rose by a smaller $3 billion to $86.44 billion.
In speaking to the recent performance, Group Chief Executive Officer, Don Wehby, affirmed, “The Company is investing strategically for future growth and efficiency to achieve this objective. We are seeing a 12.6 percent increase in profit over prior period, with the one-off adjustments, and we expect continued growth based on our strategy.”
Since 2018, the Group embarked on a programme which aims to improve its return on investment and shareholder value. The process involves a review of its overall organizational design, cost structure, and business processes at all levels resulting in restructuring which affected a number of positions in August. In expounding further Wehby stated, “Although the restructuring costs of $236 million impacted the quarter’s performance, I am confident that the Company will realize the benefits of this in subsequent periods.”
Grace pays an interim dividend of 50 cents per stock unit on December 13, bringing dividends to date to $1.35 per stock unit of more than $1.3 billion.
Wehby and the group’s chairman Gordon Shirley in their report to shareholders stated that Grace Kennedy anticipates continued growth for the fourth quarter, subsequent to the quarterly report the group announced changes in their Florida distribution with an investment in the company that manufactures it patties that will take over Graces distribution and warehousing in that area. The new arrangement will mean less cost and more profits for Grace.
IC Insider.com projects earnings is $4.80 for the current fiscal year to December and $6 for 2019. The stock is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange and trades at $60 for a PE of 12.5 times current year’s estimated earnings versus an average for the market in the region of 15, with a premium of a mere 20 percent above net book value per share and seems undervalued, currently. The stock looks like a good long term investment.

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

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.