Transjamaican heads for twice a year dividend?

TransJamaican Highway Board of Directors approved an interim dividend payment of 9.43 cents per share that will be paid on April 24, 2024, to shareholders on record as at the close of business on April 3, 2024, with the ex-dividend date is April 2, 2024.
This is the first time since the listing of the shares in 2020, that an interim dividend is paid so early in the year, suggesting that the company is moving to a twice a year pay out. The dividend is just over half of the 18.66 cents that was paid in September last year, as the only payment in 2023. Combined the two dividends resulted in a yield of just over 20 percent based on the stock price of $1.36 in March last year. In addition, the stock price jumped 148 percent over the twelve months.
In discussion with a senior officer of the company, ICInsider.com could not get confirmation if the payment to come is an official move by the company to make dividend payments twice per year, but the recent move sends a clear message of twice a year payment.
What ICInsider.com gleaned is that they are still in discussion with the government to establish the terms of agreement for the Mandeville leg of the highway.

60% hike in Scotia Group dividend

 

Scotia Group Falmouth branch

Scotia Group reports a net profit of $3.13 billion for the quarter ending January 2024, down 7 percent from $3.37 billion in January 2023, as credit loss provisions more than doubled to more than $1 billion from $510 million in 2023, with the loan portfolio increasing by 17.4 percent, with a $41 billion addition over the last twelve months to $278 billion and up from $269 billion at the end of October 2023.
According to Management, “Our core loan book continues to perform well with mortgages increasing year over year by 24 percent, consumer loans by 12 percent, credit cards by 12 percent and commercial loans by 17 percent”.
Earnings per share for the quarter ended at $1 and resulted in the dividend payment returning to the bottom of the payout range of 40 to 50 percent, with the Scotia Group’s Board of Directors approving a 60 percent increase in the dividend to 40 cents per stock unit in respect of the first quarter, to be paid on April 17, to stockholders on record as at March 26, up from 25 cents in 2023.

Profit doubles at the NCB Group

NCB Financial reported profits attributable to the groups’ shareholders of $3 billion, more than twice the $1.4 billion for the 2022 December quarter, with earnings per share of $1.32 versus just 60 cents in 2022. Total comprehensive income ended at $6.2 billion for the latest quarter versus $24 billion in the December 2022 quarter.
ICInsider.com projection is for earnings of $8.50 per share in 2024.
Net revenues from banking and investment activities rose to $19.5 billion from $18.8 billion in 2022 and insurance activities delivered net revenues of $14.9 billion compared to $9.5 billion in the prior year. Net operating revenues amount to $34.5 billion compared to $26.9 billion in 2022.
Staff costs ticked slightly higher to $13.6 billion from $13.1 billion in the prior year but depreciation charges more than doubled from $1.2 billion in 2022 to $2.4 billion, while other expenses rose from $8.2 billion to $9.6 billion in 2023.
Importantly, credit impairment losses fell from $1.17 billion in 2022 to $ 877 million in the December 2023 quarter.
Loans advanced to customers rose just under 5 percent to $621 billion from $592 billion in the prior year and up 1.3 percent over September at $613 billion, a development that is going to be a drag on earnings in the near term.
The stock climbed to $69.75 in early morning trading on Friday, up from $65.05 at the close on Thursday.
Shareholders’ Equity ended the period at $160 billion up from $133 billion at the end of December 2022. The company’s directors are meeting on February 16 to consider a dividend payment.

Top 5 JSE dividend paying stocks now

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Companies with earnings that are consistently growing are usually the best dividend paying stocks to invest in if income is a prime objective. They will have more room to make increased dividend payments in the future.
Investors looking for the best dividend paying stocks on the Jamaica Stock Exchange should take the above factors into consideration. It is also a good factor to consider when buying stocks that are likely to increase in value over time.
On the Jamaica Stock Exchange, the Main Market, Carreras is the king of dividend payment with a yield of 11 percent based on the latest stock price of $8 in 2023, followed by Transjamaican Highway and at 7 percent, Scotia Group at 5 percent based on the last dividend paid of 40 cents and annualised, at a then stock price of $34. What is interesting about Scotia is the traditional metric is for the company to pay between 40 to 50 percent of profits.
Scotia historically pays just above 40 percent of profit, but that seems to have been interrupted as a result of the negative impact that flowed from the Covid 9 economic dislocation. The company reported earnings of $5.54 and that would suggest an annual dividend of $2.20 which would translate to a dividend yield of 6.7 percent with 2024 likely to be higher.
The Junior Market has two stocks with attractive yields Dolphin Cove and MailPac at 7 percent each. The payout for MailPac represent a full years’ profit.
Yields may have dipped in some cases but that does not change the longer term prospects.

Q3 profit climbs 18% at GraceKennedy

Profit after tax climbed 17.7 percent to $1.77 billion for the September quarter this year, compared to $1.5 billion over the same period in 2022 at GraceKennedy, from a 13.5 percent rise in revenues to $39.55 billion, up from $4.85 billion in 2022. Profit before tax for the third quarter rose 15.7 percent to $2.62 billion from $2.27 billion as Revenues climbed 13.5 percent to $39.56 billion from $34.85 billion.
For the first nine months of the year, revenues rose 9.7 percent to $117.8 billion, over the $107 billion earned for the nine months to September 2022. Profit before tax reached $8.8 billion, up 14 percent from $7.7 billion and net profit after tax attributable to shareholders of the group rose 14.2 percent to $6.4 billion from $5.6 billion.
The profit translates to earnings per share for the third quarter of $1.79 and $6.02 for the nine months, compared to $1.52 and $5.23 in 2022, respectively.
Earnings per share for the full year ending in December should hit the $8 market, with a PE ratio of 9 based on Thursday’s last traded price of $71.50.
“GK’s food business demonstrated b performance, with notable growth in revenue and profitability for the period. GraceKennedy Financial Group also delivered a positive performance, driven by b top-line growth” Gordon Shirley, chairman and Don Wehby, Chief Executive Officer stated in their commentary on the results.
The company will pay a dividend of 65 cents per stock unit on December 15 totalling approximately $643 million. This is the fourth and final dividend payment by GK for 2023, bringing GK’s year-to-date total dividend payout to $2.15 billion.

Group Chief Executive Officer, Don Wehby.

Direct and operating expenses rose from $33.2 billion in the September 2022 quarter to $37.57 billion, for the year to date it moved from $101.93 billion to $111.7 billion. The group incurred impairment loss on financial assets in the quarter of $100 million compared to $96 million in the previous year and for the year to date, $233 million versus $230 million in 2022. Other income delivered $856 million to profit in the third quarter up from $752 million in 2022 for the similar period, and for the year to date $2.76 billion versus $2.36 billion in the prior year.
Interest income from non-financial services amounted to $161 million in the September quarter down slightly from $169 million in the 2022 third quarter and for the year to date $474 million up from $424 million for the nine months to September 2022. Interest expense rose to $415 million in the latest quarter from $276 million in 2022 and for the nine months, $1.2 billion up from $919 million in 2022. Associated companies contributed $115 million in the September quarter, virtually flat with $114 million in the previous year and $638 million in September 2023 versus $539 million last year.
The group’s lending activity saw loans advanced to customers rising 12.6 percent to $40 billion at the end of September this year while investment securities climbed to $51.6 billion from $36.96 billion at the end of September 2022. Receivables climbed quite sharply by 35 percent from $19.5 billion at the end of September 2022 to $26.3 billion well ahead of the increase in revenues. On the liability side, deposits grew 23 percent to $61 billion from $49.6 billion at the end of September 2022. Loans received by the group amounted to $30.4 billion a slight increase from the $29.5 million at the end of September 2022. Shareholders’ equity ended the period at $77.8 billion, up from $69.7 billion at the end of September 2022.
In commenting on the results, Gordon Shirley Chairman and Don Wehby in a jointly signed report stated “GK food business demonstrated b performance in the first nine months of 2023 with notable growth in both revenues and pretax profit. Our Jamaican food division achieved commendable results.”

Grace Kennedy products

“The manufacturing business also delivered improved results over the previous year. Hilo Food Stores continue to display robust performance in 2023 powered by increased sales. Our international food business experience improved performance in comparison to the same period last year. But growth in revenue and profitability was achieved by GK Foods USA and Grace Foods UK, while Belize and Grace LACA also saw growth. Our La Fe and Grace brands experienced significant growth in the US market, Grace Foods Canada continues to work at overcoming operational challenges and inflationary pressures in that market.”
“The Financial Group delivered positive performance driven by b top line growth. Our insurance segment sustained growth throughout the period.”
First Global Bank delivered improved results over the prior year aided by increased lending. Remittance services suffered a slight dip in revenues and profit and is partnering with Courts to locate the Western Union outlets in their stores. Bill Express also experienced growth in the period.
Based on the above PE ratio that is much lower than the market average of 13 the stock is undervalued measured by net book value that is the price is less than two times book which is low, with several of its peer trading at a much higher valuation based on net book value. Grace’s main problem is that it is a very liquid stock as there is no dominant shareholder controlling a near majority

Profit rises 14% at GraceKennedy

Revenues at GraceKennedy rose 9.7 percent to $117.8 billion, over $10.4 billion earned for the nine months to September over the same period in 2022. Profit before tax reached $8.8 billion, up by J$1.1 billion, or a 14 percent increase, while net profit after tax rose 14.2 percent to $6.4 billion.
Profit attributable to stockholders hit $6 billion, a 15.3 percent increase over the corresponding period last year. Earnings per stock unit for the period were $6.02, compared to $5.23 in 2022.
Earnings per share for the full year ending in December should hit the $8 market, with PE ratio of 9 based on Thursday last traded price of $71.50.
The company stated that “GK’s food business demonstrated strong performance, with notable growth in revenue and profitability for the period. GraceKennedy Financial Group also delivered a positive performance, driven by strong top-line growth”.
A dividend of $0.65 per stock unit has been announced and will be payable on December 15, 2023, totalling approximately $643 million. This is the fourth and final dividend payment by GK for 2023, bringing GK’s year-to-date total dividend pay-out to approximately J$2.15 billion.

Transjamaican stock doubles in 2023

Transjamaican Highway stock closed trading on Wednesday with a gain of 105 percent at a record close of $2.87 on Wednesday and traded at a record $2.95, up 111 percent on Thursday morning, to be one of only two stocks on the Main Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange to gain more than 100 percent for the year to date, the other being Ciboney up 139 percent.

New record high for the JSE Junior Market.

Investors in Transjamaican, the operators of Highway 2000 have much more to cheer about as the company raised the dividend to be paid in October by 118 percent to 18.66 cents up from 8.55 cents last year. The dividend adds another 13 percent to their return for 2023 based on the opening price for the year of $1.40. While the 2023 performance is a big reward for investors in the stock, it has been a long wait for early investors who bought in the IPO at $1.41 in February 2020, valued then at a PE ratio of 25 times, when the market was averaging 16 times. Critics of the value at the time indicated the serious overvaluation but supporters hailed it as reasonably priced. Now the stock is trading at less than 10 times 2023 earnings of 30 cents per share and buyers have been less than ecstatic about it, by slowly driving the share price to current levels over several months.

Transjamaican Highway

The stock’s performance is supported by an outstanding jump in profits for the six months to June over the similar period last year, with earnings of 14 cents per share versus just 3 cents for the same period last year, with the profit ballooning 338 percent for the June quarter to US$6 million and 442 percent to US$11 million for the half year. Revenues and profit rose as a result of the acquisition of its new subsidiary, Jamaican Infrastructure Operators which reduced cost considerably as well and the group benefitted from increased revenues from operating the toll road. The stock’s performance was also helped by the declaration of the substantial increase in dividend.

SOS directors to consider splitting the stock

The board of directors of Stationary & Office Supplies informed the Jamaica Stock Exchange that they will meet on Wednesday, June 21st to discuss and consider whether or not to recommend a stock split to the company’s shareholders.

SOS is likely to split stock in 2023.

According to the release, “the market value of the company’s stock has been on a consistent growth trajectory and the liquidity of the stock is also a significant consideration.”
At the last annual general meeting the CEO, Allan McDaniel stated that they were reviewing the matter of a stock split on an ongoing basis but that trading in the stock was fairly liquid as such there was no need to make the adjustment then.
ICInsider.com gathers that the $20 was likely to be the trigger point for a split. Last week the stock traded at $24 but pulled back to $20 where it is now trading, but if history is anything to go by, the price is likely to climb in Tuesday’s trading. With profits for the current year likely to hit nearly $2 per share and around $3 in 2024, that could push the price between $30 and $40 this year and $50 to $60 next year, a split in the order of 10 could place the price closer to where Junior Market investors could find the stock reasonably priced and encourage greater trading in it. A 10 to 1 split would lift the issued shares to just over 2.5 billion units which would be within a level that would facilitate a great deal of liquidity for a number of years, but the price could be back in the teens again in 2024. Even a 5 for 1 would result in an enhanced level of liquidity with just over 1.25 billion units in issue and push it to 16th Junior Market company in terms of the number of issued shares and 6th if a 10 to 1 split was to be approved. The prospects of profit jumping sharply in 2024, if achievable and seen by management as likely then a 10 to 1 split would seem to be the better option.
The split if approved by the directors, would require ratification by shareholders at a general meeting and that is likely to be at the company’s upcoming general meeting.
The next stock split could well come for Cargo Handlers, with thin trading currently with the price now in excess of $20. Dolphin Cove seems to be shaping for a possible spilt as well but that would be more likely down the road.

Palace stock trades ex-split next Monday

Palace Amusement stock will trade x-split starting Monday, February 27, following approval at the January Annual general meeting of a 600 to 1 split with the record date of February 28.
The split will take the total number of shares to 862 million from 1.437 million currently and provide more liquidity in trading the company’s shares as more investors will be attracted to it than previously. The stock that traded on Monday at up to $2,700 will see the price dropping to the $4 plus range after the split takes effect next week.
The split comes at an opportune time for the company with its first profit since the March 2020 quarter and one of the best quarterly results in the company’s history.

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The stock has enjoyed regular trading since the announcement of the split with the price reaching a record $3,300 and is now trading in the $2,700 range since releasing half year results with profits and revenues surging 222 percent to $486 million, with a profit of $79 million in the December quarter.
The split will result in the stock trading in the $4 to $6 region and will result in almost daily trading thus providing the company with regular publicity that it never had before based on the limited trading opportunities in the past. Such exposure could well result in a 10 to 20 percent jump in attendance as the name and product are beamed regularly on a wider audience than before.

Stock split to drive business for Palace

Palace Amusement stock will trade x-split starting Monday, February, with the record date of February 28 for the 600 to 1 split that will take the total number of shares to 862 million for 1.437 million currently and provide the company with added ongoing publicity.
The stock has enjoyed regular trading since the announcement of the split with the price reaching a record $3,300 and is now trading in the $2,700 range since releasing half year results with profits and revenues surging 222 percent to $486 million, with a profit of $79 million in the December quarter.
The split will result in the stock trading in the $4 to $6 region and will result in almost daily trading thus providing the company with regular publicity that it never had before based on the limited trading opportunities in the past. Such exposure could well result in a 10 to 20 percent jump in attendance as the name and product are beamed regularly on a wider audience than before.

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