Sagicor Investments get big NDX hit

The debt swap that Sagicor Investments participated in — the GOJ’s National Debt Exchange (NDX)  — was costly for the group, not only did they get a big hit resulting in a one-time trading loss of $423 million, they also suffered reduced interest income amounting to $71 million in the quarter to March and a reduction of gross interest income going forward of approximately $57 million per month.

For the three-month period, net Interest Income was $717 million compared to $752 million in the prior year. Income earning assets was $76.9 billion compared to $77.5 billion in the prior period. Net interest margin contracted to 3.73% versus 3.88% in 2012, largely due to NDX.

Non-interest income before NDX losses, was $249 million compared to $337 million in the prior period. This decline was due largely to reduced trading opportunities in quarter. The par value of JA$ securities exchanged was $31.9 Billion. The par value of US$ securities exchanged was US$77.4 million.

Asset management, credit and service fees, trust services and FX trading and translation gains recorded improved results compared with 2012. Fixed income trading, equity trading and stock brokerage posted lower revenues. Non-interest expense increased by 8% to $494 million compared to $457 million for the prior year. Depreciation and amortisation charges associated with branch relocations and technology improvements, rose by $10 million. The current period was also impacted by asset tax charge of $30 million while there was none in Q1, 2012.

Loan Quality | Non-performing loans and leases amounted $712 million representing 7.7% of the portfolio (BOJ December 2012 industry average is 6.8%) versus $548 Million or 5.7% of the portfolio at December 2012. Subsequent to the end of the quarter there was a reduction of $100 million in the Non-performing loans as revealed by the company in their quarterly financial report.

Balance Sheet & Capital | Total Assets were $88.6 billion, up $0.3 billion since December 2012. Securities portfolios increased by 2% to $72.0 billion while our credit portfolio declined to $8.9 billion, from $9.3 billion at December 2012. Interest bearing liabilities now stand at $75.2 billion, up $0.8 billion compared to $74.4 billion at December 2012.

Stock Outlook | We estimate that the company will earn around $2.50 per share for the year ending December and with a price of $15.57 there is still value in holding the stock for medium to long term growth as well as excellent dividend payment.

Sharp moves up at BNS Jamaica

Scotia Group Jamaica Limited (SGJ) has advised that Mrs. Jacqueline Sharp, former Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed to the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of SGJ effective May 1, 2013.

She served as Financial Controller in the Insurance arm for a number of years before taking over the top financial position of the group in 2008.

JSharp+BNSPrior to joining the banking group Mrs Sharp worked for a number of years at Security Brokers, a former member of the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Between 1988-91, she attended University of the West Indies and hold a BSC in accounting and CFA certification.

Debt swap for Caribbean Producers

CPJ is following the example of the Government of Jamaica in pursuing a debt swap. This one, unlike that of the government’s, will not result in any loss in capital for the holders of the debt. The board recently gave approval for the company to raise $500 million in floating rate secured promissory note. The proceeds will be used to retire loans they current have including related parties loans which climbed to US$12.3 million at the end of March.

But loan capital is not what the company needs, it needs more equity capital. At the end of March, loans and advances by related parties amounted to nearly US$24 million, equity is less than half of that at US$11.7 million. Cash flow is about US$5 million for this year most of which has already been utilized in long term capital expenditure.

Stock Outlook | The working capital on paper is well within accepted norms. The only problem is that liquid funds are not plentiful, with less than US$1 million dollars on the books. The directors are causing the company to skate on thin ice which is what is happening. Seeking a debt swap may save on the interest cost but will merely dent the poor debt to equity ratio, which is well out of line and prudence dictates should be put right fast, not later.

Caribbean Producers Profit down

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Caribbean Producers reported reduced profits for the March quarter and for the nine months to March. The company reported sales of US$50.148 million for the nine months versus US$49.8 million in 2012. The latest quarter revenues came in at US$19.4 million just ahead of US$19.2 garnered in 2012 even as they rolled items from their expanded portfolio of products. Profit after tax was US$1.26 million in the 2013 quarter and US$1.73 million in the same quarter of 2012. Year to date after tax profit is US$1.8 million versus US$2.56 million in 2012.

The company indicated in its quarterly report to shareholders that they were able to squeeze cost savings from the manufacturing operations resulting in a 14.6 percent improved gross profit amounting to US$14.5 million bettering 2012 by US$1.8 million. The gross margin moved from 25.5 percent to 29 percent for the nine months period. Selling and administrative expenses climbed 25 percent mainly due to the expansion and introduction of the meat processing plant which had to employ persons at the commencement phase. The factory was commissioned during the March quarter.

The company’s Lady Musgrave Road retail operations started in December last year and comprises a bar, super mart and a deli. Management states that the financial results are improving each month since opening.

Even as the company maintains the accounting and sales in US dollars, it seems clear that the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar over the past several months has had a negative effect on the results. The end result is that the devaluation cost is passed on to customers, which means that customers would switch to suppliers who price their goods in Jamaican dollars in their search for lower prices.

Stock Outlook | The company should go on to earn around 27-30 cents per share for the full year but should see a boost for the next year which starts in July as revenues from new operations start to come in and reduce the impact of overheads incurred.

The stock which is trading around $2 may remain anchored at these levels for a while, additionally, the company needs to seriously address the poor debt to equity and working capital ratio and not by extending the loans profile.

Caribbean Producers Jamaica Ltd | Importers of wines, liquors, and other products that are used primarily in the hotel sector. They also produce juices and now have a meat processing plant which is used for processing beef and pig’s meat. The company is listed on the junior market of the Jamaican Stock exchange.

NDX hits out Barita’s profit

Government’s debt swap forced Barita Investments to take a $240 million hit in February as they wrote off investment gains that were on their books, prior to the swap. The swap meant that investments had a value that was higher than the face value at which government acquired them at, resulting in the loss. The write-off severely impacted the company’s results for both the quarter and for the six months period. Accordingly, Barita recorded a loss in both periods.

The company stated in a release to shareholders, that without the impact of the National Debt Exchange, the financial performance would have surpassed the prior year to date profit of $143 million.

Barita posted losses of $98 million for the second quarter of the financial year and had year to date losses of $20 million. The company was able to grow its income with the main drivers being dividend income, increasing by $13 million, foreign exchange trading and translation gains, which increased by $78 million and unit trust operations. Operating expenses at the end of the second quarter were $240 million compared to $226 million for the same period of 2012. The company reported that cost savings in the curtailment of expenses contributed positively to the bottom line.

Management stated that they continue the diversification of the revenue streams by increasing product offerings and growing non-interest income. Funds under management for the Money Market and Capital Growth funds, maintained a level of nearly $3 billion. Barita Unit Trusts Management Company recorded significant improvements in our top and bottom line performances where revenues grew by 15 percent and profits increased by 20 percent for the quarter the company stated.

Balance Sheet | The asset base showed a $1.5 billion or 10 percent decrease over prior year, from $14.2 billion to $12.7 billion, while liabilities also decreased by $1.1 billion or 9 percent. As at the end of March 2013, shareholders equity stood at $1.38 billion.

Stock Outlook | The company, with the loss to date, faces a difficult task this year as all indications points to lower profits for the year ending in September than for 2012. The stock, at best, is a hold at this stage.

Talk Back | If you have a response to our stock outlook, please leave a comment below.

Republic Bank undervalued (TTSE)

Republic Bank out of Trinidad is reporting slightly lower profit for the six months to March this year compared with 2012. According to data released by the bank today profits before tax came in at TT$336.954 million or 6 percent less than the $358.97 in 2011 for the same quarter. According to the chairman, $49 million was an adjustment for the defaulted Grenada bond. On a quarter over quarter basis the December quarter was better than the March quarter by 16 percent while in 2012 the March was worse by 7 percent. For the six months to March, profits were flat with just a slight negative slant as the 4 percent improvement generated in December 2012 was wiped out by the reduced earnings in the March quarter.

After tax profits attributable to shareholders was slight better that the pretax performance as the March quarter slipped by 4 percent to TT$267.468 million, while the year to date earnings are just slightly up. Earnings per share for the six months is TT$7.27. Republic trades at just $108.90 or at a PE of just over 7 times this year’s earnings while Scotia Bank is selling at more than 20 times earnings. Republic has traded around 20 times earnings in the past and has much room to grow. What is apparently holding back the stock must be the fact that a large block of the shares is in the hands of the government and could be divested in the near term.

Loan and advances at March came in at TT$24.7 billion, investments was TT$7.7 billion and customer deposit and funding instruments amounted to TT$43.4 billion and total equity was TT$79.4 billion. The bank seems well capitalized, however, its operations reaches out into the wider southern Caribbean and some of those economies face difficult times.


KREMI oversubscribed

When the public offer of Caribbean Cream Ltd (CCL) KREMI closed on Wednesday, it brought the total number of companies to raise funds using the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s junior market to seventeen (17).

Caribbean Cream Ltd (CCL) KREMI, seeking to list on the JSE Junior Market, closed on Wednesday morning, May 1, 2013 with applications amounting to more than 375. Word reaching was that the level of oversubscription was not high. This means that the stock will struggle in early trading to hold the $1 price but data suggest that earnings to be reported will beat a number of investors’ expectations when the annual results to February are released in a few weeks.

The Invitation for Subscription for 75,713,623 Ordinary Shares at J$1.00 opened on Thursday April 25, 2013 and was originally scheduled to close on closed May 10, 2013.

Stocks & Securities, the brokers to the deal, indicated that applicants (inclusive of Applicants for Reserved Shares) will be advised of the basis of allotment within three (3) business days in accordance with the Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market Rules.

The brokers also stated that the closing of the Invitation represents a landmark event for the company’s expansion as CCL recently signed a $13 million deal with Sandals Resorts International as the sole supplier of bulk ice cream to its Jamaican properties. CCL has also brokered a successful transaction with getting its products into Jewel Resorts.

CCL when it lists on the stock exchange later this month will bring the total listing on the junior market to 17 and will be the second since the start of 2013.

Talk Back | What were your reason for buying or not buying this IPO?

Kremi IPO to close today has been reliably advised that the initial public offer (IPO) of shares of Caribbean Cream which opened to the public for subscription on, 25th April 2013 will close today, Tuesday April 30, most likely on the morning, well ahead of the original propose close of 4:30 pm on the 10th May 2013. The early close was subject to the right of the Company to close the subscription list at any time after it opens on 9:00 a.m. on the Opening Date, once the issue is fully subscribed.  The shares which were priced at $1 each and meant to raise $75 million did not get the blessing of some brokerage houses as they saw the price as being too high, and in one case, they saw it as too risky based on inconsistent earnings amongst other issues.

JMMB‘s Forecast and Valuation | The company is expected to remain profitable despite the uncertainties in the local economy. The macro-economic instability may subside following an International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement with Jamaica against the background of foreign exchange inflows and a slight improvement in the net international reserves. Further, listing on the Junior Stock Exchange will give the company a tax break for the next ten years, which should boost earnings attributable to shareholders. Revenues will continue to improve over the short term, while the enhancements and expansion in productive capacity of the company’s facility will likely improve its operational efficiency.

Within this context, the net earnings for the 2013 financial year end are expected to reach $29.81M (or EPS of $0.08). Meanwhile, net profits for the 2014 financial year end are projected to reach $40.99M (or EPS of $0.12). At the initial public offering price, the price-to-earnings ratio will be 12.70 times. The average trailing price-to-earnings ratio for the Junior market is approximately 6.41 times (Main market has a P/E of 6.58 times). Further, the average trailing price-to-earnings ratio for manufacturers and retailers listed on the Junior market is roughly 6.75 times (Manufacturing sector on the main market has a P/E of 6.06 times). Therefore, assuming a forward P/E ratio of 8.0 times for the 2014 financial year against the background of improved investor sentiments and stability in the local economy; the intrinsic value for Caribbean Cream Limited’s share based on estimated earnings is approximately $0.94.

The capital base of the company is expected to improve to $195.16M or a book value per share of $0.52 by 2014 financial year end. Assuming a forward P/BV of 1.8 times, the intrinsic value of stock is $0.93.

NCB Capital Markets‘ assessment of the prospectus | “For the nine months to November, the company increased net profit by 103% and boosted its equity base by increasing its share capital. Caribbean Cream Ltd ended the March 2012FY with earnings of $31.36Mn, the highest profit the company has recorded over the past five years and a sizable improvement to the $5Mn loss experienced in the previous year.


  • Earnings have been extremely volatile over the last 5 years
  • Earnings for the nine months period of $23.67 was driven almost entirely by a $21.0Mn revaluation gain following an $11.62Mn profit in the prior year period. This further confirms the earnings volatility
  • Company is highly leveraged which could impede its growth prospects
  • Current ratio of 0.79X raises liquidity concerns
  • Free cash flow is negative which could restrict the company’s ability to follow through on its dividend policy which is to pay out at least 20% of earnings.

There is no clear growth strategy even amidst the company’s rapid expansion As a result of the aforementioned, we are not recommending this investment at this time”.

KremiBanner600X250IC Insider considers that both assessments are way off the mark. Assessment of the company’s performance must be based on pretax profit, not after tax which has varying taxation elements that has nothing to do with operating activities. Profit before tax has been very consistent since the commencement of the company, Earnings for 2013 is more likely to hit 17 per share if the trend in revenues continues after November last year. If the company makes $29.8 million as indicated above in profit for 2013, earnings per share would be 9.8 cents not 8 cents before tax based on the 302.85 million shares issued for the year to February this year.

The company’s rapid growth has helped to put pressure on working capital. New cash to come from the IPO, will help address some of the issue rightly pointed out above.

Talk Back | What do you think? Was the IPO overvalued?

Is the real estate market bullish?

Jamaican Teas is reporting that its first real estate development, Carmen’s
 Court was sold out in 2 days when the units went on sale in mid-April, as
 buyers said a resounding, Yes!

This very first real estate project brought to market by H Mahfood & Sons Limited, a subsidiary of Jamaican Tea. Billed as charming, contemporary and ideal for property virgins and investors, the gated community on Kingsway in the prime Kingston 10 area, offered eighteen super studios of approximately 630 sq ft, with added features of private parking, a water tank and generator.

“Fifteen of the units were sold in one weekend and the remaining three are spoken for”, according to John Mahfood, Managing Director, Jamaican Teas, who believes that the development was a big winner because it had great timing, is quality real estate in a great location and affordably priced at
$10.5m to $11.9m.

Since its listing on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange in
2010, Jamaican Teas has demonstrated that it has its finger on the pulse, in terms of innovation and expansion. The group has plans for future real estate projects, as well as growth in its supermarkets and consumer brands of Tetley Teas, Caribbean Dreams and Jamaica Blue Spring Water products.

Talk Back | But investors are wondering if the quick sell off of units is an indication that investors are opening their wallets again to invest locally as opposed to putting money in foreign assets.  More importantly, is this move heralding a revival of the real estate market?

NDX slaps NCB profits

National Commercial Bank

For the six months ended March 31, 2013 | Operating income declined by $26 million, when compared with the six months ended March 31, 2012, mainly as a result of a $2.4 billion reduction in gains on foreign currency and investment activities due to losses arising from NCB’s participation in the debt exchanges, plunging income for foreign currency and investment activities, declining to a loss of $729 million in the march quarter compared to a profit of $1.4 billion in 2012.

For the three months ending March 2013 | Compared with the three months ended December 2012 net profit of $1.7 billion, decreased by 37.4%, or $1.0 billion while earnings per stock declined by 37.4%, to $0.71 from $1.13. During the quarter NCBJ group accepted government’s debt swap offer and exchanged $118 billion of eligible securities. The primary impact of the exchanges is a reduction in coupon rates, an immediate hit from loss from the difference in market value from the amounts received from new instruments and the extension of the tenure of the securities. However, the eligible securities involved are marketable securities and the securities received was lower than the value of the securities tendered, resulting in losses on some of the instruments exchanged. The group stated that they have identified a number of mitigating measures to address the on-going reduction in yields, most of which have already been implemented.

For the six months ended March 31, 2013 | Net interest income increased by 9.8%, or $1.0 billion, primarily due to growth in loans and investments. Net fee and commission income, grew by 11.6%, or $407 million, due primarily to increased card transaction volumes in the Payment Services segment, as well as increased fees earned from new loans. Premium income increased by 73.7%, or $747 million due mainly to the acquisition of Advantage General Insurance.

Provision for credit losses | Declined by 30.8%, or $470 million, due mainly to losses recorded on a large loan last year, while operating expenses increased by $646 million in the six months ended March, over the six months ending March 2012, mainly as a result of:

  1. Other operating expenses, increasing 27.7%, or $967 million, primarily due to insurance benefits and reserving expenses related to the acquisition of Advantage General Insurance and asset taxes.
  2. Depreciation and amortisation charges increased $48.5%, or $179 million, due largely to increased capital expenditures.

Loans and advances | Increased to $128.8 billion at the end of March 2013, growing 24.9%, or $25.7 billion, compared to the loan portfolio as at March 2012. Non-performing loans totalled $7.5 billion ($7.5 billion as at March 31, 2012) and represented 5.7% of the gross loans compared to 7.1% as at March 31, 2012.

Dividend Declaration | NCB declared a dividend of $0.16 per share payable on May 24. The stock closed at $18.56 at the end of trading on Friday with 253,195 shares trading the day after the results were released.

Talk Back | Any response to these posted results? Please leave a comment below.