How the east was won?

Annmarie Vaz winner of the East Portland seat.

Anne Marie Vaz increased her party’s support by a stunning 58 percent, over the JLP’s haul in the 2016 General Election to win the East Portland by-election on Thursday with just 11 votes less than 10,000.
At the same time, Damion Crawford only pulled out 5 percent more votes than was polled for the PNP, in 2016. The story gets increasing bad for the PNP and it is not just in this election. The writing was on the wall for years but poor candidature, by the JLP lent the view to many onlookers, that East Portland was safe PNP territory. The 2007, results with the PNP winning by less than 800 votes, should have sent a clear warning to them that things were changing rapidly.
In this latest election, the number of new voters on the list, grew by 5.6 percent, but Crawford’s increase of 4.8 percent was less than the rise in registered voters. Looked at differently, he picked up just 354 votes more than in the 2011 elections or only 3.8 percent more. On a net basis, he garnered only approximately 25 percent of new voters, while Vaz got 75 percent. This is consistent with a pattern seen island wide since 1993 and is one that is not likely to change, anytime soon.
The Labour party was able to get out their 8,000 voters of 2011 and add 24 percent more voters to it, in addition to commandeering the vast majority of new voters, the vote tally at the end of the preliminary count suggests.
The results on the surface is a major about turn for the seat. Closer examination of the numbers for a longer period tells a clear tale. The huge 2019 increase is due to a below performance for the JLP in the 2016 elections, when the votes by the party sank by a hefty 22 percent and  well against the national trend. The trend since the 1993 elections, suggests that the natural growth in party support should have seen them polling over 9,700 votes, just below the numbers she got in the latest polls.
The data also points out that the trend is indicating that the JLP should have polled around 2,000 more votes than they did, this time around.  Those voters are there in their corner based on the growth in support, reflected in the average gains in votes cast in prior elections. This bit of information is also reflected in public opinion voting survey data.

Eppley Carib Property considers JSE listing

Eppley Caribbean Property Fund is now being managed by Eppley, a Jamaican listed company

Eppley Caribbean Property Fund SCC announced its intention to cross-list the cellular shares of the Value Fund (“the Value Fund Shares”) on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
The Value Fund Shares are currently listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange and the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange and the believes that cross-listing the Value Fund Shares on the Jamaica Stock Exchange will enhance liquidity and make them available to wider universe of investors.
The Board of Directors has authorized ECPF’s fund managers, Eppley Fund Managers Limited, to evaluate the process of cross-listing the Value Fund Shares with the support of ECPF’s attorneys, investment bankers and other professional advisors.
If a decision is made by the Board of Directors to cross list the Value Fund Shares, Eppley expects that the cross-listing is likely to take place by the end of the second quarter of 2019 subject to any relevant regulatory approvals.
Eppley Caribbean Property Fund SCC (“ECPF”) is a closed-end mutual fund that invests in real estate across the Caribbean. ECPF has two segregated cells, namely the Value Fund and the Development Fund both of which are listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange and the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange

Guardian Holdings profit jumps 31%

Guardian Holdings jumps $1 to new 52 weeks’ high.

Profits at the Trinidad based Guardian Holdings, jumped an attractive 31 percent to TT$534 million above the TT$407 million reported for 2017 that is due to shareholders of the group.
The results translate to earnings per share of $2.30 versus $1.75 in the prior year. “Insurance underwriting activities drove the performance led by the Life, Health and Pension business segment which had a stellar performance achieved primarily from improved persistency, expense management and improved product mix,” Henry Peter Ganteaume, the company’s Deputy Chairman, disclosed to shareholders in his commentary accompanying the results.
Net Written Premiums by 6 percent to reach $4.16 billion but gross written premium rose by 7 percent to $5.86 billion. Net income from underwriting activities more than doubled from $403 million to $863 million. The deputy chairman went on to state, “The Property and Casualty business segment returned a satisfactory performance as it was spared major catastrophic events during the year. However, the persistent soft market conditions led to a marginal increase to Net Written Premiums. Also of note were the not-insignificant profits made by our Asset Management and Brokerage businesses. These two ‘segments’ hold promise to become important and non-risk exposed elements of our overall Group earnings profile over the relatively short term. NCB shareholders will be big winners in a successful Guardian acquisition. Net income from investing activities fell from $1,191 million to $982 million, driven primarily by volatility in Global equity markets, which resulted in a Net fair value loss of $12 million in 2018 compared to an exceptional gain of $246 million in 2017”.
Operating expenses increased by 7 percent to just under $1.05 billion. Based on the 2018 performance, the directors propose a final dividend of 48 cents, which will bring the total dividend to 71 cents, an increase of 4 cents or 6 percent over 2017. Shareholders’ equity grew to $3.4 billion at the end December and total assets at $27.3 billion.
Guardian stock closed at a 52 weeks’ high of $19 on the Trinidad Stock Exchange on Wednesday at a low PE ratio of 8.2 times last year’s earnings and no doubt even lower than 2019 earnings. If NCB financial gets approval for the acquisition of majority shares in the company, they would have picked up a gem at a very low price making the NCB’s investors the winners and the Guardian sellers, big losers.

Major capital increase for Barita?

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If one of the resolutions to be put to shareholders of Barita Investments at the upcoming Annual General Meeting set for March 21 is anything to go by, the company is set for some major changes.
According to the notice of meeting, shareholders are being asked, to approve a major increase in the authorized capital of the brokerage house, to 15 billion units up from 1 billion currently. The increase will result in the creation of 13.5 billion new ordinary shares and 500 Million preference shares.
The meeting is being asked to give Directors authority to dispose of the newly created shares in such manner as they think most beneficial to the Company. The company did not state the purpose of the added shares.
The company by the end of March, will be issuing new shares to existing shareholders, following the approval of a right issue, 10 new share for 17 existing ones at $15.50 each. The proceeds of the rights issue will take the issued capital up by 262.28 million units to 708 million shares. At this level the shares will not be very liquid and the company will need to split the stock to help improve liquidity.
The rights issue seems to be just one of a series of moves by the company to increase the number of issued shares. In 2018, IC suggested that the company was set to issue rights to existing shareholders as well as the likelihood of splitting the stock. The move to increase the authorised capital seems poised to fulfill the splitting of the stock. The odds favour a stock bonus that could well result in issued shares moving to between 2.1 billion and 2.8 billion units. Such a move would result in more liquidity for the closely held stock and not the most liquid on the market. A stock split that

Barita Investments shareholders seem poised to get a stock split sooner than later.

would use of just 2 billion of the increased share capital, suggests that there is much more to the move than the annual report speaks to. This publication is of the view that one or more major regional financial institutions are likely to buy into Barita well ahead of the final quarter of 2019. The move would result in Conerstone, the current major shareholders reducing their percentage holdings. Barita could well go back to the market to garner funds from a wider cross section of investors and thereby increasing the number of investors in the company.
At the end of December, Barita shareholder’s capital was $3.05 billion with total assets of $19 billion. The company reported profit of $108 million after foreign exchange and trading gains of $156 million up from a loss of $39 million in 2017.

iCreate now listed

The latest Initial Public offer for 2019 was listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange today.

Atempts were made to trade the stock at $2 but that price is beyong the 30 percent one day limitation. It subsequently traded at $1.30, leaving two bids for the stock at $1.20 to buy 66,000 units and 1,000 units at 70 cents. There are 777,400 units on offer from $1.96 to $2.25. The stock was sold to the market in the IPO at $1.01 each.

Flat profits at Jamaican Teas

Jamaican Teas

Domestic sales at Jamaican Teas was robust for the first quarter to December last year, with a 16 percent increase in both the manufacturing operation and at the company’s sole supermarket. Exports fell sharply and pulled down overall sales.
JTL’s first quarter revenues from manufacturing operations declined by 10 percent, due mainly to a stock reduction exercise at the main USA distributer, resulting from export sales declining 40 percent, following a very strong 67 percent increase in the first quarter of 2018 fiscal year and a 24 percent increase for the full fiscal year. The group had no sales of houses in the period as the sole scheme that was developed was completed. Sales generated from the property development in the 2017 quarter of $48 million.
The decline in export sales in the December quarter negatively affected results for the quarter for the group. Nevertheless, the Group’s first quarter net profit attributable to the owners slipped 4 percent, from $52 million to $50 million.
The Company is reporting pick up in exports following the closure of quarter, as well as local sales in both the manufacturing and supermarket operations. With the prices of certain stocks rising since December, the group should be enjoying gains in their equity portfolio.
Earnings per share per share from continuing operations finished at 7.3 cents, down from 7.7 cents in 2017.
For financial year commencing, October 2018, the Group adopt the new accounting standard IFRS 9, resulting in all realized and unrealized gains on listed equities becoming part of the profit and loss account.
The Group continues to enjoy improving financial health with equity capital of $1.4 billion and borrowed funds of just $178 million. The quarter ended with combined quoted investments at $454 million, up from $319 million in the previous year and net cash on hand equaled $132 million.
Jamaican Teas is listed on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange and last traded at $4.
Persons connected with IC are associated to the company.

Inflation drops again in Jamaica

The inflation rate declined further in January, according to data released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).
All Jamaica Consumer Price Index recorded a decline of 0.2 percent for January 2019, the Consumer Price Index compiled by Statin shows.The decline in January follows fall in November and December last year as well as declines for the first 5 months of 2018.
According to Statin, the movement was mainly attributable to a fall of 0.5 percent in the index for the heaviest weighted division Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, a 0.1 percent decline in the Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels division and a fall of 0.6 percent for the Transport division.
Prices trended downwards by 2.5 percent for the group Vegetables and Starchy Foods. Electricity, water and sewage rates fell and led to the groups Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services related to the Dwelling and Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels registering declines of 0.3 and 0.1 percent respectively. Lower costs for petrol resulted in the 0.6 percent fall recorded for Transport. Increased tuition fees contributed to the 1.5 per upward movement recorded for Education while the index for Miscellaneous Goods and Services went upwards by 0.3 per cent.
Inflation for the past twelve months comes out at 2.3 percent the fiscal year-to-date shows a 2.5 percent rise in prices, well down on the country’s central bank’s original forecast of 4 to 6 percent.

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 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.