Profit melts in the third quarter at Kremi

The 2022 fiscal year started with a blast for the first quarter to May with profit at $54 million after tax, doubling the $27 million in 2020, but a lot of that melted away in the third quarter to November at Caribbean Cream, which trades as Kremi, with the company reporting a loss in that quarter of $25 million down from a profit of $11 million in 2020. The loss brought profit for the nine months to $36 million compared to $85 million in the similar 2020 period.

Caribbean Cream closed at 52 weeks’ low of $3.80

Caribbean Cream did not have a good second quarter with sales rising 5.4 percent and profit falling 85 percent from $47 million to just $7 million due to what the company stated was the introduction of no movement days during the quarter that curtailed sales.
Sales revenues rose 14 percent for the third quarter to $500 million from $441 million but climbed 15 percent for the year to date, to $1.54 billion from $1.33 billion in 2020. The poor performance in the third quarter management attributes to “equipment and infrastructure challenges which we have addressed as we begin the final quarter.” In spelling out the issues Management, stated “at the beginning of the quarter the company faced unforeseen challenges in production resulting in the plant’s efficiency and capacity being impacted negatively. Since then, changes have been made in procedures, equipment and personnel to rectify the problem.”
While the company has been making headways with increased revenues, profit performance has not been consistent for some time, with the exception of the years 2014 to 2017 that enjoyed an annual increase in profits. The turbulence in profits since 2017 and the major problems in the 2021 third quarter reveal a major weakness in management that needs addressing. Such inconsistencies destroy investors’ interest in the company as well as the stock price.
Gross profit fell 13 percent in the quarter to $125 million from $143 million but rose 7 percent for the year to date, to $486 million from $453 billion in 2020.
Gross profit margin in the first nine months of the year, declined in the November quarter to 32 percent from 34 percent in the 2020 and for the quarter it dropped sharply to just 24 percent compared to 32 percent for the 2020 and that was a major contributor to the loss in the period.
Administrative expenses rose 15.5 percent to $129 million in the quarter and increased 26 percent in the nine months period to $378 million. Sales and distribution expenses increased by 8 percent in the quarter and the nine months to $16 million from $15 million in 2020 and from $43 million to $47 million, respectively. Depreciation rose from $88 million in 2020 to $95 million and is likely to rise further with the completion of the power generating plant being installed and is expected to make a major impact on the cost of utilities in the new fiscal year. Finance cost more than doubled in the quarter to $8 million from $4 million in 2020 and jumped 52 percent from $13 million to $20 million for the nine months.
Gross cash flow brought in $130 million down from $185 million in 2020. There was a release of $30 million from working capital but additions to fixed assets consumed $263 million funded by net loan inflows of $328 million. Payment of dividends consumed $26 million, more than twice the $11 million in 2020.
At the end of the period, shareholders’ equity stood at $844 million. Long term loans amounted to $654 million and short term at $11 million. Current assets ended the period at $553 million, including trade and other receivables of $82 million, inventories of $244 million and cash and bank balances of $227 million. Current liabilities ended at $140 million and net current assets at $413 million.
Earnings per share for the quarter was negative 7 cents and a profit of 10 cents for the year to date. IC Insider.com forecasts 27 cents per share for the fiscal year and $1 for 2023.
The stock traded at $5.40 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 20 times 2022 earnings and a PE of 5.4 times fiscal 2023 earnings. Net asset value is $2.33 with the stock selling at 2.4 times book value.

The Main Market 15 for Investment2022

The 15 Jamaica Stock Exchange Main Market companies that seem poised to score big in 2022 are shown below. As is the case in the past some of these stocks may do better than projected and some may not do a swell, others may take longer to deliver the returns depending on how investors react to new to come about the companies or the industry they operate in. an example of this is the financial sector that ICInsider.com gathers had some negative results from Jamaican bonds with the rise in interest rates and reduction in trading activity as interest rate changes in Jamaica and pending rate change in the overseas markets.
Radio Jamaica – Earnings per share is projected at 65 cents for the year to March 2023 but they should end up with 45 cents for the 2022 fiscal year. The stock rose sharply with a strong increase in volume, followed by strong June quarter profits, with the stock price hitting $4.80 at the peak in 2021.
Management has done an excellent job in turning around the operations in 2020 and the group is benefitting from a leaner operation as well as a boost in revenues in 2021 and beyond. With growth expected in the local economy over the next several years, revenues and profit should continue to hit new record levels. In addition, management continues to focus on increased efficiency, implementation of new technology in various aspects of the operation that will drive growth and profit. There are plans to extract revenues out of other assets that are not readily visible to the general public currently. Not to be missed is the impact an improving economy will have on increasing revenues as businesses increase advertising spend. Futuristically, with the digitization of the network, the company will be in a position to provide internet facilities to its customers as an additional potential income stream.

Berger Paints

Berger Paints – Earnings per share is projected at $2.25 for 2022. The stock is not every bodies’ favourite, but the company is coming back into its own and benefitting from rapid expansion in the construction sector. Expect continued growth to take place as it benefits from the booming housing market locally.
Guardian Holdings – Earnings per share is projected at J$90 for 2022. This stock has been beaten down in the Jamaican market, but it is selling at a much higher price in Trinidad. It is a very good company but has never gotten the valuation that it deserves. They are expected to continue to show profit growth which may falter from time to time based on the nature of their asset base and income stream. The decision of the directors to hold foolishly to the limited number of issued shares is hurting the price badly but they will learn that it is not in the best interest of investors to continue to do so. At that time the stocks will perform better.
JMMB Group – Earnings per share is projected at $7 for the year to March 2023. It is one of the more undervalued stocks on the market, the price is about 6 times earnings. The company has a great deal of room for above average growth in the future. The group’s exposure to doing business in the Dominican Republic is a huge market of 11 million relative to Jamaica, where it can expand in a major way, either by acquisitions or just expanding the current footprints. Historically, the stock tends to move sideways until early summer, if that holds there may be time to focus elsewhere and return to this one. Investors should think long about this one. The company gets permission to buy back shares and the directors set later in the second quarter this year to start doing that and it could mop a lot of selling pressure.

JMMB

Sygnus Credit Investment – Earnings per share is projected at $2.60 for the year to June 2023. At a PE ratio of 5.5 2023 earnings the stock is undervalued and is so based likely 2022 earnings of less than a PE of 10. It operates in a sector that is not well known to the investing public, but that is where above average gains can be made. Management is on target to extract optimal gains from the operations. An example of this is when they raise funds before listing, the planned rate of return was around 8 percent now in the range of 12 percent. The company announced the acquisition of a credit investment company in Puerto Rico that should close later in the year. This will help drive revenues and profit as it broadens its reach and be in a position to attract more capital to allow for greater expansion.
Sterling Investments – Earnings per share is projected at 45 cents for the year to December 2022. The stock is seriously undervalued but investors don’t care much about this one seeing it more as a dividend provider than one with capital growth potential. Earnings should approach 40 cents for 2021 and be higher in 2022. Revenues and profits will benefit from higher interest rates locally and overseas in 2022 that will enhance profitability.
In the year just ended, revenues totaled $185 million for the first nine months, 8.6 percent higher than the $170 million earned for the same period in 2020, driven primarily by increases in interest income and gains on the sale of debt securities. Total foreign exchange gains declined year on year, from $80 million for the 9 months ended September 2020 to $55 million for the nine months to September 2021 and seem set to reverse in the final quarter of the year. Net income totaled $105 million for the first months of 2021, higher by 10.9 percent than the $94 million for the same period in 2020.

Caribbean Producers traded 52 weeks’ high during the week following a near US$2 quarterly profit.

Caribbean Producers – Earnings per share is projected at J$2 for the year to June 2023. Cost cutting and a sharp rebound in the tourism sector with visitor arrivals just 20 percent down on November 2019 numbers augur very well for increased income and profit and the stock that was one of ICInsider.com’s 2021 picks with a 435 percent increase since the start of 2021. ICInsider.com puts the stock price at $40 for 2022 as the company reports record profits and completes the acquisition of an overseas business during the year. Investors should look to a big bounce in the December quarterly profits that should triple the US$1.6 million profit made in the September quarter as revenues for the last quarter of 2021 come in around US$35 million compared to US$25 million for the September quarter.
Caribbean Cement – Earnings per share is projected at $10 for 2022. The company was on target to earn around $8 per share last year but lower sales in the September quarter, due partly to the impact of several days when Jamaicans were not allowed to leave home and a very rainy period reduced sales volume. The stock was trading around the $115 range before the release of the third quarter results was knocked down to trade around the $100 level. The company announced a proposal for a management fee levy by Cemex at which time sellers pushed the price to the low $70 level. The selloff seems overdone, with the company having good prospects to go on to deliver good profits for investors as it benefits from the boom now taking place in the building industry.
This sector is set to continue to grow with government fiscal operations creating more space for the private sector thus taking pressure off interest rates and helping to keep them low to provide a continual stimulus for the sector and the wider economy.
VM Investments – Earnings per share is projected at 80 cents for 2022. The company had good results up to the September quarter, with revenues climbing a strong 33 percent for the September quarter and year to date and profit surging 82 percent in the third quarter and 69 percent year to date. One gather that many financial institutions had negative effects from the changes in interest rates during the December quarter as trading activities slowed thus generating less fee income than previously. The group is set to acquire a pool of mutual funds in the Eastern Caribbean with net assets around J$1.6 billion that will generate increased management fees as the company continues to look for growth going forward.

Audrey Tugwell Henry Scotia group’s CEO

Scotia Group -Earnings per share is projected at $3.65 for the year to October 2022. The group has been focusing on restructuring its operations to fit the new way of banking that relies less on physical branches than before. That has led to some branch closures and changes to services provided. This will result in reduced operating costs that will start to show in the current year.
The advent of Covid-19 in 2020 led to increased nonperforming loan provisions and a contraction in lending, with loans net of loan provisioning, falling from $221 billion in October 2020 to $209 billion in 2021 and declining from $216 billion at the end of July 2021. The fall in the loan growth should be reversed in 2022 with expansion in the local economy and continued buoyancy in the building market. Additionally, interest rates were kept to a minimum in the local economy that result in reduced interest income but with the Bank of Jamaica hike rates from half a percent to the range of 4 percent, the group will generate much increase in interest income. The increased rates could add around $9 billion to revenues in a full year and increase profit.
Investors should be focusing on the medium term prospects than on the recent past that was negatively affected by short term developments that won’t last.
PanJam Investment – Earnings per share is projected at $8 for the year. A diversified group, with focus on the property market commercial and more recently the hotel sector, liquid investments managed directly by themselves and through its 30 percent associate, Sagicor Group. Investment in the stock is likely to deliver good long term returns, but the stock seems undervalued currently with quite a bit of upside potential.
For the quarter ending September last year, profit attributable to shareholders amounted to $2.5 billion, up from $1.5 billion in 2020 and $4.8 billion for the nine months versus $2 billion in 2020, resulting in Earnings per stock unit for the quarter of $2.33 and $4.52 for the nine that should push the full year results around $7 placing the stock that traded at $66 at the end of December as undervalued at a PE of 9.6 compared to the market average of just over 16.

Christopher Williams, Proven Investments CEO.

Proven Investments – Earnings per share is projected at 0.28 US cents for the year to March 2023. Proven stock has not performed over the past year but it could do so this year as acquisitions made recently, starts to contribute to improvement in revenues and profit. Investors would recall that the company raised fresh capital in late 2020 amounting to US$29 million in addition to sums raised a year or two before that was not fully utilized to acquire new business that would deliver a rate of return on investment that was much greater than cash funds. During the last year, the company closed on some acquisitions that are set to contribute to increased profits and enhanced earnings per share. The company also plans to rationalize some of the geographically diverse holdings to generate economies of scale and thus improve profitability further.
Grace Kennedy – Earnings per share is projected at $12 for the year. Earnings of $12 may appear steep, but that is possible, with continued growth in the food division and recovery in the financial sector as well as strong economic recovery in the main markets it operates in. regardless the stock is currently undervalued and will be a good vehicle for long term growth.
QWI Investments – Earnings per share is projected at 88 cents for the year to September 2022. The numbers appear rich but ICInsider.com expects Access Financial Services to come into its own in the current year and drive its stock price well into the $50 region or more and along with other excellent holdings of QWI that are poised to deliver great returns during the year. The stock was one of the better performers on the Main Market last year with a rise of 14 percent and the NAV increasing 21.5 percent. Last year NCB Group had a block of shares on sale that pressured the price for months but those are taken out and the company may be in a position to buy back shares as such 2022 is likely to be a year of improving fortunes.

Christopher Levy – Jamaica Broilers President and Chief Executive.

Jamaica Broilers – Earnings per share is projected at $3 for the year to April 2023. The group has been expanding with a good degree of focus on the North American market.
For the year to October, last year’s group revenues for the six months amounted to $35.8 billion, 35 percent higher than the $26.5 billion achieved in the corresponding six months of the previous year. Gross profit for the six months increased less than the growth in revenues at 14 percent to $7.3 billion, Gross profit as a percentage of sales declined from 24 percent in the prior year to 20 percent. The decline is primarily attributable to increased input costs that were partially mitigated by the significant growth in the US business. For the six months ended 30 October 2021, the net profit after tax was $872 million, a 21 percent decrease versus the corresponding period in the prior year. The decrease is primarily due to foreign exchange gains of $290 million in the previous year, including in finance costs, compared to foreign exchange losses of $70 million in the current year. The prior year’s gains were mainly in the Haiti Operations where the Haitian Gourdes experienced significant revaluation against the US dollar. Operating profit of $1.7 billion was aligned with the prior year.

The case for Main Market stocks in 2022

Investors’ attention turned to the Junior Market in both 2020 and 2021 as that market provided better values for stocks and therefore greater opportunities to make higher profits. Projected earnings of the listed companies suggest that the situation is unlikely to change in 2022.
The Main Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange eked out a modest gain of 1.1 percent in the All Jamaica Composite index at the end of 2021, the index was 21.7 percent lower than the end of 2019.
The PE for the Main market is 14 times 2022 earnings compared to 16 based on 2021 earnings, that does not suggest a big uptick for the market with just a 14 percent increase expected in 2022 over 2021 that would push the index to 499,694 points, still well below the 559,853.26 points the market closed out 2019 at.
There are several stocks in the market, data suggest could more than double in 2022 and investor would be wise to not only pay attention but pick up some of these undervalued stocks in preparation for long term growth as the Jamaican economy rebounds and move into a new stage of long term positive growth that a number of these companies will benefit from.
Banks could be amongst the big performer as they shed the need for continued heavy provisioning of loans as well as grow their book of loans to deliver more income to profits. Added the increase in interest rates will help improve their net interest income.
ICInsider.com data indicates that there are 8 stocks that can double in the Main Market in 2022 into early 2023. 2021 finished with several stocks trading at or above 20 times earnings in the Main Market if that level of valuation continues into 2022 and is more widespread, then the gain in the market could exceed the above potential gains. In the final analysis, the market index is just a simple measure as to how the overall market is doing. It comes down to individual stocks that can do well and that is the case for ICInsider.com TOP15 stocks.

Profit surges 146% at AMG Packaging

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ICInsider.com TOP15 2022 selection, AMG Packaging released first quarter results to November, with revenues climbing 55 percent to $270 million from $174 million in 2020 and delivered profit before tax of $45.5 million, 187 percent above just $16.4 million in 2020 and profit after tax rose 146 percent to $35 million from $14.3 million in 2020. The company reported profit after tax of $60.6 million or 12 cents per share for the fiscal year to August 2021.
The latest results were helped by a foreign exchange gain of $4.7 million in the quarter from a loss of $6 million in 2020.
Gross profit rose 40 percent from $53 million to $74 million as input cost rose a bit faster than revenues at 61 percent to $196 million from $121 million in 2020.
Administrative and other costs rose modestly from $32.2 million to $33.3 million.
Cash inflows amounted to $52 million up from$23 million in 2020. Working capital needs and acquisition of fixed assets amounting to $18 million resulted in an increase in cash funds of $5 million and ended in cash on hand at $135 million.

AMG new factory space.

AMG new factory space that will house the new machine.

Investment in Fixed assets stood at $468 million up from $362 million in 2020, with current assets at $503 million which includes Inventory of $207 million up from $129 million at the end of November 2020. Current liabilities stood at $197 million while long term liabilities were $102 million and shareholders equity at $643 million.
ICInsider.com projects full year earnings at 35 cents as the results for the full year will benefit from increased efficiencies to flow from the new box making machine that is now on site, with installation expected to be completed in February. the new machine will print in multi colours and open up new business opportunities for the company.
The stock closed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange today at a new closing high of $3.40 and a PE of 9.7.
The stock traded at the beginning of October last year at $1.70 and is up 100 percent since then.

Profit drop at Elite but watch this stock

Revenue of $118 million for the first quarter in 2020 fell 7 percent to $110 million in the first quarter to September 2021, resulting in a loss of $10.3 million compared to a profit of $16.7 million the previous year for Elite Diagnostic.
Reduced revenues impacted profit margin with a decline to 61.4 percent from 66.25 percent in 2020 and from 63.3 percent for the fiscal year to June. Input cost climbed 6 percent to $42 million from $40 million and gross profit fell 14 percent to $67 million from $78 million.
On the surface, the last reported results for the company may drive fear into the minds of investors but that would lead to a miss of potentially profitable investment for the future. “Net profit was impacted by increased administrative expenses, depreciation and foreign exchange losses”, management advised shareholders in their commentary on the results.

Elite Diagnostics

The report to shareholders continued, “revenue was affected by Covid-19 with reduction of operating hours and reduced procedures. Currently, the company’s operational hours are back to normal. An unusually lengthy breakdown of the CT also impacted our revenues during the quarter. Along with our regular preventative maintenance of the machines, the company has invested in equipment and parts to reduce some of the downtimes of the machine breakdowns”.
“The St Ann location revenue is increasing month over month since all modalities became operational in the first quarter of 2020. The company is cautiously optimistic as the effects of Covid-19 more negatively impact the rural areas of the country. The company continues to see steady demand for imaging services at all locations.”
Administrative expenses rose 13.5 percent to $46 million in the quarter from $40 million and depreciation jumped 44 percent to $25 million from $17.4 million in 2020. Finance cost was steady at $10 million, while foreign exchange movement resulted in a $3 million swing from a surplus of $1 million in 2020 to a loss of $2 million in 2021.
In spite of the loss incurred in the quarter, gross cash flow was positive with inflows of $15 million, down from $28 million in 2020. Additions to fixed assets offset by loan inflows utilized just over $15 million as net cash outflow for the period ended at $503,581. At the end of September, shareholders’ equity stood at $449 million, long term loans at $209 million and short term loans at $10 million. Current assets ended at $679 million, including trade and other receivables of $44 million, cash and bank balances of $39 million. Current liabilities ended the period at just $20 million, with net current assets ending at $659 million.
The results ended with earnings per share being a loss of 3 cents for the quarter, down from 4 cents for the quarter in the prior year. Based on the latest results, most investors would be looking elsewhere for investment opportunities. In doing so, they could miss one of the biggest winners in 2022. IC Insider.com forecasts 30 cents per share for the fiscal year ending June 2022, with a PE of 10 times the current year’s earnings based on the price of $3.05 the stock traded at the Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market. The company has more room for revenue growth from the addition of new equipment, continued growth in the relatively new St Ann location and additional branches in the future.

Drax Hall branch of Elite.

The company paid a dividend of 9 cents in October this year 2021. Net asset value is $1.29, with the stock selling at just over 2.4 times book value.
Reporting to shareholders in the annual report for the year to June, the chairman, Steven Gooden, stated, “we have been fortunate to see an increased demand for imaging services and were prudent to have sought to capitalize on this demand – through the acquisition of new equipment. We will continue to pursue this growth strategy by installing a new MRI system at the Liguanea branch, which we anticipate will be operational beginning early 2022. This new machine, we expect, will serve to reduce the company’s operating hours and thereby its related expenses. Additionally, with the St Ann branch issues finally resolved, the location is now operating at the desired capacity. Looking ahead, the near to medium term holds the classic combination of challenge and opportunity.On the one hand, we see continued challenges in terms of rising prices, compounded by the depreciation of the local currency; the company pays all its rent and purchases equipment and supplies from overseas in US dollar, so any depreciation in the dollar will affect the bottom line. On the other hand, we also see our cash flows remaining stable, if not strong, amid the continued high demand for our services. The demand is so strong that, were it not for dealing with the issues associated with the Drax Hall branch, the company might well have advanced plans for another branch. We intend to approach growing the company’s footprint with alacrity and all seriousness in the coming year”.

Caribbean Cream stock for the main course in 2022

Sale revenues rose 16 percent for the half year, to August 2021 $1.03 billion from $891 million but rose a mere 5.4 percent for the August quarter, to $486 million from $461 million in 2020 at ice cream maker Caribbean Cream. Management attributed the poorer second quarter performance to the several no movement days imposed by the government during the quarter.
Profit melted in the quarter by 85 percent to just $7 million from $47 million in 2020 and fell 17 percent for the six months to August, to $61 million from $74 million in 2020.
The company has not had a consistent and predictable profit outcome for some years, still, the trajectory has generally been up. In 2019 the company posted $89 million after tax that fell to $55 million in 2020 and $101 in 2021. The 2022 fiscal year profit is poised to beat that of 2021, notwithstanding the setback in the second quarter.

Caribbean Cream posted significant gains in profit in Q1.

Improvement in profit margin in the first half of the year was consistent at 41 percent, with the prior year’s six months but has increased over the 37 percent achieved for the fiscal year to February 2021. But it fell from 50 percent in the 2020 august quarter to 44 percent in 2021. The effect, operating profit fell 6 percent in the quarter to $215 million from $230 million but increased 15 percent for the year to date, to $423 million from $369 million in 2020.
Administrative expenses excluding depreciation rose 25.4 percent to $134 million in the quarter and increased 32 percent in the six months to $249 million, from $188 million in 2020. Sales and distribution expenses increased 8 percent to $30.5 million from $28 million in 2020 for the half year and were virtually flat at $15.5 million for the second quarter. Depreciation charge rose from $59 million in 2020 to $62 million in 2021 for the six months. Finance cost rose in the quarter to $6.7 million from $6 million in 2020 and $9 million to $12 million for the six months.
Gross cash flow brought in $151 million versus $160 million in 2020. Working capital growth used up all but $13 million in 2021 versus $81 million used up in 2020. Additions to fixed assets consumed $83 million for the 2021 half year versus $62 million in 2020. Loan repayment and paying $26 million dividends resulted in outflows of $114 million. At the end of December, shareholders’ equity stood at $869 million, with long term borrowings at $303 million and short term loans at $13 million. Current assets ended the period at $408 million, including trade and other receivables of $65 million, cash and bank balances of $103 million. Current liabilities ended the period at $173 million. Net current assets ended the period at $235 million.
The results in the past few years being inconsistent does not mean that the future will continue in that vein. One focus is on taking a more significant share of the market for ice cream and related products while finding avenues to cut costs. The company announced earlier this year that in collaboration with Power Factor Technologies, a power engineering services company, they embarked on a major project to install a 630 kilowatt capacity Combined Heat & Power plant fueled by LNG at the company’s premises. This project is scheduled to come on stream at the start of 2022 and is expected to generate considerable cost savings and should have a positive impact on results for 2022 onwards.
The stock closed 2021 at $5.70 with a PE ratio of 9 much lower than the average for the market around 15 and below many Junior Market stocks trading around 20 times earnings.

Sharp rebound for Dolphin Cove


In March 2020, Jamaica closed its borders to incoming visitors by planes and ships as a result of the emergence of the deadly Covid-19 virus, thus bringing to a halt the important tourist industry and many others that relied on it.
The impact was immediate and devastating to the entertainment attraction entity, Dolphin Cove based in Ocho Rios, with locations on the north coast of the island. For the nine months to September 2020, the company posted revenues of just US$3.6 million and a loss of $864 million, with the September quarter generating revenues of just $320,000 and a loss of $590,000. By the third quarter last year, cruise shipping from which it generates a large portion of income had just 8,381 visitors in 2021 compared to 219,000 for the first nine months of 2019, but visitor arrivals by planes were back to 70 percent of the 2019 numbers for the third quarter and 54 percent in the June quarter and by November last year arrivals were down around 20 percent from the same month in 2019, an indication that the industry could well be nearly back on track in 2022 and provide a considerable boost to the company’s revenues.

Dolphin Cove closed at a 52 weeks’ high on Monday.

The company lost US$1.13 million for 2020, but chalked up a profit of $1 million in the 2021 third quarter, from $2.57 million in operating revenues, and a profit of $2.1 million for the nine months from operating revenues of $5.44 million. While revenues rose 51 percent in the nine months, expenses fell from $3.5 million to $2.9 million, with all categories of cost falling except for finance that rose from $96,000 to $215,000. Although operating revenues spiked 703 percent over the measly income for September 2020 quarter, direct expenses rose 61 percent to $258,000 and other operating expenses rose 139 percent from $548,000 to $1.31 million. The above numbers suggest that costs are down generally, it appears that some costs may have been fully trimmed from the system.
Gross cash flow brought in $2.5 million but growth in working capital, addition to fixed assets resulted in negative funds flow of $149,000 for the nine months. At the end of September, shareholders’ equity stood at US$29 million. Total long term borrowings amount to US$820,000 with bank overdraft at $1 million. Current assets ended the period at $6 million including trade and other receivables of $2.7 million, cash and bank balances of $2 million. Current liabilities ended the period at $2.6 million. Net current assets ended the period at $2.4 million.
At the end of December, the stock traded at $15 with a PE of 11 with the earnings per share of $1.35 and a PE of 5 with ICInsider.com projected earnings of $3 for the current year.

The Junior Market could gain 60% in 2022

The Junior Market continues to offer opportunities for supper stock performance in 2022 with an average PE for the market at 9 times 2022 earnings versus close to 15 at the end of 2021, and offering a potential gain of more than 60 percent to the end of 2022. There are 26 Junior Market stocks that can double in 2022.
The market is technically at a support level that is steering the market upwards, more importantly, it is caught in a triangular formation that is set to push the market sharply upwards once it breaks out, which is not far off. The market is also trading in a channel that goes back to May 2020 and is pointing to a record high of more than 4,000 points in a few months.
Last year finished with a number of stocks trading at or above 20 times earnings in the Junior Market if that level of valuation continues into 2022 then the gain in the market could exceed the above potential gains.
The market will continue to benefit from recovery of some of the companies that suffered major fallout due to the restrictions placed on operations as a result of the COVID19 epidemic in 2020 into 2021. Stocks that could benefit in a big way are, Access Financial, Main Event, Everything Fresh, Express Catering, Knutsford Express, Jetcon Corporation, Dolphin Cove and Stationery and Office Supplies.
Access FinancialEarnings per share are projected at $4.80 for the year to March 2023 and $2.60 for the 2022 fiscal year to March. The company showed signs of recovery from the beating taken in 2020 and 2021 as a result of steep provisioning for doubtful loans and a slowdown in lending. That situation started to reverse in 2021 up to September with loans net of doubtful loans up to $4.38 billion versus $3.9 at the end of September 2020. Revenues and profit in 2021 tripled the September 2020 quarter and the 2020 half year results. This trend is expected to gather pace in 2022 and beyond. See full article on the company recently published.
AMG Packaging – Earnings per share is projected at 35 cents for the year to August 2022 as new machinery facilitates cutting costs and creating more flexibility in the manufacturing operations. See full article on the company recently published.
Caribbean Brokers – Earnings per share is projected at 40 cents for 2022. The company reported strong earnings in the September quarter, with EPS at 41 cents for the quarter and 33 cents for the nine months. The company tends to get the bulk of its income in short periods with the other quarters reflecting relatively lower income that does not cover the cost. Unfortunately, the company failed to provide investors with appropriate information to fully glean what the results will mean for the full year and beyond. The end result is that the stock has suffered from investors’ interest when it really should have surged well over $4 per share, based on the latest results and what can be expected for the full year.
Elite Diagnostic – Earnings per share are projected at 80 cents for the year to June 2023. The stock is under pressure but that is due to investors not paying adequate attention to what the company is doing and the improvement in sales, quarter over quarter as well as the strong cash flow it’s generating. See full article on the company recently published.
Medical Disposables – Earnings per share are projected at $1.50 cents for the year to March 2023. Profit after taxation surged 455 percent to $21.5 million for the second quarter to September from a loss of $6 million in 2020. For the year to date, profit after tax spiked 458 percent to $47 million, up from a loss of $13 million in 2020. Income from sales jumped 49 percent to $936 million for the September quarter, up from $630 million in 2020 and climbed 42 percent for the six months ended September 2021 to $1.62 billion, from $1.14 billion in the prior year. The acquisition of majority ownership of Cornwall Enterprises along with new distributorships helped in fueling the sales surge. See full article on the company recently published
Caribbean Cream – Earnings per share is projected at $1.30 cents for the year February 2023 from 65 cents projected for the 2021 fiscal year. Management is building an enterprise that can go up against the competition successfully and deliver superior returns for shareholders. They have cut costs in the past two years and grew their market reach by setting up a distribution depot in the Ocho Rios region that helped to push sales. The implementation of their own power generating plant will lead to a reduction of energy and other utility costs. Excluding the slowdown in sales in the August quarter when the government introduced no movement days, sales increase is been robust and is expected to be on track again for the second half of the year into the 2023 fiscal year.
Dolphin Cove – Earnings per share is projected at $3 for this year and $1.35 for 2021.  This company is in a period of major recovery with profit surging and set to get even better with the tourism industry rebounding strongly and closing in on 2019 arrivals.  See full article on the company recently published.
Spur Tree Spices – Earnings per share is projected at 19 cents for this year.  A recent IPO, this stock is set to do extremely well over the next few years. Expect local sales to surge as a result of the publicity they received due to the IPO.  See full article on the company recently published.
Stationery and Office Supplies – Earnings per share is projected at 95 cents for the current year and reflect a full recovery from the fall out of the Covid19 disruption to sales.  The company has made major strides since 2020 when sales were badly affected by the shutdown of businesses and schools. That has changed and the company posted a 175 percent increase in pre-tax profit of $78 million versus $29 million for the nine months to September 2020, from a 13.5 percent rise in revenues. Earnings per share for the third Quarter of 2021 was 8 cents, compared to 3 cents in 2020. For the 9 months ended September 2021 earnings per share was up to 31 cents from 11 cents in 2020. reports are that the company had the best four quarter in its history and the performance seems to have carried over into 2022 and should continue to be robust with opening and expansion in the wider economy.
Lasco Distributors – Earnings per share is projected at 50 cents for the year to March 2023.  For the half year to September, revenues rose 15 percent to $11.6 billion and profit increased 6 percent to $615 million as margins were squeezed in the period from higher input cost, followed by delayed price increase. With price adjustments since implemented, margins should increase and result in higher profits. Revenues should pick up as tourist traffic rose sharply throughout the year and schools are now back in operations both activities will impact revenues positively.
With earnings per share of 14 cents for the half year, full year earnings should exceed 30 cents making the stock undervalued at $3.45 with a PE of 11, versus the market average of just over 14.
The company has no borrowed funds and possesses $2.8 billion in cash funds, with annual gross cash flows of over $1.2 billion.
Everything Fresh – Earnings per share is projected at 15 cents for the year. The company seems to have turned the corner with a small profit in the September quarter. Importantly, gross cash flow for the nine months to September was positive at $15 million despite a loss of $20 million. The hotel sector is enjoying a strong rise in visitor arrivals with December last year down 24 percent compared to 2019 compared to a fall of 45 percent for 2021 versus 2019 preliminary data shows, this is a very positive development for the company going forward. The current year should see an even greater number of visitors that should better the performance in December. This is good news for a company that markets the bulk of sales to that sector.
Lasco Financial – Earnings per share is projected at 45 cents for the year March 2023. Net Profit for the second quarter ended at $134 million compared with $30 million in the similar period of 2020. The second quarter suffered revenue reduction from $617 million in 2020 to $554 million in 2021, due to disruption in business during the period as a result of no movement days, while cost rose from $400 million to $424 million leaving profit after tax at $59 million from $136 million in 2020. Earnings per share ended September at 10.5 cents and that should climb sharply in the second half with the impact of the high volume Christmas period having a positive impact. The company has cash funds of $1.7 billion at the end of the period as they curtailed lending.
Lasco Manufacturing – Earnings per share is projected at 60 cents for the year March 2023. For the half year to September, revenues rose 13 percent over the $4.1 billion generated in 2020 to $4.65 billion and profit popped 6 percent to $782 million, but the second quarter saw profit falling 3.8 percent to $380 million from revenues that increased 2.7 percent to $2.34 billion. Earnings per share came in at 19 cents for the half year on target for around 40-45 cents for the full year as margins increase based on price adjustments.
Cash on hand stood at $1.8 billion with borrowings at $600 million.
General Accident – Earnings per share are projected at 80 cents for the year.

General Accident spreading wings

Net profit after tax of $351 million, was generated for the nine months to September up from $125 million in 2020, with earnings per share of 39 cents versus 14 cents in 2020. Profit in the third quarter was $177 million compared to just $12 million in 2020. Earnings per share in the September quarter was 19 cents.
The company is in an expansion mode, with the establishment of operations in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, with both operations expected to break even in 2022. Higher interest rates locally and the ability to increase investment in higher yielding assets are measures expected to boost investment income in 2022.
Jetcon Corporation – Earnings per share is projected at 15 cents for the year but don’t be surprised it ends as high as 25 cents, depending on how rapid sales increase becomes. On a recovery path from the pandemic slump in 2020, revenues to September 2021 was up 30 percent but and should end the year above that level based on what the company reported in the third quarter, that sales for the fourth quarter are strong, with units sold in November back at regular pre-pandemic levels and already exceeded sales for the third quarter, at $196 million with the upward swing continuing into December, and with increased bookings to date. The improved sales position in the final quarter should result in an increased gross profit margin and a better net position than in 2020.
The above developments augur well for 2022 that should see revenues climbing appreciably again, with growth of 50 percent not out of the picture. If that were to happen it could lift profit margins closer to 20 percent from much lower levels in 2020 and 2021.
Bonus Pick
Honey Bun is our bonus pick for the year. Earnings per share are projected at $1 for the year to September 2022, as revenues continue to climb at a healthy pace. Earnings may be too low for it to qualify for the TOP15, but the stock could double from its current price of $9.30 per share during the year.

Jamaican economy looking good for investment in 2022


Things are setting up nicely in the investment world for 2022, following two somewhat lousy years for the JSE Main Market that fell 22.6 percent in 2020 and rose a mere two percent in 2021, but technical reading is not very positive in the short term, but that is likely to change in the second half. The opposite is true for the Junior Market that is caught in a triangular formation that suggests a big break higher to take the market into record territory and most likely over the 4,000 index mark.
The genesis of such optimism is ro0ted in a number of positive developments in the wider economy and for some individual companies. Results of companies for the 2021 third quarter were some of the best seen for some time, with many doing better than in 2019, before the advent of the Covid19 that resulted in dislocation pressured the bottom line of many and for some opportunities that helped the topline and the bottom line.
Those developments bode well for profits and stock prices in 2022 when the economy is expected to recover from the sharp decline in 2020. Remittances for 2021 are expected to be over US$600 million more than for the record $2.9 billion intakes in 2020 and the tourism industry is expected to be back at 2019 levels or close to it but is expected to far exceed that in 2020 all things being equal. More growth is expected from exports and the BPO sector, accordingly, the country should see significant additional foreign exchange inflows in 2022 than at any time in its history. Bear in mind that the signal of how well the country is doing in international trade, the net international reserves rose US$104 million in December over November to close the year at $$4 billion and is up fromUS$3.1 billion at the end of 2020. The early signal of tourism performance shows December 2021 behind a similar period in 2019 by just 24 percent compared to a fall of 45 percent for all of 2021 versus 2019.
Unemployment will dip further in 2022 as most of the economy is expected back to near normal operations that will add to the spending power of Jamaicans and help to lift revenues.
In the financial sector, profits were on the mend and bankers are lending again with good growth taking place in the loan portfolio of some financial institutions.

Tourism expected end 2022 close to that of 2019

In 2021 banks and financial institutions with a few exceptions were pressured with the majority ending the year with a fall in price. These institutions will benefit from the rise in interest rates that will result in increased net interest income. The JSE financial index, a measure of the performance sector in 2020 down 6.5 percent for the year. The star performer was by far the Junior Market with gains of 30 percent with five stocks gaining between 95 and 266 percent.
In the second half of the year, inflation raised its head and the Bank of Jamaica hiked interest rates in response, so far there are no visible effects on the stock market, even as higher interest rates tend to negatively affect stock prices.
On the fiscal side, revenues for 2021 were healthy bettering the 2020/21 fiscal year b some distance. The effect is that the fiscal deficit should return to the 90 percent range again during 2022. Fiscal year 2022/23 should be much better and there could be some tax relief granted. It could be reduced GCT or an increase in the tax threshold. But it should stir the government into doing a comprehensive tax reform thus eliminating many of the minor tax categories. Whether there is tax relief or not, what is clear is that there will be no new taxes for the coming fiscal year.
In our 2021, ICInsider.com stated the period ahead, “seems set to be the year of surprises as many stocks that suffered badly in 2020 could be making a major turnaround in revenues and profit, while some that may not fully recover could start showing good signs of returning to normalcy.” That is exactly what happened during the year with strong gains from the likes of Caribbean Producers, Express Catering, Main Event, Medical Disposables, Radio Jamaica, Stationery and Office Supplies and Dolphin Cove, all of which suffered major setbacks in 2020.
The economy is clearly on the mend but there are still lingering concerns with the inability to seriously reduce the spread worldwide as well as in Jamaica. The latest Omicron strain is an example that we may not be out of the woods as yet. The ongoing vaccination of the population in Jamaica although not going as fast as planned continues apace and could support general positive expectations for the near term.
Importantly, PE ratios are rising as investor demand pushes values up as selling wanes at the end of 2021, the average PE ratio of the Junior Market suggests a 60 percent rise for the market while the Main Market is put at just 20 percent, with companies in the latter at a greater stage of developments than the former.
The country should see a full recovery from the important tourism sector during 2022 and this publication expects greater flows of foreign exchange with tourism back to normal and remittances holding close to the trend of 2021.

Coming soon – Junior Market could jump 60% in 2022

Berger Paints holds some promise

Berger Paints held the number one spot in ICInsider.com’s TOP15 list for 2021 based on its performance for the nine months ended September 2020, which has changed with the failure for sales growth to continue into the final quarter.
Revenues climbed eight percent in the September quarter to $574 million, with a gross profit of $304 million. Profit suffered a sharp fall in the June quarter, with sales negatively impacted by the partial closure of some businesses resulting from the spread of the covid-19 pandemic in the country. Revenues for the nine months were down, with profit after tax coming in with a loss of $60 million. Revenues for the fourth quarter to December failed to enjoy the level of growth in the September quarter and dipped against the similar quarter in 2019.
Audited financials for the full year show revenue for 2020 of $2.37 billion, six percent below 2019 figures, with the fourth quarter dipping just two percent at $877 million versus $892 million in 2019. Losses suffered in the earlier part of the year were simply too much for the company to overcome and recoup. Profit before tax for the year was down a noticeable 72 percent to $12 million, but profit before tax for the December quarter of $38 million was vastly better than the loss of $9 realised in the 2019 period. The December quarter profit after tax of $32 million was vastly better than the $11 million in 2019.
Direct operating cost declined by 4 percent or just $38 million to $1.22 billion for 2021. Staff cost also declined from $558 million to $512 million.
At $211 million, cash and bank balances fell 64 percent in 2020, down from the $585 billion recorded at the end of 2019 as the company paid down the $655 million owed to fellow subsidiaries by $552 million. Current assets of $1.3 billion include trade and other receivables of $575 million and inventories of $446 million, down from $639 million in 2019.

Berger Paints is one of IC Insider’s TOP 10 stocks.

Current liabilities ended at $484 million for the financial year, down from $1 billion in 2019, with amounts owing at the end of 2020 include $148 million due to the parent company and $102 million due to fellow subsidiaries. Shareholders’ equity closed out the year at $1.15 billion. The only interest bearing debt was for leasing, amounting to $65 million.
Earnings per share for 2020 was just 5 cents compared to 14 cents in 2019. IC.com projects 2021 earnings of $1.50 as the company benefits from recovery of sales that fell out in 2020 due to the effects of Covid and increased sales from a buoyant construction sector, relatively new automotive paints and better data usage from the new IT system.
The stock last traded at $13 on the Main Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange and is now at the lower end of the ICTOP10 stocks for 2021 at a PE of 9 times 2021 earnings, but it could surprise with better than expected results.