Do you really know your adviser?

Berger Paints is worth more than $20 per share.

The directors of Berger Paints should have their resignation letters ready for signing after in early October, as their continuing service will be in conflict with the recommendation they gave minority shareholders who seem set to rebuff it.
Investors need to be adequately informed as there are wolves out there to help snatch valuables from them. Salada Foods is a very profitable entity after the broker to a takeover offer and audit firm recommended shareholders to sell their shares for an undervalued amount back in the 1980s. According to the auditor, the plant was obsolete and coffee powder was no longer accepted by consumers. The broker suggested that minority shareholders will have to eat their shares for their stupidity in not accepting the offer. Three decades on and the company remains profitable and debt free and those shareholders who held their shares have done extremely well by doing so. I wrote at the time of the offer that it was unfair. I gathered that the chairman Mr. Charles Ransom at the time, on a flight back to Jamaica, dammed John Jackson for killing the offer, when he saw the story that was highly critical of the offer. That was a few days before the vote that rejected the offer.
In 2010 the first Junior Market listing IPO was condemned outright by a featured article in the Friday Business Observer, followed by a series of comments by doomsayers. The arguments against the offer were so uninformed that I wrote an article defending it fully.
One of the critics wrote, “I looked over their prospectus the very day it was released and came to the very same conclusion that this price is pie in the sky!! I have a degree in Finance and I invest in companies on the JSE, including Mayberry and I think this is a sad day in IPO valuation. They had the opportunity to set the standard for the Jr. JSE and they are muggin it up. The conclusion I draw from their pricing is that they take the Jamaican investor for idiots, like so many companies in Jamaica. And they are playing on peoples’ greed. I would love to invest in this company and if it hits the market I will wait for the price to realign to it’s proper valuation before buying.”
And yet another investors comments, “Mr. Jackson everyone has a right to his or her opinion, you Sir should have done your homework. I am not a stock broker, but I was interested in the offer and did my research, after reading the Prospectus I decided not to take up the offer.”
“Look at likely future earnings, the future of Access Financial looks BAD. WHAT IS THEIR BUSINESS??? SUB-PRIME LOANS. In the USA a company such as this would be called a predatory Lender. The business model looked okay 3 to 4 years ago, but now it just looks dismal. Most of the clients the forward looking statement alludes to are people who live paycheck to paycheck. With all the talk of layoffs and cutback in the Jamaican economy, how does the principal of Access expect their business to grow?”
“One point made in the prospectus is that Government does not regulate this particular company, and therefore they can keep their interest rate on their products higher. Look at the percentage of bad loans recorded for 2008, and then compare that to the 9.09% projected non-performing loans in the prospectus. Come now Mr. Jackson, does this sound right to you?”
In response to my article saying the market is huge the reader had this to say,“How is the market huge when this company’s business model caters to small and micro business sector? Take an informal survey on how many micro business have pulled down their shutter since the year started. If I did not have access to information I might have called you for guidance as a stockbroker, what a disappointment that would have been.”
My current response, they made a big mistake in reading the prospectus first, as they would have done far better had they done the right thing. One investors who was advised to buy, did just that and enjoyed wonderful returns.
Earlier this year, a brokerage house was recommending Cargo Handlers as a buy in the $20 range when the PE ratio was in the 50 region. Another last year recommended investors sell Barita Investments, saying the stock was not worth much more than just over $2. Where are these two stocks at presently? One is much lower than the recommendation and one much higher? And for naysayers in Access Financial who cause a number of persons to stay out of Access, they may have learnt from the experience, hopefully as the stock now trades at the equivalent of $460 per share and never fell below the issued price once. In addition investors have reaped a large amount in dividends and the growth goes on. The Berger Paints recommendation to sell is just another of those poor valuations done by persons who don’t really know how to value listed companies. The market will speak in a few weeks on this.

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