Is Fesco’s pricing rational?

Investors who bought shares in Future Energy Source in the IPO in April or a few months after are laughing all the way to the bank, with the price providing a gain of 311 percent up to Friday. The recent rally in the stock has moved it from an IPO price of 80 cents to $3.29 at the close on Friday, making it the highest valued Junior Market stock at a PE of 25 times current year’s earnings, with the next closest being, Honey Bun at 18.3.
With just 15 service stations within its network and the planned opening of the Beechwood Avenue station, there is much scope for the company to expand and grow profits in the future, but it seems a bit overdone for Fesco to be priced at a 38 percent premium to the next highest priced stock on the Junior Market.
The company’s latest financial report shows profit surging 55.5 percent to $40 million before taxes for the 2021 June quarter versus $25.7 million in the first quarter of 2020. Profit after taxes rose 66 percent from $24 million. There is no tax charge for the latest quarter, resulting from listing on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange. The tax incentive provides a 10 years tax concession, with no taxes payable for 5 years and at 50 percent of the normal rate for the second 5 years.
A 29.5 percent spike in the volume of fuel sold added 2.9 million litres to volume sales, helping to push revenues for the quarter up 58 percent to $1.9 billion from $1.2 billion in 2020 and much greater than the $1.5 billion generated in March 2021 quarter. Most of the June increase over the March quarter would be due to the increased price of imported fuel, emanating from the upward movement in world oil prices during the period. Sales for the June 2020 quarter, was negatively affected by disruption to business following the outbreak of covid-19 last year.

Beechwood Avenue service station, under construction.

The first quarter performance is ahead of the opening of the new Fesco Ferry service station on July 15, which is dealer owned and operated.
The Company recorded a gross profit of $55 million, an increase of 63.4 percent over the June 2020 quarter of $34 million.
Operating and administrative expenses for the 2021 first quarter popped 139 percent from $8.6 million to $20.5 million, due mainly to spending in new areas during the quarter, with no cost in 2020. Advertising consumed $2.9 million, directors fees $1.4 million, amortization of right of use assets $867,000, while legal and professional fees rose from $310,000 to $2 million and audit and accounting fees added $1 million, with virtually none in 2020.
Finance Income increased from $1.7 million to $6.4 million, with foreign exchange gains accounting for $4.4 million in the 2021 quarter. Interest cost was minimal at under $1 million in the 2020 and 2021 periods.
Current assets amount to $547 million and current liabilities $210 million, with net current assets of $336 million versus $145 million in 2020. Cash funds amount to $282 million and receivables and amounts due from related parties amount to $250 million.
Shareholders Equity stands at $582 million, up from $231 million at the end of June 2020, reflecting the net proceeds from the IPO earlier this year and an increase in retained earnings. The company outlaid $238 million in work in progress in building out the service station on Beechwood Avenue in Kingston, with $114 million incurred in the June quarter.

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