Knutsford Express looking good

Jamaica cross-country luxury bus operator, Knutsford Express is all smiles again having turned a loss of $96 million in 2021 into a profit of $78 million before other comprehensive income in the year to May 2022, but the position is even better when the loss of $33 million in the discontinued Florida business is considered.
Revenues for the year ending May 2022, jumped 77 percent to $1.11 billion from a covid19 battered 2021, with $629 million. Other income brought in $21.5 million for the year, with just about all, generated in the last quarter and appears to be from real estate rental. The audited statement says nothing about its source, but there was virtually no other income in the prior year.
The fourth quarter generated revenues of $339 million up 96 percent from $173 million in the May 2021 quarter, with profit surging to $82 million for the quarter, from a minuscule $10 million in 2021 before losses from the discontinued business.
Unfortunately, the company fails to compute direct operating costs, as such gross profit is not reported in their full year or quarterly reports. A clear backward step in an expanding financial space. Based on the audited financial statements, computes gross profit before staff cost at 60 percent for 2022, up from 52 percent in 2021, with fuel accounting for the largest part, coming in at $150 million in 2022 from $73 million in the previous year. Parts and supplies accounted for $59 million, up from $29 million. Insurance costs rose to $37 million from $28 million last year, while Toll fees consumed $35 million against $20 million m 2021.
Operating expenses rose 40 percent to $979 million, from $698 million in 2021, with Salaries, wages and related expenses accounting for $306 million, up from $219 million in 2021, with the number of staff increasing from 178 to 221. Finance costs more than doubled from $15 million to $36.6 million.
Earnings per share for the year amounts to 16 cents, including losses from the discontinued business and 22 cents excluding it, while the fourth quarter delivered earnings of approximately 15 cents per share or 60 cents annualized. projects full year 2023 earnings at 90 cents per share, with the PE ratio at 8.3 times 2023 earnings compared to a market average of just under 13, an indication that the stock is undervalued.
The company generated $267 million in gross cash inflows and expended $223 million on the purchase of fixed assets and was left with $54 million that helped in pushing total funds to $106 million at the end of the year, in addition, investments amounted to $92 million.
Borrowings moved from $487 million to $512 million, while payables rose from $98 million to $151 million. Shareholders’ equity rose from $666 million at the end of May last year to $751 million.
Knutsford Express is a buy, with the price more than doubling by the end of 2023.

About IC