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 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”.

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