69M Access shares offered at $32 each

Proven Investments is offering 68.6 million or 25 percent of the shares it currently owns in Access Financial Services for sale, at $32 per share starting today with the issue not expected to be open beyond today.
The prospectus suggests that the offer could be upsized if deemed appropriate but information obtained by IC Insider.com indicates that it will not be. Proven bought the block of shares mainly from Mayberry Investments on December 30, 2014, at $9 each, to become the largest shareholder. On several occasions in the past, the CEO Christopher Williams maintained the view that they had no intention of selling the shares, but that was before they bought 20 percent of JMMB Group from NCB Group in December 2018, costing $9 billion and financed by debt. With JMMB Group going back to the market to issue new shares, Proven will need to have funds to buy enough shares to maintain their 20 percent holdings if they intend to account for profits on an equity basis.
At $32, the stock is an attractive buy for investors looking for a value play investment. It is priced under 10 times current year’s earnings and could double within a year.
Access is one of the most rewarding investment for shareholders over the years, with an outstanding record of increased profits high return on equity and good and consistent dividend payments. Return on equity slipped in the past two years as interest rates and new accounting standards took effect but the company continues to grow. In recent years, growth was boosted by acquisitions of other micro-lending companies. Last year the company acquired Embassy Loans located in the Florida area in the United States.
The company realized Net Operating Income for the quarter ending June 2019 of $539 million of which the new US subsidiary Embassy Loans contributed $151 million. Interest income from loans increased by $8 million or 2 percent to $408 million while net fees and commission for the period was $153m. For the period, Embassy Loans contributed $44 million and $103 million respectively to the group’s Interest and fee income.

Christopher Williams, Proven Investments CEO.

Operating expenses for the quarter, increased by 90 percent or $179 million compared to the corresponding period ended June 2018, resulting from an increase in allowances for credit losses, based on the implementation of the IFRS 9 provisioning methodology and the inclusion of Embassy’s operating expenses for the quarter amounting to $110 million.
Net profit after tax for the quarter ended June 2019 declined 24 percent to $165 million compared to the 2018 period and resulted in earnings per share of 60 cents. Annualised earnings work out at $2.40, at a PE of 15, the value would be $36.
Access will generate cash flow from profits monthly and increase the amount available for lending, as such, earnings per share should be in the $3 region for the current year putting the likely value around $45.
The stock tends to be scarce and the potential for long term growth remains positive if a bit diminished in recent times with pressures on interest margins. Consolidation in the industry locally is to be expected and Access should be able to take over more of the smaller players going forward. It is most likely that Access will move most of the administrative functions to Jamaica with the lower cost than in Florida and therefore cut the cost of the US operations.

Junior Market hits new record high

New record high for the JSE main market.

The Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange in trading on Monday with the market closing at a new record high, with the index rising 31.64 to close at 3,569 with a 10 percent gain for the year.
Junior Market ended trading with 32 securities changing hands, down from 35 on Friday, as prices of 14 securities rose, 12 declined and 6 remained unchanged.
At the close, Limners and Bards ended at a record close of $3.90, Elite Diagnostic closed at a record high of $6.40, General Accident closed at a 52 weeks’ high of $5.40, Lasco Financial traded at a 52 weeks’ high of $5.97 but Jamaican Teas traded at an intra-day record of $7.50 but pulled back after.
Market activities resulted in an exchange of 5,633,068 units valued at $25,345,257 compared to 6,412,413 units valued at $28,100,938 on Friday.
Trading ended with an average of 176,033 units for an average of $792,039 in contrast to 183,212 units for $802,884 on Friday for each security traded. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to units 179,783 valued at $797,704. July ended with an average of 138,412 units with a value of $563,215 for each security traded.
IC bid-offer Indicator| At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading shows 3 stocks closing with bids higher than their last selling prices and 2 closed with lower offers.
Stocks ending with price changes| Blue Power lost 1.80 cents in trading 128,748 shares to close at  $10.70, Caribbean Flavours declined $1.06 in trading of 43,842 units to close at $16.10, Caribbean Cream climbed 25 cents and exchanged 1,000 shares at $4.50, Cargo Handlers ended trading 978 shares, after rising 3 cents to end at $11. Consolidated Bakeries shed 10 cents in trading of 55,878 units at $2.20, Dolphin Cove closed 5 cents higher at $12.05, with 3,122 stock units trading, Derrimon Trading shed 20 cents in trading of 331,272 units to close at $2.60, Express Catering shed 20 cents in trading 139,420 units at $6.50. Everything Fresh climbed 24 cents and exchanged 166,102 shares at $1.59. Elite Diagnostic ended trading with 29,406 shares, after rising 18 cents to end at 52 weeks’ high of $6.40, Fosrich Group closed trading with 32,427 units and gained 3 cents to end at $4.93. General Accident closed trading of 100,100 units and gained 50 cents to end at a 52 weeks’ high of $5.40, iCreate closed 10 cents higher at 80 cents, with 72,719 stock units trading, Indies Pharma dipped 9 cents in trading of 439,404 units at $3.21, Iron Rock Insurance shed 5 cents in trading of 23,919 units at $4. Infrequently traded ISP Finance dropped $2.15 in trading of 26,659 units at $11.50, Jamaican Teas lost 26 cents in trading of 220,533 units at $7, Jetcon Corporation climbed 3 cents in exchanging 61,340 shares at $1.96. Limners and Bards climbed 15 cents and exchanged 2,638,421 shares to end at a record close of $3.90. Lasco Distributors lost 25 cents trading 135,609 shares to close at $3.15, Lasco Financial closed trading of 129,841 units and gained 47 cents to end at 52 weeks’ high of $5.97, Lasco Manufacturing climbed 15 cents in exchanging 125,484 shares at $4.40, Medical Disposables ended trading 100 shares, after rising 80 cents to end at $8.80. Main Event ended market activity exchanging 6,210 shares to close at $7.84 after falling 11 cents, Paramount Trading shed 18 cents in trading of 15,000 units to close at $2.20, and Stationery and Office Supplies closed trading of 386 units and gained 39 cents to end at $12.59.

Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

PE expansion highly likely in 2019

An overall view of stocks indicates that the main market continues to be steered higher by an upward sloping support line as well the 45 and 125 day moving averages, lending support just below. The Junior Market is currently guided by an upward rising long-term support line, pointing to more gains ahead.
The market is also supported by a golden cross. The  golden cross is a strong bullish long-term signal. The market needs the fuel of rising profits.
Profit performance, in 2018 was mixed, but helped move some stocks higher, falling interest rates however, pushed up PE ratios to 16.5 times 2018 earnings by year end, up from 14 at the end of 2017. PE ratios on average are set to rise above current levels toward 20 in 2019. The Junior Market has 10 stocks and the main market has 6, trading around and above this level. Investors seem more at ease with higher PE ratio than in the past, with interest rates now around 2 percent and economic stability now in the system.
Local economic performance should have a positive impact on profit of most companies as demand grows in the system from greater employment that is expected to continue growing in 2019 as well as increased disposable income.
Nine IPOs made it to the market in the year with three in December, giving investors more investment choices than in 2017, with even more to come in 2019. ICreate will be the first IPO in 2019, but that is a new company, then Wigton Wind Farm’s IPO will be launched early 2019, but it is not one for all investors, as it is mainly an income play. However,

Junior Market stocks should out perform JSE main market stocks in 2019

there are others, namely, a central Jamaica manufacturing entity with a strong export base, the possibility of a paint company plus one in the BPO sector. IC Insider.com gathers that there are at least another three IPOs, that should make it to the market this year, but the Jamaica Stock Exchange is expecting 21 new listings for the year, including preference shares.
Business mergers and acquisitions are likely as some companies shed smaller segments of their operations and others, getting together for greater economies of scale. Stocks comprise different features. Growth plays an important role in many stock selections; examples are Access Financial Services, Elite Diagnostic, Fontana, Derrimon Trading, Jamaica Producers, Kingston Wharves, NCB Financial, PanJam Investment, Paramount Trading, as they grow by acquisition and expansion of current facilities. Carreras is a value play with good dividend yield along with Grace Kennedy.

Access & Iron Rock back into IC Top 10

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Thee are no change to the TOP 10 main market list. The Junior Market has two changes with Iron Rock Insurance and Access Financial returning to the TOP 10, while Stationery and Office Supplies (SOS) and Dolphin Cove moved out.
IC Insider.com lowered the earnings per share for the two that moved out, based on the most recent release of interim results. In addition, SOS moved up in price following the release of nine months results.
Last week’s big new the entry, Scotia Group moved from $50 to close at $55.95 and now awaits the full year results which be out soon, for more direction. Based on IC Insider.com forecast Scotia is set to earn around $4.60 for the 2018 year to October with the PE at just 11 times earnings.
Earnings for General Accident have been adjusted down to 40 cents per share with the latest results now out, but it still holds on to the TOP 10.
The main market closed the week with the overall PE remains at 15.3, the PE of the Junior market is at 15.6 from the prior week.
The PE ratio for Junior Market Top 10 stocks average 9.4 and the main market PE is now 9.7.
The TOP 10 stocks now trade at an average discount of 40 percent to the average for the Junior Market Top stocks but it’s a third of what the average PE for the year is likely to be of 20 times earnings. The main market stocks trade at a discount of 37 percent to the overall market.
TOP 10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns within a 12 months period. Stocks are selected based on projected earnings for each company’s current fiscal year. Based on an assumed PE for each, the likely gains are determined and then ranked, with the stocks with the highest potential gains ranked first followed by the rest, in descending order. Potential values will change as stock prices fluctuate and will result in movements of the selection in and out of the lists for most weeks. Earnings per share are revised on an ongoing basis based on new information received that can result in changes in and out of the list as well.

Big boost for Access from new Acquisition

In its quest for continued growth by acquisition Junior Market listed Access Financial Services announces yet another prospective acquisition.
The micro lender has indicated that it has reached an agreement to acquire a Florida based consumer finance company. The release by the company states that the successful completion of the acquisition expected to be completed in 90 days, is subject to satisfaction of all conditions of the purchase agreement and applicable legal and regulatory approvals.
Usually reliable source indicates that this acquisition when concluded will swell Access assets by US$8 or J$1 billion and will increase Access size by 25 percent. Estimated revenues should be approximately US$4 million per annum at the present level of business. The business is based on lending, for up three months with loans usually under US$1,000. The loans are collateralized by motor vehicles titles. The entire loan process is done on line thus requiring limited staffing. According to a report online, “today in Florida, we have car title loan clients achieving 90 percent to 140 percent per annum on their loan portfolios.”

Access Financial

This acquisition when completed will bring to 5, the number of entities Access acquired since 2015. In 2017, the loan portfolio, fixed assets and trade name of Micro Credit Limited. In 2016, Access purchased the business of Damark Limited comprising mainly the loan portfolio, fixed assets, trademark for $180 million. In 2015, Access acquired the loan portfolios of Asset Management Company, formerly operated by Scotia Investments.
Access recorded net profit after tax of $217 million from revenues of $457 million for the quarter ended June this year up 16 percent over net profit of $188 million for the corresponding period in 2017. Total assets at June, amounted to $3.86 billion.
The company’s stock is listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange and last traded at $45.50.

Junior Market rose for 6 straight days

Knutsford Express traded 10 million shares on Thursday.

The Junior Market recorded gains in the index each day since Monday January 22, to the close of Thursday with just a 2.24 points fall on January 24, breaking the trend. The market closed with a gain of 14.34 points to close at 2,936.55.
Market activities ended with the prices of 9 securities advanced, 6 declined and 7 remained unchanged.
At the close of market activities on, 22 securities changed hands, resulting in an exchange of 12,575,728 units valued at $149,826,461 compared to 4,216,943 units valued at $15,584,380 from 25 securities changing hands, on Wednesday. Knutsford Express traded 10,042,962 shares accounting for 80 percent of total volume traded.
Trading ended with an average of 571,624 units for an average of $6,810,294 in contrast to 168,678 units for an average of $623,375 on Wednesday. January closed with an average of 122,386 shares valued at $489,704 for each security traded.
IC bid-offer Indicator|At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading shows 3 stocks ending with the bid higher than the last selling price and 3 with lower offers.
At the close of the market, Access Financial closed with a loss of $2.60 at $45.40, with 200 shares trading, AMG Packaging ended at $2, with 149,481 stock units, CAC 2000 finished with a loss of 5 cents at $8.65, with 206 shares, Caribbean Producers rose 3 cents to close at $4.33, with 29,258 units, Derrimon Trading concluded trading 12 cents higher at $7.12, with 3,817 shares. Eppley settled at $12.50, with 4,789 units, Express Catering ended trading 45 cents higher at $4.95, with 46,343 shares, FosRich Group traded 20 cents higher at $2.70, with 99,079 shares, General Accident finished trading with a loss of 5 cents at $2.80, with 8,512 shares. GWest Corporation closed at $3.20, with 1,429,709 stock units, Honey Bun ended at $5, with 1,620 units, Jamaican Teas settled at $4.60, with 71,295 shares, Jetcon Corporation ended trading 10 cents higher at $4.60, with 9,500 stock units. Knutsford Express closed with a loss of $1 at $14, with 10,042,962 shares, Lasco Distributors ended 50 cents higher at $4.50, with 26,449 shares, Lasco Financial concluded trading 10 cents higher at $5.25, with 196,905 stock units, Lasco Manufacturing finished 10 cents higher at $4.50, with 346,468 units. Main Event settled at $5.70, with 1,594 shares, Paramount Trading traded at $3.40, with 12,000 shares, Stationery and Office finished trading with a loss of 5 cents at $5, with 23,781 stock units and tTech ended 5 cents higher at $6, with 7,500 shares. In the junior market preference segment, Eppley 8.25% concluded trading with a loss of 40 cents at 52 weeks’ low of $5, with 64,260 units changing hands.
Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

Lasco Financial beats 2017 profit in 9 months

Lasco Financial reports profit for 9 months at $222 million.

Lasco Financial’s profit for the nine months to December, has already eclipsed the full 2017 fiscal year profit of $188 million as nine months profit climbed 36.6 percent to $222 million, from a 35 percent revenue increase from $830 million to $1.12 billion.
Profit after tax, suffered a decline in the third quarter, falling to $54.7 million from $62 million in 2016, as revenues increased by 36 percent to $405 million from $298 million in the 2016 period. The results reflect just one month’s of CrediScotia’s operation.
Responding to the growth in the December quarter results, Lasco’s Managing director, Jacinth Hall-Tracey stated in her report to shareholders, “This is attributed to seasonally strong remittance and cambio inflows bolstered by the income from its new acquisition of CreditScotia, renamed LASCO Microfinance. After recognizing some direct expenses for the acquisition and normal seasonal operational increases, profit from operations for the quarter closed at $91.4 million, an increase of 18.5 percent.” Interest cost associated with the funding of the acquisition was pushed up by $20 million in the quarter and reduced the positive gains in operating profit below pretax profit in 2016 of $75 million to $69 million.
Administrative and other expenses, jumped a sharp 63 percent to $179 million in the third quarter, but for the nine months, it rose by a more moderate 41 percent, to $531 million, well ahead of the increased revenues. Marketing cost rose 22 percent in the quarter to $135 million and 20 percent for the nine months, to $389 million.
Total assets jumped from $1.55 billion at the end of March 2017 to $3.3 billion with the acquisition of the CrediScotia shares, funded by $1.27 billion from by short-term loans, from related companies. The short-term loans will be repaid in full from a long term instrument being arranged.

Access Financial has assets of $3.3 billion at September 2017.

The acquisition pushed Lasco’s assets to the same amount that Access Financial had at the end of September. There are two differences, Access Financial is valued by the stock market at twice the market value of Lasco’s market value of $6.6 billion, with Access at $11.55 billion. Access’s loan portfolio stood at $2.68 billion at September while Lasco is less than $1.5 billion at the end of December last year.
According to the quarterly report, in the coming months, the loan business will be combined into the subsidiary company. The combined businesses own a network of 13 branches, a large customer base and a billion dollar loan portfolio.
The company looks like it will end 2018 fiscal year with profits around $300 million level with earnings per share of 25 cents. The stock last traded on the Junior Market of the Stock Exchange at$5.24 at a PE around 20 times current fiscal year’s earning, but the focus will be on the next fiscal year when the full benefits of the acquisition of the CrediScotia is fully reflected in the results and one off cost are removed.

Profitable investments guide

Access Financial Services profit has grown regularly from 2005 to 2017.

“I recently began trading stocks on both the main and junior market, and I was hoping that you could guide me through the analysis of the market and stocks and IPOs, I am not sure which stocks might likely break out on either market and my portfolio is sitting in the red for a year now,” a reader asked recently.
That is a bit tough when several stocks have delivered very good returns in 2017 with the JSE main market up more than 50 percent for the year to date and with 9 Junior Market stocks rising more than 100 percent. It is worth noting that investment is not an endeavor that will always produce quick positive results. One of the stocks in the portfolio was clearly bought at far too high a price and value. Currently, although the price has fallen it can be considered overpriced. If you were following IC Insider.com you would have seen from last year that the stock was highly overvalued. Important it was the top performing Junior Market stock and there is good evidence suggesting that buying the top performing stock for a year is unlikely see that stock performing strongly in a subsequent year.

JMMB peaked in 2005 and only exceeded that price in 2017.

The number one rule in investing, get good reliable advice. Rule number 2, compare the price earnings ratios of stocks and focus on those that are the lowest and those companies that are doing well, that is, their profits are growing in a consistent manner and likely to continue that way into the future. A very good case in is that of Access Financial with a virtual increase in profit every year since listing.
Be very careful of popular stocks there may have run their course of gains and have little fuel let to go much higher.
Future earnings are important in investing, but it makes no sense to buy a stock at a high price with the hope that in a few years, profits will then grow and make a profitable investment for an investor, while one waits on the big pay day, other stocks are rising and the investor misses out on other good opportunities. Companies that are expanding can provide good investment opportunities.
Three stocks in the Jamaican market, made historical highs in 2005 and it was not been until 2017, that two recovered enough to exceed the previous highs, these two are JMMB Group and Scotia Group. Mayberry Investments is the third and is well below the peak after so many years. Even as two have exceeded the 2005 highs, the gains from then to now, is not very great while many others have gone on to record considerable gains. The lesson from these three is that, while investors wait to recover losses by holding on to poorly performing assets, they are missing profitable investment opportunities elsewhere.

Stock market moves in opposite direction to interest rates.

Why is it so important to get good advice? In August a brokerage house recommended that investors sell Caribbean Cement as in their opinion it was overvalued. At the same time IC Insider.com had the stock highly placed in the TOP 10 stocks to buy. The other is Berger Paints where some investors sold their stock for $10.88 only to see a big price gains since. Some persons have not factored in a number of developments in some of these companies and other developments in the wider economies, all of which can push revenues and profits. What are some of these, Cement has cut cost and likely to do so in 2018 when they refinance the current leasing arrangement. Most importantly, demand for cement is going to explode locally as demand for construction rise. The same will be happening at Berger as more buildings mean more demand for paints.
Consistent growth| Most investors should really be investing in companies where there is a consistency in annual growth in profits. They should shun ones with a checkered earnings history, unless they can be adept of picking tops and bottoms. That is a task persons who use technical analysis can do well.
Dangers of investing| When stock prices rise much faster than the growth in profits, it is time to take serious note of what is happening, this is a telltale sign of a correction ahead, unless the company is recovering from past period of undervaluation, interest rates are falling or the company is expanding and will be expected to enjoy a boost in profit as a result. Investors in such stocks should be fully conversant with what are the factors at play, to ensure their investment can be properly protected if, and when, the factors change.
Other factors| Look at developments in each company and what is happening to the local economy and the likely impact on companies. Most importantly, movement in interest rates have been shown to move markets in one direction or the other and this is a critical factor in investment assessment. One last point to bear in mind is the Investor’s Choice 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 rule| The rule is simple but profound, only 20 percent of the stocks that end up in the top 10 in one year reenter in the subsequent year and in some years just one or none make it, while 40 percent of the 10 worst performing stocks, make it to the top 10 best performers in the subsequent year. This is backed up by data going back for several years to the 1980s. This rule is only broken in a few years that are bearish. this rule is a very good guide for investors in knowing which stocks to buy or sell and when.

Access & NCB in TOP 10

NCB Financial Group enters TOP 10

The main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange closed at new record high on Friday, the seond week in a row that it doing so and in the process the all Jamaica Composite Index broke the 300,000 mark for the first time.
While the main market is making new highs, with gains of 43 percent for 2017, the junior market with gains of 30 percent at its peak this year, is now up just 12 percent for the year to date. Access Financial returned to the Junior Market list and NCB Financial to the main market list even as the latter price moved back to $91 at the end of the week and with just 33,603 units being offered for sale.
Suspension of the trading in Berger Paints shares is expected lifted on Tuesday, October 17. At the time of this report, no information was available on the level of take up of the buyout offer for the minority of the company’s shares by Ansa Coatings. The stock that traded at $11.25 when trading was suspended, should climb with the March 2018 full year’s earnings should hit $2.30 per share.
Investors continue to switch attention from Junior Market, to main market stocks, with the latter having pierced resistance around 300,000 points on the all Jamaica Composite Index could now be heading much higher as it moves on to the next major resistance at 360,000 point range on or before the end of the year.
At the close of Friday, the average PE ratio for the Junior Market Top stocks is at 7.9 and a PE at 7.1 for the main market TOP 10. The average PE for the overall main market trades at 13.5 and 13.1 for Junior Market, based on 2017 estimated earnings.
At the close of the week, IC Insider.com’s TOP 10 stocks now trade at an average discount of 40 percent to the average of the market for Junior Market Top stocks and it remains at 47 percent for the main market.

12 Junior stocks rose as 6 fall

Trading on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange closed on Tuesday with 20 securities changing hands, 12 advanced, 6 declined and 3 traded firm with 2,495,496 units valued at $13,050,346 compared to 4,968,253 units valued at $16,371,552 on Monday.
The Junior Trading ended with an average of 124,775 units for an average of $652, 517 in contrast to 225,830 units for an average of $744,161 on Monday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 301,663 units valued at $1,553,127 compared to 315,269 units valued at $1,622,404 previously. In contrast, July closed with average of 536,395 units at $1,905,441 for each security traded.
Trading ended with the market sentiments looking mixed for Wednesday’s activity, as 4 stocks ended with bids higher than their last selling prices and 4 with lower offers.
At the close of the market, stocks trading and their last traded prices are: Access Financial closed 5 cents higher and finished at $46.25 with 12,437 shares, AMG Packaging climbed 50 cents and ended at $4 with 70,000 shares, Blue Power climbed $1.50 and settled at $41.50 with 30,840 shares, Caribbean Cream rose 70 cents to $6.70 with 50,972 shares, Consolidated Bakeries traded at $2.15 with 106,223 shares, C2W Music gained 5 cents and closed at 43 cents with 10,000 shares, Dolphin Cove added 9 cents and ended at $17.50 with 4,303 shares, Express Catering with a loss of 15 cents, finished at $5.10 with 167,140 shares, General Accident closed at $2.60 with 53,470 shares, Jamaican Teas settled 15 cents higher at $5.15 with 1,753 shares, Jetcon Corporation with a loss of 29 cents, closed at $5.41 with 3,007 shares, KLE Group ended 5 cents higher at $2.50 with 12,450 shares, Knutsford Express inched 2 cents higher to finish at $14.99 with 5,102 shares, Lasco Distributors lost 20 cents and concluded trading at $6.80 with 98,840 shares, Lasco Financial moved 5 cents higher to $4 with 210,222 shares, Lasco Manufacturing ended 17 cents higher to close at $4.50 with 1,025,000 shares, Main Event with a loss of 17 cents, finished at $4.91 with 11,664 shares, Stationery and Office trimmed 20 cents and finished at $4 with 411,573 shares as some investors move for the exit after a successful public issue and strong gains in the price after listing, tTech jumped $1.44 higher to $7.44 with 190,000 shares and Derrimon Trading preference share, lost 10 cents in traded 20,500 shares at $2.10.