Palace Q3 profit jumps 244%

Black Panther mash up Palace bottom-line with a huge increase in profit

Profit at Palace Amusement jumped 244 percent in the March quarter, to a record $45 million from just $13 million in 2017. For the nine months to December, profit surged 746 percent to $49 million from $6 million in 2017.
Thanks to the high level of success of the Black Panther movie sale revenues rose a strong 39 percent for the quarter, to $343 million from $247 million and by 21 percent for the year to date, to $836 million from $692 million in 2017.
Gross profit rose 73 percent to $90 million and profit margin increased to 26 percent in the quarter from the 2017 out turn of 21 percent. For the nine months period to March gross profit rose a respectable 45 percent to $189 million and profit margin moved 23 percent from 19 percent in the 2017.
Administrative expenses rose 10 percent to $45 million in the quarter and by 7 percent in the nine months to $139 million.
Earnings per share came out at $31.53 for the quarter and $34.38 for the nine months and should end the fiscal year ending around $150 level, with the continued success of Black Panther and now The Avengers.

Carib Cinema, the flagship for Palace Amusement, the company’s stock climbed $200 on Monday.

Gross cash flow brought in $79 million but there was the payment of loans and dividends amounting to $9 million. At the end of March, shareholders’ equity stood at $406 million with borrowings at just $24 million. Net current assets ended the period at $180 million inclusive of trade and other receivables of $62 million, cash and equivalent of $203 million and current liabilities stood at 139 million.
The stock traded at a record $1,500 on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 10 times, estimated 2018 earnings.

Sagicor Group & Wisynco back in TOP 10

Salada Foods reported earnings of 78 cents for the half year and is now no 2 on the TOP 10.

Sagicor Group fell out of TOP 10 of main market stocks in the previous week, is back, with the price falling from $42 to $38 and Salada Foods surges to the number 2 spot with half year results.
Wisynco joins the TOP 10 after a very long absence as the price dipped to $10 on Friday. The two new listings replaced Grace Kennedy and PanJam Investment, with the latter jumping to a new 52 weeks’ high of $46.01. In the Junior Market there was only one change with Stationery and Office Supplies (SOS) climbing to a new record high of $7.50 after positing good first quarter results with earnings per share up 70 percent to 17 cents. Lasco Financial moved back into the TOP 10, replacing SOS that still have much more room to grow this year as profits should hit close to $1 per share for the year and investors could well see a stock split as a result of the rising profit and stock price.
Other changes of note, were the fall in price of Berger Paints to $20 from $22 at the end of the previous week, Caribbean Cement moved to $40.05 from $38.60 and Barita Investments rose to $11.50 from $10.49 as selling by investors dried up. Second quarter results may not be good enough to push the stock much higher but when the growth in other comprehensive income is factored in, the stocks is still extremely cheap.
On Thursday, a number of company results were released with some having the potential to help prices to move forward. On Friday, more results were released with Salada Foods and tTech posting good gains in profit. Salada earnings suggest full year results of $1.80 per share and pushed the stock to the number 2 choice in the TOP 10. Others will come on Monday and Tuesday, investors should be alert to news that they may provide that could impact prices in the short term.
The main market pulled back from record highs reached at the close of the previous week but is now sitting just below that level on Friday, as that market continues to grind its way slowly upwards ahead of the big breakout that is coming.
At the close of Friday, the average PE ratio for Junior Market Top stocks ended at 6.2 compared to an average PE for the overall main market of 10 based on 2018 estimated earnings. The main market PE is 7.2 for the top stocks, compared to a market average of 13.
IC Insider.com’s TOP 10 stocks now trade at an average discount of 38 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 and main market stocks traded at a discount of 44 percent to the market.
Stocks to Watch this week include, Stationery and Office Supplies that should go higher based on the first quarter results that were released on Thursday. It should be interesting to see how investors treat with the lack of supply of Barita and Berger shares while Palace that jumped $300 on Friday could be pushed when the company’s third quarter results are released this coming week that should see very positive impact of the Black Panther movies now still being shown, although less frequently than previously, with Avengers seems to have taken over from it. NCB Financial pulled back to $95 during the past week and should be another interesting stock to watch as it is undervalued. Grace Kennedy posted decent first quarter results that should encourage more buying of the stock and PanJam Investment is very scarce. Increasing interest in Radio Jamaica pushed the price to $1.20 and is another that could move higher during the week.

Fake Avenger promto

The popularity of the Palace Amusement’s the Avengers Infinity War, now showing on the company’s cinema circuit has elicited some fictitious email now in circulation offering members of the public the chance to win free tickets to the blockbuster, Avengers showing.
Palace Amusement has advised via a press release that they are conducting no such promotion and urges members of the public to be smart and aware when using the internet for their own safety and security, accordingly patrons should be an the alert to emails inviting persons to answer questions in order to participate.
The Avenger is another big movie for Palace who continues to show Black Panther now in its third month of showing.

Good news push TOP 10 stocks

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There were no new entrants this past week, to the TOP 10 list of stocks on the Jamaican Stock Exchange, but there was some good news with the acquisition by Stationery and Office Supplies of a book making business.
The acquisition is set to add to profit in year one, and investors responded by driving the stock to a new high. The stock that was facing some challenge to get bids around the $5.50 level, the stock traded at in the past few weeks, jumped to $6 on the same day the announcement was made. With annual sales estimated around $130 million that could rise with greater focus on the operations and more capital available to support it, IC Insder.com has up graded the earnings to 90 cents for this year. The company is one of a number of Junior Market listings expected to post positive gains in the 2018 first quart over that of 2017.
The other good news for the market was a further fall in Treasury bill rates and another month of slightly negative inflation for March with the first quarter inflation also being negative. While the main market hit two new record highs during the week. While the JSE main market is caught up in a wedge formation and waiting for a big break out which could happen any time, the Junior Market that was in a downward drift from late 2017 now seems to have support from the 200 day and 120 day moving averages with the short term moving average now above both longer term ones. The market is being steered by two support lines with one going back to 2010 and another going back to early 2014.
Investors pressured recently listed Elite Diagnostic during the week as they reacted negatively to the December quarter results with lower profit that the previous year’s results. Investors seemed to have responded the Berger Paints bullish reading in the annual report as they bought the stock in increasing volumes during the week, leaving the price at $19. The Managing Director had reported that “the outlook for 2018 and beyond is extremely positive. The Berger brand remains strong and continues to dominate the local market with strong brand equity and a reputation for quality. With GDP projected to grow by at least 1.5% in 2018, construction activity and the demand for coatings is expected to remain relatively strong for the next two to three years. Plans are already being implemented to expand the company’s local distribution and product range as well as to improve our level of customer service and responsiveness. In 2018, there will also be greater emphasis on building out exports by targeting new markets in Central America and the Greater CARICOM region.”
Palace Amusement continues to enjoy expanded interest from investors with the continued success of the movie Black Panther. After more than two months of showing it still has two showings per day in all three cinemas, but the attraction for the stock is much more than this movie.
Strong buying came in for Barita Investments at $9.50 during the week. JMMB Group gained more ground, as the block out period for insiders to trade in the stock closes and the stock moved up to $28.32, resistance is just over $31 an area investors should be on the lookout for in the short run.
At the close of Friday, the average PE ratio for Junior Market Top stocks ended at 6 compared to an average PE for the overall main market of 10 based on 2018 estimated earnings. The main market PE remains at 7 for the top stocks, compared to a market average of 12.7.
IC Insider.com’s 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 and main market stocks traded at a discount of 42 percent to the market.

Standoff for TOP 10 stocks

Berger Paints annual report had some good news for investors to digest.

The up and down nature of the markets this past week left most stocks fairly stable resulting in no new entrant to the TOP 10 list of stocks on the Jamaican Stock Exchange.
The past week got greeted by a series of company results that were not inspiring with most reporting lower profits for the first quarter this year. On a positive note, most of the results were affected by increased cost resulting from expansion ahead of full flow of new income from the expanded facilities.
Companies affected include recently listed Elite Diagnostic, Paramount Trading and Knutsford Express. Berger Paints released their annual report that was filled with some good talk of going after market share, new product lines to be added and upgrading of equipment to increase efficiency.
“The outlook for 2018 and beyond is extremely positive. The Berger brand remains strong and continues to dominate the local market with strong brand equity and a reputation for quality. With GDP projected to grow by at least 1.5% in 2018, construction activity and the demand for coatings is expected to remain relatively strong for the next two to three years. Plans are already being implemented to expand the company’s local distribution and product range as well as to improve our level of customer service and responsiveness. In 2018, there will also be greater emphasis on building out exports by targeting new markets in Central America and the Greater CARICOM region,” the Managing Director reported.
For Palace Amusement with the bid at $781 at the close of the week down to $750 the movie Black Panther continues to pull in the crowd after two months of showing and still has two showings per day in all three cinemas, the same as shows that opened during the past week.
Barita Investments rose to close the week at $9.50 as investors sucked out most of the supply under $10. Key Insurance fell to $3 as the company reported that two directors sold shares during the week, while JMMB Group gained more ground, as the block out period for insiders to trade in the stock, comes to a close, until after mid May.
At the close of Friday, the average PE ratio for Junior Market Top stocks ended at 6.2 compared to an average PE for the overall main market is 10 based on 2018 estimated earnings. The main market PE remains at 6.5 for the top stocks, compared to a market average of 12.3.
IC Insider.com’s TOP 10 stocks now trade at an average discount of 39 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 and main market stocks traded at a discount of 47 percent to the market.

Palace is much more than Black Panther

Carib Cinema, the flagship for Palace Amusement.

Revenues and profit are getting a big lift from the strong showing of the Black Panther movie currently playing at the Palace Amusement cinemas in Jamaica.
The stock jumped sharply in March, more than doubling the previous price of $560. Some investors are of the view that interest in the stock is purely as a result of the movie. While it may be a factor, Palace’s story goes well beyond that.
Although in the public eyes daily, the shares of Palace are not the focus of attention for many . One main reason is the 1,437,000 shares issued by the company, resulting in limited liquidity in the stock. The other is that historically profit can be a bit erratic. Management’s failure to split the stock for greater liquidity only adds to investors’ concerns.
Palace is reminiscent of Lascelles deMercado back in 1983 when the stock hardly traded due to liquidity issues and a lousy dividend policy. Asked then why the stock was so cheap, around $6, a broker responded —no one buys

A seen from Black Panther

Lascelles’ shares. That of course was a terrible error by investors as the stock went on to deliver one of the best returns on the local market with Campari ultimately buying out the company.
Stocks that are not sexy don’t get much attention from investors, but in many cases, these are the ones to record massive gains when the story is fully told. A reader of IC Insider.com indicated that a look at the last two years’ results revealed flat revenues. That prompted a review of the numbers. The history may not be spectacular but closer examination shows a high degree of attractiveness that is not based solely on the pile of added income Black Panther will rake in.
Revenues have been climbing since 2014 when it reached $833 million, rising to $916 million in 2015, with a slight dip in 2016 to $909 million. Revenues rose 9 percent in 2017 to $990 million and for the half year to December 2017, growth was 11 percent to $493 million with profit rising 138 percent.
Revenues will hit the billion mark for the first time in the company’s history, for the current fiscal year and remain over that level going forward. The performance of the economy is critical to the future fortunes and to a lesser degree, the quality of films. Data indicates that with a tight economy, patronage in Kingston suffered badly with the downturn in the economy from 2008 onwards. At the same time, strong growth, said to be around 7 percent per annum in the Montego Bay economy, showed up in strong revenue gains there compared to Kingston for a number of years. With the overall economy recovering and employment growing, Palace is benefitting and it’s reflected in the numbers to December 2017.

Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay.

Segment results tell the story of the strong impact of the economy on operations. For the six months to December, Box office patronage at Carib Cinema in Cross Roads rose 14 percent to $147 million, while at Palace Cineplex, the gains were 10 percent to $55 million and 8 percent at Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay to $77 million. Sales from the concessionaires surged 29 percent to $80 million at Carib, 22 percent at Cineplex to $27 million and 21 percent to $34 million at Multiplex. The fact that Carib has outgrown the other two cinemas is not an accident but is reflective of the recovery in disposable income of a large number of Jamaicans.
While revenues are on the rise, cost has been kept under control. Direct operating cost increased by 6 percent to $190 million for the quarter and 8 percent for the half year.

Another Palace movie – Bruce Willis and Cole Hauser star in Acts of Violence.

Administrative Expenses rose just 4 percent to $37 million in the December quarter and 7 percent for the six months to $76 million. Depreciation for the six months period rose just 5 percent to $17 million. If the trend continues into 2019 fiscal year earnings should be close to $100 per share range. Prior to Black Panther, earnings were set to reach around $45 per share but the phenomenal success of Black Panther is Projected by IC Insider.com to push 2018 earnings to be well over $100 per share when the fiscal year closes in June.
The company concluded the year with equity capital of $343 million, borrowings at just $25 million with cash funds of $130 million helping to push Current assets to $242 million as Current liabilities stand at $110 million.
The stock traded at $1,300 earlier in the month is poised to fall back with the lowest offer being $1,000. Palace trades on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at a PE around 10 times projected 2019 earnings and much lower based on the 2018 earnings.

Black Panther applauded by patrons & Palace

One of the many gripping scenes from Marvel Studios’ Black Panther.

Palace Amusement Company continues to reap sweet rewards from the phenomenally popular movie, Black Panther that Jamaicans are queuing in droves to see.
Now in its third big week, this Marvel Studios’ phenomenon, in keeping with growing demand island wide has resulted in Palace Amusement adding extra shows at all its cinemas, to satisfy it patrons who are eager to be a part of the film’s astounding appeal and drawing power.
According to a release from Palace its flagship Carib in Cross Roads, have moved to 6 shows daily up from 4, Palace Cineplex, Liguanea, has added daytime matinees on the weekend, in addition to 2 shows daily and in Montego Bay, Palace Cineplex will now have 4 shows daily up from 3. For show times check www.palaceamusement.com or see the press.
Palace reported a loss of $5.3 million in the December quarter from revenues of $233 million and a profit of $4 million for the six months period, from revenues of $493 million. By IC Insider.com computation the success of Black Panther should blast the December quarter’s numbers way out of the waters and well into the black and is likely to make 2018 the most successful year in the movie house’s history.
Palace Amusement Company is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange and last traded at $560.

Black Panther – Palace cinemas Friday

Breaking the Twitter record for 2018, Marvel Studios’ Black Panther has stockpiled more than five million tweets and growing, on the film’s official social platform and is said to be the first mega budget film with an African-American director and a predominately black cast led by Hollywood a-listers.

The wait is over! Marvel Studios’ Black Panther finally hits theatres this Friday, February 16. The in demand film will be shown at all Palace cinemas on the opening day.
Dubbed a cultural phenomenon and already ranked as the most tweeted about film in the world this year, Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated Black Panther is on track to become Fandango’s top pre-seller of all superhero films.
Black Panther follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears. T’Challa’s mettle as king and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life. Dubbed Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Academy Award® winners Lupita Nyong’o and Forest Whitaker, Golden Globe Award® nominee Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis, Academy Award® nominees Angela Bassett and Daniel Kaluuya, Golden Globe® winner Sterling Brown, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright. The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay.