Carib Cream making headways but…

Caribbean Cream, the ice cream maker, is making headways as profits made big jump with an increase of 5,000 percent to reach $11 million in November 2013 quarter, up from only $222,000 after tax in the 2012 November quarter. Profit before tax was $3.9 million in the 2012 but as a recent Junior Stock market listing, the company is not subject to corporate tax in 2013.

The revenue improved 14 percent from $165.5 million to $188.8 million for the November quarter. However, sharp rises in electricity, depreciation, audit and accounting, security and other administrative and interest cost robbed Caribbean Cream of a better bottom line. Nevertheless, the company saw a 186 percent increase in profit before tax for the quarter, and for the 9 months, profit is up 45 percent to $28.7 million compared with $19.8 million in 2012.

Administrative cost rose sharply by 50 percent for the nine months to $80.86 million up from $54 million in 2012. This is of concern as it has risen too fast and has partially eroded the improvement generated in the revenue growth.

Caribbean Cream LtdThe company was able to squeeze more gross profit out of the operations this past year with a margin of 37 percent for the quarter, surging over the 24.7 percent of 2012 and 29.6 percent year-to-date compared to 26 percent for the same period in 2012. The latest quarter revenues reflected the lowest growth rate for the year-to-date with the February and April quarters climbing by 48 percent each and 27 percent for the July quarter.

Impressive as the growth in profit is, earnings per share was only 8 cents for the nine months, which is inadequate to drive interest in the stock even with management’s promise of continued expansion in retail outlets and growth in sales as well as the reduction in production cost due to the installation of new machinery.

Our estimate for earnings for the current fiscal year is 15 cents, and for the next year 50 cents. There is quite some room for the stock to appreciate during this year barring some bad quarterly results.

Related posts | Kremi up, hardly out of the blocks | Caribbean Cream trading on Friday

JSE: Reports of insider trades

Latest reports of trading by connected parties: Updated as of 22 July 2013

Kremi | Three directors bought a total of 121,141,794 shares and sold a total of 121,832,193 Caribbean Cream Limited shares during the period July 16 – 18, 2013. Scoops Unlimited which had owned 121,144,794 shares was the seller on the 16th of July with the amount being split in two equal amounts of just over 60.57 million each.

Blue Power | A party connected to Blue Power sold 5,979 of the company’s shares. So did two senior managers who sold a total of 69,393 shares and a director who sold 303,916 during the period June 25, 2013 – July 14, 2013:

Mayberry Investments | A party connected to Mayberry Investments Limited purchased 48,559 of the company’s shares during the period July 15 – 17, 2013 and a related party purchased 100 shares of the company on July 18, 2013.

Sagicor Life Jamaica | Advises that two of its executives purchased a total 790,874 of the company’s shares during the period July 11 – 12, 2013. This could be a significant indicator of good profits ahead and is therefore worth watching.

To view our last report of insider trading dated 4th July 2013, click here.

Kremi up, hardly out of the blocks

Caribbean Cream’s 49 percent jump in revenues in the first quarter to May this year, melted down to just 24 percent in pre-tax profits as costs rose above the growth in inflows. The situation for the February quarter was even worse as a 48 percent increase in sales delivered just $1.5 million in profit, a collapse from $18.6 million in 2012. Profit after tax rose to $11.7 million, up from $5.4 million, thanks to a roughly $6 million turn around in taxation.

Costs rise faster |  In the May quarter, direct labour cost climbed 69 percent to $11.4 million, electricity moved up by 86 percent, water jumped 106 percent to $1.2 million, machinery depreciation was up 117 percent. There were savings in packaging cost, down 53 percent to $725,000, factory rental was down by 44 percent to $1 million. IC Insider understands that the company underwent some major changes in how some aspects of the operations are done. The company used to purchase certain items from Scoops Unlimited, but this operation is now taken over, hence costs are structured differently than in the prior year period. The acquisition of their own warehouse means reduction in rental but a rise in finance cost. There was also a price adjustment in March for the products to help cover the increased production cost.

KremiBanner600X250Admin cost | Administrative cost was fairly well contained having increased far less than sales. The increase most likely would have been partially impacted by added costs to facilitate the IPO which occurred in the quarter. As such legal and professional fees were up nearly $1 million and audit and accounting fees by $1 million. Utility cost were down as well as depreciation but these may be due to reallocation of charges to direct expense instead of administrative expenses as was shown in the prior period. Interest and finance cost also showed an increase of $1 million. There was also a loss of $937,000 on disposal of fixed asset. The growth in profits before tax would be 36 percent if the loss on fixed asset is excluded. With the increased level of revenue, far more would have been expected under normal circumstances. The next quarter will be the true test when one-off costs should not recur.

Caribbean Cream’s rapid sale growth is phenomenal and looks as it can continue for a while yet. This is the aspect that many investors should be looking at as the company expands its customer base and captures market share with good products at competitive prices. As sales continue to rise rapidly, cost is likely to grow at a much slower pace thus helping to boost profits at a rapid pace.

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At the end of May, current assets stood at $131 million up from $102 million at the end of February. Increased cash which stood at $65 million and a $24 million reduction in inventories were the factors giving rise to current asset change. Current liabilities on the other hand stood at $75.66 million a decline from February’s $126 million as the amount for payables was cut from $100 million to $64 million. Borrowed funds stood at $81 million, just a bit lower than the amount due at February.

Capital spend | The company spent $100 million on capital prior to the IPO but more is to be spent as new cold room machinery is to be installed later this year. Management states that this will cut cost and increase efficiency in freezing the product.

Valuation | The stock is selling at roughly 30 percent of sales. This compares with AMG Packaging at 100 percent of sales, Blue Power 50 percent and Jamaican Teas is around 100 percent of sales. The PE on forward earnings for 2014 is only 2 and there is much room for the stock price to move upward.

Management | The report containing the results show signs of some management weakness that they need to correct. In the investment world, communication is key. The changes in the operations and the resulting changes in the line items of costs should have been addressed in the directors’ report to shareholders. Costs that were of a one-off nature should have been highlighted so that investors could get a clearer picture about ongoing costs and profits. Instead, investors have to dig into the numbers making assumptions that really should not be necessary.

Caribbean Cream trading on Friday

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Caribbean Cream will commence trading of Friday under the ticker symbol Kremi. This confirms IC Insider report last week that the listing was set for this week. The company is the latest to be listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

Stock outlook | The company which went to the market in April to raise $75.7 million was just oversubscribed on May 1, well ahead of the closing date of May 10. Not much is expected in terms of price movements when trading starts since there was not the usual demand and heavy subscription for the shares as has been the norm for majority of the junior listing stocks.

Caribbean Cream over by 1,177 shares

The latest IPO to hit the Jamaican market, Caribbean Cream producers of the Kremi brand of ice cream, was oversubscribed by 1,177 units at the close on May 1, 2013.

The application for listing on the stock exchange is now before them and a decision is expected by Monday after which listing should commence. No listing date as been determined as yet, the broker informed IC Insdier.com, but the view is that trading could commence in the stock towards the end of next week.

A total of 387 applications covering units valued J$75,714,000 were received and processed for this Initial Public Offering (IPO). Of this number, 386 applicants covering 72,713,623 units received 100% of the total allotment requested.

The offer was for the subscription of 75,713,623 ordinary shares at the price of $1.00 per share. Applications in the public pool of up to 2,500,000 shares, received 100% allotment and one applicant over 2,500,000 shares was allocated 2.5 million shares plus approximately 0 .998446% of the excess.

Stock outlook | Investor’s Choice analysts project earnings per share of 17 cents for the year ended February 2013 and 39 cents for the 2014 year. The stock is likely to struggle at the issue price for a while with the less than robust reception to the issue. The annual results should be out soon, which should help the stock price once more financial data is released to the public.

KREMI oversubscribed

When the public offer of Caribbean Cream Ltd (CCL) KREMI closed on Wednesday, it brought the total number of companies to raise funds using the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s junior market to seventeen (17).

Caribbean Cream Ltd (CCL) KREMI, seeking to list on the JSE Junior Market, closed on Wednesday morning, May 1, 2013 with applications amounting to more than 375. Word reaching ICInsider.com was that the level of oversubscription was not high. This means that the stock will struggle in early trading to hold the $1 price but ICInsider.com data suggest that earnings to be reported will beat a number of investors’ expectations when the annual results to February are released in a few weeks.

The Invitation for Subscription for 75,713,623 Ordinary Shares at J$1.00 opened on Thursday April 25, 2013 and was originally scheduled to close on closed May 10, 2013.

Stocks & Securities, the brokers to the deal, indicated that applicants (inclusive of Applicants for Reserved Shares) will be advised of the basis of allotment within three (3) business days in accordance with the Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market Rules.

The brokers also stated that the closing of the Invitation represents a landmark event for the company’s expansion as CCL recently signed a $13 million deal with Sandals Resorts International as the sole supplier of bulk ice cream to its Jamaican properties. CCL has also brokered a successful transaction with getting its products into Jewel Resorts.

CCL when it lists on the stock exchange later this month will bring the total listing on the junior market to 17 and will be the second since the start of 2013.

Talk Back | What were your reason for buying or not buying this IPO?

Kremi IPO to close today

ICInsider.com has been reliably advised that the initial public offer (IPO) of shares of Caribbean Cream which opened to the public for subscription on, 25th April 2013 will close today, Tuesday April 30, most likely on the morning, well ahead of the original propose close of 4:30 pm on the 10th May 2013. The early close was subject to the right of the Company to close the subscription list at any time after it opens on 9:00 a.m. on the Opening Date, once the issue is fully subscribed.  The shares which were priced at $1 each and meant to raise $75 million did not get the blessing of some brokerage houses as they saw the price as being too high, and in one case, they saw it as too risky based on inconsistent earnings amongst other issues.

JMMB‘s Forecast and Valuation | The company is expected to remain profitable despite the uncertainties in the local economy. The macro-economic instability may subside following an International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement with Jamaica against the background of foreign exchange inflows and a slight improvement in the net international reserves. Further, listing on the Junior Stock Exchange will give the company a tax break for the next ten years, which should boost earnings attributable to shareholders. Revenues will continue to improve over the short term, while the enhancements and expansion in productive capacity of the company’s facility will likely improve its operational efficiency.

Within this context, the net earnings for the 2013 financial year end are expected to reach $29.81M (or EPS of $0.08). Meanwhile, net profits for the 2014 financial year end are projected to reach $40.99M (or EPS of $0.12). At the initial public offering price, the price-to-earnings ratio will be 12.70 times. The average trailing price-to-earnings ratio for the Junior market is approximately 6.41 times (Main market has a P/E of 6.58 times). Further, the average trailing price-to-earnings ratio for manufacturers and retailers listed on the Junior market is roughly 6.75 times (Manufacturing sector on the main market has a P/E of 6.06 times). Therefore, assuming a forward P/E ratio of 8.0 times for the 2014 financial year against the background of improved investor sentiments and stability in the local economy; the intrinsic value for Caribbean Cream Limited’s share based on estimated earnings is approximately $0.94.

The capital base of the company is expected to improve to $195.16M or a book value per share of $0.52 by 2014 financial year end. Assuming a forward P/BV of 1.8 times, the intrinsic value of stock is $0.93.

NCB Capital Markets‘ assessment of the prospectus | “For the nine months to November, the company increased net profit by 103% and boosted its equity base by increasing its share capital. Caribbean Cream Ltd ended the March 2012FY with earnings of $31.36Mn, the highest profit the company has recorded over the past five years and a sizable improvement to the $5Mn loss experienced in the previous year.

Risks:

  • Earnings have been extremely volatile over the last 5 years
  • Earnings for the nine months period of $23.67 was driven almost entirely by a $21.0Mn revaluation gain following an $11.62Mn profit in the prior year period. This further confirms the earnings volatility
  • Company is highly leveraged which could impede its growth prospects
  • Current ratio of 0.79X raises liquidity concerns
  • Free cash flow is negative which could restrict the company’s ability to follow through on its dividend policy which is to pay out at least 20% of earnings.

There is no clear growth strategy even amidst the company’s rapid expansion As a result of the aforementioned, we are not recommending this investment at this time”.

KremiBanner600X250IC Insider considers that both assessments are way off the mark. Assessment of the company’s performance must be based on pretax profit, not after tax which has varying taxation elements that has nothing to do with operating activities. Profit before tax has been very consistent since the commencement of the company, Earnings for 2013 is more likely to hit 17 per share if the trend in revenues continues after November last year. If the company makes $29.8 million as indicated above in profit for 2013, earnings per share would be 9.8 cents not 8 cents before tax based on the 302.85 million shares issued for the year to February this year.

The company’s rapid growth has helped to put pressure on working capital. New cash to come from the IPO, will help address some of the issue rightly pointed out above.

Talk Back | What do you think? Was the IPO overvalued?

Kremi Cream IPO — a strong buy

Update | The Kremi (Caribbean Cream) IPO was oversubscribed and closed earlier than expected on Wednesday May 1, 2013. Click here to read more . . .

Kremi (Caribbean Cream) racked-up 60% increased sales in the nine months to February this year, consistent with the historical growth of the company. If past history of revenue growth is anything to go by, the immediate future could be bright for the company and investors, who hold on to the stock after the company issues shares to the public officially on Thursday April 25.

The issue, in all likelihood, will be closed minutes after it opens as investors try to get hold of as many shares from a limited amount that will be available to the general public. Just about 68 million of the shares at a $1 each will be available to the general public, which includes 18.9 million reserved for Stocks and Securities Limited or their clients.

Kremi Ice-Cream is the brand; the company is Caribbean Cream Ltd, which started operations in 2008 just before the economic recession commenced.

While net asset value is a mere 15 cents per share — which is very high — the earnings per share work out at 15 cents for the year, it was 10 cents ending May last fiscal year. Investors Choice, a sister publication to ICInsiders.com, projects earnings of 39 cents for the 2013/14 year on the basis that revenues will continue to climb aggressively but at a slightly slower pace. Based on this year’s numbers, the PE is around 6, about the average of the majority of junior market companies. Revenues are growing very strongly and could accelerate if all the expansion plans and new machinery materialize. This suggests that there is considerable ‘upside’ for earnings and the stock value going forward.

Sales for the 2013 fiscal year to November were $462 million compared to $431 million for the full 2012 fiscal year and $289 million for the nine months to November 2011. That’s impressive, and if it continues for some time into the future, profits will increase appreciably. Listing will add some cost to overheads as listing fees and other associated costs increase with more shareholders.    

Earnings Growth | Caribbean Cream’s performance in fiscal year 2012 was impressive as turnover increased 47.44 percent to $431 million while pre tax profits more than tripled to $31 million. This year seems set to surpass 2012 as nine month numbers are already ahead of those for the prior year for the same period.

Pre tax profits for fiscal year 2010 slipped 19.7 percent to $5.3 million, mainly due to increased administrative expenses, which climbed 25.5 percent to $37.6 million; selling and distribution costs were up 47.1 percent to $7.5 million and finance costs rose 36.8 percent to $3.9 million—all costs associated with a planned expansion.

After fiscal year 2010, management invested in production, which helped to grow turnover by 38.2 percent to $292.3 million, and pre tax profits 36.2 percent to $7.2 million in fiscal year 2011, as net profit margin remained low. Gross profit margins have remained consistently above 25 percent for the last four fiscal periods.

The company is sensitive to changes in foreign exchange rates as they import most of their major ingredients. These fluctuations will impact its margins from time to time as input costs adjust accordingly.

Borrowings climbed in the November quarter on that of the prior year as well as inventory, which exploded no doubt to meet high Christmas demand and also to possibly counter the foreign exchange risk from devaluation. At the 2012 year end, debt to equity was almost 1:1 compared to 2.4:1 in the prior year.  As of November 2012, the ratio was slightly less than 1:1 even as borrowed funds climbed to $94 million.

The current asset ratio is low, well below norm, but the company over its recent history carries low levels of receivables and inventory except for except for an substantial increase in the amount tied up at November 2012.

Concerns | There were errors in the report of the auditors that were included in the prospectus. Clearly, the auditors, the executives, the board, brokers, the stock exchange nor the Financial Services Commission (FSC) picked up the errors. Some investors may well ask- if there are errors, could there not be more lurking in the dark?

I am recommending it as a BUY for this stock as the performance to date, suggests strong sales and profit going forward into 2014 fiscal year.

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