Profit more than doubles at Kremi

Profit after taxation at the IC BUY RATED Caribbean Cream more than doubled, with a jump of 110 percent for the six months to August and 220 percent in the August quarter, to $74 million from $35 million in 2019 for the half-year and a rise from $14.7 million for the 2019 quarter to $47 million.
Operating revenues rose nine percent for the quarter, to $461 million from $422 million and six percent for the year to date, from $840 million in 2019 to $891 million. For the fiscal year to February, this year, revenues rose by 10 percent to $1.7 billion.
Improvement in profit margin resulted in gross profit rising faster than sales with 15 percent improvement in the first half of the year to $310 million versus $269 million in 2019 and 28 percent in the August quarter with gross profit of $171 from $133 million.
Selling, distribution and administrative expenses declined from $114 million in the 2019 quarter, to $111 million in 2020 and from $221 million in 2019, to $216 million in the six months to August. The decline in cost took place in spite of a sharp increase in depreciation charges in the current year, from $29 million to $59 million. Finance cost increased in the quarter to $6 million from $4 million in 2019 and from $10 million to $9 million for the six months period. Taxation doubled to $10.6 million for the half-year from $5 million in 2019 and moved from $2 million for the quarter to $6.7 million.
Historical results going back to the 2014 fiscal year shows steady annual growth in sales revenue but a more uneven increase in profits. The latter is partially due to the cost associated with expansion and the buying of market share that saw a less aggressive increase in selling prices for its products.
Earnings per share for the quarter came out at 12 cents and 20 cents for the six months.
Gross cash flow brought in $143 million, but growth in inventories, loan repayment offset by loan inflows and reduced payables pushed the cash funds to $152 million at the end of August, up from $58 million at the end of August 2019. With the increased profit for the year to date, shareholders’ equity now stands at $818 million, with borrowings at just $249 million. Net current assets ended the period at $191 million, including trade and other receivables of $63 million, while Current liabilities stood at $162 million.
The company paid 2.49 cents per share as the final dividend for the year ended February 29, 2020, on Friday, October 2. Net asset value is $2.16, with the stock selling at 2.3 times book value.
The results encouraged buying into the stock on Friday, with the price moving from $4.71 it last traded at on Thursday to a high of $5.25. IC forecasts earnings of 60 cents per share for the current year that ends in February 2021 and 95 cents for 2022. The PE is currently 8.5 times the current year’s earnings based on the latest price of $5.15, the stock traded at on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

Berger Paints set to surprise

Berger Paints is one of IC’s top stocks for 2020.  It is may not the most popular company listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, but it seems set to surprise many investors with its performance in 2020.
It gained much attention with strong growth in profits in the financial year to March 2017, ahead of a switch in majority ownership in August 2017 to the Trinidad based ANSA McAL Group resulting in significant changes in directorship and management. In 2019, the company changed the General manager after a relatively short stint at the helm, a move that could augur well for the company going forward.
In 2019, raw materials accounted for 50 percent of the input into paint production. Most of the raw material used in paint production is petroleum-based, resulting in paint companies benefit when the petrochemical industry goes into a downswing and conversely, a hike in the price of petroleum products raises input costs. Titanium dioxide and crude derivatives form about 50 percent of the raw material cost of paints. In 2019 the average price of crude oil on the world market US$57 for WTI, for 2020 so far, it is at US$43 per barrel, with the current price around US$22 per barrel. If the current trend holds, it will result in lower input costs for Berger for 2020. Management in reporting to shareholders for the year to December stated, “year to date to February 2020, performance indicators are ahead of 2019 with signs of a positive trajectory”.
Between 2012 and 2017, profits increased at an outstanding rate, however, in 2018, the profit was relatively flat and declined in 2019. The company reported lower sales and sharply reduced profit for 2019. The company recorded a two percent reduction in revenues to $1.12 billion for the six months to June and a 6 percent reduction to $1.6 billion for the nine months to September 2019, versus $1.7 billion for the corresponding period in 2018. It ended the year down 7 percent at $2.5 billion. Adverse weather conditions experienced in the third and fourth quarters, negatively impacted revenues, the company told shareholders in a statement accompanying the third and fourth quarter reports. Also affecting sales was the extensive road works that disrupted their customers’ businesses.

Berger Paints is one of IC Insider’s TOP 10 stocks.

The company reported a loss in the final quarter of 2019, a period that generates by far the highest revenues and usually the highest profit. Berger ended with a profit of $29 million compared to the full year compared to $40 million at the end of September. While revenues fell in the fourth quarter to $892 million versus the 2018 period, it was the highest revenues in any quarter with the June quarter of $601 million being the closest. Yet, it recorded a loss when the June quarter recorded a profit of $28 million. Analysis of the reports shows that other operating expenses of $118 million in the September quarter jumped to $254 million for the December quarter. The 2019 fourth quarter also much higher than in the same period in 2018 at $136 million, suggesting there may be some one-off cost that was incurred in the period and distorted the results.
“The company implemented a new an Enterprise Resource Planning Software (ERP) system which provides a fully integrated manufacturing and financial platform and is providing the required details and analytics for the business, the management stated.” The company also introduced a new automotive line of paints to deepen BPJL’s reach into the automotive market.
IC projects earnings per share amounting to $2 for the current year and it now trades at an attractive P/E of just over six times projected earnings.

Buy Caribbean Producers now for 2021

There are few opportunities in the stock market to generate significant gains than from a beaten-down stock that has strong credentials, dominating the sector it focuses on and has been growing. This is the case with the Montego Bay-based, Caribbean Producers that has seen good times and bad times in the recent past but was enjoying a strong rebound in the first two quarters of the 2020 fiscal year.

Caribbean Producers back in TOP 10

The company’s primary market is the tourist industry. With a virtual closure of the industry currently, sales have come under severe pressure and that will hit the bottom-line severely, even if for a few months. Until the adverse reaction of the market to the Coronavirus outbreak, technical indicators showed that the stock was consolidating with the possibility of a break out from the $5 level with six months results coming far better than the disappointed 2018 half-year results. All that has changed for now as the stock nosedived to $2 as heavy selling pressured the stock.
Expectations are that the company’s third and fourth-quarter results will show the negative impact of the closure of hotels on sales and profit. Investors should bear in mind that the fiscal year starting July may not be affected or not as severely as the second half of the current fiscal year. Importantly, revenues rose 11 percent in September and in the December quarters to US$32.4 from US$29.4 million. IC forecast is for a small profit in the March quarter to add to the profit of US$89,000 reported for the 2019 half-year. The stock price collapsed from $5 it was trading at in February to a low of $2 recently. This fall is worse than when they lost US$1.2 million in the year to June 2019 when it still traded above $4. Admittedly, the company has US$39 million of borrowed funds that exposes it to a high degree of risk if the disruption in the business is prolonged. While interest-bearing debt climbed during the year, shareholders’ equity stood at US$22.5 million.
CPJ‘s profit declined 162 percent for the year ended June 2019 to a loss of US$1.17 million compared to a profit of US$1.88 million for the year ending June 2018, with operating revenue for the year amounting to US$94.6 million from US$93.3 million in 2018. The loss resulted from a decline in profit margin in the year and US$679,713 write-off of the cost of developing the inventory IT management system.
For six months to December 2019, gross profit rose faster that growth in revenues at 19 percent to US$8.5 from $7.1 million. Selling and administrative expenses slipped from US$5.8 million in 2018 to US$5.4 million to US$20 million. Finance costs increased in the year to US$791,818 from US$411,143 in 2018 and depreciation jumped from US$609,271 to US$1.4 million.
There are risks in investing in the stock current, but the low price makes it a compelling buy for a big pay off in 2021. IC rates the stock a buy based on full or nearly full recovery, for the 2021 fiscal year.

Big jump in Honey Bun profit

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Another major milestone in Honey Bun’s brief history of listing on the JSE Junior Market was reached at the end of the 2019 fiscal year, ending in September, with record revenues and profit.
The full-year results show pretax profit rising 73 percent to $183 million versus $106 million in 2018 and profit after tax rising 67 percent to hit $157 million from a 17 percent rise in revenues to $1.54 billion. Revenues grew even faster in the final quarter by 20.4 percent improvement over the 18.9 that revenues grew in the third quarter over 2018.
The results benefited from improved efficiency with cost sales rising well below the growth in revenues, with input cost increasing 12 percent for the year, driving gross profit margin to 48 percent, an improvement from the 46 percent in 2018. Selling and Distribution expenses rose 16 percent to $250 million from $214, Administrative Cost excluding depreciation rose 18 percent $284 million from $249 million.
Earnings per share rose to 33 cents in the just concluded year from just 18 cents in 2018. Importantly, the company is on the way to earn 70 cents per share for 2020 for a profit of $335 million and should go on to earn $1 per share or $490 million in 2021 and $1.30 or $600 million in the following year when the tax concession for half the regular rate ends.

One Honey Bun’s Products.

The company is benefitting from a capital expenditure of $330 million spent over the last two years to expand the factory and bring manufacturing under one location as well as an expansion of product range. The operations generated gross cash flow of $230 million up from $145 million in 2018.
Shareholders’ equity climbed to $741 million from $618 million. Current assets increased from $209 million to $353 million with net current assets ending at $185 million from $89 million in 2018. Cash and cash equivalents stood at $193 million, up from $100 million, but the company has Investments of $92 million comprising quoted shares and money market instruments treated as non-current assets.
The company manufacture and distributes baked products for the local and export markets.
The stock receives the IC BUY RATED seal of approval. The stock traded at $7 on the Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market for a PE of 10.

NCB hikes dividend 29%

NCB hiked dividend to 90 cents from 70 cents in 2018.

NCB Financial hikes dividend 29 percent, to $2.2 billion or 90 cents per share, as profit from ongoing operations jumped 40 percent in the first quarter to December last year to $5.7 million before taxation.
Profit after taxation and one-time gains, resulted in net profit of $7.4 billion for the first quarter of the 2019 financial year, slightly lower than the prior year’s results that included a gain (negative goodwill) of $4.4 billion relating to the acquisition of Clarien Group. Profit for the latest quarter, includes a gain of $3.3 billion from the disposal of 326,277,325 JMMB Group shares at $28.25 per share.
The strong improved results climbed on the back of 24 percent in net income, to $20.7 billion from $16.7 billion in 2017, offset by a 21 percent increase in expenses. Included in expenses is loan loss provision of $1, up from just $146 million in 2017 and seems tied to the need to adjust loan provisioning in line with new Accounting Standards. Depreciation and amortization cost almost doubled to $1.3 billion, from $667 million in 2017. Other operating expenses jumped 29 percent to $6 billion from $4.7 billion in the prior year. The big improvement in revenues flowed from increases in net interest income from $7.55 billion to $9.85 billion, an increase of 30 percent, while exchange trading delivered a third more, at $4.2 billion.
Retail and Small Business Banking segment profit grew a strong 36 percent to $1.34 billion, but Payment Services fell just 2 percent to $1.2 billion. Corporate Banking jumped sharply by 76 percent to $1.25 billion, Treasury and Correspondent Banking was up by just 14 percent to $1.65 billion. Wealth, Asset Management and Investment Banking, grew attractively by 39 percent to $1.2 billion, Life Insurance & Pension Fund Management rose 29 percent to $1.3 billion while General Insurance moved from a loss of $107 million to a profit of $227 million.

NCB giving back to the community.

The Group’s loans and advances, net of provision for credit losses, rose 16 percent to $373.5 billion. NCB stated that “the growth was driven by our Jamaican that increased by 22 percent or $50.4 billion. Non-performing loans totalled $18.5 billion as at December 2018 (December 2017: $15 billion) and represented 4.9 percent of the gross loans compared to 4.6 percent as at December 2017.”  Customer deposits grew just 7 percent to $461 billion. The varied growth rate between loans and deposit is a strong positive for profit as the revenues climb faster than cost.
The group re-launched a revised take-over to acquire up to 32.01 percent of the outstanding shares of Guardian Holdings which, when combined with NCB’s existing 29.99 percent holding will bring the total to 62 percent. The profit of the group will get a further boost from this acquisition. IC has updated the earnings per share for 2019 to $14 from continuing operations and with the stock price at $145, the PE is just over 10 times earning making the stock BUY RATED with a 2019 target price of $225.

Republic is going higher soon

Trinidad’s Republic Financial Holdings should be heading higher on Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange, sooner than many investors may think.
One reason is that the financial powerhouse, just posted pretty strong results, with profit before taxation rising a healthy 22 percent, to $490 million in the March quarter and a still respectable 14 percent for the half year. Increased taxation wiped out a bit a of the top line gains leaving profit at 3 percent higher for the quarter at $333 million and an increase of 4 percent at $694 million, for the half year. The improvement arose from slightly lower cost in the current year than for the previous one and an overall 8 percent increase in net income for the quarter to $1.17 billion from $1.08 billion in 2017 and 4 percent rise year to date to $2.34 billion. Earnings per share rose to $4.02 for the half year from $3.90 and compares favourably with $7.75 million reported for the fiscal year to September 2017 and gives it a PE around 12 on 2018 full year earnings and Friday’s closing price of $101,
Improvement was generated by the bank in Ghana, where that subsidiary moved from a small loss of just over $1 million to a profit of $68 million and the Cayman Islands’ operations that moved from a profit of $82 million to $113 million. Barbados also should marked improvement with profit of $149 million compared to $111 million before.
Helping the performance is increased lending, with loans rising from $34.4 billion at March 2017 to $37.4 million in 2018, a solid 9 percent increase.
The other factor why the stock price is set to move, is that the it peaked at $122 in 2014 and slid downward since and seems to have found a bottom. Added to that, is a wedge formation showing in a technical chart of its price movement that seems set to steer the price upwards in the months ahead.
IC would normally give the stock a BUY RATED accolade, concerns linger about the Trinidad economy from which it earns the vast majority of income and profit, and what is seen as an overvalued currency.

Note that all prices are in Trinidad & Tobago dollar.

Is Broilers’ inside trade a buy signal?

Insider trading in the stock of the company they are connected to can be a big indicators of future prospects, but it is not always the case.
In the past big purchasing of Jamaica Broilers Group shares by insiders have signaled improved profits down the road.
Could the latest big trade be such a signal? The latest ones are a bit confusing with bought buying and selling although there is a bias towards buying. The company recently reported that three Directors and three Senior Managers purchased a total of 5,735,448 of the company’s shares and that a Director and a Senior Manager sold a total of 5,214,772 of the shares, during the period July 11 to 14.
The company reported earnings of $1.85 per share for the just concluded 2017 fiscal year and IC forecast is for $2.60 for the 2018 fiscal year to April as revenues continues to grow and debt is paid down with increasing profits. The stock which traded on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Friday at $18, is one of IC’s TOP 10 main market stocks to own.


I$P Finance earnings now officially 46c

I$P hits a new high on Friday.

I$P Finance have now posted amended audited results showing correct earnings of 46 cents per share for 2016, following IC’s disclosure that the earnings much higher than the 32 cents posted in the initial release of the audited accounts.
The original audited report had the average number of shares issued at 126.5 million instead of 88.44 million which the amended report now shows.
The company reported profit of $40.24 million after tax from increased revenues of $30 million to reach $241 million in 2016. Other operating expenses jumped sharply from $36.6 million to $64.8 million. Individual items did not move much during the two years. In 2015 a refund of insurance premium amounting to $12.3 million was offset against expenses, reducing expenses from $49 million to $37 million, while 2016 figures had a few items of cost not reflected in the 2015 results. These include directors’ fees, bond issue cost and consultancy fees of $6 million. ISP also benefited from loan loss recovery, leading to lower loan loss provisioning at year end, from $19 million 2015 to just $10 million in 2016. Some debt was, however, fully written off, management informed IC, reducing the overall provision to $53.7 million from $63 million at the end of 2015.
The company is gearing to grow. Last year apart from restructuring it finances that led to a public share issue, the company floated a bond issue that raised over $140 million net, which will be used to supplement cash flow from earnings. Discussion with the company’s management team led by Dennis Smith, reveal, that the $60 million growth in loans in the December quarter mostly remains on the books while the plan is for a 30 to 40 percent expansion in the current year. If that level of growth is achieved it would take net loans to more than $400 million by year end and raise revenues in a full year to more than $400 million and raise profit sharply from the current levels.
The company started off serving the security guard sectors but is targeting new areas within the business sector for expansion as well as areas outside of the corporate area.
Management appears to be gathering information as to the feasibility of a stock split and that seems to be a logical move, with just 105 million shares now issued and prospects for a rapid increase in profits going forward. Management would neither deny nor confirm if that is on the cards.
IC is forecasting earnings in the current year to be in the order of $1.40-$1.75, with continued strong increase into 2018. The stock closed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at and 52 weeks high of $15.50 on Friday, resulting in gains of 675 percent, since it was listed at the end of March 2016.
With the potential to grow rapidly, the stock remains BUY RATED even with the price now at the level reached on Friday.

Big Berger gain lets in Scotia

Scotia enters IC’s TOP 10

A big 36 percent jump in the price of Berger Paints kicked it out of the main market TOP listing, allowing Scotia Group into the top list for the very first time. Berger returned to its 52 weeks high of $15 at the end of the week but had 103,511 units on offer at $15 with buying of 1,735 units at $13.01.
The top main market stocks now sell at a 50 percent discount to the average main market stocks and is lower than the discount of stocks in the junior market.
Pulse Investments gained 21 percent during the past week, to end at $8.50 and was the second largest mover in the top listing for main market stocks. Pulse has offers for 118,391 units at $8.50 and buying at $8 for 1,500 shares. Carreras earnings have been up graded with the increase in the price of cigarettes this month, following increased taxes on the product. Interest in the stock is not great currently, with 21,125 on offer at $69.50 and buying of 2,000 shares at $69.20. Radio Jamaica closed the week with 990,792 units on offer at $1.90 and buying for 5,300 units at $1.80. Barita Investments has limited buying interest at the current price with just 447 units on the bid at $6.85 and 171,830 units on the offer at $6.90. With the increased level of construction activity currently taking place in Jamaica and plans for increase construction to meet growing demand for commercial and residential units in the sector, Caribbean Cement’s weak demand continues in the mid-thirty dollar range, with the stock closing with only 2,000 units on the bid to buy at $31.50 while offers are at $32.45 to sell 24,440 units. JMMB Group weakened in the week and now sits at $17.50 but buying is on the weak side, with 5,000 units on the bid at $16.60 and only 378 units offered at $17.50.

Top 10 junior market stocks are trading at a 40 percent discount to the average of the junior market, at the close of the week, this is after Lasco Distributors fell out of the top listing and is replaced
by Lasco Financial Services that suffered a reduction in price during the week to $3.70.
During the past week ISP Finance hit a new high of $12.25 up from $11.75 at the close of the previous week, the stock still sits high on the list at number 3. Access Financial and Jetcon had a bit of price movement during the week, with both closing lower than the week before.
Price movements remained volatile during the past week, as buy and sell orders remained thin for several stocks. With little new news to come until a flood of first quarter results start to flow volatility is likely to continue for a few weeks and this could provide patient investors with some good entry points, if bids and offers are strategically placed. The sharp one week move in Berger signals that supply may not last too long before demand kicks in.

Buy Rated stocks set for growth

TTSE has declined almost 10% from peak and could fall another 9% from May to hit support around 1,600 points. (See orange trendline).

TTSE has declined almost 10% from peak and could fall another 9% from May to hit support around 1,600 points. (See orange trendline).

May is a period in the Jamaica stock market when prices usually sag, with a tendency to hit bottom between June and July. This was not the case in 2016 as the market peaked on the 4th of February and bottomed on April 21, based on the all Jamaica Composite Index.
In Trinidad, the market drifted from a peak in the all T&T index at 1,956.55 on December 8, 2015 to a 2016 low of 1,758.40 on May 19. The movements the Jamaica’s junior market saw the index peaking at 2,357.20 on 12th of January and bottomed out on the 7th of April at 1,762.87 points, for a decline of 24.5 percent but have since recovered most of the decline.
Much have happened with companies releasing results since with a number of the results in Trinidad being flat to declining, while most in Jamaica show good increased profit, while interest rates have declined in Jamaica and been static in Trinidad. Added to the profit out turn, a few companies in Jamaica announced stocks splits which have driven the respective prices of all the companies up strongly. Grace Kennedy, one of IC Insider Buy Rated stocks that has been lagging in performance, came to life as the company reported strong increase in the March quarter results, with the price jumping to $115 and seems to have more room to grow, based on the improved results. Pan Jamaican Investment gained 42.5 percent since it was last reported on at the end of April, helped by a 5 for 1 stock split and is up 82 percent since selected to the BUY RATED list. The company has good long term growth prospect but may have plateaued at the current price, around $26.50.
Honey Bun one of IC Insider's 2015 additions to the BUY RATED list is now placed on Market Watch

Honey Bun one of IC Insider’s 2015 additions to the BUY RATED list is now placed on Market Watch

The stock has been moved to a watch from BUY RATED.
Honey Bun added to the BUY RATED list in November 2015, gained 112 percent since April and 387 percent since being added to the list. Strong growth in profits and a 5 for 1 stock split helped in moving the value of the stock. ISP Finance added in April, is up 20 percent but there is little supply to be obtained, a recipe for a strong rally in the price ahead. Knutsford Express was put on hold when last reported on and has slipped 20.5 percent, is now restored to a buy below $20 while Lasco Distributors placed on a Watch list last time, is up 52.6 percent and is now placed on watch list at current price at $7.60, supply seems to be drying up for this stock, following release of full year’s results. While investors have priced in a potential big inflows from their law suit claim with Pfizer, at a PE ratio around 20 times fiscal 2017 operating profit, investing at the levels could result in an investment that may underperform the market in the medium term.
Cable & Wireless is up 22.5 percent since April and 332 percent since it debuted on the list in February 2014. The company reported a small profit from operation, for this year to March, and seems headed for earnings around 20 cents per share for 2017. The price should be heading higher before too long, but demand is not electric currently.
Buy Rated upd 6-16General Accident and Honey Bun are placed on the watch list with the former unable to get profit to rise outside the range of 30 cents per share and the latter now being priced at a PE of 18, well ahead of the average for the junior market. Honey Bun supply notwithstanding the 5 for 1 stock split, is scarce but profit growth could continue to be strong thus lending support to the stock going forward.
Companies in Trinidad are not doing well but their performance is not disastrous in the main with the price of a number of stocks have pulled back sharply and will offer good entry points when it is time to buy into that market. The time may not be right to enter that recession affected market just yet. Technical reading of this market shows it peaking at 2,032 points and have lost 13.5 percent since then and could fall another 9 percent from the May 2016 levels to reach 1,600 points before the decline is over. A look at the trading report shows that the prices of some major companies remain under pressure and is likely to fall as demand remains weak.
Technical and fundamental assessments suggest that Access Financial, Caribbean Cream, Medical Disposables and National Commercial Bank are due for a break out sooner than later, with Caribbean Cement to follow.