Improved tourist arrivals boost CPJ earnings

Caribbean Producers transformed itself following the pressures posed by the closure of the hotel sector it primarily serves in 2020 and the relatively prolonged period taken to get back to normal levels.

Caribbean Producers

Notably, revenues are rising again and delivering record profits even for a period when tourism numbers were 28 percent down for the March 2022 quarter from 2019. The June quarter could see 30 percent higher arrivals than the March quarter resulting in more revenues for the June quarter compared with that for the March quarter.
The above data portends more positive revenue growth for the coming fiscal year that starts in July. There will be a significant revenue hike in the first three quarters of the 2023 fiscal year, compared to the current fiscal year, with the tourism sector back to normal as indicated by preliminary June quarter arrivals. There should also be improved performance in the June quarter of 2023 compared to 2022, which enjoyed much recovery but was still not at full capacity.
According to Mark Hart and Tom Tyler, directors of the company, “the group remains optimistic for the fourth quarter of the financial year due to strong hotel bookings reported by our customers.”
The group is diversifying their revenue stream, making more investments in stores and adding new product lines for local consumption.
Revenues for the March quarter surged 123 percent to US$28.36 million over 2021 with just $12.7 million with the nine months to March delivering revenues of $86.44 million, up 133 percent above the $37.11 million generated in 2021. Interest and other income generated $89,700 for the quarter, down from $182,000 in 2021 and $652,000 for the nine months to date, up 93 percent over 339,000 in 2021. Profit margin slipped to 31 percent in the quarter but rose to 32 percent for the year to date, with gross profit of $8.9 million from $3.5 million in 2021 and $27.6 million for the nine months to March versus $9.9 million in 2021.
Depreciation cost was steady at just over 1 million for the quarter in both years and $3.2 million for the year to date but Administrative and selling expenses jumped 63 percent in the quarter to $5.2 million from $3.19 million in 2021 and rose 57 percent to $14.7 million for the nine months from $9.4 million in 2021. Finance cost rose 80 percent to $794,810 from $441,626 for the quarter and 71 percent to $2,290,676 from $1,336,016 for the nine months.
Gross cash flow brought in $10.2 million, but growth in receivables, inventories and addition to fixed assets resulted in outflows of $2.4 million, but net loan inflows amounting to $2.4 million resulted in a slight dip in cash funds on hand at the end of the quarter. At the end of March, Current assets amounted to $53.5 million, including Inventories of $30 million, receivables of $19.3 million and cash and bank balances of $4.2million. Current liabilities ended at $25.3 million, resulting in net current assets of $28.2 million. Heavy debt is a major concern at US$43 million in borrowings with equity of just $22 million.
Earnings per share came out at 0.14 of one US cent for the quarter and 0.62 of a US cent for the nine months. IC Insider.com forecasts J$1.65 per share for the fiscal year ending June 2022, with a PE of 8.55 times the current year’s earnings based on the price of $14.11, the stock traded on the Jamaica Stock Exchange Main Market and EPS of $2.60 for 2023 with a PE of a mere 5.4 and putting the stock price in the $50 range by 2023. Net asset value is $3.14, with the stock selling at 3.5 times book value.
All currency is the US dollar unless otherwise stated.

Strong buying interest for Dolla

Buying interest in Dolla Financial is extremely high and selling low, with 332 million in bids and 6.2 million on offer, just after 9 am on Thursday. Bids are up to $1.72 with minimal offers of 60,000 units up to $1.72 which hardly dented the demand.
At the opening of the market, bids at $1.72 jumped to 48 million shares, with the lowest offer at $1.75. Trading in the stock is halted with the 30 percent price movement being triggered, with the price now 72 percent up on the IPO price of $1.
After the opening of trading, there were 3,650 bids to buy 364.4 million units between 70 cents and $1.72 and just 260 offers to sell 7 million units. the equilibrium price could be some way off.

Barita to pay $666M in dividend

Barita Investments will be paying an interim dividend of 54.6 cents per stock unit on June 30, 2022, the company advised.

The company’s Board of Directors approved a Resolution on June 9, 2022, for the payment to shareholders on record at the close of business on June 23, 2022, and will cost $666.3 million.  The stock will trade ex-dividend on June 22, 2022. The company last paid a dividend of $3.029 per stock unit on October 7, last year, to shareholders on record at the close of business on September 23, 2021.

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Elsewhere, Scotia Group reported financial results with a net income of $4.4 billion for the six months ending April 2022, down from $4.48 billion in 2021 for the same period.
The Directors of Scotia Group approved a dividend of 35 cents per stock unit in respect of the second quarter, payable on July 20, to stockholders on record on June 28. The dividend amounts to $1.09 billion amounting to 42 percent of the profit on 83 cents per share in the April quarter.

Caribbean Cement and poor management

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Investors entrust capital to public companies with the expectation that their interests will be properly protected, but that does not appear to be the case with local investors at Caribbean Cement Company. Last year against to outcry of local investors the company rammed through fees for royalty to be paid in addition to management fees already be paid to Cemex, the ultimate parent company.

Caribbean Cement proposed a $1.50 dividend per share in August

Last month, the company proposed a meeting to consider the payment of a dividend that was not managed appropriately by the company, neither before nor after the meeting.
The Board of Directors Caribbean Cement Company advised shareholders that a meeting of the board that was held on May 26, 2022, recommended presenting an ordinary resolution to shareholders to declare a final dividend of $1.5032 per share payable on August 15, 2022. 
That is a great development, considering the company last paid a dividend in 2004, but the wider public was deprived of such price sensitive information. To compound the problem, the company haled the meeting and kept the information for a week before communicating the decision to the exchange, even though the rules require immediate release of the decision immediately after the meeting.
In an article reporting the decision of the board, the company through its secretarial department took issue with the article stating that they seem to have breached the JSE rules that require that any meeting to consider the payment of a dividend must be communicated to the JSE at least 7 days ahead of the meeting. So far no such notification was posted on the Stock Exchange’s website up to Tuesday evening.
The company provides the evidence of two letters addressed to the Jamaica Stock Exchange notifying that a meeting would be held initially on May 23 another dated May 20 indicates a change in the date to May 26. None of these letters are yet on the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s website.
A spokesperson at the JSE confirms that the letters were in fact received but that it is the responsibility of the respective companies to ensure that the notice is uploaded to the JSE portal from which the relevant staff would approve the same to be uploaded to the website.
While the JSE was informed by letter technically, the company is in breach as they did not follow up to ensure the information was received and in fact posted to the website what was very sensitive information considering this is the first time that the company would be considering a dividend payment since 2004 when they last paid one amounting to 7 cents per share amounting to $60 million.
Based on the price movement in the market last week it appears that the information was already in the market.
While Caribbean Cement cannot escape responsibility for the matter not being communicated to its shareholders on a timely basis, The JSE cannot escape some blame either. Once the letters were received they should have followed up with the company since it was not on the portal.
No one seems to be following up on electronic communication in this modern era. The handling above, epitomizes, what seems like today’s communication practice that assumes once an email is sent, the other party must have read it, and therefore there is no need to follow up.
Cement traded at $67 on the 16 of May, the next day the last price fell to $64.80 and then to $61.50 on the 18, bouncing to $63 on May 19, but back to $60.51 on the May 24. On the 26 and the 27, the price moved up to $63 and moved to $69.70 on the first of June and traded at $66 on June 6, and jumped to $74 on the 7th.

Dolla shares could list on Friday

Trading in the shares of Dolla Financial that offered shares to the public in an initial stock offering that closed on the same day it was opened could be listed on Friday on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, a source informed ICInsider.com.
Details of the allocation are expected to be released by the close of the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Monday, the source advised.
Some $10 billion is said to have chased after the 500 million shares at $1 each, as such investors will end up, on average, with approximately 5 percent of the amount applied for.
The issue that was very popular closed at 4.30 on Friday, May 27, having been heavily oversubscribed. The shares are expected to more than double, based on the earnings for the first quarter to March this year, with a profit before tax of $66 million, up from $17 million in 2021.
The company reported an audited profit of $129 million after taxation of $38 million for 2021, from revenues of $379 million and ended with shareholders’ equity of $315 billion.
$250 million of the funds raised in the offer, net of the cost of the IPO, will be used in the business to fund loan growth.

$10 billion chased Dolla IPO

Some $10 billion is said to have chased after the 500 million shares at $1 each, offered in the Initial Public offer in Dolla Financial from approximately 10,000 applications, ICInsider.com has been advised by persons who would be in a place to know.
This could mean that each applicant may end up with an average of approximately eight percent of which they applied if over 40,000 shares.
The issue that was clearly very popular and oversubscribed closed at 4.30 on Friday, the same day of opening.
The shares are slated for listing on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange and are expected to more than double based on the earnings for the first quarter to March this year, with profit before tax of $66 million up from $17 million in 2021 and the high level of oversubscription.
The company reported an audited profit of $129 million after taxation of $38 million for 2021, from revenues of $379 million and ended with shareholders’ equity of $315 billion.

SSL Venture Ownership change

The majority shareholder of SSL Venture Capital Jamaica, switched this afternoon to MFS Acquisition Limited, an attorneys for the deal disclosed.
From all indications, Stocks and Securities were the only major seller with 69.08 percent of the shares. SSLVC traded on the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $1.80 on Wednesday, well up on the less than 10 cents the majority ownership was switched at.
This is the second time that the majority ownership in the company has shifted.

$1 for Dolla IPO

The latest IPO for a Junior Market listing is now out, with Dolla Financial Services, a company that is involved in the business of short term lending, with is set to sell 500 million Ordinary Shares at $1 each to the public, with the offer including  250 million newly issued Ordinary shares and the sale of 250 million existing Ordinary Shares by the Selling shareholders.
The 2021 financial statements show a total income of $395 million and a profit of $168 million before tax. Currently, the number of issued shares is 2.25 billion units, with earnings per share of 7 cents per share. Results for March 2022 show revenues of $141 million compared to $64 million in 2021, with a profit of $66 million, up from $17 million in 2021. For the full year earnings should hit the $300 million mark with earnings per share of 20 cents per share with a PE ratio of 5, compared to 13 for the overall Junior Market.
The Company intends to use the anticipated proceeds of the invitation of $250 million to expand its loan portfolio regionally through acquisitions and organic growth and strengthen its capital base. It currently operates eight branches in Jamaica and one in Guyana and has an equity base of $373 million, the issue if successful will take equity to just over $600 million.
The issue opens on May 27, 2022. Victoria Mutual Wealth Management, the receiving agent for the purposes of the Invitation.

Results push Junior Market to record 4,613

The release of results for Junior Market companies since Friday’s market close helped to push the Junior Market to a new record of 4,613.27 points after the market opened on Monday, surpassing the record close of 4,537.15 on Friday, with the index crossing over into the 4,600 mark for the first time.
Spur Tree Spices generated revenues of $237 millionin their first quarter to March, an increase of 40.7 percent over the $168 million in 2021, helped by the newly acquired subsidiary, Exotic Products generated revenues of $73 million for the quarter, with only $2.18M is included in the consolidated revenue of $237 million. Profit before tax was $51 million, an improvement of $28.6M or 128 percent above the $22.4 million for the 2021 quarter. Investors traded 9 million shares for $36 million up to $4.30.

Dolphin Cove reported US$2.3 million in revenue in quarter Q1 2022, up from just US$374,000 in 2021, as visitors to the parks bounced sharply in the quarter to reach 58 percent of the attendance in the first quarter of 2019. Profitability was enhanced by the strict management of costs, with the quarter incurring only US$1.5 million of expenses, a decline of almost US$1 million compared to the first quarter of 2019, reflecting permanent efficiencies that were put in place. Net profit amounted to US$795,000, compared to a loss of US$154,000 in 2021. The stock traded up to $23.25 before settling at $22.51 after trading 131,329 shares.

Fosrich traded 368,000 shares early Monday.

Fontana grew revenues by 24 percent to $1.52 billion, over the $1.22 billion for the 2021 first quarter, with net profits popping by 43.4 percent, to $105 million from $72.9 million in the first quarter last year. Investors traded the stock at $11.18 after an exchange of 158,512 shares.
Fosrich posted blowout results with a 64 percent surge in revenues to $900 million from$549 million in 2021 and profits surging 314 percent to $159 million in the March Quarter from just $38 million in 2021. The investors responded instantly to the news by trading 368,361 shares up to $36.22.

Profit grows 35% at Wisynco

Profit before Taxation for the March quarter at Wisynco Group jumped $283 million from $813 million for a 34.8 percent increase to $1.1 billion, from the comparative year ago quarter and for the nine months to March, pretax profit climbed $1.2 billion for a 46.4 percent increase to $3.9 billion, up from $2.7 billion in the prior year.  After provision for taxes on profit, earnings attributable to stockholders rose 24 percent to $831 million from $673 million earned for the preceding year.

Wisynco ended at $25 on Friday.

The current quarter “includes foreign exchange loss of $35.4 million compared with a $68 million foreign exchange gain for the 2021 quarter,” the directors William and Andrew Mahfood stated in their commentary on the results.
The results equate to earnings per share of 22 cents for the quarter, up from 18 cents in the 2021 quarter and 79 cents, up from 59 cents in 2021 for the nine months. ICInsider.com projects earnings of $1.20 for the year to June or $4.4 billion, with earnings of $1.70 or $6.3 billion in 2023.
The 2022 quarter’s revenues rose 27.8 percent to $9.7 billion, the highest in the company’s history, above the $7.6 billion achieved in the 2021 third quarter.  Revenues for the nine months rose at a much slower pace than the current quarter of 20 percent to $28.4 billion, from $23.6 billion in 2021.
Revenues were driven by strong demand in all product categories and channels. Usually, our Q1 and Q2 Revenue patterns represent our higher earning quarters, however, this Fiscal Q3 trended higher than Fiscal Q1 and Q2, reflecting the anticipated bouncing back of our economy from the Covid measures being relaxed. Additionally, our increased focus on Exports continued driving growth in the channel and we are embarking on additional strategies to continue this trajectory,“ the Mahfoods stated.
The period was not without its challenges. Cost of sales rose 31 percent in the quarter to $6.6 billion resulting in gross profit rising at a much slower pace of 21.6 percent to $3.1 billion from $2.6 billion in the previous year. “Gross Margin at 32.3 percent was 170 basis points lower than the 34 percent for the corresponding quarter in the prior year due mainly to our LNG plant experiencing disruption in energy supply resulting in the company having to spend an additional $81m to purchase electricity,” the directors reported. They went on to state, “additionally, we had production downtime which led to some higher costs of production as well as increased input costs.”

True Juice bottled and distributed by Wisynco.

Selling and Distribution expenses increased 16 percent for the quarter to $1.78 billion from 1.54 billion in 2021 and increased 12.8 percent to $5.2 billion in the nine months from $4.6 billion in 2021. Administrative expenses fell in the latest quarter to $289 million from $339 million in 2021 and slipped slightly to $1.02 billion from $1.03 billion for the nine months. Depreciation fell from $782 million to $718 million for the nine months and taxation jumped 108 percent from $465 million to $957 million and 86 percent from $141 million to $265 million for the quarter.
Gross cash flow brought in $4.3 billion and $3.3 billion after working capital growth and ended at $1.2 billion after investments, addition to fixed assets and paying $1.5 billion in dividends.
But the group remains in robust financial health, with shareholders’ equity of $17 billion and long term borrowings at $1 billion, while short term loans stood at $800  million. Current assets ended at $16 billion, including trade and other receivables of $3.6 billion, and inventories of $3.4 billion, while cash, bank balances, and investments stood at $9.2 billion. Current liabilities ended the period at $5.8 billion and net current assets ended at $10.4 billion.
The stock traded on the Main Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $25 at a PE of just over 20 times earnings and seems to be heading for the mid $30 region over the next twelve months.