Cost control boost Purity’s profit

Consolidated Bakeries (Purity) recovering from 2017 loss

Cost fell and profit margin rose at Consolidated Bakeries in the June quarter, this year, as the company put in a vastly better performance in the quarter than for the similar period in 2017.
For the half year, administrative, selling and distribution cost rose just 2 percent to $166 million but declined 6 percent to $79 million in the June quarter. While sales revenue grew 10 percent for the six months to $493 million and less than one percent to $221.5 million in the latest quarter. Input cost climbed just 3 percent for the half year, compared to 2017 and fell 4 percent for the quarter, giving rise to increased profit margin in the first half of the year to 38 percent, from 34 percent in 2017 and in the June quarter, to 35 percent from 31 percent in the year ago period.
Profit rose from a loss of $8.5 million in 2017, for the six months to June, to a profit of $22.6 million this year and earnings per share of 9 cents, but the company is reporting a loss of just $891,000 after tax credit of $128,000, a big improvement over the loss in the prior year’s quarter of $14 million. Full year’s profit should end at around 17 cents per share. If achieved, it would be the first time since the year it listed that profit has been this high.
Administrative expenses fell 13 percent to $42 million in the quarter and increased marginally in the six months period to $92 million from $91.6 million. Distribution and sales expenses declined 4 percent to $33 million. Finance cost rose in the quarter, to $3.6 million from $812,000 in 2017 and from $2.5 million to $6.8 million for the half year.

Consolidated Bakeries Miss Birdie Easter bun.

Gross cash flow brought in $38 million but growth in receivables, inventories, addition to fixed assets of $35 million offset by loan inflows and increased payables position ended at a negative $3 million. At the end of June, shareholders’ equity stood at $736 million with borrowings at just $115 million. Net current assets ended the period at $100 million inclusive of trade and other receivables of $96 million, cash and bank balances of $99 million. Current liabilities ended the period at $140 million.
The stock traded at $2.17 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 12 times 2018 earnings. Net asset value is $3.31 with the stock selling at just 66 percent of book value. The company is the only Junior Market stock to be selling at a discount to net asset value. This means management has a lot of work to do to break even and much more to reach the average of the market of a premium of more 400 percent.

Junior Market volume jumps on Monday

Derrimon Trading traded $5m shares on monday

Trading on the Junior Market, ended with big rise to 8,895,088 units valued at $105,891,017 changing hands, compared to 3,738,180 units valued at $13,115,097 on Friday.
Trading was dominated by Derrimon Trading exchanging 5 million, followed by Indies Pharma with 1.6 million units and Lasco Distributors with 1.3 million shares.
At the close the market index pulled back 20.16 points to 3,173.09 with 26 securities changing hands, compared to 27 on Friday and resulting in the prices of 8 securities advancing, 6 declining and 12 remaining unchanged.
IC bid-offer Indicator|At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading had 6 stocks ending with bids higher than their last selling prices, 1 closed with a lower offer.
Trading closed with an average of 342,119 units for an average of $4,072,731 in contrast to 138,451 units for an average of $485,744 on Friday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 247,889 units valued at $1,271,186, compared to 238,538 units valued at $993,170 previous trading day. Trading in July, averaged 154,060 units valued at $655,146 for each security traded.
At the close of trading, Access Financial traded 5,120 shares and closed at $46.70, AMG Packaging ended at $1.95, exchanging 258,014 stock units, Blue Power concluded trading at $47, trading 2,379 units, CAC 2000 finished trading 20,133 shares at $9, Caribbean Flavours traded 3,540 stock units and climbed $1. Caribbean Producers finished trading 36,198 units with a loss of 17 cents at $6.68, with, Derrimon Trading concluded exchanging 5,004,435 shares and dropped $1.40 cents to close at $18.50, but traded as high as $30 during the day. Dolphin Cove finished at $17, with 683 stock units, Elite Diagnostic settled at $2.90, with 56,166 units. Everything Fresh traded 81,495 shares and ended with a loss of 21 cents at $2.29, Express Catering traded 26,865 shares and rose 10 cents to a closing 52 weeks’ high of $9, FosRich Group finished trading 19,150 shares at $3, General Accident closed 70 cents higher at $3.90, trading 115,002 stock units, GWest Corporation ended at $2.17, with 42,840 units. Honey Bun concluded trading 10 cents higher at $4.30, with 36,000 shares, Indies Pharma traded 1,628,679 shares in gaining 4 cents and ended at an all-time closing high of $2.40, but traded earlier as high as $2.50, Jamaican Teas ended trading with a loss of 14 cents at $4.15, with a transfer of 16,610 stock units, Jetcon Corporation traded with a loss of 6 cents at $4.04, with 33,684 units changing hands, KLE Group closed at $3, with 54,384 shares. Knutsford Express ended at $11.36, with 9,546 shares, Lasco Distributors concluded trading 1,300,907 stock units and rose 15 cents to $4, Lasco Financial rose 40 cents to end at $5.90, with 48,997 units, Lasco Manufacturing settled with a loss of 10 cents at $3.80, trading 8,100 shares. Main Event ended trading at $6.50, with 3,100 shares, Medical Disposables traded 12,005 shares to close at $6.50 and Stationery and Office closed 40 cents higher at $8.50, with 71,056 units changing hands.

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

Watch Lasco Financial

Lasco Financial connected parties recently purchased 15 million shares.

When persons connected with the management of a listed company trade shares in the company other investors are well advised to take note.
In some cases it means nothing, but in others it can be a telltale sign of things to come. One such trade that could be telling is embodied in a release to the Jamaica Stock Exchange by Lasco Financial Services that advised that eight connected parties purchased a total of 15.05 million shares in the company on August 9. The average price of the stock on the day the block traded, was $5.29, placing a value on the block of more than $75 million, that is no small change and is more likely than not to be a vote of confidence in the future fortunes of the company.
The purchase takes place after generating revenues of $555 million, $235 million or 74 percent more than the corresponding period in 2017 and importantly, grew $55 million over the $500 million generated in March quarter and may be suggesting the possibility of quarterly growth going forward for a while. Profit before taxation, jumped 62 percent to $132 million from $81 million in 2017. Profit after tax ended the quarter 50 percent higher than the year before at $101 million and could end up around $500 million for the full year for earnings per share around 40 cents.
The strong increase in revenues and profit comes from continued growth from the original business lines and was boosted by the acquisition of CrediScotia business in late 2017.
Profit before loan Interest more than doubled from $83 million to $172 million but funds borrowed to purchase the CrediScotia portfolio pushed interest cost to $41 million up from just $2 million in 2017.
At the end of the quarter, loans and receivables was at $1.8 billion with the majority being loans and the company borrowed $1.5 billion to help fund the acquisition and provide working capital. Shareholders’ equity was $1.47 billion.
This one is worth watching keenly as a long term buy with the large profit margin in lending.

Falling Junior stocks edged out rising ones

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Derrimon Trading. shares dropped $5.60 to $19.90 on Friday.

Trading on the Junior Market, with market index slipping just 6.38 points to 3,193.25 with 27 securities changing hands, compared to 25 on Thursday, resulting in 9 securities advancing, 11 declining and 7 remaining unchanged.
The day’s trading to 3,738,180 units valued at $13,115,097 compared to 22,380,747 units valued at $56,082,379 on Thursday.
Two stocks, Express Catering and newly listed Indies Pharma traded at a 52 weeks’ high.
IC bid-offer Indicator|At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading had 5 stocks ending with bids higher than their last selling prices, 2 closed with lower offers.
Trading closed with an average of 138,451 units for an average of $485,744 in contrast to 828,917 units for an average of $2,077,125 on Thursday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 238,538 units valued at $993,170, compared to 174,894 units valued at $1,111,004 previous trading day. Trading in July, averaged 154,060 units valued at $655,146 for each security traded.
At the close of trading, Access Financial closed at $46.70, in exchanging 11,965 shares, AMG Packaging ended at $1.95, with 20,000 stock units changing hands, Blue Power concluded trading at $47, with 600 units, CAC 2000 finished with a loss of 55 cents at $9, with just 600 shares trading, Cargo Handlers rose 5 cents to $10.94, with 23,800 shares. Caribbean Cream lost 5 cents to end at $5.75, trading 4,065 shares, Caribbean Producers finished trading at $6.85, with 17,622 units, Derrimon Trading suffered a big fall, concluding trading with a loss of $5.60 to $19.90, with 45,084 shares changing hands, Dolphin Cove added 50 cents to close at $17, trading 1,500 stock units. Elite Diagnostic settled 5 cents higher at $2.90, with 90,264 units changing hands, Everything Fresh traded 118,444 shares and ended with a gain of 25 cents at $2.50, to be back at the IPO price, Express Catering traded 40,113 shares after rising 61 cents to a 52 weeks’ closing high of $8.90, FosRich Group finished trading 112,934 shares after rising 25 cents to $3, General Accident closed with a loss of 50 cents at $3.20, exchanging 64,073 stock units. GWest Corporation fell 10 cents to $2.17, with 53,435 units traded, Honey Bun concluded trading with a loss of 30 cents at $4.20, with 13,200 shares, Indies Pharma traded 2,038,664 shares gaining 11 cents and closed at an all-time high of $2.36, Jamaican Teas ended trading 29 cents higher at $4.29, trading 66,655 stock units, Jetcon Corporation traded 322,018 units with a loss of 1 cent at $4.10, KLE Group closed at $3, exchanging 45,000 shares, Lasco Distributors concluded trading 512,100 stock units with a loss of 14 cents at $3.85, Lasco Financial finished with a loss of 30 cents down to $5.50, with 86,600 units, Lasco Manufacturing settled with a loss of 10 cents at $3.90, with 9,390 shares. Main Event ended trading 5,000 shares with a rise of 25 cents to $6.50, with, Medical Disposables closed at $6.50 higher with 2,776 shares changing hands, Paramount Trading ended at $2.10, trading 1,400 shares and Stationery and Office finished trading with a loss of 87 cents to $8.10, with 30,878 stock units trading.

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

Indies trades 21m shares on Junior Market

The chairman and founder of Indies Pharma

On the second day of listing of the most recent addition to the Junior Market, Indies Pharma traded on Thursday and closed with a gain of 75 cents to close with a gain of 50 percent on the IPO price of $1.50.
In the end, Indies traded 21.2 million units, helping to push the day’s trading to 22,380,747 shares valued at $56,082,379 compared to 2,963,010 units, valued at $8,928,557 on Wednesday.
The Junior market index 37.74 points to close at 3,199.63 with 27 securities changing hands, compared to 25 on Tuesday. Trading resulted in the prices of 13 securities advancing, 6 declining and 8 remaining unchanged. Two stocks traded at a 52 weeks’ high but drifted back at the close and one ended the day at a 52 weeks’ low.
IC bid-offer Indicator|At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading had 5 stocks ending with bids higher than their last selling prices, 3 closed with lower offers.
Trading closed with an average of 828,917 units for an average of $2,077,125 in contrast to 118,520 units for an average of $357,142 on Wednesday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 174,894 units valued at $1,111,004, compared to 182,596 units valued at $994,997 previous trading day. Trading in July, averaged 154,060 units valued at $655,146 for each security traded.
At the close of trading, Access Financial closed at $46.70, trading 500 shares, Blue Power concluded trading $2 higher at $47, in the exchange of 2,728 units, Cargo Handlers settled at $10.89, with 3,665 shares changing hands, Caribbean Cream ended trading of 29,762 shares at $5.80, Caribbean Producers finished trading 74,861 units at $6.85. Derrimon Trading concluded trading of 116,160 shares at $25.50, but hit a new high of $30 during trading, Elite Diagnostic settled with a loss of 5 cents at $2.85, exchanging 77,748 units, Eppley ended trading with a loss of 78 cents close at $9.18, with 430 shares, Everything Fresh traded 36,000 shares and ended with a gain of 15 cents at $2.25 as investors continue to respond positively to half year results showing profit of 4 cents per share for the June quarter on rising gross profit margin. Express Catering traded 14 cents higher at $8.29, with 1,600 shares. FosRich Group finished trading of 8,000 shares with a loss of 1 cent at $2.75, General Accident traded at a 52 weeks’ high of $5 but closed at $3.70, with 41,607 stock units, Honey Bun concluded trading 700 shares at $4.50, Iron Rock finished 25 cents higher at $3.50, with 134,006 shares. Jetcon Corporation traded 16,842 units and rose 6 cents to $4.11, Key Insurance finished trading at $3.16, with 2,950 shares, Knutsford Express ended 1 cent higher at $11.36, after 3,000 shares traded, Lasco Distributors concluded trading of 62,800 stock units and added 4 cents to close at $3.99. Lasco Financial finished at $5.80, exchanging 354,663 units, Lasco Manufacturing settled for a rise of 10 cents to $4, with 78,339 shares, Main Event ended trading 107,682 shares and rose 44 cents to end at $6.25, Medical Disposables traded 1 cent higher at $6.50, with 3,024 shares. Paramount Trading dropped 60 cents to end at a52 weeks’ low of $2.10, trading 3,600 stock units, Stationery and Office closed with a loss of 3 cents at $8.97, with 8,060 units and tTech concluded trading of 15,440 shares and climbed 50 cents to $5.

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

All Indies trades cancelled at end of play

The most recent Junior Market Indies Pharma started trading on Wednesday and closed with a gain of 80 cents to closed with a gain of 53 percent on the IPO price of $1.50. The stock opened at $2.50 but drifting lower during the day to close at $2.30, well that is what the stock exchange trading platform showed.
None of that mattered in the end as all 774,145 shares that was recorded as trading were cancelled.
But there is something awfully wrong wat the JSE, this problem has been occurring ever since the exchange introduced the current trading platform. First, the rule that limit prices to no more than 30 percent in a day is outmoded. Secondly, just about all new junior market listings have traded well above the limit on opening day sending a clear message that the limit at least for new listings made no sense. The exchange management is clearly behind the market place and need to step up the demands of the market.
The Junior market index climbed 26.04 points to close at 3,161.89 with 25 securities changing hands, compared to 25 on Tuesday. At the close, the prices of 8 securities advanced, 10 declined and 7 remained unchanged with one stock closing at a 52 weeks’ low. Trading resulted in 2,963,010 units valued at $8,928,557 changing hands compared to 1,564,416 units valued at $8,693,578 on Tuesday.
IC bid-offer Indicator|At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading had 7 stocks ending with bids higher than their last selling prices, 2 closed with lower offers.
Trading closed with an average of 118,520 units for an average of $357,142 in contrast to 62,577 units for an average of $347,743 on Tuesday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 174,894 units valued at $918,332, compared to 182,596 units valued at $994,997 previous trading day. Trading in July, averaged 154,060 units valued at $655,146 for each security traded.
At the close of trading, Access Financial jumped $10.70 and closed at $46.70, with only 1,407 shares changing hands, CAC 2000 concluded trading 96,403 units $1.55 higher at $9.55, Caribbean Cream traded just 650 shares and climbed $1.08 to $5.80, Caribbean Flavours dropped $1.50 to $13, trading 4,854 shares, Caribbean Producers traded with a loss of 4 cents at $6.85, after 7,700 stock units were exchanged, Consolidated Bakeries finished trading at $2.17, with 13,000 units. C2W Music closed with a loss of 3 cents at $1.72, exchanging 20,000 shares, Elite Diagnostic gained 5 cents to end at $2.90, with 1,270,903 stock units changing hands, Everything Fresh traded 1,100,731 shares and ended with a gain of 20 cents at $2.10 as investors responded to half year results showing profit of 4 cents per share for the June quarter on rising gross profit margin. Express Catering rose 12 cents to $8.15, with 6,623 shares, General Accident finished trading 48,811 shares at $3.70. Honey Bun ended at $4.50, with 13,399 units, Iron Rock concluded trading with a loss of 25 cents at $3.25, with 82,741 shares, Jamaican Teas settled at $4, trading 124,700 shares, Jetcon Corporation ended trading at $4.05, with 46,250 stock units. Key Insurance fell 31 cents to $3.16, exchanging 12,050 units, KLE Group finished trading at $3, with 358 shares, Knutsford Express closed at $11.35, with 9,628 shares, Lasco Distributors ended with a loss of 4 cents at $3.95, after 45,000 shares traded. Lasco Financial concluded trading 30 cents higher at $5.80, with 10,275 stock units, Lasco Manufacturing traded 8,757 stock units and fell 5 cents to $3.90, Paramount Trading ended trading with a loss of 30 cents at $2.70, with 1,000 shares, Stationery and Office traded with a loss of 50 cents at $9, with 29,412 shares and tTech closed with a loss of 50 cents at a 52 weeks’ low of $4.50, with 3,340 units. In the junior market preference segment, Eppley 9.5% ended trading at $5.98, with 5,018 shares changing hands.

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

Record profit for Palace Amusement

Carib Cinema, the flagship for Palace Amusement.

Black Panther delivered record profit for Palace Amusement Company, the full year’s results show. Palace reported profit after tax of $152 million up from just $33 million for the full year in 2017 and earnings per share of $96.58.
For the final quarter the company posted profit of $102 million compared to just $28 million in 2017 but a $61 million gain on sale of the Harbour View property added $61 million to the company’s bottom-line. Revenues climbed nicely by 17 percent to $1.67 billion that flowed from a 25 percent rise in patronage income at Carib in Kingston 27 percent increase at Cineplex located in Kingston and just 11.5 percent at Montego Bay Multiplex.
The major contributor to the rise, was the blockbuster film Black Panther that ran from February to May this year. In the June quarter revenues rose 10 percent to $330 million and would have been generated form increase patrons coming to the movies. Cost rose with direct expenses climbing 13 percent for the year and 7 percent in the quarter while administrative cost was up 19 percent for the quarter and 10 percent for the year.
Palace ended the year with cash and bank balances of $284 million up from $141 million in 2017. The stock last traded on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $1,500 at a PE of almost 15.

13 Junior Market stocks gain – Tuesday

In Junior Market trading on Tuesday 4 stocks traded at a 52 weeks’ high and one at a 52 weeks’ low as the prices of 13 securities advanced, 7 declined and 4 remained unchanged.
In spite of the positive price movement at the close, the Junior market index declined 22.15 points to close at 3,135.85 with 25 securities changing hands, compared to 27 on Monday. Trading resulted in 1,564,416 units valued at $8,693,578 changing hands compared to 2,611,628 units valued at $11,933,757 on Monday.
IC bid-offer Indicator|At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading had 2 stocks ending with bids higher than their last selling prices, 3 closed with lower offers.
Trading closed with an average of 62,577 units for an average of $347,743 in contrast to 124,363 units for an average of $568,274 on Monday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 182,596 units valued at $994,997, compared to 201,586 units, valued at $1,097,411 previous trading day. Trading in July, averaged 154,060 units valued at $655,146 for each security traded.
At the close of trading Cargo Handlers settled at $10.89, with 308 shares, Caribbean Cream ended trading with a loss of $1.08 at $4.72, trading 30,431 shares, Caribbean Flavours traded 15,000 stock units and jumped $1.50 to a 52 weeks’ high of $14.50, Caribbean Producers finished trading 88,000 units and gained 12 cents to close at a 52 weeks’ high of $6.89, after trading as high as $7.15, Consolidated Bakeries closed 1 cent higher at $2.17, with 229,179 shares changing hands. C2W Music ended with a gain of 4 cents to $1.75, as 1,400 shares traded, Derrimon Trading concluded trading 120,000 shares and climbed 50 cents to a new closing high of $25.50, Dolphin Cove finished at $16.50, while exchanging 184 stock units, Elite Diagnostic settled 5 cents higher at $2.85, with 5,000 units. Everything Fresh traded 244,413 shares and ended at $1.90, Express Catering traded 3 cents higher at $8.03, with 131,000 shares, FosRich Group finished trading of 64,858 shares with a loss of 24 cents at $2.76, General Accident closed with 13,000 stock units trading and fell 10 cents to $3.70, GWest Corporation ended 7 cents higher at $2.27, with 36,282 units. Honey Bun concluded trading with a loss of 1 cent at $4.50, in exchanging 13,700 shares, Iron Rock finished at $3.50, with 186,606 shares, Jamaican Teas ended trading with a loss of 5 cents at $4, with 8,401 stock units changing hands, Jetcon Corporation traded 256,529 units and gained 5 cents to end at $4.05. Key Insurance finished trading 9,147 shares and rose by 45 cents to $3.47, KLE Group closed 19 cents higher at $3, with 6,129 shares trading, Knutsford Express ended with a rise of 5 cents to $11.35, as 17,350 shares were traded, Lasco Distributors concluded trading of 45,066 stock units at $3.99. Lasco Financial finished with a loss of 40 cents at $5.50, exchanging 12,136 units, Lasco Manufacturing settled with a loss of 5 cents at $3.95, with 28,671 shares and Medical Disposables jumped $1.29 in trading 1,626 shares at $6.49.
Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

9 months’ high for Junior Market – Monday

Derrimon ended at a new closing 52 weeks’ high on Monday.

The Junior Market move higher at the close of trading on Monday rising 31.40 points to close at 3,158 as the number of declining and advancing stocks were equal for a second day.
At the end of market activity, one stock traded at a 52 weeks’ intraday high and one closed at a 52 weeks’ high. Trading ended with 27 securities changing hands, compared to 26 on Friday, with 11 advancing, 7 falling and 9 remaining unchanged.
The market closed with, 2,611,628 units valued at $11,933,757 compared to 1,989,152 units valued at $15,833,326 on Friday.
IC bid-offer Indicator|At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading had 8 stocks ending with bids higher than their last selling prices, 2 closed with lower offers.
Trading closed with an average of 124,363 units for an average of $568,274 in contrast to 76,506 units for an average of $608,974 on Friday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 201,586 units valued at $1,097,411, compared to 213,423 units valued at $1,178,519 previous trading day. Trading in July, averaged 154,060 units valued at $655,146 for each security traded.
At the close of trading, AMG Packaging ended at $1.95 after rising 4 cents trading 930 stock units, Blue Power jumped $5 to $45, in exchanging 10,166 units, CAC 2000 finished trading and lost 1 cent to end at $8, with 2,000 shares changing hands, Cargo Handlers climbed 89 cents to $10.89, trading 500 shares, Caribbean Producers finished trading 2,645 units with a rise of 27 cents to $6.77. Derrimon Trading concluded trading of 23,900 shares and rose $1 to end at a 52 weeks’ closing high of $25, Elite Diagnostic settled with a loss of 10 cents at $2.80, after exchanging 66,552 units, Everything Fresh traded 51,500 shares and ended at $1.90. Express Catering traded with a loss of 10 cents at $8, with 120,080 shares, FosRich Group finished trading 10 cents higher at $3, after swapping 1,116,649 shares. Honey Bun concluded trading 19,521 shares and gained 61 cents to close at $4.51, Iron Rock lost 57 cents to close at $3.50, with 13,394 shares changing hands, Jamaican Teas ended trading 24,588 stock units and added 15 cents to $4.05, KLE Group gained 31 cents to $2.81, exchanging 669 shares. Lasco Distributors concluded trading of 73,800 stock units with a loss of 1 cent to close at $3.99, Lasco Financial finished 11 cents higher at $5.90, trading 1,012,633 shares, Lasco Manufacturing settled at $4, trading 12,500 shares, Main Event ended trading 15,000 shares with a loss of 19 cents at $5.81. Medical Disposables dropped $1.20 to $5.20, with 28,901 shares and Stationery and Office closed 50 cents higher at $9.50, trading 5,700 units. In the Junior Market preference segment, Eppley 8.25% concluded trading at $6.20, with 10,000 units, changing hands.
Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

JSE PE ratios heading higher

The stock market combined index climbed from 82,934.95 points at the end of 2013 to 324,801.52 on Friday, for increase of 292 percent but the average PE ratio has moved from 7.3 by just under 100 percent to peak at an average of 14.5 times last year December.
During the same period, Treasury bill rates tumbled 75 percent from just over 8 percent to 2 percent or were 300 percent more than they are now. While the fall in interest rate would appear to be close to the rise in the market index, the much slower increase in the PE ratio indicates that the major part of the rise is due to increased profits.
Based on the trends in interest rates and PE ratios, coupled with the serious shortage of supply of several stocks, currently, the PE ratio of the market will rise from the current level of 12.5, first to the high of 14.5 reached at the end of December last year and should move on to around 17 to 18 by the end of the year or early 2019.
A look at the chart, indicates that investors are more cautious in moving stock valuation higher. The PE ratio seems to be moving higher each year since the sharp jump in 2015, suggesting that the increase in PE is not yet over. The other factor is that interest rates have fallen faster in 2018 than for some time, investors seem to need more time to digest the rapid change in rates and determine how long it likely to remain at very low levels.
The big question to come will be, when will interest rates start to reverse? If the PE hits 17 by year end, it would represent an approximate 35 percent increase from current levels. Quite a number of stocks are selling above the average of 12.5 presently. A total of 24 stocks in both markets trade above 12.5 and 7 each in the main market and Junior Market selling above 16 times current year’s earnings.