3 new highs for Junior Market – Friday

Iron Rock hits 52 weeks’ high of $4.07 on Friday.

The Junior Market move higher at the close of trading on Friday rising just 0.99 points to close at 3,126.60 as the number of declining and advancing stocks were equal for a second day.
At the end of market activity, three stocks traded at a 52 weeks’ high and one closed at a 52 weeks’ low.
The market closed with, 1,989,152 units valued at $15,833,325.80 compared to 17,879,196 units valued at $94,384,927 on Thursday and ended with 26 securities changing hands, compared to 22 on Thursday, with 10 advancing, 10 falling and 6 remaining unchanged.
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, 3 closed with lower offers.
Trading closed with an average of 76,506 units for an average of $608,974 in contrast to 812,691 units for an average of $4,290,224 on Thursday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 213,423 units valued at $1,178,519, compared to 245,494 units valued at $1,311,926 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 $36, exchanging 1,800 shares, AMG Packaging ended with a loss of 9 cents at $1.91, trading 7,000 stock units, Blue Power concluded trading at $40, with 4,820 units, Cargo Handlers settled with a loss of 89 cents at $10, trading 310,120 shares, Caribbean Flavours traded 5,000 stock units and rose 50 cents to $13. Derrimon Trading concluded trading of 236,050 shares and rose $1 to a 52 weeks’ high of $24, after trading at $25 ahead of the close as news broke that the company entered into an agreement to acquire Woodcats International. Dolphin Cove finished at $16.50, with 816 stock units changing hands, Elite Diagnostic settled 15 cents higher at $2.90, with 90,678 units, Everything Fresh traded 157,069 shares and lost 1 cent to end at 1.90, Express Catering traded 72,934 shares and ended 10 cents higher at a 52 weeks’ high of $8.10. FosRich Group finished trading 26,184 shares with a loss of 7 cents to end at $2.90, General Accident climbed 40 cents to $3.80, after trading 8,350 stock units, Honey Bun concluded trading with a loss of 41 cents at $3.90, with 1,000 shares, Iron Rock jumped 92 cents higher to close at a 52 weeks’ high of $4.07, with 553,112 shares changing hands. Jamaican Teas ended trading with a loss of 15 cents at $3.90, with 5,000 stock units, Jetcon Corporation traded at $4, with 29,302 units, Key Insurance finished trading 12,547 shares with a loss of 45 cents to end at $3.02, Knutsford Express ended with a loss of 21 cents at 52 weeks’ low of $11.30, after exchanging 2,000 shares. Lasco Distributors concluded trading at $4, with 4,740 stock units, Lasco Financial traded 68,728 units and finished 39 cents higher at $5.79, Lasco Manufacturing rose 7 cents to end at $4, trading 38,000 shares, Main Event ended trading with a loss of 85 cents at $6, with 15,400 shares traded. Medical Disposables traded 92,420 shares and rose 40 cents to $6.40, Stationery and Office closed at $9 after gaining 97 cents with 238,725 units changing hands and tTech concluded trading at $5, with 2,357 shares trading. In the junior market preference segment, Eppley 8.25% concluded trading with a loss of 1 cent at $6.20, with 5,000 units changing hands.
Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

Junior Market bounces – Thursday

The Junior Market move higher at the close of trading on Thursday rising 39.96 points to close at 3,125.61 as the number of declining and advancing stocks were equal but with a bounce in volume.
The market closed with, 17,879,196 units valued at $94,384,927 compared to 6,775,011 units valued at $40,419,386. on Wednesday. Lasco Financial accounted for bulk of the trade with 16.75 million units.
Trading ended with 22 securities changing hands, compared to 22 on Wednesday, with just 6 advancing, 6 falling and 10 remaining unchanged. General Accident traded at a 52 weeks’ high of $3.90 but closed lower at $3.40.
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 812,691 units for an average of $4,290,224 in contrast to 307,955 units for an average of $1,837,245 on Wednesday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 245,494 units valued at $1,311,926, compared to 105,288 units valued at $575,717 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 $36, trading 4,041 shares, AMG Packaging ended 10 cents higher at $2, exchanging 1,200 stock units, Blue Power concluded trading at $40, with 200 units, Caribbean Producers finished trading 100,000 units but lost 27 cents at $6.50, Derrimon Trading concluded trading 15,000 shares at $23. Elite Diagnostic settled at $2.75, trading 6,000 units, Eppley ended trading 78 cents higher at $9.96, with 15,030 shares, Everything Fresh traded 96,968 shares and lost 7 cents to end at $1.91. Express Catering traded with a loss of 10 cents at $8, with 41,451 shares changing hands, FosRich Group finished trading 41,146 shares and rose 40 cents to $2.97, with shares. General Accident closed with a loss of 46 cents at $3.40, trading 27,032 stock units, Honey Bun concluded trading and rose 6 cents to $4.31, with 7,000 shares, Iron Rock finished trading at $3.15, with 50,052 shares, Jamaican Teas ended trading 5 cents higher at $4.05, with 25,091 stock units changing hands. Jetcon Corporation traded 18,720 units at $4, Lasco Distributors concluded trading 412,642 stock units, at $4, Lasco Financial finished 10 cents higher at $5.40, with 16,753,104 units, Lasco Manufacturing settled at $3.93, exchanging 40,000 shares. Main Event ended trading at $6.85, with 2,006 shares changing hands, Medical Disposables traded with a loss of 20 cents at $6, with 50,000 shares and Stationery and Office closed with a loss of 1 cent at $8.03, trading 72,513 units. In the junior market preference segment, Eppley 9.5% finished at $5.98, with 100,000 shares.
Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

Profit jumps 58% at Proven

Investors in shares of PROVEN Investments pushed the price to a year’s low of 12 US cents last month but data now available suggest that they made a big mistake, as the stock now trades back at 20 US cents and profit that suffered from foreign exchange losses in the second half of 2018 fiscal year is now back up.
The investment bank just released first quarter results to June showing profit attributable to shareholders jumping 58.43 percent to US$1.79 million from the US$1.13 million in the same period last year. Annualized return on average equity translate to 8.56 percent and is consistent with Proven target set when they went public. The sharp jump in earnings resulted from net revenue for the quarter rising a 17.4 percent to US$8.5 million compared to US$7.25 million earned in the June 2017 quarter. According to the CEO Christopher Williams, “this was mainly due to a more efficient carry trade strategy and significant improvement in foreign exchange gains.”
Earnings per share for the quarter amounted to 0.29 US cent versus 0.20 US cents in 2017. An interim dividend of 0.25 US cent per share will be paid to shareholders on September 10.
According to the report released with the financials “spread income was the major contributor to revenue during the period, with a 16.97 percent improvement compared with the same period last year as net interest income totalled US$5.28 million. This increase reflects success in the carry trade strategy as the company was able to concurrently increase interest income while reducing interest expense by 18.30 percent.
Net foreign exchange gains totalled US$1.20 million, compared to just US$200,000 in the same period last year. While foreign exchange grew fees and commission income declined from $1.2 million to $894,000 due to change in reporting some fee income with some income now being booked over the period that they cover rather than at the time of billing, the impact for the full year should not reflect a major difference, IC Insider.com was informed.
Proven invests in a number of privately held entities except for Access Finance. The investment strategy seems to be working with most entities delivering increased returns in the quarter.

Christopher Williams, Proven Investments CEO.

According to the release Proven Wealth net income totalled US$0.93 million for the quarter, representing more than a six -times increase compared to the same period last year. The firm continues its strategy to offer investment products to clients in reducing the previous reliance on repurchase agreements. Total Assets of the company as at June 2018 stood at US$120.5 million.
Proven Fund Managers continues to be one of the top players in the Asset and Pension Fund Management and Administration business. Profitability increased by almost 68 percent compared to the same period last year, with net profit of US$220,000 compared to US$130,000 million for 2017.
Access Financial Services appears to be maturing contributing nearly 21 percent increase in net profits attributable to PIL of US$790,000 or 44 percent of the group’s profit for the quarter. But according to Williams, profit at Access is growing around $10 million on a monthly basis and is expected to continue for the rest of the fiscal year barring unforeseen negative development. IC Insider.com gathers that they may be more acquisition in the period ahead for this subsidiary in a new market. Access seems to have absorbed the acquisitions last year that led to a hike in doubtful loan provisioning being above normal in the 2018 fiscal year. The loan portfolio was US$24.4 million up 22 percent over the balance at June 2017.
BOSLIL Bank headquartered in St Lucia is Proven Investments’ most recent acquisition and currently 75 percent owned by the group. BOSLIL contribution to group profits was just below Access at US$610,000 million. Total Assets of the bank stood at US$271 million and seems set to increase as the group has signed an agreement to acquire yet another banking entity that will fall under the arm of Boslil.
PROVEN REIT is involved in residential real estate development with two new developments scheduled to commence construction and are expected to be completed and sold over the next twelve to eighteen months. But the current fiscal year is not likely to benefit from these is they are successfully executed.
Operating expenses increased by 11.5 percent to US$5.6 million compared to US$4.9 million in 2017 but the expenses include US$236,000 in preference dividends that will not repeat as the company retires the preference shares on which dividend was paid while there was just over $400,000 provision made relating to the impact of IFRS 9. Excluding these two items profit for the quarter would have been much greater than reported.

Access Financial contributed much to Proven profit in the quarter.


At the end of June total assets amounted to US$575 million down slightly from US$599 million at June 2017 and liabilities fell from US$509 million in 2017 to US$470 million. Shareholders’ Equity grew to US$82 million from US$71 million as at June 2017 mainly from increased in the share capital following the rights issue last year.
The group has not been able to put the new capital fully to work as they awaited regulatory approval for the plan acquisition of a brokerage company in Cayman Island which has now been granted with the acquisition said by Proven to close at the end of the month. That may not be the only acquisition for Proven this fiscal year as the group seek to grow its overseas business and take advantage of the many investment opportunities management sees within the region.
In going forward, investors need to pay attention to the impact of foreign exchange trading and movement in the rate of exchange and the impact on profits positively or negatively, so the strong gains enjoyed in the quarter may not repeat in the rest of the year. The preference dividend and the provision for IFRS provisioning should not repeat and are likely to reduce cost going forward. Access continues to grow profit on a quarterly basis as the company increase loans granted and securities trading can add or subtract from profits depending how well the investment portfolio is managed.
With the continued focus on acquisition, the future could be brighter for the group, in addition IC Insider.com is forecasting a rise in the PE ratio from an average of 12.5 now to a higher level by year end.
The stock that was in the IC TOP 10 and slipped out this past week traded at 19 US cents on Thursday on the JSE US dollar market and sits just outside the Top list.

Honey Bun profit up modestly in Q3

Add your HTML code here...

Sales for the three months ended June 2018, rose 15 percent to $332 million over the 2017 out turn of $289 million at Honey Bun, but profit before tax was just $9 million, 5 percent higher than the $8.6 million earned in the corresponding prior year period.
Profit after tax rose to $9.7 million up from $7.55 million as a provision of $1 million in taxes in 2017 turned into $695,000 in 2018. Management stated in their release to shareholders that “this has been as a result of continued investment in production capacity and restructuring of distribution.”
Year to date, sales for the nine months, were $1 billion up 4 percent over the corresponding 2017 period’s income of $969 million, leading to profit before tax of $80 million, 17 percent lower than in the previous year. After taxation of $8.3 million for the nine months, profit declined to $72 million from $84.7 million in 2017, after taxation for $12 million.
Earnings per share for the quarter amounts to just 2 cents and for the nine months period year to date amounted to 15 cents. Honey Bun’s last quarter is not the most robust for the fiscal year so not much improvement is expected when the year ends in September.
Even as the net profit was disappointing, there were some good signs. Gross margin increased to 44.1 percent from 42.4 percent in 2017 for the June quarter and from 43.2 percent to 45.2 percent for the nine months. Gross profit rose 19 percent to $146 million for the quarter but was up 8 percent for the year to date period to $455 million.
Marketing and Distribution cost rose 32 percent in the quarter to $61 million and 37 percent to $164 million while Administrative Expenses rose 14 percent for the quarter to $63 million and was flat at $166 million for the nine months. Depreciation moved up by 9 percent to $12.3 million for the quarter and 11 percent to $36 million for the year to date.
“The Company’s asset base has grown as a result of the investment in the expanded facilities. This investment will allow the company to take advantage of the strong market demand for our products.

One Honey Bun’s Products.

In April of this year Honey Bun launched its new Buccaneer Jamaica pocket size rum cakes in 3 flavors at the Jamaica Expo. We have entered two new markets with further interest from other buyers in existing markets,” Michelle Chong Chief Executive Officer, informed shareholders.
Operations brought in $113 million in cash for the nine months of which $93 million was used as payment for fixed assets and $18.6 million in dividends resulting in $84 million in cash at the end of the period.
Shareholders’ Equity grew to $600 million at the end of June, current assets fell to $212 million and current liabilities fell to $84 million from $117 million in 2017. Fixed assets rose to $441 million from $368 million in 2017 and borrowed funds stood at just $31 million.

3 new highs as Junior Market dives – Wednesday

Caribbean Producers traded at a 52 weeks’ high with the largest block of shares on Wednesday.

The Junior Market snapped badly on Wednesday, sending the index down a sizable 65.25 points to 3,085.65 as Access Financial dived $10.50 leading falling prices to have the upper hand even as 3 securities closed at 52 weeks’ highs.
Trading ended with 22 securities changing hands, compared to 25 on Tuesday, with just 5 advancing, 12 falling and 5 remaining unchanged as 3 stocks hit new 52 weeks’ highs and one at a low. The market closed with, 6,775,011 units valued at $40,419,386 trading, compared to 510,714 units valued at $2,313,622 on Tuesday. Caribbean Producers finished trading at a 52 weeks’ high of $6.77, exchanging 5.3 million units, Express Catering also closed trading at a 52 weeks’ high, of $8.10, General Accident closed at a 52 weeks’ high of $3.86 and AMG Packaging closed at a 52 weeks’ low of $1.90
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 307,955 units for an average of $1,837,245 in contrast to 20,429 units for an average of $92,545 on Tuesday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 105,288 units valued at $575,717, compared to 38,741 units valued at $161,485. Trading in July, averaged 154,060 units valued at $655,146 for each security traded.
At the close of trading, Access Financial closed with a loss of $10.50 to $36, with 1,000 shares, but ended with the bid at $46 to buy 500 units. AMG Packaging lost 10 cents to close at a 52 weeks’ low of $1.90, with 62,500 stock units, Caribbean Producers finished trading 55 cents higher to a 52 weeks’ high of $6.77, with 5,275,108 units, C2W Music ended at $1.71, with 33,179 shares trading, Elite Diagnostic settled with a loss of 15 cents at $2.75, trading 53,599 units. Eppley ordinary share ended trading of 570 shares with a loss of 80 cents to $9.18, Everything Fresh traded 45,328 shares to end at $1.98. Express Catering traded 6,659 shares after gaining 10 cents to a 52 weeks’ high of $8.10, FosRich Group finished trading 5 cents higher at $2.57, with 2,150 shares changing hands, General Accident closed 39 cents higher at a 52 weeks’ high of $3.86, exchanging 6,949 stock units. Honey Bun concluded trading with a loss of 26 cents at $4.25, with 523,466 shares, after the company posted modest profit in its June quarter and lower profit year to date. Jamaican Teas ended trading 48,384 stock units with a loss of 30 cents at $4, Jetcon Corporation fell 5 cents to $4, with 138,272 units, KLE Group closed with a loss of 50 cents at $2.50, trading 7,933 shares. Knutsford Express dropped 44 cents to $11.51, trading 6,900 shares, Lasco Distributors concluded trading 5,698 stock units at $4, Lasco Financial finished trading 60,817 units and closed 5 cents higher at $5.30, Lasco Manufacturing settled with a loss of 22 cents at $3.93, after exchanging 418,473 shares. Main Event ended trading 3,494 shares and lost 26 cents to $6.85, Medical Disposables traded 63,387 shares with a loss of 48 cents to close at $6.20 and Stationery and Office closed at $8.04, with 3,000 units trading. In the junior market preference segment, Eppley 9.5% finished trading 8,150 shares at $5.98.
Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

Junior Market continues to climb – Tuesday

The Junior Market Index moved higher by 20.70 points to close at 3,150.90 on Tuesday after closing on Monday, for the Independence Day public holiday and being up in 6 of the last 7 trading sessions.
Trading ended with 25 securities changing hands, compared to 23 on Friday, with 7 advancing, 4 falling and 14 remaining unchanged. Medical Disposables traded at a 52 weeks’ high after June Quarter profit climbed sharply. The market closed with, 510,714 units valued at $2,313,622.29 changing hands, compared to 771,621 units valued at $2,972,863 on Friday.
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, one with a lower offer.
Trading closed with an average of 20,429 units for an average of $92,545 in contrast to 57,100 units for an average of $240,564 on Friday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 38,741 units valued at $161,485, compared to 49,641 units valued at $202,520. Trading in July, averaged 154,060 units valued at $655,146 for each security traded.
At the close of trading, AMG Packaging ended at $2, after trading 4,221 stock units, Blue Power concluded trading 513 units at $40, CAC 2000 finished at $9, with 5,383 shares changing hands, Cargo Handlers settled at $10.89, in exchanging 6,000 shares, Caribbean Cream ended trading 5,395 shares rising 30 cents higher at $5.80. Caribbean Flavours traded with a loss of 20 cents at $12.50, with 3,000 stock units changing hands, Caribbean Producers finished trading 911 units at $6.22, Consolidated Bakeries closed at $2.16, exchanging 7,500 shares, C2W Music ended at $1.71, with 8,000 shares changing hands. Derrimon Trading ended at $23, with 19,545 units changing hands, Elite Diagnostic finished at $2.90, trading 28,545 stock units, Everything Fresh traded 198,030 shares to end at $1.98. Express Catering ended trading 29,883 shares and rose 5 cents to $8, General Accident finished trading 14 cents higher at $3.47, while exchanging 3,570 shares, GWest Corporation closed at $2.20, with 49,760 stock units changing hands. Honey Bun ended at $4.51, trading 5,505 units, Jamaican Teas settled with a loss of 20 cents at $4.30, with 11,758 shares, Jetcon Corporation ended trading 4,900 stock units and gained 2 cents to $4.05, KLE Group finished trading at $3, with 2,791 shares. Knutsford Express closed 44 cents higher at $11.95, trading 3,022 shares, Lasco Distributors ended at $4, with 45,380 shares changing hands, Lasco Manufacturing finished 5 cents higher at $4.15, with 9,796 units, Medical Disposables jumped 88 cents higher to close at a 52 weeks’ high of $6.68, with 1,793 shares, Stationery and Office fell 8 cents to $8.04, with 50,993 stock units and tTech ended with a loss of 25 cents at $5, trading 4,520 shares.
Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

Investors shun Junior stocks for the oldsters

Black Panther mash up Palace bottom-line with a huge increase in profit that pushed to stock to no 1 for 2018 in the main market.

Investors shunned Junior Market stocks in 2018 for the older more established Main market stocks. At least that is what the data from the exchange is showing.
According to the Jamaica Stock Exchange report of trading to the end of July, volume and value on the main market is up while that on the junior market is well down on 2017 figures, even as the gains in the overall market shows juniors up 14 percent for the year to the end of July and 9 percent for the main market.
Junior Market volume is down year to July by a stunning 69 percent to 571 million units while the value fell 64 percent to $2.69 billion, less than half of the $6.6 billion traded for all of 2017. In contrast main market stocks traded 1.57 billion units, up 28.5 percent over 2017, for a total value of $32 billion, a strong 79.4 percent increase over 2017 and just shy of the $35.7 million traded for all of 2017.
The big winners for the year to July are, Palace with an increase of 154 percent, that was helped by the huge success of the Black Panther film that ran for several months, Pulse Investments up 67 percent, Kingston Wharves 60 percent, Jamaica Broilers 45 percent and Salada Foods 41 percent, as investors responded to improved profit. In the Junior Market, C2W Music and Derrimon Trading beat all others by huge margins, rising 233 percent after it announced a 10 to 1 stock split and 197 percent respectively. Express Catering climbed 86 percent, Stationery and Office Supplies up 65 percent and CAC 2000 up 51 percent.
The big losers in the main market are, Ciboney, having sold off the property it owned and paid out most of the proceeds as a dividend is down 68 percent, 138 Student Living fell 35 percent, Kingston Properties 31 percent, Wisynco Group 24 percent, Portland JSX 20 percent and in the Junior Market, GWEST Corporation down 36 percent, AMG Packaging 33 percent, tTech 23 percent, Knutsford Express 23 percent and Eppley 17 percent.

More gains for Junior Market – Friday

The Junior Market Index climbed higher by 19.74 points to close at 3,130.20 on Friday as 23 securities changed hands, compared to 19 on Thursday, with 9 advancing, 8 falling and 6 remaining unchanged.
The market closed with, 771,621 units valued at $2,972,863 changing hands, compared to 3,659,666 units valued at $16,503,092 on Thursday. The market will be closed on Monday, Independence day public Holiday.
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, one with a lower offer.
Trading closed with an average of 57,100 units for an average of $240,564 in contrast to 40,612 units for an average of $156,466 on Thursday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 49,641 units valued at $202,520. Trading in July, averaged 154,060 units valued at $655,146 for each security traded.
At the close of trading, Access Financial traded 500 shares and closed with a loss of 50 cents at $46.50, AMG Packaging ended at $2, trading 2,350 stock units, Caribbean Cream ended trading with a loss of 27 cents at $5.50, in exchanging 12,086 shares, Caribbean Producers gained 32 cents to close at $6.22, with 60,659 units trading, Consolidated Bakeries closed 6 cents higher at $2.16, with 20,000 shares. Derrimon Trading jumped $2.37 to $23, in exchanging 500 shares, Dolphin Cove finished trading at $16.50, with 5,047 stock units, Elite Diagnostic settled at $2.90, exchanging 49,649 units, Everything Fresh traded 7,795 shares but lost 2 cents to end at $1.98, Express Catering traded with a loss of 5 cents at $7.95, with 18,000 shares. FosRich Group finished trading with a loss of 45 cents at $2.52, exchanging 52,712 shares, GWest Corporation ended at $2.20, with 1,220 units, Honey Bun concluded trading 8,667 shares with a loss of 14 cents to $4.51, Jamaican Teas jumped 65 cents to $4.50, trading 12,298 stock units. Jetcon Corporation traded with a loss of 8 cents at $4.03, after 13,432 units were exchanged, Lasco Distributors concluded trading 2 cents higher at $4, with 162,200 stock units changing hands, Lasco Financial added 5 cents and closed at $5.25, with 173,650 units, Lasco Manufacturing settled 8 cents higher at $4.10, trading 53,978 shares. Main Event ended trading with a loss of 39 cents at $7.11, with 11,269 shares and Stationery and Office Supplies rose 2 cents to $8.12, with 13,781 units. In the junior market preference segment, Derrimon Trading 9% ended at $2.50, with 422,708 stock units, Eppley 8.25% concluded trading 171,500 units and rose 10 cents to $6.21 and Eppley 8.75% settled at $6, with 39,300 shares changing hands.
Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

Profit jumps 77% at Lasco Manufacturing

Profit jumped a strong 77 percent at Lasco Manufacturing, in the June quarter to, $238 million from $134 million in 2017, from sales revenue that rose just 14.8 percent to $1.73 billion, up from $1.5 billion in 2017.
The results follow the 2018 fiscal year, when profit fell from $707 million to $560 million, after rising 73 percent in the December quarter, to $195 million from $113 million in 2016. For the nine months to December, profit fell 24 percent to $533 million from $700 million in 2016.
Profit margin climbed to 35 percent from 31.7 percent in the 2017, as input cost climbed much slower than revenues, with an increase of 9 percent, to $1.1 billion. The effect, operating profit rose an impressive 27 percent to $607 million, from $478 million.
Depreciation cost rose 5 percent to $55 million but administrative, marketing and sales expenses declined by 1 percent to $252 million from $256 million. Finance cost rose to $31 million from $30 million in 2017.
“The positive out turn reflects growth in volumes, improved operational efficiencies and streamlining and cost control”, Managing Director, James Rawle, stated in his report accompanying the quarterly.
Gross cash flow brought in $293 million but growth in receivables, inventories, addition to fixed assets offset by loan inflows and increased payables resulted in a decline in cash of $110 million, leaving cash on hand and bank at $261 million.
At the end of June,shareholders’ equity stands at $5.16 billion with borrowings at just $1.6 billion. Net current assets ended the period $1.7 billion well over payables of $937 million. The company has so far incurred $731 million on work in progress that includes 65,000 feet warehouse expansion, scheduled for completion in September. According to managing director, James Rawle, “the facility will help to simplify logistics and result in important cost savings.”
Earnings per share came out at 6 cents for the quarter and is projected to end the fiscal year ending to March 30 cents. The stock traded at $4 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 12 times 2019 earnings and is in line with the market average.
The company will pay a dividend of 3.8 cents per share on August 31, resulting a total payment of $155 million.

Junior Market inched higher – Thursday

The Junior Market Index inched higher by 8.32 points to 3,110.46 on Thursday as just 19 securities changed hands, compared to 28 on Tuesday, with 10 advancing, 7 falling and 2 remaining unchanged.
The market closed with less trading activity than on Tuesday ending with, 771,621 units valued at $2,972,863 changing hands, compared to 3,659,666 units valued at $16,503,092 on Tuesday.
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, none with a lower offer.
Trading closed with an average of 40,612 units for an average of $156,466 in contrast to 130,702 units for an average of $589,396 on Tuesday. Trading in July, averaged 154,060 units valued at $655,146 for each security traded.
At the close of trading, Access Financial closed at $47, with 1,558 shares changing hands, AMG Packaging ended 1 cent higher at $2, in exchanging 2,615 stock units, Blue Power concluded trading of just 328 units at $40, CAC 2000 finished with a loss of 89 cents at $9, trading 5,300 shares, Caribbean Producers finished trading with a loss of 10 cents at $5.90, after 37,091 units were exchanged but traded earlier at an intraday high of $6.22, C2W Music ended 1 cent higher at $1.71, with 45,715 shares changing hands, Derrimon Trading dropped of $2.87 to close at $20.63, trading 2,625 shares, Elite Diagnostic settled with a loss of 7 cents at $2.90, with 156,163 units, Everything Fresh traded 184,163 shares and gained 10 cents to end at $2, Express Catering traded 19 cents higher at $8, with 40,299 shares changing hands. FosRich Group finished trading 24,747 shares and rose 25 cents to $2.97, Jamaican Teas declined of 15 cents the close at $3.85, with 19,700 stock units changing hands, Jetcon Corporation traded 11 cents higher at $4.11, trading 84,913 units, Lasco Distributors concluded trading with a loss of 2 cents at $3.98, in exchanging 14,100 stock units. Lasco Financial finished with a loss of 1 cent at $5.20, as 47,330 units changed hands, Lasco Manufacturing gained 1 cent to close at $4.02, with 66,800 shares, Main Event ended trading 5 cents higher at $7.50, with 7,428 shares, Paramount Trading rose 25 cents to $3, exchanging 2,500 stock units and Stationery and Office added 10 cents to close at $8.10, with 28,100 units changing hands.
Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.