FosRich IPO fair value

FosRich Company is heading to the capital market to raise $200 million from sale of just over 100 million shares at $2 each. The general public have been allocated 10,070,111 units, Stocks and Securities, broker for the issue is allocated 50 million units, key partners and staff have 40,385,000 allocated to them.
Reserved shares, if not fully taken up, will be available to the general public. The issue opens on Monday December 4 and is scheduled to close on December 11 with the minimum application of 5,000 Shares.
The Board intends to use the proceeds of the invitation in order to expand the capacity of the Company to provide electrical and energy solutions to its customers and in particular, to expand its ability to provide industrial products. The Company will also pay down existing loans and pay the expenses of the Invitation.
The company has built up a name for itself by way of advertising through electronic media and will benefit further from the increased publicity that will be generated by listing.
Importantly, the company currently has interest debt of $300 million and carries a high level of inventories of just under a year’s supply. In 2014 the company booked through its equity reserves a mark down of $129 million for impairment of inventory and receivables. For the nine months to September this year gross cash flow $50 million before working capital needs and after it ended at a net outflow of $9 million. With those numbers bank financing for expansion is going to be challenging. The capital raised should go a long way in easing this constraint.
The Company major Jamaican wholesaler and retailer of a wide range of electrical, lighting and energy products, opened in November 1993 and it has operated at its flagship location 77-79 Molynes Road for over 24 years. The location serves as the Company’s headquarters and comprises a 25,000 square foot area including warehouse and office space and showrooms. FosRich currently has a staff complement of 84. Apart from its head office in Kingston, they also operates in Montego Bay and Mandeville.

Mark Croskery Managing director of Stocks & Securities brokers fro teh IPO speaking to Cecil Foster, Managing director of FosRich.

According to data presented in the prospectus the average annual growth in sales since was 15 percent and the average annual growth in gross profit over the same period was 20 percent.
Unaudited gross profit for the year to September 2017 was $360 million compared to $346 million for the same period in 2016, for an increase of $14 million. This improvement was mainly driven by improvements in selling prices, which compensated for the reduction in sales revenue by J$60 million to J$796 million compared to the same period in 2016 of J$856 million. The full year results should see the company generating sales of just over $1 billion and profit of approximately $40 million before taxation having made $31 million in pretax profit to September.
The historical record of profits are mixed with pretax profits at $42 million in 2012 rising to $60 million in 2013, in 2014 they made $43 million, just $10 million in 2015 helped by bad debt recovery of $10 million and $35 million in 2016.
The directors are, Marion Foster, Steadman Fuller, Ian Kelly, Peter Knibb and Rosalyn Campbell.
Based on estimated earnings for 2017 of $40 million the shares are priced at 20 times 2017 earnings but when viewed against 2018, that will benefit from lower interest cost and some pick up in sales, profit could reach $108 million or earnings of 22 cents per share. Based on 502 million shares in issue after the IPO, the PE would be 9, on this basis, the price could deliver a 120 percent rise in 2018. The stock is priced at just over 2 times net book value and would be one of the lower valued Junior Market company based on net asset value.

Profit at Jamaican Teas rise 58%

Jamaican Teas CEO, John Mahfood addressing the company’s last AGM in 2017.

Jamaican Teas enjoyed strong growth of 86 percent in profit after corporate taxes for the quarter to September amounting $39 million up from $21 million in the previous year.
Profit before taxation rose to $54 million compared to $44 million an increase of 22 percent. For the twelve months to September, profits after taxation is up 58 percent to $186 million after the booking of some material one off cost and income in arriving at outcome for the year.
The Group enjoyed positive performance from continued improvement in core business at Jamaican Teas with increased exports sales of 24 percent for the quarter and 26 percent for the year as well as good growth in the sales at the supermarket in Kingston for the twelve months to Sept 2017 resulting in a strong increase of 19 percent in overall group sales as sales increased by 5 percent from $342 million to $358 million, during the final quarter of the fiscal year. For the year sales revenues rose to $1.53 billion from $1.29 billion in addition the group recorded other revenues of $94 million versus $61 million in 2016 and $44 million versus $21 million in the quarter.
Although the group realized gains on investments of $60 million during the year the report shows more than $37 million in unrealized gains on investments at the end of September.
The results represent another good year for the group coming off 2016, with growth in sales and profits from continuing operations of 9.5 percent and 103 percent respectively.
FINANCIAL POSITION|Shareholders’ equity continues to expand, exceeding the $1 billion market for the first time. Quoted investments and cash stood at $304 million at the end of the quarter. Working capital amounted to $529 million and includes borrowings of $167 million while long term borrowings ended the period at $70 million.
During the year, the group acquired 43 percent of the issued ordinary shares of KIW International, the company results, assets and liabilities are consolidated in the groups’ accounts.
Subsequent to the year end the directors approved a dividend of 3 cents per share payable on December 19, on the increased number of shares in issue of 682 million units. During the year the shares were increased based on a 2 for 1 stock split with the stock price rising from $1.95 to $4.10 presently the second consecutive year with gains of more than 100 percent in the stock price.
The new fiscal year has started off very well. According to management in commenting on the post quarter sales performance, “in October 2017 we doubled our export sales while our local tea sales increased by 26 percent and our supermarket sales by 8 percent. The group’s future prospects for the remainder of the quarter look favourable.”

John Jackson is acting Chairman of the group

Chlorine to boost Paramount’s margin

Paramount Trading is expanding its operations by offering chlorine and bleach products for contract manufacturing and through a joint venture with Allegheny Petroleum into lubricants.
“The Company recently completed construction of the infrastructure required for a new chlorine and bleach plant at its 6 East Bell Road, Kingston, which will be outfitted with state of the art equipment and advanced technology. The Company plans to commence operation of the plant in February 2018,” the release from the company states.
The Company also advises that it entered into an Asset Sale Agreement to acquire the bleach plant equipment and other assets from Seprod, for its new chlorine and bleach operations. This acquisition is in line with the Company’s goals to continuously strengthen its presence as a manufacturer in the chemicals market, and will complement the Company’s existing offerings. Paramount, Chief executive Hugh Graham said is the largest importer of chlorine into the island and that is also exports the product to the Eastern Caribbean.
Currently chlorine is imported in 150 pound containers, with the new facility chlorine will be imported in 2 tons containers which will be used to fill smaller 150 pounds containers, the by-product flowing from the process is bleach, Hugh Graham advised IC The net effect will be improved margins and lower cost. The deal with Seprod will come into effect in February after Seprod exhausts their inventories. This will mean lower cost for Seprod as Paramount packages bleach for Seprod.
The new operation is expected to boost profit at Paramount Trading that enjoyed a 126 percent turn-around in profit for the first quarter to August this year to $34 million from a 31 percent increase in revenues to $331 million. “Yes Alpart was one of our customers in the past when the plant was operating and they have returned now that they have reopened and was a major part of the jump in sales” in the recently concluded quarter, Graham confirmed.
The construction of the blending plant and laboratory, in conjunction with Alllegheny Petroleum is will be completed within a few weeks and is expected to be up and running in early 2018 Graham advised.
Based on discussions we are having the US$5 million that Graham advised was likely two years ago is likely be higher he indicated.
The stock jumped on Monday to $3.59 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

Lasco Manufacturing results disappoint

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There was bad news and good news for Lasco Manufacturing shareholders embodied in the September quarterly report that was just released on Friday, after trading.
The good news is that the September quarter’s revenues and profit were greater than that of the first quarter to June, but far worse than for the similar period in 2016. The other good news is that “the outlook for the full year remains positive as the evidence shows that we are heading in the right direction and measures are in place to deliver improved results,” the management reported to shareholders.
When revenues rise in most manufacturing operations there is usual increase efficiency as overhead cost tends to rise more slowly than revenues, thus resulting in an increase in gross profit margin, the reverse is also true. This can be seen from Lasco operations with gross profit margin falling form 34 percent in 2016 to 31 percent in2017. In the quarter, revenues fell 11 percent to $1.986 billion while cost of sales fell only 7 percent to $1.36 billion but Gross profit dropped 12 percent to $524 million by $131 million.

Bottle heating machine at Lasco Manufacturing.

Operating expenses grew $46 million or 15 percent to $361 million and profit after tax fell sharply to $103 million from $363 million in 2016, resulting in earnings per share of just 5 cents, down from 9 cents in 2016. For the six months period, revenues fell by 12 percent to $3.5 billion from $3.95 billion in 2016. Gross profit dropped 17 percent to $1.1 billion from $1.32 million.
Operating expenses grew $85 million or 14.5 percent to $670 million and profit after tax fell sharply to $337 million from $587 million in 2016, resulting in earnings per share of 8 cents. “The increase was primarily due to growth in marketing investments to support our brand in an increasingly competitive environment” management stated.
IC projects profit for the year to March 2018 at 18 cents and 30 cents for 2018 of course the out turn is going to be dependent on a lot of what new products can deliver in sales.
At the end of September, Lasco has shareholders’ equity of $4.6 billion with borrowings of $1.58 billion with $265 million to be repaid within twelve months and overdraft of $353 million. Trade receivables stood at $1.76 billion with inventories of $719 million while trade payables is at $1 billion.
The stock traded on Friday at $4.60 at a PE of 25 times 2018 earnings and 16 times 2019.

Lasco Distributors drop to $7

Lasco Distributors shares dropped to $7 with 257,123 units trading after the courts handed partial judgement in its case for damages against Pfizer resulting from an injunction from selling the drug Salts of Las Amlodipine in 2005.
Lasco’s claimed US$300 million but the court is saying that the amount is too high based on the evidence presented.
In an interview with Lascelles Chin in 2014, he confirmed that the amount was sales estimated to be lost. In such cases the amount to be claimed would be loss of profits. From all indications, the loss is unlikely to be more than 50 percent of this amount. Based on the exchange rate of J$59.06 used to compute the inventory losses from disposal of the drug for Medimpex, the loss is likely to be priced using this rate with interest to be computed at the local interest rates.

Juniors resume rally

Trading picked up on the Junior Market on Thursday with almost three times the levels on Wednesday as 18 securities changed hands, resulting in an exchange of 1,808,817 units valued at $8,566,954.
A total of 23 securities traded on Wednesday, accounting 696,098 units valued at $3,413,352. At the close of market activities, the prices of 5 securities advanced, 7 declined and 6 remained unchanged, leading to the Junior Market Index advancing 19.87 points, to close at 3,228.85.
Trading ended with an average of 100,490 units for an average of $475,942 in contrast to 30,265 units for an average of $148,407 on Wednesday. The average volume and value for the month to date amounts to 61,095 units valued at $292,202. In contrast, October closed with an average of 74,690 units valued at $362,548 for each security traded.
IC bid-offer Indicator| At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice| bid-offer indicator reading shows 2 stocks ended with bids higher than their last selling prices and 5 with lower offers.
At the close of the market, Blue Power concluded trading at $45, with 1,000 units, CAC 2000 settled 45 cents higher at $6.95, with 1,103 shares, Caribbean Flavours traded 10 cents higher at $12, with 3,205 shares, Caribbean Producers finished trading with a loss of 9 cents at $3.70, with 27,500 units, Express Catering traded 25 cents higher at $4.75, with 18,300 stock units. General Accident settled with a loss of 10 cents at $3.01, with 7,324 shares, Honey Bun finished with a loss of 30 cents at $4.60, with 500 shares, Jamaican Teas ended trading at $4.10, with 25,971 units, Jetcon Corporation ended with a loss of 4 cents at $4.80, with 159,841 shares. Knutsford Express ended trading at $14.80, with 4,226 shares, Caribbean Cream finished at $5.50, with 20,000 shares, Lasco Distributors settled 13 cents higher at $8.14, with 299,753 shares, Lasco Financial finished at $5, with 145,831 stock units. Lasco Manufacturing finished 1 cent higher at $4.40, with 150,582 units, Medical Disposables settled with a loss of 15 cents at $5.65, with 2,784 shares, Main Event finished at $5.60, with 82,039 shares, Paramount Trading finished trading with a loss of 1 cent to close at $2.99, with 684,249 units and Stationery and Office settled with a loss of 45 cents at $4.85, with 174,609 stock units.
Prices of securities trading for the day are those at which the last trade took place.

Knutsford Express revving up

One of Knutsford Express buses.

Jamaica’s intra island transport company, Knutsford Express, is enjoying extraordinary times, with a sharp increase in revenues and profits but the company’s management is not sitting on their laurels as they actively seek areas for future growth and profits.
In the latest quarter to August, revenues jumped a strong 37 percent, to $237 million and spawned a 57 percent rise in profit of $57 million. Of interest is the continued growth, on top of previous year’s increases. For while revenues in the August 2016 quarter rose 21 percent with flat profit, by the second quarter revenues climbed 37 percent over the 2015 levels, to $176 million and profit rose 19 percent to $30 million.
Revenues rose 33 percent for the third quarter to $203 million and profit almost doubled to $53.7 million, thanks partially to an $8.5 million gain on sale of fixed assets. Excluding the one off gain, profit would be up 63 percent for the quarter. Expenses increased 25 percent, quite a bit slower than revenues, helping in the growth in profit. Knutsford, unfortunately does not break out direct operating expenses from administration cost but data shows that certain direct cost not counting labour cost, to be around a third of revenues. Increased revenues would have added close to 50 percent of the increase in overall cost.

Knutsford’s New Kingston depot

By the end of 2017 fiscal year revenues climbed 29 percent over 2016 and profit by 28 percent, just below the 35 percent increase for the nine months to February. Operating revenues for the last quarter of the just concluded fiscal year was in line with the amount generated in the third quarter.
When the company went public, it had 54 employees in 2013, up from 47 in the previous year, climbing to 100 by May 2016, and remaining there to May this year, resulting in some economies of scale.
IC is forecasting revenues to pass the $1 billion mark for the first time, by the end of the fiscal year with profits ended up around $280 million or 50 cents per share, with the next fiscal year’s earnings hitting 90 cents per share. The stock trades on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange around $15 with a PE ratio of 27 and 16 times 2019 earnings versus 14 for the market currently.
Knutsford generated $73 million in cash flow for the quarter and expended $69 million on the acquisition of fixed assets to end up with $85 million in cash and bank balances and investments $92 million. The company owes $55 million in loans and boast net worth of $539 million.

Big jump in Paramount profit

Paramount new designed offices.

Junior Market listed Paramount Trading, enjoyed a big turn-around in profit for the first quarter to August this year, with an increase of 126 percent, to $34 million from a 31 percent increase in revenues to $331 million.
Importantly, Paramount incurred exceptional expenses in the first quarter, last year, as the company celebrated its 25 anniversary, IC estimates the cost to be around $20 million, excluding this one off cost, profit would have been flat, in both periods.
Administrative and other expenses jumped from $44 million to $62.7 million, but selling and marketing cost dropped from $24 million to $2.8 million. Direct cost rose 35 percent, reducing gross profit margin with gross profit rising slower than the increase in revenues, at 23 percent to reach $101 million.
Earnings per share amounts to 2.2 cents. IC places full year’s earnings at 19 cents and for the 2019 fiscal year to May 30 cents with the coming on stream of the joint venture lubricant plant.
The directors’ report stated that they have “an optimistic outlook for the rest of the year and is very excited by the opportunities that will be realized. The construction of the blending plant and laboratory, in conjunction with Alllegheny Petroleum is slated to be complete during the next quarter.”
The balance sheet shows net current assets of US$463 million, including inventories of $338 million, receivables of $283 million and cash funds and investments at $97 million. Borrowings are at $55 million up from only $16 million in August 2016.
The stock currently trades at a PE ratio of 15 with the price at $2.90 on the Junior Market against the market average of 14 and seems to be line with the market. What is true, is the nimbleness of management to identify new income generated opportunities that makes staying close to the stock potentially profitable.

Cement to head out of TOP 10

Caribbean Cement increased sales by 14% in Q3 2017.

IC BUY RATED Caribbean Cement that showed all the signs of a big pay day is set to break out of the TOP this coming week as investors belated respond to this year’s results.
The company posted earnings of 88 cents for the September quarter, from a 15 percent increase in volume sales and should earn over $3 per share for 2017 and seems set to earn more than $4 in 2018 as it benefits from an upsurge in construction activity that will accelerate next year. The stock climbed to trade at a 52 weeks’ high of $40 on Friday, but closed at $36.10, a strong 33 percent ahead of the close of the previous week. Berger Paints is up 21 percent from last week’s close and is heading higher with very good prospects for increased profits this fiscal year and the next, as construction activity continues to benefit from increased demand, helped by falling interest rates that will make home ownership less costly than before.
Pulse Investments dropped out of the Top tier and Cable and Wireless has returned, the next set of results should help to move this stock higher. The Junior Market saw one change with Main Event entering, just edging out Stationery and Office Supplies.
The main market enjoyed the fourth consecutive weekly record close, driving the All Jamaica Composite Index to a record 321,000.17. The market is well clear of resistance around 300,000 points on the all Jamaica Index and continues heading to the next major resistance at the 360,000 points range, on its way to the 500,000 points mark in 2018.
At the close of Friday, the average PE ratio for Junior Market Top stocks is at 8.3 and a PE at 8 for the main market TOP 10. The average PE for the overall main market trades at 14.2 and 13.8 for Junior Market, based on 2017 estimated earnings.
At the close of the week, IC’s TOP 10 stocks now trade at an average discount of 40 percent to the average of the market for Junior Market Top stocks and 44 percent for the main market.
Market Watch| Investors should keep a keen eye for Caribbean Cement, Cable & Wireless, NCB, Berger Paints, Jamaica Broilers, JMMB Group, Access Financial, General Accident, Paramount Trading and Stationery and Office.

Profit surges 137% at Express Catering

Starbucks one of the brands Express Catering will sell at the Montego Bay Airport.

Recent Junior Market listed Express Catering, enjoyed a big surge in profit of 137 percent to US$834,447 for the quarter to August, this year.
With management fees removed and revenues jumping 9.7 percent, in line with increased visitor arrivals to Jamaica, Express Catering, operators of a series of restaurants within the Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport good performance, came from revenues of US$3.8 million for the quarter.
The removal of management fees saw administrative and other expenses falling from US$2 million to US$1.7 million, but gross profit rose by US$157,000 as cost of sales grew faster than the top line, at 21 percent thus reducing profit margin. Management in their commentary on the results states that “they have since raised prices to compensate for increased input cost.” Express reported earnings per share of 0.051 US cents. IC places full year’s earnings at 26 Jamaican cents and that for 2019 at 40 Jamaican cents.
“The addition of the Starbucks Coffee to the offerings in the airport is expected to be completed during the third quarter. Work as already commenced on this initiative and will see 3 locations within the Airport,” the directors’ report stated.
The balance sheet shows US$4.56 million due from related party an increase from $3.64 million at the end of May and cash funds at $497,000.
The stock currently trades at a PE ratio of 19 with the price at $4.95 against the market average of 13.6.