Profit melts in the third quarter at Kremi

The 2022 fiscal year started with a blast for the first quarter to May with profit at $54 million after tax, doubling the $27 million in 2020, but a lot of that melted away in the third quarter to November at Caribbean Cream, which trades as Kremi, with the company reporting a loss in that quarter of $25 million down from a profit of $11 million in 2020. The loss brought profit for the nine months to $36 million compared to $85 million in the similar 2020 period.

Caribbean Cream closed at 52 weeks’ low of $3.80

Caribbean Cream did not have a good second quarter with sales rising 5.4 percent and profit falling 85 percent from $47 million to just $7 million due to what the company stated was the introduction of no movement days during the quarter that curtailed sales.
Sales revenues rose 14 percent for the third quarter to $500 million from $441 million but climbed 15 percent for the year to date, to $1.54 billion from $1.33 billion in 2020. The poor performance in the third quarter management attributes to “equipment and infrastructure challenges which we have addressed as we begin the final quarter.” In spelling out the issues Management, stated “at the beginning of the quarter the company faced unforeseen challenges in production resulting in the plant’s efficiency and capacity being impacted negatively. Since then, changes have been made in procedures, equipment and personnel to rectify the problem.”
While the company has been making headways with increased revenues, profit performance has not been consistent for some time, with the exception of the years 2014 to 2017 that enjoyed an annual increase in profits. The turbulence in profits since 2017 and the major problems in the 2021 third quarter reveal a major weakness in management that needs addressing. Such inconsistencies destroy investors’ interest in the company as well as the stock price.
Gross profit fell 13 percent in the quarter to $125 million from $143 million but rose 7 percent for the year to date, to $486 million from $453 billion in 2020.
Gross profit margin in the first nine months of the year, declined in the November quarter to 32 percent from 34 percent in the 2020 and for the quarter it dropped sharply to just 24 percent compared to 32 percent for the 2020 and that was a major contributor to the loss in the period.
Administrative expenses rose 15.5 percent to $129 million in the quarter and increased 26 percent in the nine months period to $378 million. Sales and distribution expenses increased by 8 percent in the quarter and the nine months to $16 million from $15 million in 2020 and from $43 million to $47 million, respectively. Depreciation rose from $88 million in 2020 to $95 million and is likely to rise further with the completion of the power generating plant being installed and is expected to make a major impact on the cost of utilities in the new fiscal year. Finance cost more than doubled in the quarter to $8 million from $4 million in 2020 and jumped 52 percent from $13 million to $20 million for the nine months.
Gross cash flow brought in $130 million down from $185 million in 2020. There was a release of $30 million from working capital but additions to fixed assets consumed $263 million funded by net loan inflows of $328 million. Payment of dividends consumed $26 million, more than twice the $11 million in 2020.
At the end of the period, shareholders’ equity stood at $844 million. Long term loans amounted to $654 million and short term at $11 million. Current assets ended the period at $553 million, including trade and other receivables of $82 million, inventories of $244 million and cash and bank balances of $227 million. Current liabilities ended at $140 million and net current assets at $413 million.
Earnings per share for the quarter was negative 7 cents and a profit of 10 cents for the year to date. IC Insider.com forecasts 27 cents per share for the fiscal year and $1 for 2023.
The stock traded at $5.40 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 20 times 2022 earnings and a PE of 5.4 times fiscal 2023 earnings. Net asset value is $2.33 with the stock selling at 2.4 times book value.

Profit surged 533% in Q2 at Paramount

Profit surged 533 percent in the 2021 November quarter, at Paramount Trading, to $29 million from just $4.5 million in 2020 after tax, but profit for the six months to November, popped by a much slower 141 percent to $48 million from $20 million in 2020. Notwithstanding the growth in the second quarter, the company is far from the profit made in the 2016 fiscal year of $173 million, with an average quarterly profit of $43 million.

Paramount Trading

Sales revenue jumped 30.8 percent for the quarter, to $401 million from $307 billion and climbed 15 percent for the half year, to $770 million from $669 million in 2020.
With profits hitting $101 million in 2017, the company has suffered since, with profit dropping to $53 million in 2020, rising in 2021 to $64 million. The current year seems on track to better the 2017 performance based on results to date.  
Gross profit rose 30 percent in the November quarter to $130 million from $100 million in 2020, but just 11 percent for the half year, with $241 million realized versus $216 million in 2020. Gross profit margin slipped in the first half of the year, to 31 percent from 32 percent in 2020 and declined in the November quarter to 32 percent from 33 percent in 2020.
Administrative expenses rose 5 percent to $91 million in the quarter and increased just 3 percent in the six months to $181 million. Marketing and sales expenses fell 19 percent to $3 million in the quarter but rose 8 percent for the half year to $5.6 million while Finance cost rose 6 percent in the quarter to $13.4 million from $12.7 million in 2020 but fell 6 percent in the half year from $25.8 million to $24.3 million.
According to the company’s Chairman, Radcliff Knibbs in his report to shareholders on the half year results, “Paramount’s improved performance was achieved by employment of a robust growth strategy.” He went on to state, “we will continue to pivot our operations to take advantage of any possible opportunities that may arise.” He concluded that “we expect that our strategic objectives will be realized through strong income growth and cost containment.
Gross cash flow brought in $75 million but after addition to fixed assets and repayment of loan, the net cash position ended at $41 million, pushing cash resource to $302 million at the end of November. Shareholders’ equity stood at $844 million with long term loans at $454 million and short term at $47 million. Current assets ended the period at $948 million inclusive of inventories of $468 million, receivables of $346 million, cash and bank balances of $124 million. Current liabilities ended the period at $437 million. Net current assets ended the period at $511 million
Earnings per share came out at 2 cents for the quarter and 3 cents for the year to date. IC Insider.com is forecasting 12 cents per share for the fiscal year ending May 2022 and 20 cents for 2023. The stock that is now added to IC Insider.com TOP15 list at 11th position, traded at $1.37 on Friday, up 44 percent from a low of 95 cents in 2021 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 11 times 2022 earnings and 7 times 2023 projected earnings. Net asset value is 55 cents with the stock selling at 2.5 times book value.  The stock price has clearly broken the long term declining trend but faces some short term resistance now around $1.40, but the recent results could well allow it to break free of that level.
The company paid a dividend of 4 cents in January 2021 and again in January 2022 amounting to $62 million.

New ICTOP10 listings & more big gains

Long time Junior Market ICTOP10 listed Access Financial, finally broke away from resistance and jumped 31 percent for the week to $26.28, but traded at a 52 weeks’ high of $28 on Wednesday and just barely hung on to the top ten in the tenth spot.

Access Financial Services top performing ICTOP10 stock for the past week.

In the Main Market, Radio Jamaica rose 19 percent to $4.10, the 2021 ICTOP10 top performer, Caribbean Producers, climbed 5 percent and finally slipped out of the top 10 after a ride lasting more than a year and a gain of 573 percent, but the stock has more room for healthy gains.
Sagicor Group returns to the TOP10 Main Market and Stationery & Office Supplies returns to the Junior Market listing after an earnings upgrade, following a review of the forecasted numbers as the company continues to recover to pre-Covid-19 sales and  Fontana dropped out with a 4 percent rise, but has much more room to grow in 2022.
Junior Market Elite Diagnostic gained 10 percent to $3.50, Honey Bun rose 7 percent. AMG Packaging lost 10 percent to end at $3.05, Lasco Financial lost 8 percent, Caribbean Assurance Brokers fell 7 percent and General Accident slipped 5 percent.
The week ended with the supplies for some stocks becoming very limited, this applies to Access and Radio Jamaica. Newly listed Spur Tree Spices came in for profit taking on Thursday and Friday after the price peaked at $2.75 and closed the week at $2.15 a fall of 22 percent from the peak, which suggests suggesting more room for decline before the price bottoms. That could take it to around $1.95 based on declines from peak to through of some previous IPOs.
The sharp price movements in the Junior Market reduced the potential gains markedly, with the average increase projected for the TOP 10 Junior Market stocks now at 119 percent versus 122 percent last week.
The top three stocks are Lasco Distributors followed by Caribbean Assurance Brokers and Lasco Financial to gain between 131 and 150 percent, compared to 124 and 160 percent, previously.
The potential gains for Main Market stocks moved from 144 percent to this weeks’ 139 percent this week, with the top three stocks being Guardian Holdings followed by JMMB Group and Sygnus Credit Investments all projected to gain between 151 and 254 percent down from 161 and 257 percent last week.
After trading at a big discount to the Main Market for two years, the average PE for both the JSE primary markets have virtually merged around 16 times earnings multiple based on 2021 earnings, with the Junior Market looking poised to surpass the main Market soon. The difference in potential gains for both TOP10 listings shows the Junior Market with an average rise of 118 percent versus 139 percent for the Main Market. That is an indication that the Junior Market is priced slightly higher than the Main Market.
The Junior Market closed the week, with an average PE of 16 based on ICInsider.com’s 2021-22 earnings and is currently below the target of 20 and the average of 17 at the end of March last year based on 2020 earnings. The TOP 10 stocks trade at a PE of a mere 9.2, with a 43 percent discount to that market’s average.
The Junior Market can gain 25 percent to March this year, based on an average PE of 20 and 6 percent based on an average PE of 17. Twelve stocks representing 29 percent of all Junior Market stocks with positive earnings are trading at or above this level averaging 25.
The average PE for the JSE Main Market is 16.5 just 15 percent less than the PE of 19 at the end of March and 21 percent below the target of 20 to March 2022. The Main Market TOP 10 average PE is 8.7 representing a 47 percent discount to the market and well below the potential of 20. A total of 14 stocks or 30 percent of the market trade at or above a PE of 19, with most over 20, for an average roundabout 25, suggesting that the accepted multiple is between 20 and 25 times the current year’s earnings.
ICTOP10 focuses on likely yearly winners, accordingly, the list may or may not include the best companies in the market. ICInsider.com ranks stocks based on projected earnings to highlight winners from the rest, allowing investors to focus on potential winning stocks and helping to remove emotional attachments to stocks that often result in costly mistakes.
IC TOP10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns up to March 2022 and ranked in order of potential gains, based on the possible increase for each company, considering the earnings and PE ratios for the current fiscal year. Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and result in weekly movements in and out of the lists. Revisions to earnings per share are ongoing, based on receipt of new information.

Persons who compiled this report may have an interest in securities commented on in this report.

Junior Market closing in on Main Market PE

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The Junior Market started the year with an average PE ratio of 10 times earnings for 2021 and it gradually moved up throughout last year as the market grew by 33 percent from the start of 2021 to mid-January pushing the ratio to 15.8 times 2021 earnings at the close of trading on Wednesday.
The growth in the PE ratio is remarkable and is helped by nearly 30 percent of Junior Market stocks trading at a PE around 19 times earnings and over. The Junior Market PE is back at 10 times 2022 projected earnings, an indication that investors can look forward to another year of robust growth. Some companies’ PEs are low due to a fall out in revenues and profits for a number of them as investors await new information before revaluing them.
The Junior Market that was playing second fiddle to the Main Market is rapidly closing the gap with a difference now just a few points adrift of the average PE Ratio of 16.2 times 2021 earnings for the Main Market at the close of trading on Wednesday, a level that is has been at from late last year. The Main Market PE fluctuated mostly between 15 and 17 times for most of last year.
At the end of April last year, the average PE for the Junior Market was 13 and 16.5 for the Main Market. At the end of June it was 13 and 17 respectively and September 12 and 15.5 times.
The PE Ratio is one of the most popular formulae used by investors in computing appropriate stock values. In investing in stocks the PE ratio helps in assessing if a stock is overpriced or not. If it is not and is priced lower than others in the market especially those priced lower than the average of the market then an investment in the stock could be a good one.
ICInsider.com daily stock market reports for Jamaica carry the PE for each ordinary share with the projected earnings for each company so investors can make their assessment using those reports.

Junior Market index jumps 114 points

The Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market sprang into action in early trading on Thursday, with the market index surging 114.24 points within 15 minutes of the opening to reach 3,616.99 points just 46 points from the all-time high of 3,662.94 at the close on August 14, 2019.
With 40 minutes of trading, the Junior Market index slipped back to 3,574.73 with newly listed Spur Tree trading at $2.57 and the JSE Main Market was marking time with the All Jamaican Composite Index at 436,547.28, up marginally from the 435,448.73 at the close on Wednesday.
The sharp move today is in conformity with ICInsider.com’s forecast that the Junior Market was in a  highly bullish technical stance to break higher sooner than later on the way to more than 4,000 points.

3 new ICTOP10 listings as Spur Tree exists

The Junior Market ICTOP10 stocks have three new listings in a week that saw Spur Tree Spices trading for the first time on Friday with the price climbing to $1.32 for a rise of 32 percent since the Initial Public offer at the end of 2021, there are no new Main Market listings.
Other stocks that were in the spotlight this past week were ones that lasted off to record new all-time highs and include AMG Packaging, Caribbean Assurance Brokers, Caribbean Producers and Dolphin Cove a TOP10 contender up to the week ending December 2, also hit a 52 weeks’ high of $23.50 this past week to be up more than 100% since it came into the top flight in August last year at $9.86.
With the rise in the price of Spur Tree Spices, the stock is one of four to move out of the TOP10, followed by Medical Disposables that 16 percent for the week and Caribbean Cream that reported terrible third quarter results with a loss being made in the period as revenues climbed 14 percent in the quarter. Coming into the TOP10 are Lumber Depot, Fontana and General Accident.
Junior Market, AMG Packaging rose a strong 45 percent, ahead of the first quarter results to November that showed profit after tax jumping a big 146 percent over 2020. Investors can expect more gains to come this coming week as the stock traded up $3.90 last week. Caribbean Assurance Brokers climbed to a new 52 weeks’ high during the week and closed $3.12 up 26 percent, Access Financial Services continues to seesaw and recovered 17 percent to $20 this past week and Elite Diagnostic gained 8 percent to $3.18.
The sharp price movements in the Junior Market reduced the potential gains markedly, with the average gains projected for the TOP 10 Junior Market stocks now 122 percent versus 148 percent last week.
The top three stocks are Access Financial Services followed by Lasco Distributors and Caribbean Assurance Brokers can gain between 124 and 160 percent, sharply down from 182 and 204 percent, previously.
Major Main Market TOP10 moving stocks are Caribbean Producers up 7 percent, to $15.99 and Radio Jamaica rallying 7 percent to $3.45 as increased buying interest came in for the stock.
The potential gains for Main Market stocks moved from 146 percent to this weeks’ 144 percent this week, with top three Main Market stocks being Guardian Holdings followed by JMMB Group and Radio Jamaica all projected to gain between 161 and 257 percent up from 199 and 258 percent last week.
The Junior Market closed the week, with an average PE of 14.7 based on ICInsider.com’s 2021-22 earnings and is currently well below the target of 20 and the average of 17 at the end of March this year based on 2020 earnings. The TOP 10 stocks trade at a PE of a mere 9.1, with a 38 percent discount to that market’s average.
The Junior Market can gain 36 percent to March this year, based on an average PE of 20 and 16 percent based on an average PE of 17. Eleven stocks representing 26 percent of all Junior Market stocks with positive earnings are trading at or above this level averaging 25.
The average PE for the JSE Main Market is 16.4, just 16 percent less than the PE of 19 at the end of March and 22 percent below the target of 20 to March 2022. The Main Market TOP 10 average PE is 8.5 representing a 48 percent discount to the market and well below the potential of 20. A total of 14 stocks or 30 percent of the market trade at or above a PE of 19, with most over 20, for an average roundabout 25, suggesting that the accepted multiple is between 20 and 25 times the current year’s earnings.
ICTOP10 focuses on likely yearly winners, accordingly, the list may or may not include the best companies in the market. ICInsider.com ranks stocks based on projected earnings to highlight winners from the rest, allowing investors to focus on potential winning stocks and helping to remove emotional attachments to stocks that often result in costly mistakes.
IC TOP10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns up to March 2022 and ranked in order of potential gains, based on the possible increase for each company, considering the earnings and PE ratios for the current fiscal year. Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and result in weekly movements in and out of the lists. Revisions to earnings per share are ongoing, based on receipt of new information.

Persons who compiled this report may have an interest in securities commented on in this report.

Profit surges 146% at AMG Packaging

ICInsider.com TOP15 2022 selection, AMG Packaging released first quarter results to November, with revenues climbing 55 percent to $270 million from $174 million in 2020 and delivered profit before tax of $45.5 million, 187 percent above just $16.4 million in 2020 and profit after tax rose 146 percent to $35 million from $14.3 million in 2020. The company reported profit after tax of $60.6 million or 12 cents per share for the fiscal year to August 2021.
The latest results were helped by a foreign exchange gain of $4.7 million in the quarter from a loss of $6 million in 2020.
Gross profit rose 40 percent from $53 million to $74 million as input cost rose a bit faster than revenues at 61 percent to $196 million from $121 million in 2020.
Administrative and other costs rose modestly from $32.2 million to $33.3 million.
Cash inflows amounted to $52 million up from$23 million in 2020. Working capital needs and acquisition of fixed assets amounting to $18 million resulted in an increase in cash funds of $5 million and ended in cash on hand at $135 million.

AMG new factory space.

AMG new factory space that will house the new machine.

Investment in Fixed assets stood at $468 million up from $362 million in 2020, with current assets at $503 million which includes Inventory of $207 million up from $129 million at the end of November 2020. Current liabilities stood at $197 million while long term liabilities were $102 million and shareholders equity at $643 million.
ICInsider.com projects full year earnings at 35 cents as the results for the full year will benefit from increased efficiencies to flow from the new box making machine that is now on site, with installation expected to be completed in February. the new machine will print in multi colours and open up new business opportunities for the company.
The stock closed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange today at a new closing high of $3.40 and a PE of 9.7.
The stock traded at the beginning of October last year at $1.70 and is up 100 percent since then.

30% gain for Spur Tree Spices

Shares in Spur Tree Spices started trading this morning at $1.30, with a mere 3 shares changing hands as the newly listed Junior Market stock attracts huge demand, with 389 bids posted ahead of the market’s opening, ranging from $1 to a high of $1.30, with demand totaling 6.46 million units at $1.30.
An indication of demand to buy below $1.30, is as follows; 527,000 units at $1.29, a total of 3.9 million shares at $1.25 and 3.6 million at $1.20. Sell orders start at $1.50 with 12,500 followed 1,500 units at $1.70, 26,000 at $1.80 56000 at $1.99 and 107,000 at $2 with other reasonable offers going up $3.20.
Under the stock exchange rules, trading in the stock is now frozen until 10.30 this morning and cannot trade at a higher price than $1.30 today. Following the reopening of the stocks for trading, after trading was frozen, bids have come in for more than 36 million units at $1.32, over 23 million at $1.31 and 38.46 million at $1.30.
The movement in the stock helped push the Junior Market Index over the 3,500 mark for the first time since early October 2019.

Spur Tree Spices lists on Friday on the JSE

Shares of Spur Tree Spices will list on Friday on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange following the successful Initial Public Offering said to have attracted applications from more than 5,000 investors and raised $335.4 million before expenses for the company.
The company indicated that the issue attracted $1.3 billion and was 6 times oversubscribed. Proceeds will be used to pay listing expenses, with the remainder to be used for the repayment of debts of $170 million and to facilitate business expansion.
The listing, the second such listing on the Junior Market since the start of 2021 will bring the total stocks on the exchange to 42. A few others are expected to follow in short order as new offerings are made to the public early in 2022.
Earnings per share for Spur Tree should end the year at 11.5 cents before taxation at a PE of 8.7 times earnings, below the market average of 14.4 currently, with a high degree of oversubscription, the PE ratio will jump on Friday and into next week. IC Insider.com projects 18.5 cents earning for 2022 from a profit of $300 million at a PE of 5.4 times 2022 profit.

Profit drop at Elite but watch this stock

Revenue of $118 million for the first quarter in 2020 fell 7 percent to $110 million in the first quarter to September 2021, resulting in a loss of $10.3 million compared to a profit of $16.7 million the previous year for Elite Diagnostic.
Reduced revenues impacted profit margin with a decline to 61.4 percent from 66.25 percent in 2020 and from 63.3 percent for the fiscal year to June. Input cost climbed 6 percent to $42 million from $40 million and gross profit fell 14 percent to $67 million from $78 million.
On the surface, the last reported results for the company may drive fear into the minds of investors but that would lead to a miss of potentially profitable investment for the future. “Net profit was impacted by increased administrative expenses, depreciation and foreign exchange losses”, management advised shareholders in their commentary on the results.

Elite Diagnostics

The report to shareholders continued, “revenue was affected by Covid-19 with reduction of operating hours and reduced procedures. Currently, the company’s operational hours are back to normal. An unusually lengthy breakdown of the CT also impacted our revenues during the quarter. Along with our regular preventative maintenance of the machines, the company has invested in equipment and parts to reduce some of the downtimes of the machine breakdowns”.
“The St Ann location revenue is increasing month over month since all modalities became operational in the first quarter of 2020. The company is cautiously optimistic as the effects of Covid-19 more negatively impact the rural areas of the country. The company continues to see steady demand for imaging services at all locations.”
Administrative expenses rose 13.5 percent to $46 million in the quarter from $40 million and depreciation jumped 44 percent to $25 million from $17.4 million in 2020. Finance cost was steady at $10 million, while foreign exchange movement resulted in a $3 million swing from a surplus of $1 million in 2020 to a loss of $2 million in 2021.
In spite of the loss incurred in the quarter, gross cash flow was positive with inflows of $15 million, down from $28 million in 2020. Additions to fixed assets offset by loan inflows utilized just over $15 million as net cash outflow for the period ended at $503,581. At the end of September, shareholders’ equity stood at $449 million, long term loans at $209 million and short term loans at $10 million. Current assets ended at $679 million, including trade and other receivables of $44 million, cash and bank balances of $39 million. Current liabilities ended the period at just $20 million, with net current assets ending at $659 million.
The results ended with earnings per share being a loss of 3 cents for the quarter, down from 4 cents for the quarter in the prior year. Based on the latest results, most investors would be looking elsewhere for investment opportunities. In doing so, they could miss one of the biggest winners in 2022. IC Insider.com forecasts 30 cents per share for the fiscal year ending June 2022, with a PE of 10 times the current year’s earnings based on the price of $3.05 the stock traded at the Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market. The company has more room for revenue growth from the addition of new equipment, continued growth in the relatively new St Ann location and additional branches in the future.

Drax Hall branch of Elite.

The company paid a dividend of 9 cents in October this year 2021. Net asset value is $1.29, with the stock selling at just over 2.4 times book value.
Reporting to shareholders in the annual report for the year to June, the chairman, Steven Gooden, stated, “we have been fortunate to see an increased demand for imaging services and were prudent to have sought to capitalize on this demand – through the acquisition of new equipment. We will continue to pursue this growth strategy by installing a new MRI system at the Liguanea branch, which we anticipate will be operational beginning early 2022. This new machine, we expect, will serve to reduce the company’s operating hours and thereby its related expenses. Additionally, with the St Ann branch issues finally resolved, the location is now operating at the desired capacity. Looking ahead, the near to medium term holds the classic combination of challenge and opportunity.On the one hand, we see continued challenges in terms of rising prices, compounded by the depreciation of the local currency; the company pays all its rent and purchases equipment and supplies from overseas in US dollar, so any depreciation in the dollar will affect the bottom line. On the other hand, we also see our cash flows remaining stable, if not strong, amid the continued high demand for our services. The demand is so strong that, were it not for dealing with the issues associated with the Drax Hall branch, the company might well have advanced plans for another branch. We intend to approach growing the company’s footprint with alacrity and all seriousness in the coming year”.