Jamaican stocks set for 2020 growth

The Jamaica Stock Exchange saw divergent movement in the three markets it operates, in 2019. While the major focus was on the Main Market performance with 34 percent gain, the US dollar market actually outdid it with gains of 40 percent but the Junior Market was nowhere to be found.

Almost clear skies for the Jamaica Stock Exchange

The Junior Market had its worse performance in three years, with an increase of just 3.4 percent. Last year was the fifth year of annual gains for the Jamaica Stock Exchange. In the past, the five-year mark meant that the market had peaked and was due for a major correction. Technical and fundamental indicators are not pointing in this direction currently.
Technically, the Main Market has 900,000 plus points on its radar, 60 percent away for the All Jamaica Composite index from the start of the year. The market is being steered by an upward sloping support line. There is no indication of any major resistance until it passes the 900,000 points mark.
The PE for the Main Market based on 2020 earnings is down to 16 times, 25 percent below the 2019 PE at the end of 2019 of 20.  NCB Financial performance is going be crucial to the performance of the market index as it controls so much of the market capitalization. In the end, the index is just a barometer of the movement in the value of all the companies listed and investors would be well advised to focus on the quality of stocks that will provide good returns. IC Insider.com forecast shows 13 to 15 companies that could double in price during the next 15 months in the Main Market starting in January.
The Junior Market is poised to move much higher on improved profits for 2019 and 2020, even as some 2019 results were disappointing and did not stimulate investors to acquire these stocks in increasing volumes with many of them still undervalued relative to values in the Main market. Improvement in profitability will convince investors that there are excellent values in this segment of the market.
There are 28 Junior Market stocks with the potential to deliver gains between 100 to 600 percent in 2020 and up to March 2021. The major reason for the large group is the lack of performance in the market in 2019. Investors placed a major focus on the Main Market, driving the PE ration to 21 compared to 14 for the Junior Market. At the end of 2018, both markets were trading around 17 times 2018 earnings. This divergence, suggests that there are good opportunities to profit from in 2020, as investors move to take advantage of undervalued stocks when
The forecast assumes that economic growth will continue during the year around the 2 percent level and that interest rates will remain close to current levels with Treasury bills rates staying under 2 percent. A major factor, that is important in viewing the market is the number of companies that are enjoying strong growth in sales as well as those that are expanding or likely to do so. Such developments bode well for major gains in profit going forward.
Investors should not ignore companies that performed poorly in 2019 but could enjoy a strong turnaround in 2020. The Investors’ Choice 80:20 rule based on 40 years of data, shows more stocks rising form the bottom 10 worse performers in a year and surge into the TOP 10 the following year, while an average of 80 percent of those in the TOP 10 fail to repeat in the following year and since 2016 the average is just one.
With the likelihood of twenty IPOs planned for 2020, investors can look for a series of disruptions in the upward trajectory of the market. For the past two years, there were signs that on each occasion of popular initial public offers, prices of existing stocks came under pressure.  The most recent were the three issues for 2020 to date. This phenomenon is most pronounced in the Junior Market that is far less liquid than the Main Market. The pullback of prices caused by the sell-off to fund IPOs also provides opportunities for investors who may want to pick up existing listed stocks at bargain prices.

Caribbean Assurance oversubscribed

Caribbean Assurance Brokers Initial Public Offer of shares to the public closed shortly after opening on Tuesday, February 18, with the issue oversubscribed, Mayberry Investments, brokers for the issue announced.
Caribbean Assurance Brokers offered 52.5 million ordinary shares at the price of $1.91 per share to the general public and selected group of subscribers.  Mayberry will advise Applicants of the preliminary basis of allotment of the shares by Friday, February 21, under the Junior Market Rules of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (“JSE”). The Company has made an application to list the shares on the Junior Market of the JSE.
The stock is attractively priced and is likely to surge sharply after the issue opens for trading.

Sweet River delisted from Junior Market

Sweet River Abattoir and Supplies became the first Junior Market company to have its shares delisted from the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
The delisting is effective on Monday, February 10, 2020. According to the Jamaica Stock Exchange, “the delisting is in accordance with Junior Market Rule 505 (14) (a) (i) and the Company’s failure to remedy Board Level and financial requirements breaches.
Sweet River was listed in2014 and the shares were undersubscribed, leaving the company short of critical working capital to function properly, as it embarked on building out a new abattoir. The targeted in the IPO was to raise $180 million from the sale of 46.6 million shares to the public, but subscribers only applied for approximately 30.6 million shares amounting to $118 million. Recently, the company’s land and buildings were auctioned off and acquired by the purchaser for far less than the more than $300 million they are recorded on the books.
Sweat River ran up losses of $124 million up to June 2019, according to the last interim report the company released to the JSE and had a net worth of just $19 million.

Caribbean Assurance IPO details out

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Caribbean Assurance Brokers are offering just 52.5 million ordinary shares for sale at the subscription price of $1.91 with a minuscule amount allocated for the general public.
The offer includes 44.36 million units for Reserved Share Applicants, including 5.25 million for Mayberry Investments’ clients with just 8.14 million units available to the general public.
Earnings for the past three years to 2018 have been almost flat, but results to September 2019 show a steep rise putting pretax profit to $71 million compared with $43 million for the full year in 2018. Based on the 2019 results, annualized earnings on 263 million shares that will be in issue after the IPO will translate to earnings of 36 cents per share, with a PE around, five which is well below the Junior Market level.
The company intends to use the net proceeds of the IPO to (i) pay IPO & Listing Expenses, (ii) expand its brokerage operations to other Caribbean territories, (iii) extend the Company’s solar photovoltaic system and for working capital purposes.
The issue opens on February 18 and scheduled to close on March 3, subject to early closure. Investors fortunate to get a good volume will enjoy a nice payday, with the limited supply, the general public will have to be satisfied with the usual dribblings.
The company acts as brokers for International, general and individual Life Insurance and employee benefits.
The directors of the company are Raymond H. Walker, Chairman Chief Executive Officer. Non-executive directors are, Rion B. Hall, Norman Minott, Jennifer Rajpat, Barrington Whyte, Tania Waldron-Gooden, Carlton Barclay and Janice P. Holness.

Growing Lasco Manufacturing profits

Profit at Lasco Manufacturing rose 10.5 percent in the December quarter, to $218 million from $197 million in 2018. For the nine months to December, profit increased by 11 percent to $781 million from $701 million in 2018.
The company’s net results rose modestly, this is due to a hike in its tax bill from $28 million in the 2018 quarter to $71 million in 2019 and from $129 million for the nine months to December 2018, to $169 million in 2019. Before the increased tax charge, the latest quarter results were up a robust 28 percent to $289 million and 14.5 percent for the year to December at $949 million.
The improved profit flowed from a rise in sales revenues of 10 percent for the quarter to $2 billion from $1.8 billion in 2018 and 4 percent for the year to date to $5.9 billion from $5.6 billion in 2018.
The gains in 2019, following on from the March 2018 fiscal year when profit moved from $561 in 2017 to $1.07 billion. The 2017 bene was off sharply from $826 million generated in 2016 and $612 million in 2015. The current fiscal year should see the company surpassing the $1m mark in profits for the second time.
Improvement in profit margin, in the first half of the year, continued into the December quarter with 36 percent from 34 percent in 2018 and for the year to date period, from 34 percent in 2018 to 37 percent this year. Input cost rose 6 percent in the December quarter, to $1.28 billion, compared to $1.2 billion in 2018, and was virtually flat for the year to date period at $3.7 billion versus $3.68 billion.  The rise in revenues and containment of cost below the growth in revenues resulted in operating profit rising 18 percent in the quarter to $719 million from $611 million and almost 11 percent for the year to date to $2.14 billion from $1.9 billion in 2018.

Lasco’s ICool drinks.

Administrative and Other operating expenses rose 7 percent to $393 million in the quarter and 9 percent in the nine months to $1.1 billion. Finance cost declined in the quarter, to $21 million from $26 million in 2018 and $90 million to $75 million for the nine months.
The company continues to expand its capacity. According to James Rawle, Managing Director, “Capital investments were primarily focused on the expansion of the dry plant at White Marl facility and is expected to be completed by the end of the financial year.”
Gross cash flow brought in $975 million, but funds were used to finance a number of items, with $314 million going into stock market investments, funding of a rise in receivables and inventories. Addition to fixed assets absorbed $166 million, while $220 million in loan net of inflows was repaid, with $250 million going into dividend payment. At the end of December, shareholders’ equity stood at $6.5 billion, with borrowings at just $1 billion inclusive of $484 million that will is payable within a year. Net current assets ended the period at $2.4 billion inclusive of trade and other receivables of $2 million, cash and bank balances of $719 million. Current liabilities ended the period at $1.6 billion.
Earnings per share came out at 5 cents for the quarter and 19 cents for the nine months. IC Insider.com is forecasting 30 cents per share for the year to March and 45 cents for the 2021 fiscal year.
The stock traded at $4.25 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 14 times earnings for 2020 and just seven times that of 2021. Net asset value is $1.57, with the stock selling at 2.5 times book value. At prices around the current level, the stock is a buy.

Carreras & Medical Disposable lead TOP 10

The past week saw significant fluctuations in prices of several stocks, leading to notable declines in the market indices of the Junior and Main Market and resulting in some changes in the TOP 10 stocks.
The Junior Market lost General Accident and Lasco Distributors and welcomed back Jetcon Corporation and Dolphin Cove. In the JSE Main Market, the price of NCB Financial fell to $190, with the stock edging out Pulse Investments in the process.
The JSE Main Market ended the week, with an overall PE of 21.1 and the Junior Market 14.2, based on current 2019 earnings. The PE ratio for Junior Market Top 10 stocks averages 9.2 with the Main Market at 11.1.
The targeted average PE ratio is 25, with several stocks trading at that level or just under, in 22 times region, currently. The TOP 10 shares now trade at a discount of 35 percent of the average for Junior Market and Main Market stocks trade at a discount of 47 percent to the overall market.
The average projected gain for the IC TOP 10 stocks is 177 percent for the Junior Market and 129 percent for the JSE Main Market, based mostly on 2019 earnings.
The top three Junior Market stocks are Medical Disposables with projected gains of 257 percent, followed by Main Event with 232 percent and Jamaican Teas is in the third spot with 187 percent likely capital gain, with the price pulling back from $7.40 at the start of the week to $6.98 at the close. During the week, Jamaican Teas announced a three for one stock split, subject to approval by shareholders.
During the week, Sygnus Credit Investments US dollar-based stock that surged to number one spot on the Jamaican Stock Exchange Main Market at the end of the prior week climbed to 18 US cents and moved to the sixth position. Carreras now leads the TOP 10 Main Market stocks with projected gains with 176 percent, followed by Radio Jamaica in the number two spot, with 166 percent and Berger Paints with 152 percent.
IC TOP 10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns to March this year. Forecasted earnings and PE ratio for the current fiscal year are in determining potential gains. The stocks are ranked in the order of likely increases, with the highest-ranked, being the most attractive. Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and will result in movements of the selection in and out of the lists for most weeks. Earnings per share are revised on an ongoing basis as new information is received that can result in changes in and out of the list.

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

Main Event & Sygnus lead IC TOP 10

Main Event revenues are growing strongly.

Entertainment event planners, Main Event and Sygnus Credit Investments US dollar-based stock surged to number one spot on the Junior and Main markets of the Jamaican Stock Exchange in a week with just one change to the TOP 10 lists.
Dolphin Cove’s price moved to $11.90 and the stock moved out of the Junior Market TOP 10 and is replaced by General Accident with the stock price falling to $6.45.
The Jamaica Stock Exchange got some price changing news during the past week. Jamaican Teas announced that the directors would be meeting to consider increasing the share capital and a sub-division of the companies issued shares. That news created added interest in the stock, driving the price from $6.58 to close the week at $7.40. Pulse Investments announced expansion into residential real estate development for sales and the retention of some units. The stock was added to the Main Market TOP 10 in 2019 and is on the verge of moving out, with increased buying interest. KLE Group announced the buy-out of the Tacks and Records restaurant in Montego Bay that will add significantly to revenues and boost profitability. KLE is one to watch. Proven Investments announced another stock offering, this time to the wider public. The move with help to boost broader interest in the stock as it pulls in new shareholders.
The JSE Main Market ended the week, with an overall PE of 21.2 and the Junior Market 14.4, based on current 2019 earnings. The PE ratio for Junior Market Top 10 stocks averages 8.9 with the Main Market at 10.9.
The targeted average PE ratio is 25, with several stocks trading at that level or just under, in 22 times region, currently. The TOP 10 companies now trade at a discount of 38 percent of the average for Junior Market and Main Market stocks trade at a discount of 49 percent to the overall market.
The average projected gain for the IC TOP 10 stocks is 187 percent for the Junior Market and 135 percent for JSE Main Market, based mostly on 2019 earnings.
The top three Junior Market stocks currently are by Main Event with projected gains of 305 percent, followed by Medical Disposables with 257 percent and CAC 2000, with 188 percent likely capital growth.
Sygnus US dollar-denominated stock, holds on to the lead of Main Market stocks with projected gains with 186 percent, followed by Carreras in the number two spot, with 171 percent and Berger Paints with 165 percent.
IC TOP 10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns to March this year. Forecasted earnings and PE ratio for the current fiscal year are in determining potential gains. Possible gains for each stock are ranked, with highest-ranked being the most attractive. Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and will result in movements of the selection in and out of the lists for most weeks. Earnings per share are revised on an ongoing basis as new information is received that can result in changes in and out of the list.

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

tTech & Honey Bun leaves IC TOP 10

Lumber Depot is back in TOP 10 with the price at $1.50.

Jamaican stocks are off to a positive start for 2020, with the JSE all Jamaica Composite Index rising 2,715.02 points and Junior Market adding 29.23 points in two days.
This year’s movements are much stronger than for the same period in 2019 when the All Jamaica Index rose 796.77 points and the Junior Market gained 14.52 points.
Word reaching IC Insider.com is that the prospectus for the Initial Public Offer for Caribbean Assurance Brokers should be out in a matter of days, but it could be as early as Monday.
At the close of the market this past Friday, the Junior Market had two new listings while the Main Market listings remained unchanged. Lasco Distributors and Lumber Depot that fell to $1.50, reentered the TOP 10, replacing Honey Bun that closed the week at $8.49 and tTech that ended the week at $5.50.
The JSE Main Market ended the week, with an overall PE of 21.2 and the Junior Market 14.6, based on current 2019 earnings. The PE ratio for Junior Market Top 10 stocks averages 9.4 with the Main Market 10.2.
The targeted average PE ratio is 25, with several stocks trading at that level or just under, in 22 times region, currently. The TOP 10 stocks now trade at a discount of 37 percent of the average for Junior Market and Main Market stocks trade at a discount of 48 percent to the overall market.
The average projected gain for the IC TOP 10 stocks is 177 percent for the Junior Market and 132 percent for JSE Main Market based mostly on 2019 earnings.
The top three Junior Market stocks currently are Medical Disposables with projected gains of 257 percent, followed by Main Event with 246 percent and Jamaican Teas with 204 percent likely capital growth.
Radio Jamaica still holds on to the lead of Main Market stocks with projected gains with 178 percent, followed by Carreras in the number two spot, with 174 percent and Sygnus US dollar-denominated stock, with 167 percent.
IC TOP 10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns to March next year. Forecasted earnings and PE ratio for the current fiscal year are in determining potential gains. The projected increase for each stock is ranked, with highest-ranked being the most attractive. Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and will result in movements of the selection in and out of the lists for most weeks. Earnings per share are revised on an ongoing basis as new information is received that can result in changes in and out of the list.

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

Lousy 2019 for Junior Market stocks

Junior Market trades

Junior Market did not end 2019 with glory splashed all over it with the market for small and medium-size companies, gaining just 3.1 percent in 2019, down from 18.8 percent in 2018 and 24.3 percent in 2017.
While the premier stocks rose appreciably in 2019, stocks on the Junior Market faltered in its performance in 2019, with the price of only one stock listed on the market at the end of 2018 doubling in value in 2019 and another coming close, with a rise of 97 percent. The Junior Market that saw a half of its listings declining in the year had just four stocks gaining over 100 percent. Three new listings in the Junior Market occupied the top three positions.  Fontana, pharmacy operators, was the top performer and closed the year at $7.30 with a rise of 288 percent on the expectation that the new store at Waterloo Road that opened in the December quarter, will boost income and profit in the 2020 fiscal year. The second-best performer, the advertising and production company – Limners and Bards, was listed in summer and delivered a 200 percent increase for investors who bought the stock at the IPO stage. The recently listed MailPac Group, with gains of 111 percent from the IPO price of $1 took up the number three position.
Honey Bun fresh from the expansion of its bakery operations and a 20.4 percent growth in revenues in the September quarter and profit after tax rising 67 percent for the full 2019 fiscal year, doubled in price with a 103 percent increase. Elite Diagnostic is the sole Junior Market stock from the 2018 TOP 10 to remain in the TOP 10 in 2019. tTech 6th worse performer in 2018, made it to the 2019 Top 10 in the eight position. Jetcon Corporation, the number 9 worse performer and GWest Corporation at number 10 in 2018 again ended in the worse ten performing stocks in 2019, in fourth for GWest and 10th position for Jetcon.
One major reason for the divergence for the performances of the Main Market and the Junior Market is to be found it the valuation multiple for both markets.
While both markets close 2018, with PE ratios around 16 times 2018 earnings the market moved decidedly in different paths with Main Market stocks approaching PE ratio around 20 leaving the Junior Market at just over 14.

Gains fin the Junior Market peaked at 12.8% on August 14 and drifted down since.

Interest rates, in Jamaica, fell again in 2019, with Treasury bill rates that started the year at just over two percent falling to 1.5 percent by year-end. This single move would have encouraged institutional investors to switch focus from money market instruments to stocks. The stocks they would have gone into would be the more established Main Market stocks rather than Junior Market ones. Added to that factor, is the fact the with increased IPOs into the market many individual investors sold stocks to buy into the new issues, leaving less money available for previously listed stocks.

Two new IC TOP 10 listings

With the final days of 2019 draws to a close, investors looking back must ponder how the JSE Main Market stocks outperformed the Junior Stocks by a considerable margin, by growth in the market indices and the number of shares with triple-digit gains.
At the end of the week, JSE Main Market stocks gained 33 percent to just 4 percent for the Juniors as six Main Market stocks more than doubled compared to only three Junior stocks.
The Junior Market had Lasco Distributors and Paramount Trading entering the TOP 10 last week. Still, they were replaced this week, by Honey Bun and tTech, in at number 9 and 10 positions, respectively. There were no changes to the TOP 10 listing for Main Market stocks.
The targeted PE ratio is now 25, with several stocks trading at that level or around 22 currently. The average projected gains for the IC TOP 10 stocks are 172 percent for Junior Market and 152 percent for JSE Main market Top 10 stocks.
The top three Junior Market stocks currently are Medical Disposables with projected gains of 257 percent, followed by Main Event with a potential increase of 227 percent and Jamaican Teas with 223 percent likely capital growth.
Radio Jamaica is still the leading Main Market stock, with an expected increase of 213 percent, even with the price moving up from $1.85 to $2. Pulse Investments is in at the number two spot with a projected increase of 201 percent and Sygnus US dollar-denominated stock, with likely gains of 186 percent, is next.
The JSE Main Market closed the week, with an overall PE of 20.5 and the Junior Market at 14.5, based on current year’s earnings. The PE ratio for Junior Market Top 10 stocks averages 9.4 with the Main Market PE at 10.2.
The TOP 10 stocks now trade at a discount of 35 percent of the average for Junior Market stocks and main market stocks trade at a discount of 50 percent to the overall market.
IC TOP 10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns to March next year. Forecasted earnings and PE ratio for the current fiscal year are in determining potential gains. Possible gains for each stock are ranked in descending order, with the highest-ranked being the most attractive. Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and will result in movements of the selection in and out of the lists for most weeks. Earnings per share are revised on an ongoing basis as new information is received that can result in changes in and out of the list.

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