Solid buy – Stationery and Office Supplies

Stationary and Office Supplies – Montego Bay offices.

Stationery and Office Supplies stock is under pressure, having traded around the $5 level for some time, dropped to $4 in trading during last week with minimal demand for the stock currently.
But investors should probably be taking a different approach to the stock and piling into it for a big rally down the road as the fundamentals are strong and getting better.
Revenues climbed 23.7 percent in the June quarter to $212 million and 22 percent to $432 million for the half year, by the September quarter the growth climbed to 37 percent to $233 million, pushing revenues for the year to September to an increase of 27 percent to $665 million. Based on the bounce in revenues that some companies received after listing, the strong growth in revenues seen in the third quarter is said to have continued for the December quarter. Full year results are expected, by the first week in March and should be in the range of $100 million based on IC Insider.com projections. Reports are that the full year results for 2017 exceeded expectations which was around $70 million at the time the IPO was offered and adjusted internally upwards based on third quarter results. At the end of September profit before tax reached $69 million well ahead of the $48 million recorded at the same time in 2016 and vastly more than the $53 million reported for all of 2016. The 2017 results are not likely to show any weakness as occurred in 2016.
SOS had acquired a building which was converted to a warehouse to allow for expansion of It’s offerings, this is now in use with some 6,000 square feet occupied. According to reports there are “lots of plans and expectations going forward for good business growth”. IC Indsider.com gathers that the December quarter that is normally the worse quarter for them due to the holidays, but the 2017 last quarter was the best quarter in the company’s history.
IC Insider.com projects earnings before tax at 50 cents per share for 2017 based on the average number of shares issued for the year, up from 40 cents when the shares were offered for sale and 75 cents for 2018 based on projection for continued strong growth in revenues.
At a last traded price of $4.50 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, the stock remains a buy as it will benefit from strong growth in 2017 and future growth in 2018 and beyond. Investors should take advantage of the current softness in the stock price and wait for the inevitable strong gains ahead.

Cargo Handlers Q1 profit falls

Overvalued Cargo Handlers.

Montego Bay’s based, Cargo Handlers suffered a 13 percent dip in profit, for the December quarter to $40 million from $46.2 million in 2016 from flat operating revenues of $86.57 million compared to $86.99 million in 2016 and resulted in earning per share 11 cents.
Gross profit margin declined in the quarter to 59 percent from 61 percent in the 2016, as wages increased ahead of income, leading to Other Operating Expenses rising 7 percent to $35.75 million. Other income fell 84 percent to $544,786 from $3.42 million and interest income declined by 36 percent to $470,000. Revaluation of the Jamaican dollar would have had a negative impact on other income. Administrative expenses rose 20 percent to $5.4 million and finance cost climbed by 35 percent, to $336,038. Taxation payable on the profit fell from $6.66 million in 2016 to $5.76 million.
Gross cash flow, brought in $58 million but increased working capital needs reduced cash inflows to $27 million and raising cash funds to $272 million.
At the end of December, shareholders’ equity stands at $390 million with borrowings at just $0.9 million. Net current assets ended the period at $331 million well above payables of just $17 million.
The stock that traded at a high of $30 in early 2017, last traded at $10.50 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, with a PE ratio of 21 times IC Insider.com projected earnings of 50 cents for 2018. The average PE for the market is now 10, suggesting that Cargo Handlers stock price could slip back or remain around the present level for a prolonged period.

Q3 profit jumps 73% at Lasco Manufacturing

Lasco Manufacturing products.

Lasco Manufacturing profit, jumped 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.
Sale revenues rose 22 percent for the quarter, to $1.78 billion from $1.46 billion but fell 3 percent for the year to date, to $5.28 billion from $5.42 billion in 2016.
Improvement in profit margin in the first half of the year, declined in the December quarter to 32 percent from 34 percent in the 2016, for both the quarter and year to date period, as input cost climbed 27 percent, compared to just 1 percent for the year to date period. The effect, operating profit rose just 12 percent in the quarter to $561 million from $503 million but fell 9 percent for the year to date, to $1.66 billion from $1.83 billion in 2016.
Other operating expenses fell 10 percent to $301 million in the quarter but rose 5 percent in the nine months period to $698 million. Finance cost declined in the quarter, to $34 million from $42 million in 2016 and from $126 million to $99 million for the nine months period.
Earnings per share came out at 5 cents for the quarter and 13 cents for the nine months and should end the fiscal year ending to March around 20 cents.

Bottle heating machine at Lasco Manufacturing.

Revenues and profits were impacted earlier in the year, by a number of factors including phasing down production in April and May, and additional marketing and brand building investments to support the brands and distribution discounts to support sales. The phasing down of production allowed for critical plant upgrades necessary for sustained improvements in output, cost efficiencies and quality. The expected improvements have materialized’ the Managing Director, James Rawle, stated in his report accompanying the quarterly.
Gross cash flow brought in $694 million but growth in receivables, inventories, addition to fixed assets offset by loan inflows and increased payables and paying $143 million dividends net overdrawn position ended at $518 million. At the end of December, shareholders’ equity stands at $4.84 billion with borrowings at just $1.75 million. Net current assets ended the period $1.52 billion well over Payables of $1.05 billion.
The company rolled out new juice drink in the December quarter and plan to launch carbonated beverages and an energy drink in the March quarter.
The stock traded at $4.40 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 22 times 2018 earnings. The company will go into a new year, come April, that should result in a lowering of the PE with IC Insider.com forecasting 30 cents per share for PE of 15 times earnings.

Access Financial Q3 profit up 12%

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Access Financial reports profit of $158 million in the December quarter, up 12 percent from $142 million in 2016, from trading revenues that grew 18 percent to $423 million from $358 million net of interest cost.
Net profit rose to $505 million, for the nine months over 2016, an increase of just $10.6 million, a mere 3 percent over the similar period in 2016, with provision for loan losses doubling.
Total trading income for the nine months to December, grew 23 percent to $1.22 billion, an increase of $225 million over 2016 and for the December quarter the increase was $65 million to $423 million from $358 million for an increase of 18 percent.
Loans income, rose $97 million or 10 percent to $1.04 billion for the nine months and by 21 percent to $379 million for the December quarter. Net fees and commission income jumped by 91 percent for the nine months to $270 million but by just 5 percent to $73 million in the December quarter.
Amounts set aside for loan losses increased just 12 percent in the quarter to $63 million and a sharp increase of 99 percent for the nine months, to $186 million, with the latter being well ahead of the increase in income for the period. Staff cost rose 24 percent for the December quarter to $99 million and by 42 percent to $277 million for the year to date period.

Access has a long history of consistent growth in income & profits

Total operating expenses for the nine months, increased by 33 percent to $698 million over 2016 and by just 10 percent to $238 million for the last quarter.
Total assets climbed to $3.43 billion at the end of December, from $2.96 billion in the prior year with the loan portfolio rising to $2.87 billion from $2.65 billion at the end of 2016 and $2.62 billion as of March 2017. Shareholders’ equity rose to just over $2 billion.
Earnings per share for the December quarter came in at 58 cents and for the year to date period to $1.84 and should end the full year around $2.60 for the full year for a PE of 17 times. IC Insider.com is forecasting earnings of $4.50 for the 2019 fiscal year for a PE of 10 times projected earnings. The stock last traded on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $45.15.

Profit jumps 237% at Lasco Distributors

 

Lasco Distributors

Lasco Distributors profit jumped sharply in the December quarter by 237 percent to $127 million from just $38 million in 2016.
For the nine months period profit is up just 28 percent to $535 million form $417 million.
Sales revenues were down slightly for the quarter to $3.89 billion from $3.91 billion and was marginally higher for the year to date at $12.24 billion from $12.06 billion in 2016.
Improvement in profit margin along with a rise in other income to $50 million from $19 million in 2016, helped in boosting profit for the December quarter.
Gross profit climbed 21 percent to $676 million for the quarter and 18 percent for the nine months to $2.19 billion from $2 billion in 2016 as margins improved. Gross profit margin rose sharply to 17.4 percent from 14.3 percent for the quarter and for the year to date 17.9 percent from 16.6 percent for the 2016 period.
Operating expenses rose by 9.2 percent to $589 million in the quarter and by 8.3 percent in the nine months period to $1.67 billion.
Earnings per share came out at 4 cents for the quarter and 16 cents for the nine months period and should end around 20 cents for the fiscal year.

Lasco’s products

Gross cash flow brought in $600 million but growth in receivables and advances to related companies, resulted in a rise of just $30 million from operating activities. After paying dividends of $155 million cash funds were reduced from $1 billion at the end of December 2016 to $879 million. Shareholders’ equity stands at $8.1 billion with borrowings at just $215 million. Net current assets is $3 billion just a little below Payables of $3.2 billion.
The company rolled out new flavours in the instant Chocolate range and iCool brand in the quarter. In the coming months, Lasco will expand its product offers.
The stock traded at $3.91 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 19 times 2018 earnings. The company will go into a new year, come April, that should result in a lowering of the PE.

Elite IPO is now closed

Elite Diagnostics initial Public offering of 70.68 million shares to raise just over $141 million, is said to have been closed at midday on Monday, the new opening date.
The level of subscription is unknown presently as the brokers have to be collecting applications from various locations throughout the country. The issue was delayed due to errors in the prospectus that had to be amended before it could reopen. The shares which were priced at $2 each are expected to list on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange and will enjoy 10 years of tax concession that will result in no corporate taxes in the first 5 years and then for the next 5 years at 50 percent of the normal tax rate. the listing will bring to 35 the number of ordinary share listings on the Junior Market.
IC insider.com projects earnings to just over 25 cents for the current year to June and 35 cents for the next fiscal year.

Elite IPO fully subscribed

Elite Diagnostics could be in the Junior Market TOP 10 by the end of 2018.

Word reaching IC Insider.com from usually reliable sources, is that the much delayed Initial Public Offer for Elite Diagnostics was oversubscribed before the revised prospectus was posted on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Monday. 

The company is issuing just over 70 million shares at a price of $2 each and a PE ratio around 9 times estimated 2018 earnings and just under 6 times 2019 estimated earnings. The shares were to have officially opened on Monday January 22, but was put off until Wednesday 24, following amendment to include depreciation that was omitted from interim results to September, and then was pulled to correct errors in the interim results balance sheet and cash flow statement. The issue will now officially open on Monday February 5 and is expected to list on the Junior Market of the stock exchange that will see profit being tax free for 5 years and at half the regular rate for the second 5 years. Brokers for the issue are NCB Capital Markets and Sagicor Investments.

Lasco Financial beats 2017 profit in 9 months

Lasco Financial reports profit for 9 months at $222 million.

Lasco Financial’s profit for the nine months to December, has already eclipsed the full 2017 fiscal year profit of $188 million as nine months profit climbed 36.6 percent to $222 million, from a 35 percent revenue increase from $830 million to $1.12 billion.
Profit after tax, suffered a decline in the third quarter, falling to $54.7 million from $62 million in 2016, as revenues increased by 36 percent to $405 million from $298 million in the 2016 period. The results reflect just one month’s of CrediScotia’s operation.
Responding to the growth in the December quarter results, Lasco’s Managing director, Jacinth Hall-Tracey stated in her report to shareholders, “This is attributed to seasonally strong remittance and cambio inflows bolstered by the income from its new acquisition of CreditScotia, renamed LASCO Microfinance. After recognizing some direct expenses for the acquisition and normal seasonal operational increases, profit from operations for the quarter closed at $91.4 million, an increase of 18.5 percent.” Interest cost associated with the funding of the acquisition was pushed up by $20 million in the quarter and reduced the positive gains in operating profit below pretax profit in 2016 of $75 million to $69 million.
Administrative and other expenses, jumped a sharp 63 percent to $179 million in the third quarter, but for the nine months, it rose by a more moderate 41 percent, to $531 million, well ahead of the increased revenues. Marketing cost rose 22 percent in the quarter to $135 million and 20 percent for the nine months, to $389 million.
Total assets jumped from $1.55 billion at the end of March 2017 to $3.3 billion with the acquisition of the CrediScotia shares, funded by $1.27 billion from by short-term loans, from related companies. The short-term loans will be repaid in full from a long term instrument being arranged.

Access Financial has assets of $3.3 billion at September 2017.

The acquisition pushed Lasco’s assets to the same amount that Access Financial had at the end of September. There are two differences, Access Financial is valued by the stock market at twice the market value of Lasco’s market value of $6.6 billion, with Access at $11.55 billion. Access’s loan portfolio stood at $2.68 billion at September while Lasco is less than $1.5 billion at the end of December last year.
According to the quarterly report, in the coming months, the loan business will be combined into the subsidiary company. The combined businesses own a network of 13 branches, a large customer base and a billion dollar loan portfolio.
The company looks like it will end 2018 fiscal year with profits around $300 million level with earnings per share of 25 cents. The stock last traded on the Junior Market of the Stock Exchange at$5.24 at a PE around 20 times current fiscal year’s earning, but the focus will be on the next fiscal year when the full benefits of the acquisition of the CrediScotia is fully reflected in the results and one off cost are removed.

Elite Diagnostic IPO opens February 5

Elite Diagnostics could be in the Junior Market TOP 10 by the end of 2018.

Elite Diagnostic initial Public offer that was put off due to errors in the prospectus seems set to open this week, according to the brokers for the issue an advertisement in the Sunday Gleaner states.
According to the advertisement, the issue will open on Monday February 5 and is scheduled to close on February 12. The updated prospectus is expected to be posted on the Jamaica Stock Exchange website this Monday.
The issue was slated to have opened on January 22 at a price of $2 per share with the share and was scheduled to close on January 29 for a total of 70.68 million shares being offered to raise $141 million. Omission of depreciation charge from the profit statement, resulted in an overstatement of the profit for the September quarter resulting in an addendum to the report being released. The addendum did not address errors in the balance sheet relating to fixed assets and some other items, resulting in the cancellation of the opening of the issue. IC Insider.com gathers that the Jamaica Stock Exchange and the Financial Services Commission were reviewing the report last week to ensure that it reflected the correct position.
Of the shares available for subscription in the IPO, 18 million units are reserved for subscription at $2 each. The company currently has 282 million issued shares. The proceeds of the IPO will put the company in a position to repay a substantial part of the debt due lenders amounting to $202 million.
For the financial year ended June last year, the audited financial statements show revenues increasing to $263 million and net profits moved to $44.2 million from $29 million in 2016. Gross Profit margin is very attractive at 67 percent for the 2017 fiscal year with administrative expenses at 31 percent of revenues, excluding depreciation.
Notwithstanding the errors in the interim figures, Elite shares remain BUY RATED with IC Insider.com forecasting profit of 22 cents per share for the current year to June and 35 cents for 2019. The shares are expected to be listed on the Junior Market.

Junior stocks set for strong 2018

IC Insider.com Junior Market TOP 10 stocks for 2018

Junior market stocks performed better than main market stocks in 2017 but that performance does not show in the gains in the market indices of both markets.
The Junior Market rose just 5.3 percent at the end of the year, down from a high of 31 percent in May.
The pull back of the index from its peak pushed the market into very negative technical readings. The first negative is a head and shoulder pattern, then the deadly cross where the short and medium term moving averages have fallen below the long term moving average and to that is an examination of the potential gains for individual stocks show that more two third of them are valued around or above the market average for 2017 earnings. That means that there is not much ammunition left to seriously push this market much higher based on 2017 profit out turn. Weighting down on the juniors is a series of company results that are not reflected positive price driven data.

General Accident could be a leader in the Junior Market in 2018 as they benefit from higher premium rates.

The reports include, Paramount Trading with strong rise in revenues for the November quarter but lower profits as administrative cost rise Caribbean Cream enjoyed a strong 18 percent increase in revenues but that could not overcome a rise in administrative and direct cost in the November quarter, resulting in profit falling from $19 million in 2016 to less than $1 million in 2017 and helped to push six months profit to $71 million versus $137 million in 2016. AMG Packaging revenues jumped 24 percent in the quarter to November but increased cost wipe the sales gains away and more to leave a profit of $10 million versus $18 in the prior year period.
Express Catering is continuing to deliver strong increased earnings but the stock is already well priced and so too is Knutsford Express at which revenues rose by 18 percent in the November quarter but at a slower pace than in the prior year. For the August quarter and profit grew by just 15 percent, with half year earnings per share coming in at 19 cents, full year earnings should come close to 50 cents but the stock is already a high price relative to the overall market.
The positives in the market is that the 45 days moving average is now over stretched and should enjoy some rebound sooner than later. Looking fully at 2018 thinks appear brighter with IC Insider.com pointing to 14 stocks including the IPO, Elite Diagnostics that could double in price and around 8 that could gain over 50 percent.

Elite Diagnostics could be in the Junior Market TOP 10 by the end of 2018.

Based on projected earnings for 2018, the average PE ratio suggests that Junior Market stock prices should grow by 36 percent. Technical readings have the junior market moving to 3,900 points, 43 percent higher than the end of 2017, before major resistance sets in.
The Top 10 Junior market stocks are taken from those listed at the start of 2018. The list therefore excludes Elite Diagnostics which should end in the top of 2018 best Junior Market stocks at the end of the year.
The list comprise some 2017 under performers, insurance companies that should benefit from increased premium income and in the case of Key Insurance reduced administrative cost. Paramount Trading is adding new product lines that should not only boost top line but with bottom-line growth, while Caribbean Producers and Dolphin Cove will benefit from the strong growth in tourism.