Everything Fresh picks up Meat company

Everything Fresh traded at $1.61 on Monday.

Everything Fresh completed the purchase and takeover of Meat Experts for a consideration of $50 million, the company reported to the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
The company expects to spend an additional $30 million for upgrades, the release stated. “Meat Experts is a widely integrated manufacturing operation located in Bog Walk, St. Catherine. It has its own abattoir, cutting, processing, packaging and cold storage facilities and logistics network. This acquisition will add several new products to the Everything Fresh lineup, promote the support of local livestock and produce farmers and reduce costs. Everything Fresh will be serving both its bulk and retail clients with additional products that will be launched under the Meat Experts and Everything Fresh brands. Everything Fresh continues to pursue other salient opportunities which exist,” the company stated.
The acquisition provides diversification for Everything Fresh that was previously a purely a distributor of edible goods including fruits and meats.

Everything Fresh two major owners and directors, Mr. & Mrs. Pullen.

Everything Fresh is listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, with the stock closing at $1.61 on Monday.
The suffered a reduction in revenues in the September 2018 quarter from $450 million to $422 million but the nine months period enjoyed a rise from $1.365 billion to $1.39 billion. A loss of $17.5 million was realized in the September quarter versus a profit of $11 before tax in 2017 and for the nine months, profit declined to $27 million before tax from $35 million in 2017. The acquisition could add between $20 to $30 million in profit for the group, based on the capital involved in acquisition and the upgrade to take place.

Cement & General Accident top IC Top 10

IC Insider.com TOP 10 selections return after a break. The selections, are based on 2019 earnings. Quite a number of the 2018 TOP 10 listings appear again in this year’s lists.
New to the Junior Market, are Fontana that was listed in December last year, Lasco Manufacturing, ISP Finance and Medical Disposables. New to the TOP 10 main market list are Caribbean Cement, Sterling Investments, Radio Jamaica and Sygnus Credit Investments.
The three leading Junior Market stocks are General Accident, with potential gains of 310 percent, Stationery and Office Supplies 284 percent and ISP Finance with 250 percent.
The three leading main market stocks are, Caribbean Cement with likely gains of 152 percent, Radio Jamaica, 150 percent and Victoria Mutual investments 147 percent.
Fontana, is projected by IC Insider.com, to earn at 50 cents per share for the current year and should go on to boost earnings for the June 2020 much higher with the opening of its newest branch this year. The prospects for the stock is very good over the next two to three years with the expansion plans that the company has for it. Lasco Manufacturing’s profit for the December quarter was effectively flat at $197 million but is up a strong 32 percent for nine months period. With EPS at 17 cents for the year, to December, full year results could hit 25 cents per share with 2020 moving higher as new product lines deliver more sales and profit. ISP Finance has been gradually building the loan portfolio and reporting improved annual profits but investment in increased staffing to manage expansion has increased cost faster than growth in revenues. The company exhausted the cash on hand in 2018 and borrowed additional funds to expand their loan portfolio. 2019 should be the year that profit break out and justify the current stock price. Medical Disposables delivered improved results in the six months to September last year with increased revenues coming from the new consumer lines that have been added to the product range.
In the main market, the way seems clear for Caribbean Cement to break out this year with the plant upgrade now behind them and the discontinuation of costly import of cement to fill the gap left by lower production as the plant upgrade took place in 2018. The company will benefit from increased sales as the construction sector continues to grow and demand more cement to use in building. Sterling Investmentsshare has been undervalued for sometime and remains so, even after a 5 for 1 stock split in late 2018 that help move the price up. Additional funds from a recent rights issue will place the company in a position to take advantage of other investment opportunities and boost profit. Radio Jamaica has not delivered on the improved profitability after merging with the Gleaner but with income showing some growth against an improving economy, the 2020 fiscal year could start showing improved results. Sygnus Credit Investments is an undervalued stock with earnings to the September quarter negatively affected by the slippage in the rate of exchange of the local currency. Exchange movements does not affect the underlying fundamentals of the company going forward.
The main market closed the week with the overall PE at 13 and the Junior Market at 10. The PE ratio for Junior Market Top 10 stocks average 6.1 and the main market PE is now 8.2.
The TOP 10 stocks now trade at an average discount of 39 percent to the average for the Junior Market Top stocks but it’s a third of what the average PE for the year is likely to be of 20 times earnings. The main market stocks trade at a discount of 37 percent to the overall market.
TOP 10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns within a 12 months period. Stocks are selected based on projected earnings for each company’s current fiscal year. Based on an assumed PE for each, the likely gains are determined and then ranked, with the stocks with the highest potential gains ranked first followed by the rest, in descending order. Potential 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 based on new information received that can result in changes in and out of the list as well.

Compelling case to watch Fontana & Wisynco

Fontana Waterloo Road branch now nearing completion.

Two compelling buys this week that investors should be watching over the next few weeks, are Fontana in the Junior Market and Wisynco in the main market of Jamaica Stock Exchange.
Last week, the results of a few companies were released, but only the results of Wisynco, had the potency to move the stock price, without much delay. More companies will release quarterly reports this week and they are worth watching.
Wisynco reported strong half-year results to December and encountered good buying interest on Friday with nearly 2.7 million shares trading, with little price movement. Trading on Friday may have removed quite a bit of supply to help pave the way for an inevitable price rise at some point in time. The company is yet to reap the full benefit from the new production lines they installed last year and effective providing room for greater profit margin. In addition, they added sugar distribution to the product line up starting in January this year. The company is ripe to add more products for distribution could well add new brands to the lineup that will boost revenues and profit if that happens.  At current price of $10.40 and with a strong increase 36 percent in profits for the December quarter, investors with limited inventory of the stock would be unwise not to add it to their portfolios.

Wisynco could enjoy much increased revenues going forward as new products as added to the line up.

The recent quarterly report of AMG Packaging showed a big improvement of 68 percent in profit to $16.1 million, resulted in garnering increased buying interest around the $2.50 level. The price could move higher with sellers trying to get out around $2.70 level.
Elite Diagnostic rose in price this past week with increased buying interest and may go higher in the coming weeks as the quarterly results for December should show a big improvement over the $1.8 million profit reported in the first quarter to September and point to a much brighter future for this expanding entity.
PanJam Investment has limited supply of the stock offered on the market currently. At the close on Friday, just 79,000 units were shown on the JSE trading platform for sale compared, to 781,000 on the buy side. The lowest offer was 51,000 units at $80. It will be interesting to see what will happen with the price during the week.
Demand for Fontana shares is gradually eating away at supply of the stock with the price closing at $3.60, on Friday. The bid closed at $3.60 on Friday and the price could move higher during the week.  With IC Insider.com projected earnings for the current year at 50 cents per share and the opening of its latest branch this year, the stock has lots of potential gains ahead of it.
General Accident enjoyed lower demand in the past week with the price slipping from $4 to $3.90. The stock is a big value play with the 2018 results likely to come out in the region of 45 cents per share and 2019 even higher and provide solid incentive for the buyers to pick up the stock. Interim results for the full year, are expected to be released this week. Jamaica Stock Exchange shares hit a new high of $14, during the past week, with increasing interest shown in the stock. Exposed supply is currently not high, with expected continued buoyancy in

Seprod shares now trades at $34.85 each.

the market and a big increase in new listings this year, investors seem more aggressive to buy into what should be another year of increased profit for the company. Seprod price moved up to $34.85 with increased demand for the shares continuing against the background of declining supply. The price seems poised to move even higher in the coming weeks as the stock remains attractively priced.
Lasco Manufacturing’s profit for the December quarter was effectively flat at $197 million but is up 32 percent for nine months period. With EPS at 17 cents for the year, to December, there was little fire power to move the stock price during the week. The same is true for Lasco Distributors, with a 24 percent rise in profit to $157 million for the December quarter and 16 percent increase for the nine months to December, to $620 or 18 cents per share. Lasco Manufacturing with EPS close to Lasco Distributors should really see the stock price moving closer to the latter than the $3.10 it closed at on Friday.
NCB Financial remains on the Watch List with strong gains in operating profit for the December quarter, but the stock is finding it hard to break through resistance at the $150 level and may need something out of the ordinary if the price is to move decidedly higher before the summer months.
Barita Investments is worth watching but with the price falling, having gone ex rights during the past week.

Weak demand to affect ICreate stock

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Subscribers for shares in the public offer of 74,062,500 Ordinary Shares in iCreate received a high percentage of the amount applied for, except for applications with more than 400,000 units.
According to Sagicor Investments, the lead broker for the issue, all the applications received, the first 400,000 units in full with those with balances in excess of 400,000 units for the General Public Pool was allocated approximately 1.32 percent of the excess.
This is not great news for many of the investors in the issue as they could see a fall in the price of the stock as there seem to be inadequate demand for the stock at the issue price of $1.01 before it moves higher.
The stock is scheduled to be listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

JSE trading hits record in 2018

The Jamaica Stock Exchange enjoyed its best year ever in 2018, with trading in the main market climbing 110.40 percent over 2,590,383,796 shares in 2017 to reach 5,450,190,431 units valued at $75,469,542,096, up by 105.70% compared to $36,689,806,007 traded in 2017.
In the final quarter of 2018, trading volume excluding block transactions in the main market fell by 13 percent to 915 million shares with the value increasing 62.4 percent to $22,271,459,936, for the highest quarterly value traded for 2018, data from the Jamaica Stock Exchange show.
Trading activity fell in the Junior Market in 2018, versus the previous year, as regular trading declined 70 percent in December and helped push the volume down by 10 percent for the year and the value by 15 percent. Trading in the Junior Market resulted in 26,845 transactions in 2018 and 1,415,717,406 units changing hands for $5,848,812,746 compared to 22,230 transactions and 1,347,735,367 shares valued at $6,863,734,529.90 in 2017, for regular and block transactions.
In the US dollar market, 15.5 percent less transactions occurred, but volume traded was just marginally down to 43,576,278 units with a decline of 30 percent in value to US$8,765,761, from US$12.5 million in 2017.
With trading reaching the above levels and equating to more than US$633 million in 2018, the market   has surpassed the record $40 billion or US$630 million traded in 2005.
For January this year, the overall volume amounted to 1,230,485,201 units valued at $5,675,185,083 up sharply from 201,572,646 shares valued at $3,001,143,584, last year January.
The increased trading while indicating increased buying interest in the market, it is signaling a major switch in interest from the Junior Market stocks to the main market, last year. It also suggest that institutional investors are more involved in the market than before. Finally, it telegraph a strong message about the prospects for the profitability for the Jamaica Stock Exchange should the trend continue.

Watch NCB but Fontana may break out

Jamaica Stock Exchange listed companies will start releasing the December quarterly reports this week. Results could move prices depending on how investors view their strength or weaknesses.  
NCB Financial remains on the Watch List with strong gains in operating profit for the December quarter, resulting in increased demand for the stock last week with the price rising to $152.90 but two big trades on Friday peg the price back to $145. The stock should continue to see buying interest around the current level that could well result in another attempt at the $150 level as investors find it difficult to get meaningful supply at the $145 level. There is currently over 210,000 units on offer at $145. The price is currently below near term resistance at $150. If it breaks through then it faces another at $170 with $200 level being the next big one.
Fontana now has a bid to buy 904,281 units at $3.50, with just 56,452 units on offer, for sale at $3.60. A relatively high degree of overhang of supply of the stock that that was on offer, was bought on Thursday. The reduced supply could now pave the way for buyers to be more aggressive in acquiring shares to benefit from the strong potential gains that lie ahead. General Accident enjoyed greater demand in the past week with the price rising to $4. With the 2018 results likely to come out in the region of 45 cents per share that will provide solid incentive for the buyers to pick up the stock.

Fontana upcoming Waterloo Road branch

Jamaica Stock Exchange shares hit new highs during the past week with increasing interest being shown in the stock. Exposed supply is current not high and with expected continued buoyancy in the market and a big increase in new listings this year investors seem more aggressive to buy into what should be another year of increased profit for the company. Supply of Seprod’s shares continue to decline after a period of high supply following the public sale of 91 million shares that satisfied the market and resulted in increased selling as some investors took profit. The price has been inching higher over the past week or two and seems poised to move higher again in the coming weeks. Wisynco’s directors met last week and announced a 7 cents dividend. Most likely, the second quarter results would have been approve at that meeting and should be released this week. Last year results were posted on the JSE website on February 7. The second quarter results, are expected to be better than the first quarter. Revenue in the September quarter was negatively affected by some disruption in sales due to commissioning of new equipment.
The three Lasco companies should be releasing results for the December quarter by the end of the week and the prices could see some movements as a result.

iCreate IPO oversubscribed

The ordinary shares of iCreate is set to be the next Junior Market listing that will bring the total companies to listed to 38 and the total securities to 40.
Sagicor Investments advised the Jamaica Stock Exchange that the public issue of shares in the one-year old company was oversubscribed with the issue closing on February 1 at 1:00 pm a little less than two days after it opened.
ICreate initial public offer of shares, sought to raise $70 million from 74,062,500 ordinary shares offered to the public at $1.01 each to help fund expansion. The offer opened on Thursday, January 31 and was originally scheduled to close on February 14.
Financial statements for the company showed that they were close to a break even in 2018.
The company is a creative learning institute developed with the aim of providing skills training and development of creatives in the Caribbean and North America.

ICreate prospectus is here

The prospectus, for ICreate initial public offer of shares, is now out. The company seeks to raise $70 million to help fund expansion.
The offer opens on Thursday, January 31 and scheduled to close February 14, with 74,062,500 ordinary shares offered to the public at $1.01 each. The company will list on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, if the issue is successful. Applications are to be made for a minimum of 1,000 shares and multiples of 100 thereafter. If the issue is successful, the share capital will be 197,592,500 units, with 123.5 million units owned by EMedia and Sagicor Investments.
iCreate says “it is a creative learning institute developed with the aim of filling the gap in skills training and development of creatives in the Caribbean and North America. We provide students with a wide range of career opportunities in the Creative Economy while being a key partner of the Advertising Industry, Film Production Companies, Animation and Gaming Companies, and Creative Outsourcing initiatives.”
Existing locations are Kingston, Montego Bay, and Miami. Kingston is currently the only location that offers the full suite of courses. In Montego Bay, the company currently offer our flagship course (Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing) with the remainder to come on board once they built out the infrastructure required to deliver the courses based on our iCreate standards. “Our projected timeline for this is by or before the end of the first quarter of 2019. Miami is in the early business development stage,” the company stated in the prospectus.
The company reported a loss of $4 million for the six months to September from revenues of $18 million and projects profit of $8 million from revenues of $147 million for the year to December 2019 with profit of $62 million from revenues of $250 million in 2020.  Shareholders equity is negative $1.3 million dollar at the end of September.
The company is small, has only recently started business and is at a risky stage of development. Investors need to bear this factor in mind. While the forecast for 2020 appears attractive, the income generated in 2018 does not show a trajectory to support the high income growth, that the above forecast reflects. The business will benefit from the exposure that the IPO and listing will bring and that could help drive revenues. The positive is that current operations show signs of profit with at least two quarters last year, enjoying a profit.
The board is extremely large with nine members for a small company when seven seems more appropriate. The board comprise, Sandra Glasgow, Chairman, Tyrone Wilson, Rhys Campbell, David Wan, Mischa Mcleod-Hines, Sheree Martin, Devon Lawrence, Dr. Jennifer Bailey and Kenneth Benjamin.
The majority shares are owned by EMedia Limited, with Sagicor Investments, holding a minority position. Broker to the deal is Sagicor Investments.

Top 15 Junior market stocks for 2019

Selection of stocks is not isolated from the environment in which the companies operate. Accordingly, investors need to take developments in the wider economy and in certain sectors that can impact profit.
The data available suggest that Junior Market stocks should do better than those in the main market, in 2019. The TOP 15 Junior market stocks, selected based on the lowest PE ratio, using 2019 projected earnings and stock prices at the start of the year, are listed below.
AMG Packaging – PE 6. AMG suffered from losses incurred in their venture into the production of toilet tissue that failed, resulted in losses and dragging down profit in the box making business. Now that the segment of the business is closed, focus can be on their core business for which there is demand. Revenues should grow along powered by growth in the wider economy. The company reported a big jump in profit for the first quarter to November, from an increase in revenues and improved profit margin. The earnings projected is that for the fiscal year that ends in June 2020, when they would have implemented price adjustments to recover the fall in profit margin. IC Insider.com sees management as a weak area of its operation. Hopefully, changes in the composition of the board will address this frontally. Since the start of the year the price has moved up to $2.70 in response to the strong gains in the first quarter profit.Caribbean Cream – PE 9. The company enjoyed increased sales for the nine months to November last year but with flat sales in the second quarter and pick up in the third quarter. Importantly, the raw material prices for a number of production items fell sharply on the world market and will lower cost for them. The latest is the fall in the price of crude oil that will result in cheaper electricity cost as well and as JPS switches to lower electricity production the savings should gather steam during the year. The combination of lower input cost and increased sales will make the stock a winner in the current year. An investment in the stock around the $5.50 level that it is trading at may not pay off until the second half on 2019 when higher profit is expected. Caribbean Producers – PE 6. The company has more going for it that it has so far
delivered. The interim report to September recorded a loss of $1.3 million, but that was mostly due to write down of computer software cost and cut in the selling prices of some items that affected profit margins negatively. The core business is not affected and margins were, restored in the second quarter. The company benefits from growth in the tourism sectors in both Jamaica and St Lucia where it operates.
General AccidentPE 4.5. Investors are not seriously looking at this stock but they should. The stock is undervalued based on a PE and net asset value. Up to September, the company posted strong gains in profit for the nine months. Reports suggest that the company is looking to expand outside of Jamaica. Increased premium rates and a large pool of investible funds, are expected to deliver higher revenues and profit for the company for awhile. Continued growth in the Jamaican economy will provide a basis for above average growth in premium income and profit.
Fontana – PE 10. The PE is 10 based on current fiscal year’s earning but 7 times based on the next fiscal year results. Investors are unlikely to get this stock in the secondary market close to the IPO price any time soon. Expansion plans will make it a good investment for long term investors if bough in the $3 region. The company will be opening their newest branch in Kingston by the second half of 2019. That will result in increased revenues and profit for the 2020 fiscal year that ends in June. They also have plans for the opening of 3 more stores in the island, when completed they will result in above average growth in revenues and profit.
Elite Diagnostic PE is 6. The company recorded increased cost in 2018 as expenses associated with two new branches impacted profit negatively. The second branch is now in operation and reporting profit, while the one to open in St Anns Bay in the middle of this year should lay the foundation for continued above average growth for another year or two.
Iron Rock Insurance – PE 6. Iron Rock made profit in the September quarter for the first time and was set to report a full year of profit. Moving into 2019, revenues from increased premium income and low overhead cost and growth in the local economy are set to land a decent profit for them.
ISP Finance – PE 6. One of the smaller micro lenders ISP continues to grow and had to float a new bond to raise funds to service increased demand for loans. The September 2018 quarterly results show that interest rates charged on loans fell and that may have helped in stimulating increased demand. Loans should continue to rise and profit as well going into 2019, as cash flow from profits is invested in new loans.
Jamaican Teas – PE 7.5. The group will benefit from continued growth in the local economy and increased purchasing power of Jamaicans. The star performer, export sales have grown healthily for a number of years and should continue the growth path again. Added to this, some cost incurred in 2018, are unlikely to repeat in 2019. Importantly, accounting policy IAS 9 will see all gains or losses on investments being booked through the regular profit and loss statement and that could lift profit in 2019 as local stocks continue to grow in value.
Lasco Financial – PE 6.5. The company continues to earn from Money transfer business but the real growth potential rest in the micro lending area that enjoys high profit margin. The area is crowded but entities with size can have an advantage. Additionally, Lasco has a wide network of branches, used to reach a wide potential group for granting loans.
Lasco Manufacturing – PE 8. New products and the streamlining of the business with potential for more product lines that can be added make this entity a compelling long term investment.
Medical disposables – PE 7.5. The company started as a distributor of medical and pharmaceutical distributors but has now broadened their offering to involve consumer products. The base is established for a wider range of products, using a lot of the existing infrastructure that is adding to the attractiveness of the stock. Results for the June quarter showed strong increased revenues and profit but their usually slow second quarter saw modest increased revenues and flat profit. Importantly, gross profit increased well ahead of the growth in revenues and but for a big increase in foreign exchange losses, profit in quarter and six months would have climbed strongly. Revaluation of the Jamaican dollar in the December quarter will result in a reversal of some of the foreign exchange losses.

Stationery & Office Supplies MoBay Office

PTL- PE 7.5. The company reported growth in revenues for the half year to November resulting in improvement in gross profit. Administrative cost grew higher than revenues with depreciation accounting for 25 percent of the increased cost. The company’s joint venture lubricant plant, was operational during the period and resulted in cost and revenues excluded from the six months results but included in the 2017 figures.  Only the company’s share of profit is now included in the results amounting to $2 million. The company had moved into the repackaging of chlorine and bleach production in 2018. The last quarterly results have not shown much increased business from these two ventures, while they incurred increased staff cost to serve the market. Major improvement in profit, is not expected until the 2020 fiscal year that starts in June 2019 and will probably hold back the stock price for the greater part of the year.
Stationery and Office Supplies – PE 6. SOS delivered two good years on the Junior Market for early investors. IC Insider.com is forecasting another year of strong stock gains for the company. The company moved into the production of exercise books, mostly for schools and added note pads for the local and overseas markets.  Other products could be added to their line up in 2019.   
tTech – PE 6. Results for the September quarter almost doubled, with earnings per share reaching 12 cents, versus 6 cents in 2017, with operating revenues rising an attractive 25 percent. Profit for 2018 should hit 40 cents for the year. Management indicates that they are proactive in seeking new business locally and overseas and sees past marketing effort to attract new business now bearing fruit.

Case against hanging on to stocks

Many stocks listed are undervalued based on projected earnings but many offer attractive potential gains but the likely gains are inadequate to put them into the TOP 15. So attractive is the market that many below the TOP 15 have potential to gain in excess of 50 percent in 2019.
Not all growth companies will deliver the same level of returns, a feature of markets that investors need to bear in mind to optimize return on investment. Expansion of smaller companies can have a far more telling impact on profit that larger ones. For example, Grace Kennedy would need to acquire a large entity to make a big improvement to its profit than the typical Junior Market company that are vastly smaller but could acquire a business that will make a big impact on profits.
The 80/20 Rule in the market suggest that only around 2 out of the Top 10 stocks repeat in the subsequent year, this is the results from nearly 40 years of tracking the market. The data shows that around 40 percent of the worst performing stocks in a year are likely to enter the TOP 10 in the subsequent year. What the data suggest is that investors need to be careful in identifying top performing stocks and that top performers with above average growth are likely to come from the worst performers of the prior year.  The year 2018 was unusual with three stocks repeating their 2017 top 10 appearance from the Junior Market and four in the main market. The Junior Market had C2W renamed SSL Venture Capital repeating and in the main market 5 repeated including Pulse Investments and Palace Amusement.
Half of the Junior Market TOP 15 list have either acquired new businesses or actively expanded operation in the past year or plan expansion in the coming year and a boost in revenues and profit is expected. The average PE ratio for the Junior Market based on 2019 projected earnings is 12 but the market closed out 2018 at 16.5. This is an indication of how far the market may rise as well as the extent to which the top 15 stocks are undervalued.