Q4 profit jumps 76% for Honey Bun

The Easter bounce in earnings never happened for Honey Bun with sales in the March quarter up 13 percent and the June quarter down 7 percent, but fourth quarter sales compensated for the June fall out, increasing a strong 15.5 percent.

Rising profit at Honey Bun

Profit after tax in the fourth quarter rose a healthy 76 percent to $54 million from $31 million in 2019, bettering the 21 percent rise in the June quarter, to $20.4 million from $16.7 million. For the year to September, profit increased just 6.6 percent to $167 million from $156 million in 2019.
Sale revenues rose 15.5 percent for the quarter, to $432 million from $374 million but rose 8.5 percent for the year, to $1.675 billion from $1.544 billion in 2019. The company manufactures and distributes baked products in Jamaica and overseas, with overseas revenue less than 10 percent of gross sales revenue.
Historical profit performance has not been exhibited a predictable pattern, partly due to expansion related cost. Profit jumped sharply in 2016 from 2015 but dipped in 2017 and again in 2018 but rose in 2019 as a recent expansion allowed for increased sales, with the latest period continuing to reflect growth but muted by the COVID 19 dislocations.

One Honey Bun’s Products.

Notwithstanding the profit performance that may present a chequered path, the company has one of the best management teams of Junior Market companies to build-out the capacity for continued growth in revenues and increased efficiency.
Gross profit margin moved up from 46 percent in 2017 and has been consistent at 48 percent since 2018 and resulted in gross profit rising nine percent to $799 million from $745 million.
Administrative and other expenses rose just one percent to $295 million, while depreciation charges relating to administrative expenses increased 28 percent to $48 million. Selling and distribution expenses rose 17 percent to $292 million from $250 million in 2019.
The company employed an average of two hundred and seven workers during the year, up from one hundred and eighty in the 2019 period costing $428 million compared to $406 million in 2019.
Finance cost was negligible at just over $1 million for the year.
Earnings per share came out at 35 cents for the fiscal year. The stock traded at $4.83 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at a PE ratio of 14 times earnings. ICInsider.com is forecasting 55 cents per share for 2021 at a PE of 9 times. Net asset value is $1.85, with the stock selling at 2.6 book value. The company paid a dividend of 8 cents d 20uring the year.
Gross cash flow brought in $260 million but increased working capital reduced the amount marginally to $253 million and payment of dividends amounting to $38 million acquisition of fixed assets amounting to $119 million and the payment of $27 million in taxation left $98.5 million to be added to funds on hand at the start of the year. Current assets ended at $444 million, including inventories of $71 million, receivables of $73 million, cash and bank balances of $297 million. Current liabilities stood at $148 million. At the end of the year, shareholders’ equity stood at $870 billion, with borrowings at just $26 million.

Big gains for some IC TOP 10 stocks

During the past week, Grace Kennedy was the top 10 best performer rising 16 percent to 67 percent, followed by Caribbean Producers 12 percent gain to close the week at $2.63, during a period when stocks continue their climb higher to their highest level since early-April on the Jamaican Stock Exchange Main Market in the past week.

Grace Kennedy gained 16% for the week.

The Junior Market continues to fight in continuing to build on the gains in recent weeks, with moves in both markets confirming the bullish signal technical indicators been flashing.
The movement in the markets resulted in Stanley Motta coming into the Main Market IC TOP 10, replacing Jamaica Producers. The Junior Market Top 10 remained without any new movement in and out, but Jamaican Teas started trading ex split on Friday and closed at $2.05, down from last weeks’ adjusted closing price of $2.23.
This week’s focus: 2020 is now drawing to a close and should lead investors to start the focus on 2021 and some companies that could deliver superior returns. Many of the companies that suffered badly from reduced sales could be some that should be on the investors’ list. Access Financial, Caribbean Producers, Express Catering, Elite Diagnostic, Lasco Financial, NCB Financial are some that could enjoy above-average recovery and then there are entities such as Grace Kennedy, Carib Cement, Berger Paints and Lumber Depot that should get added push from continued buoyancy in the construction sector.
The top three stocks in the Junior Market with the potential to gain between 231 to 394 percent by March 2021 are Caribbean Producers, followed by Elite Diagnostic and Limber Depot. With expected gains of 149 to 260 percent, the top three Main Market stocks are, Berger Paints followed by Radio Jamaica and Carreras in the third position.
The local stock market’s targeted average PE ratio is 20based on profits of companies reporting full year’s results, from now to the second quarter in 2021. The Junior and Main markets are currently trading well below the market average, indicating the potential gains ahead. The JSE Main Market ended the week, with an overall PE of 15.5, The Junior Market 13.3, based on ICInsider.com’s projected 2020-21 earnings. The PE ratio for the Junior Market Top 10 stocks average a mere 7.2 at just 54 percent to the average of the Junior Market. The Main Market TOP 10 stocks trade at a PE of 9 or 58 percent of the PE of that market.
The average projected gain for the Junior Market IC TOP 10 stocks is 201 percent and 132 percent down from140 percent last week for the JSE Main Market, based on 2020-21 earnings, indicating greater likely gains for Junior Market stocks than the Main Market.
IC TOP 10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns up to March 2021 and ranked in order of potential gains, based on likely gain for each company, taking into account the earnings and PE ratios for the current fiscal year.  Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and result in movements in and out of the lists weekly. 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.

 

Price movements bring change to IC TOP 10

Stocks rose to their highest level since mid-April on the Jamaican Stock Exchange Main Market in the past week, during the past week the Junior Market traded at the highest level in seven weeks, with moves in both markets confirming the bullish signal technical indicators been flashing for weeks.
The movement in the markets resulted in shifts in the IC TOP 10. In the Junior Market Top 10, Access Financial dropped out after a week with the price moving from $20.02 to $22 while AMG Packaging moving in to sit in ninth position. Jamaican Teas shareholders approved a three for one stock split leading the stock up to $6.70 from $5.50. Eppley lost its Main Market TOP 10 position with the price moving up from $18.97 to $20.02  and is replaced by Jamaica Producers.
The top three stocks in the Junior Market with the potential to gain between 233 to 456 percent by March 2021are Caribbean Producers, followed by Elite Diagnostic and Limber Depot. With expected gains of 150 to 280 percent, the top three Main Market stocks are Berger Paints, followed by Radio Jamaica and Grace Kennedy in the third position.
The local stock market’s targeted average PE ratio is 20 based on profits of companies reporting full year’s results, from now to the second quarter in 2021. The Junior and Main markets are currently trading well below the market average, indicating the potential gains ahead. The JSE Main Market ended the week, with an overall PE of 15.3 and the Junior Market 13.7, based on ICInsider.com’s projected 2020-21 earnings. The average PE ratio of the Junior Market has been slowly rising, with better profit opportunities than the Main Market and narrowing the gap. The PE ratio for the Junior Market Top 10 stocks average a mere 7.2 at just 53 percent to the average of the Junior Market. The Main Market TOP 10 stocks trade at a PE of 8.7 or 57 percent of the PE of that market.
The average projected gain for the Junior Market IC TOP 10 stocks is 202 percent and 140 percent for the JSE Main Market, based on 2020-21 earnings, indicating greater gains are likely in the Junior Market than the Main Market.
IC TOP 10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns up to March 2021 and ranked in order of potential gains, based on likely gain for each company, taking into account the earnings and PE ratios for the current fiscal year.  Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and result in movements in and out of the lists weekly. 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.

Good news drive interest in Jamaican Teas

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Shareholders of Jamaican Teas approved a three for one stock split effective November 30 at a meeting held by the Company on Tuesday. The record date for the split is Monday, November 30, but the stocks go ex split on Friday, November 27 and will commence trading at the post-split price on that day.

John Mahfood CEO and Director of Jamaican Teas addressing the EGM.

In an update to shareholders at the meeting on recent developments within the Group and the outturn for the year to September, they were advised of the continued growth the Group experienced since listing in 2010 with equity moving from $392 million to $1.8 billion at the end of September, this year. Management advised that helped by good results for 2020, the Group moved from a billion-dollar entity to a $2 billion one measured by sales that closed the past fiscal year at $2.2 billion.
Management considers one of the highlights of the recently concluded quarter to be the strong 65 percent gain in export sales over the prior year as well as exports accounting for 65 percent of total manufacturing sales in the quarter. The level of exports meets one of the objectives set at the time the Company went public in 2010.
Early indications and feedback from our overseas customers point to a continuation of the positive trend in exports for the 2021 financial year, the meeting was told.
While exports were dominant, domestic sales did relatively well, with local manufacturing sales increasing 17 percent over 2019. Overall, sales climbed 44 percent to $407 million in the fourth quarter, shareholders were informed. The Real estate division contributed $240 million in sales and is set to contribute around $160 million in the December quarter.
The Group had a disappointing year in the investment division, as it incurred a loss with the fall in the value of local investments but saw some improvement in the second half of the fiscal year, with profit in both quarters. Management expressed the view that there should be an improvement in its fortunes in the new year.
Net profit attributable to Jamaican Teas for the quarter was $131 million, a decline of 27 percent from the $180 million profit in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. For the full year, net profit attributable to Jamaican Teas was $210 million, a decline of 47 percent from the $400 million generated in the previous year.
After the year-end, Jamaican Teas had increased sales of 47 percent in October 2020 over 2019, with export up a robust 85 percent and a much less robust 10 percent for domestic sales. Orders in hand for November suggest a continuation of the positive trend seen in October.

Jamaican Teas’ shareholder – Mr. Lanzel Bloomfield addressing the EGM

The Group will be booking more real estate sales in the December quarter. With the above developments, management expects a good first quarter for the financial year ending September 2021. The Group plans to commence a major expansion of the factory to meet the increasing demand for its manufacturing products.
Since the company advised the JSE on September 29 that the board would meet to set a date for the three-for-one stock split, the price rose by 56 percent to $6.70. The stock traded at $4.30 on the day of the announcement. The release was posted after trading closed. The next trading day, the price jumped to $4.83 with 161,040 shares trading. On the first day of October, the price moved to $5.02 with 1,099,894 shares trading. The stock traded at $5.50 on Monday last week. On Tuesday, it traded at $5.99 and moved $6.30 on Wednesday and $6.70 on Thursday and Friday.

Q4 profit doubles at Tropical Battery

Recently listed Tropical Battery saw profit after tax soaring 107 percent in the September quarter, to $27 million from $13 million in 2019, bettering the nine-month increase of 18.6 percent over the 2019 period for pretax profit. For the year to September, profit rose a more modest 16 percent to $73 million from $63 million in 2019.
Sale revenues
rose just 2.6 percent for the quarter, to $506 million from $493 million in 2019, but rose 7 percent for the year to date, to $1.87 billion from $1.74 billion in 2019.
The September quarter benefited from improved profit margin to 31.8 percent from 29.9 percent in 2019 and rose to 31.3 percent for the year, from 30.2 percent for 2019. Gross profit rose 9 percent in the quarter to $161 million from $147 million in the previous year and increased 11.2 percent for the year, to $585 million from $526 billion in 2019.
Administrative expenses grew 11 percent to $123 million in the quarter and 10.5 percent in the year period to $456 million. Finance cost rose in the quarter, to $13 million from $9 million in 2019 and $19 million to $38 million for the year.
Gross cash flow brought in $109 million but growth in receivables, inventories, addition to fixed assets offset by loan inflow, proceeds from the sale of shares and reduced payables, cash funds ended at $261 million. Net current assets ended the period at $827 million, including trade receivables of $314 million, amounts due from related parties at $177 million and cash and bank balances noted above. Current liabilities closed the period at $229 million. At the end of the year, shareholders’ equity stood at $776 billion, with borrowings at just $415 million.
“As a part of our Strategic 2021 Growth Plan, we will be focusing on creating shareholder’s value through acquisitions and partnerships of aligned profitable companies in Jamaica and across the Caribbean region. To this end, we have entered into discussions with several key partners to assist in identifying suitable acquisition targets”, March Melville, Chairman and Alexander Melville, Managing Director, stated in a jointly signed report accompanying the quarterly.
Earnings per share after tax came out at two cents for the quarter and six cents for the year. The company’s net asset value is 68 cents, with the stock selling at 76 percent above book value. With the company profits now being free of taxation, having listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, earnings are adjusted to 8 cents, giving it a PE ratio of 15 times earnings, based on the stock price of $1.20 the traded at on Friday. IC Insider.com is forecasting 10 cents per share for a PE of 12 times 2021 earnings.

Shake up of IC TOP 10

A raft of company results was unleased on the Jamaican Stock Exchange, resulting in changes to the IC TOP 10. Some companies have not yet recovered sufficiently from the fall out following the COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year.

Fontana Waterloo Square Branch just after it was opened in October 2019.

Entering the Junior Markets Top10 are Access Financial and Fontana. Moving out are General Accident and Stationery and Office Supplies, both of which reported lower than expected profits for the September quarter and year to date. NCB Financial dropped out of the Main Market TOP 10 with full-year earnings coming in at $8.01 as the group stepped up the provisioning of expected credit losses. Eppley moved into the spot left vacant by NCB.
The Main Market closed the past week with notable gains in the market index while the Junior Market slipped modestly at the end of the week. Signals in the market continue to point to higher prices ahead. The Junior Market is currently signaling a big surge starting in December as short-term moving averages cross over longer-term ones to confirm a strong rally ahead. The move in the Main Market continues the move gradually higher ahead of the year-end and is in keeping with bullish signs that points to more gains ahead.
This week’s focus: Fontana had a 21 percent increase in revenues for the quarter ending September to $1.11 billion, over $921 million in the 2019 corresponding quarter. Gross profit also increased 25 percent to $395 million above $316 million generated in the September 2019 quarter. Administrative selling and other expenses grew modestly by 4.5 percent from $296 million to $310 million, even as the company benefited from economies of scale with the Waterloo Square location. Net profits increased to $45 million, a 146 percent improvement from the $18 million recorded in the prior year, with foreign exchange losses adding $27 million to finance cost in the 2020 quarter. The company is on target to earn 50 cents per share for the current financial year ending June 2021.
The top three stocks in Junior Market remain as they were this past week, with the potential to gain between 233 to 465 percent by March 2021. Caribbean Producers heads the list, followed by Elite Diagnostic and Limber Depot. The focus on all three is on the 2021 fiscal year profit, projected to recover from reduced profit for the 2020 financial year. With expected gains of 168 to 238 percent, the top three Main Market stocks are now, Berger Paints followed by JMMB Group and Radio Jamaica in the third position.
The local stock market’s targeted average PE ratio is 20 based on the profits of companies reporting full year’s results from now to the second quarter in 2021. The Junior and Main markets are currently trading well below the market average, indicating the potential gains ahead. The JSE Main Market ended the week, with an overall PE of 15.8 and the Junior Market 13.2, based on ICInsider.com’s projected 2020-21 earnings. The average PE ratio of the Junior Market has been slowly rising, with better profit opportunities than the Main Market and narrowing the gap. The PE ratio for the Junior Market Top 10 stocks average a mere 7.1 at just 54 percent to the Junior Market average. The Main Market TOP 10 stocks trade at a PE of 8.7 or 55 percent of the PE of that market.
The average projected gain for the Junior Market IC TOP 10 stocks is 210 percent and 136 percent for the JSE Main Market, based on 2020-21 earnings, indicating greater gains are likely in the Junior Market than the Main Market.
IC TOP 10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns up to March 2021 and ranked in order of potential gains, based on likely gain for each company, taking into account the earnings and PE ratios for the current fiscal year.  Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and result in movements in and out of the lists weekly. 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.

Mailpac Q3 profit surges 129%

MailPac Group (MGL) continues to enjoy increasing strong profit growth despite the current pandemic, with revenue jumping 58 percent in the September quarter over the 2019 quarter and profit more than doubling.

Mailpac dominated trading on Thursday with 84% of the total volume of the market on Tuesday.

The company recorded net profit of $149 million for the quarter, a solid 129 percent jump from the $65 million the operation recorded for the September 2019 quarter. For the year-to-date, there was an even more sizeable growth of 150 percent, moving from $203 million in 2019 to $339 at the end of September 2020.
Revenues grew 58 percent over the September 2019 quarter, from $301 million to $477 million, and grew a stunning 30 percent over the June 2020 quarter with revenues of $366 million. For the year to September, revenues rose to $1.2 billion, 42 percent more than the $851 million recorded at the end of September 2019.
Gross profit rose to 50 percent from 44 percent in the June quarter but fell to 48 percent for the nine months compared to 52 percent in 2019.
Direct expenses jumped 57 percent from $150 million for the September 2019 quarter to $236 million for the September 2020 quarter and 15 percent over the June 2020 quarter. For the year to date, the expenses climbed by 52 percent from $410 million in 2019 to $623 million in 2020. Gross profit stood at $240 million for the quarter ending September 2020, up from $150 million in 2019 and $584 million for the year to date versus $442 million in 2019.
Administrative, selling and promotion expenses increased 22 percent over the second quarter and slipped two percent from the September 2019 quarterly figure of $86 million to $84 million. The Executive Chairman attributes the increase in expenses in the third quarter over the second quarter to its expanding operations, the partnership with PriceSmart presumably one such notable factor.
For the nine months to September, selling and promotion expenses amount to $30 million, up from $29 million in 2019, while administrative and general expenses dropped to $199 million, from $218 million in 2019. Overall, these expenses were down seven percent from $246 in 2019 to $228 million at the end of September 2020. The effect, operating profit, rose a strong 140 percent over the comparative quarter to $157 million from $65 million in 2019 and an 82 percent increase for the nine-month period, moving from $195 million to $356 million.
Finance costs rose for the quarter from $352,000 in 2019 to $11 million in 2020, while the nine months to September ended at $31 million from $3 million for 2019.

Mailpac CEO Khary Robinson.

Gross cash flow brought in $346 million but MGL recorded trade and other payables increase of $127 million, spent $12 million on the acquisition of fixed assets and paid $225 million in dividends to end with cash and equivalents of $309 million at the end of September. Shareholders’ equity stood at $467 million. Current assets ended the period at $369 million and Current liabilities at $185 million.
Earnings per share came out at 6 cents for the quarter and 14 cents to September. IC Insider.com is forecasting Mailpac will end the year at 20 cents per share for PE of 11 times earnings and they should go on to earn 33 cents in 2021.
At the IPO, the company projected a profit of $317 million in 2020, while IC Insider.com projected $356 and 14 cents per share. The nine months’ results are just below our full year’s forecast.
The stock is priced below the average of the Junior Market of 12 and offers strong upside potential. The strong current growth continues the trend since 2017, when revenues grew 12.2 percent, 25.7 percent in 2018 and 28.8 percent for the first half of 2019. The company offers a convenient way to shop and far less costly than traditional ways. Listing on the stock exchange provides greater credibility that augurs well for increased business. MGL provides clients with physical addresses in Miami, Florida, where they can receive all goods purchased are flown to Jamaica. The company clears all goods and delivers them to the customers at their homes or for collection.
On the negative side, the main asset owned is the brand and technology that drives the business. Other entities could break into the market and squeeze profit margin longer term.
Coming off a robust third quarter, MGL is entering what is normally the busiest time of the year for the company that should continue the solid growth experienced in 2020 so far.
The stock currently trades at $2.13 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange. The company paid an interim dividend of 5 cents per share in July 2020 and 5 cents per share in October and more is expected, with the company promising at the time of the IPO that the Directors intend to pursue a dividend policy that projects an annual dividend of up to 75 percent of net profits available for distribution.

Knutsford Express suffers Q1 loss

Coming off a financial year with an 11 percent decline in revenue and a 78 percent drop in profit for the year, Knutsford Express had the second-worst quarterly performance following the $70 million losses incurred in the April quarter this year, as dislocations caused by the impact of the COVID virus the company’s operations severely.

Knutsford Express

Revenue dropped 62 percent or a huge $203 million from the $325 million recorded in 2019 to just $122 million in the first-quarter ending August 2020. Drastically reduced trips and services due to the restrictions put in place by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19 was a key factor affecting business and the financial results. Knutsford incurred a loss of $26 million for the August 2020 quarter, before finance income and expenses, 146 percent lower than the profit of $57 million earned the 2019 first quarter.
Unfortunately, the company continues the very poor practice of grouping direct operating and administrative costs together, therefore preventing investors from properly assessing the operation and the contribution the operating facility makes to overhead cost. For the quarter, administrative and operating expenses fell at a much slower pace and amounts than the fall in revenues, with expenses dropping 45 percent from $267 million in 2019 August quarter to $148 million in 2020. Depreciation charges accounted for $29 million up from 426 million in 2019.
Finance income in the 2020 quarter pulled in $4 million compared to $2 million collected in 2019, while finance costs declined from $7 million in 2019 to $3 million in 2020.

Knutsford’s New Kingston depot

The US operation generated a mere $638,000 in revenue and contributed $4 million to the loss, but that is down from the prior year with a loss of $9 million from revenues of $7 million.
Cash flows from operating activities brought in $9 million, down from $78 million at the end of August 2019. After spending $35 million on the acquisition of fixed assets and borrowing $15 million, it resulted in an increase in cash of $13 million at the end of the period, pushing funds on hands to $52 million, down from $194 million at the end of 2019. The company also has investments amounting to $97 million. Current assets stood at $194 million at the end of August 2020 down 51 percent from $393 billion in August of the previous year. Current liabilities stood at just $76 million to be more than adequately covered by current assets. At the close of August, shareholders’ equity stood at $744 million down from $827 million at the close of the corresponding period in 2019.
Going forward, as activities pick up locally and visitor arrivals numbers grow, the company stands to benefit from increased patronage and improved profitability. At the same time, the loss incurred in the quarter is lower than the depreciation charge that is positive as it means no drain on cash. The company should recover from the downturn experienced during the year, but it may not be until 2021 that investors will get a truer sense as to the level of rebound in profit as well as the stock price, that may be possible. “We expect an improved performance in the next quarter,” the Directors, stated in their report accompanying the quarterly.
Earnings per share ended with a loss of 5 cents for the quarter. Knutsford Express currently trades on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $6.55.

Stationery & Office back in IC TOP 10

Stationery and Office Supplies returns to the Junior Market IC TOP 10 list for the first time since February last year as the stock price dropped to $4.55 and replaced Medical Disposables that reported a loss in the half-year, resulted in the downgrading of full year’s earnings and potential stock price movement.

Stationery & Office Supplies Head quarters

Medical Disposables earnings per share are now projected at 30 cents for the current year and 85 cents for the succeeding year and put the PE ratio at 14 times current-year earnings. As indicated last week, Lasco Financial was set to be a big winner for the past week, after the company reported outstanding second-quarter profit. The stock rose 23 percent to close the week at $2.60 after trading as high as $2.75 in the week. The price should move higher going forward, with likely earnings around 40 cents per share for the current fiscal year and a PE ratio of 6.5.
Signals in the market continue to point to higher prices ahead. The Junior Market is currently signaling a big surge in a few weeks as short-term moving averages cross over longer-term ones to confirm a strong rally ahead. The big move in the Main market seems a few months away, but signs are that the market should continue to move gradually higher ahead of the year-end.
This week’s focus: Grace Kennedy continues to enjoy a phenomenal year, with profit attributed to the company’s shareholders, rising 33 percent to $1.68 billion in the September quarter, from $1.26 billion for the third quarter in the previous year and grew 35 percent for the nine months to September, to just $4.4 billion from $3.27 billion the corresponding period in 2019. Taxation more than doubled in both periods, but profit before tax grew 49 percent in the third quarter to $2.79 billion and for the nine-months, it rose 51.5 percent to $7.3 billion. Earnings per share are $1.69 for the quarter and $4.47 for the nine months and should exceed $6 for the full year.
The top three stocks in Junior Market remain as they were this past week, with the potential to gain between 272 to 726 percent by March 2021. Caribbean Producers heads the list, followed by Caribbean Assurance Brokers and elite Diagnostic. The focus on all three is on the 2021 fiscal year profit, projected to recover from reduced profit for the 2020 financial year. With expected gains of 150 to 238 percent, the top three Main Market stocks are now, Berger Paints followed by JMMB Group and Grace Kennedy in the third position.
The local stock market’s targeted average PE ratio is 20 based on the profits of companies reporting full year’s results from now to the second quarter in 2021. The Junior and Main markets are currently trading well below the market average, indicating the potential gains ahead. The JSE Main Market ended the week, with an overall PE of 15.8 and the Junior Market 12.1, based on ICInsider.com’s projected 2020-21 earnings. The average PE ratio of the Junior Market has been slowly rising, with better profit opportunities than the Main Market and narrowing the gap. The PE ratio for the Junior Market Top 10 stocks average a mere 6.5 at just 54 percent to the average of the Junior Market. The Main Market TOP 10 stocks trade at a PE of 8.3 or 52 percent of the PE of that market.
The average projected gain for the Junior Market IC TOP 10 stocks is 247 percent, and 147 percent for the JSE Main Market, based on 2020-21 earnings, indicating potentially greater gains in the Junior Market than the Main Market.
IC TOP 10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns up to March 2021 and ranked in order of potential gains, based on likely gain for each company, taking into account the earnings and PE ratios for the current fiscal year.  Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and result in movements in and out of the lists for most weeks. 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.

Lasco Financial Q2 profit jumps

Lasco Financial generated a profit of $136 million in the September quarter compared to a loss of $16 million for the 2019 second quarter. Profit after tax for the six months to September amounts to just $30 million, down from the corresponding period’s $75 million, and an improvement on the first-quarter loss of $106 million.

Lasco Financial former HQ

Earnings per share ended at 10.7 cents for the quarter and just 2.4 cents for the half-year.
For the quarter, revenues fell 5.7 percent or $38 million from the 2019 September quarter, to $617 million, due largely to a $78 million decline in revenues from loans, in the quarter following a $74 million fall in the June quarter, compared with the similar periods in 2019. Remittances grew 11 percent and added $50 million to revenues while Cambio operations contributed 10.8 percent or $34 million to increased revenues, the company’s Managing Director Jacinth Hall-Tracey, informed shareholders in a commentary accompanying the quarterly report. Revenues slipped $140 million from $1.3 billion to $1.16 billion for the six months period.
Administrative and selling and promotion expenses dropped from $1.06 billion to $961 million for the half-year and from $585 million to $400 million for the September quarter. Finance cost for the quarter slipped slightly from $48 million to $45 million and from $96 million to $95 million for the six months. Expenses include loan loss provision of $152 million for the six months compared to $262 million in 2019, and effectively there was an $18 million recovery of doubtful loans in the September quarter.

Jacinth Hall-Tracey, Managing Director of Lasco Financial.

In September 2019, quarter provision for loan losses was $178 million. Taxation dipped slightly, from $38 million for the quarter to $36 million, while the half-year tax provision fell from $76 million to $70 million.
The company generated positive cash flows of $389 million for the half-year, down from $514 million in 2019 and ended the periods with cash and short-term deposits that rose to $1 billion from $307 million. Loans to customers fell to $1.54 billion at the end of March from $1.83 billion at the end of the prior year-end after loan loss provisions rose from $99 million in 2019 to $328 million. Loans to customers are included in the heading of Loans and receivables of $1.6 billion at the end of September. Shareholders equity stood at $1.57 billion and Long-term debt $1.9 billion, up from $1.7 billion at the end of September last year.
The company indicates that “there will now be a shift towards lending again, however, as opportunities for lending are now beginning to manifest as businesses are adjusting to the new normal, with some embracing new opportunities.” The shift to increase lending will add to revenues and profit going forward. With the December quarter being the most profitable, ICInsider.com still holds to the projection of 60 cents per share for the full year, but even if it comes out lower, the stock that closed at $2.11 of the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stocks Exchange on Friday with a PE ratio of just 3.5 is highly undervalued and will move sharply higher.