PE ratios continue to rise

Treasury bills rates bottomed and have moved back closer in line with the Bank of Jamaica’s overnight rate of 2 percent.
IC Insider.com is forecasting a further increase in T-bill rates to move above 2 percent, this could happen with the December Treasury bill auction.
In the mean time the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange has moved on the new record highs, with NCB Financial being the primary mover with the stock closing at $159.05 on Friday. The Junior Market that peaked at an all-time high in October has pulled back with no new price sensitive news to encourage aggressive buying.
The above developments are happening as the PE ratio of the market continues to inch higher. The ratio climbed slowly until June but moved much sharper thereafter, to better reflect the sharp fall in interest rates. The recent inching up of Treasury bill rates appears to have slowed the upward movement in the average PE ratio of the over all market that sits just under 16 currently. The average PE is now ahead of the longer term trend that goes back to 2013, but well below the trend, from late 2015 that suggests that the average PE is headed for 18, that will require a 15 percent rise in stock prices to get there. December is usually a bullish month and so the PE of 18 may be reached by year end or early in 2019.

All Jamaica hits record 424,461 points

The main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, gained in early trading on Thursday and now trades at a record high of 424,461.33 points after rising 5,973.34 while the JSE index rose 5,442.39 to now sit at 386,732.29 after just 15 minutes into the trading day.
The market opened up at the start of trading with gains of 1,433.80 points for the All Jamaica and 1,306.36 for the JSE Index.
The opening high follows Wednesday’s trading when the JSE All Jamaican Composite Index closed at a new all-time high of 418,487.99 and JSE Index ended at 381,289.90.
Barita Investments traded at a new high of $24 to more than double for the year so far, NCB Financial now traded up to$150 and Sagicor Group at $47.
The Junior Market continues under some selling pressure is not sharing in the strong gains of the more matured companies and declined by less than a point to 3,177.54.
Since posting the stroy the main market has moved higher with Sagicor Group trading at $51.95.

4 new entrants in IC Top 10

Seprod shares now trades at $32 each.

There are three changes to the TOP 10 main market list and one Junior Market stock. Increased prices during the week, pushed out Access Financial, Salada Foods, Stanley Motta and Scotia Group.
Medical Disposables returns to the TOP 10 Junior Market list with the price at $6.20, down from $7.50 the previous week, as it pushed out Access that rose to $52 during last week. Berger Paints and Seprod moved up modestly in price but that was not sufficient to prevent them from returning to the TOP, with other stocks rising in price during the week. Palace Amusement also returned to the TOP 10 main market list.
For the nine months to September, Seprod generated $15.50 billion in revenues, an increase of $3.36 billion or 28 percent over the similar period in 2017. Net profit for the period was $970 million, an increase of $387 million or 66 percent over 2017. Earnings per share came out at $2.03 with the third quarter rising to 85 cents from 38 cents in 2017. For the full year earnings could hit $3 per share. That should put the stock back in the $40 range before too long.
Berger Paints profit for the nine months to September was below expectations, with $9 million profit in the third quarter versus $54 million in 2017 and $43 million for the nine months to September, down sharply from $143 million in 2017. The company now enters the busiest period of the year when the bulk of income and profits are made. Last year company was closed for sales for several days for stock taking in December, resulting in lost sales and profit. The company should not suffer the same fate this year as the new owners would be aware of the problem and work at preventing same. That should result in better sales and profit than in the 2017 final quarter. In the final quarter of 2016 pretax profit was $233 million compared to just $67 million for the similar period in 2017, when the disruptions occurred.
The main market closed the week with the overall PE remains at 15.3, the PE of the Junior market is at 15.5.
The PE ratio for Junior Market Top 10 stocks average 9 and the main market PE is now 9.3.
The TOP 10 stocks now trade at an average discount of 42 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 39 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.

Profit jumps 40% at Caribbean Flavours

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Caribbean Flavours traded on the Junior Market at $20.

Profit at Caribbean Flavours climbed 40 percent in the quarter to September this year to $25 million from a rise of 21 percent in sales to $120 million, up from $100 million in 2017 and an increase of 137 percent in other revenues to $5 million.
Improvement in profit margin in the in the quarter to 37 percent from 36 percent in the 2017 is also a contributing factor in the improved profit. The effect, gross operating profit rose 23 percent in the quarter to $45 million from $36 million.
Other operating and administrative expenses rose 22 percent to $24 million from $19.4 million in 2017.
Earnings per share came out at 28 cents, for the 2018 fiscal year earnings per share was 97 cents. The company should end the fiscal year to June 2019 around $1.50.
Growth in profit has not been always robust even though it has been positive. Profit before Taxation grew a mere 1.59 percent in 2014, 12.75 percent in 2015, a more respectful 28.34 percent in 2016, a reduced rate of 11.89 percent in 2017 and even less growth of 5.22 percent in 2018.
“The company expects that there will be improvement in our performance in the next period as we

Caribbean Flavours’ produce inputs.

expect sales of Flarorfit, our sugar reduction solution to gain traction,” Chairman of the board Howard Mitchell, stated in his report accompanying the quarterly.
Gross cash flow brought in $26 million. Addition to fixed assets used up $3.5 million and $19 million was used to pay dividends. Cash and invested funds amount to $220 million. At the end of the quarter, shareholders’ equity stands at $424 million with borrowings at just $9 million. Net current assets ended the period at $309 million well over Payables of just $30 million.
The stock traded at $20 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 13 times 2019 earnings. The stock is ripe for at least a 5 for 1 stock split, with limited supply and just 90 million units issued.

NCB still stock to watch

NCB had a good 2018 fiscal year with strong profit gains.

NCB Financial is in the news since it released record full year results and announced a dividend of 70 cents per share at the end of the first week in November, and was followed with the announcement that the way is cleared for them to go after another 22 percent of Trinidad and Tobago based Guardian Holdings.
In the past week news came that there were big insider trades in the stock. There is increased buying interest in the stock. Where the price will be in the short term is anyone’s  guess.

The main market All Jamaica Composite index is a shade away from 400,000 points at the close of the week, is recovering from recent low of 383,883.07 points on November 7, having fallen 8 percent from the record high of 418,450.70 on October 12. The market looks poised to move higher as the main sell off might be over, but there are few stocks that seems likely to gain this week.
Technical chart shows NCB Financial heading to $155 but it traded at new high of $138 during the past week which is not very far from the target of potential resistance. Whether it goes higher during the coming days is anyone’s guess but it is worth watching with all the positive news its getting as well as increased buying.

Some of Seprod’s products.

 Seprod pulled back from the record high of $62 a few weeks ago, to sit at $30.10, now that the public offer of shares has closed with the issue oversubscribed. The stock could move higher in the days or weeks ahead. Selling from those who bought in the public offer may keep the price anchored around current price for a while before the selling subsides.

Investors should be keeping their eyes on Scotia Group. Last year they released full year results on December 7 and can be expected to release this year’s, on the 6th, investors could well anticipate them and drive the stock ahead of the release. Currently, there are no Junior Market stock that seems set to move much at this time.

Main market stocks jump – Tuesday

Investors pushed the Jamaica Stock Exchange main market ending sharply higher on Tuesday, and sending the All Jamaica Index surging 5,742.86 points to 397,756.57 and JSE Index jumped 5,232.40 points to close at 362,401.24.
Market activity closed with 28 active securities in the main and US dollar markets, compared to 29 on Monday.
Main market trading closed with JMMB Group leading with 5,977,409 units, to close at $31.75 and NCB Financial with just under 4,29 million units s the price ended at $135.99.
The Junior Market rose in trading on Tuesday with Index to climbing 28.23 points to close at 3,234.31 on a day of moderate trades as 21 securities traded with Lasco Manufacturing trading the most with 296,410 shares changing hands.

Profit jumps 83% for tTech

Profit at junior market listed tTech, rose 83 percent in the September quarter, to $12.2 million from $7 million in 2017 and for the nine months to September, profit climbed 59 percent to $29 million from $18 million in 2017.
Sale revenues grew 25 percent for the quarter, to $70 from $56 million but was up 31 percent for the year to date, to $215 million, from $164 million in 2017. Investment income brought $12 million for the nine months and $7 million for the quarter
The company is overcoming a period when profit retreated from the high level generated when it went public back in 2015, as the build out of staffing ahead of increased business sapped profits. The company seems to believe that the work they have put out to attract customers is now bearing fruit, with more to come going forward.
Profit having risen to peak at $39 million in 2016, on rising sales revenues, in 2017 both revenues and profit declined, with the profit declining below that earned in 2015 as it hit $19 million down sharply from the 2016 out turn.
Gross profit margin in the first 3 quarters of this year, is up just 14 percent to $161 million compared to revenues that grew 31 percent and it rose by 9 percent in the September quarter to $51 million, just a bit below the growth rate in sales.
Other operating expenses increased 52 percent to $20 million for the nine months but grew 29 percent to $7 million in the quarter. Administrative expenses rose 12 percent to $42 million in the quarter and increased just 8 percent in the nine months period, to $125 million.
Earnings per share came out at 12 cents for the quarter and 27 cents for the nine months and should end the fiscal year ending to December, around 40 cents. IC Insider.com is forecasting 80 cents per share for  a PE of  8 times 2019 earnings
“We have had a good third quarter and our business development team continues to leverage the momentum by closing opportunities presented to us. we expect continued growth and performance as we provide guidance and support for digital transformation,” the chief Executive Officer, Christopher Reckord stated in his commentary on the third quarter results.
Gross cash flow brought in $25 million but addition to fixed assets and investments resulted in a net buildup of funds for the year to date. At the end of September, shareholders’ equity stood at $207 million with no borrowings to support the operations. Net current assets ended the period at $164 million inclusive of trade and other receivables of $151 million, cash and investment balances of $152 million. In addition, the company has $31 million in non-current investments. Current liabilities stood at just $57 million.
The stock traded at $6.50 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 15 times 2018 earnings. Net asset value per share s $1.95 with the stock selling at 3.3 book value.

General Accident nearly doubles profit

General Accident stock is undervalued.

Profit at General Accident Insurance rose 88 percent to $144 million, in the nine months September from $77 million in the similar period in 2017 even as profit for the quarter to September 2018 slipped 29 percent from $68 million to $49 million.
Earnings per share amounted to just 5 cents in the September quarter and 14 for the year to September and IC Insider.com estimates 40 cents for the full year and possible 80 cents for 2019. The stock last traded at $4, just less than twice net book value of $2.05. Annualized return on average equity of 9.45 percent up from 5.2 percent in 2017.
Gross premium for the year to September, grew 20 percent to $7.4 billion, while growth for the quarter was up an extremely strong 69 percent to $2.75 billion over the same periods last year. The company that is also looking to branch out to other parts of the region, also earned 51 percent more commission that the year before with nine months’ earnings rising to $495 million and it grew 104 percent for the quarter to $159 million but commissions paid grew 32 percent for the nine months to $212 million and by 44 percent for the quarter to $96 million. Net earned premiums grew 24 percent, for both the nine months to $1.20 billion for year to date and $531 for the quarter. Investment income including of foreign exchange gains is up 158 percent for the quarter to $144 million and 56 percent for the first nine months to $228 million.
Net claims grew by just 10 percent to $866 million for the nine months but jumped 42 percent for the quarter to $353 million. “Administrative expenses increased by 19 percent compared to the same period prior year, due to new hires to drive the strategic plan” management stated. Management expenses rose 35 percent to $554 million in the nine months and by 47 percent for the quarter to $201 million.
“General Accident ended the third quarter with a book value of $2.05 billion and generated annualized return on average equity for shareholders of 9.45 percent. Despite, low interest rates and increased competition in a very challenging operating environment. For the first nine months of the year, we were able to improve on our performance when compared to the similar period for 2017. The board and management team are committed to ensuring that General Accident’s financial performance continues to improve for the remainder of the year,” Paul Scott, Chairman and Sharon Donaldson, Managing Director said in their report to shareholders that accompanied the quarterly results.
The company ended the period with equity capital of $2 billion with $4 billion in insurance reserves. Assets total $6.7 billion and comprise liquid funds of $3 billion with amounts due from re-insurers and co-insurers of $1.5 billion representing a big jump from $875 million in 2017.

NCB is stock to watch

NCB Financial, released record full year results and announced an interim dividend of 70 cents per share at the end of the first week in November to be followed this past week, with the announcement that the way is cleared for them to go after another 22 percent of Trinidad and Tobago based Guardian Holdings on Friday with the NCB stock closing at a record high of $137.99.
The stock could make more gains in the week if demands picks up. Technical chart shows NCB Financial heading to $155, an area of potential resistance. The added Guardian ownership will add to earnings per share for the NCB group in the short term but longer-term synergies exits to take advantage of that should add even more to the bottom-line.
With just about all companies releasing quarterly results there is not much firepower that was released to move prices one way or the other, price movements will be more determined by perceived levels of under or overvaluation of individual stocks.
Investors should be keeping their eyes on Seprod that has seen increased supply with the recent public share issue having been allocated, the stock is considered a good buy at current trading of $30 or less. The company also posted results showing strong gains for the nine months. Stationery and Office Supplies that reported third quarter results that started to benefit from profit from the new book manufacturing business and continued strong sales growth. The stock price may well have factored in the good news but supply for sale seems limited.

Access & Iron Rock back into IC Top 10

Thee are no change to the TOP 10 main market list. The Junior Market has two changes with Iron Rock Insurance and Access Financial returning to the TOP 10, while Stationery and Office Supplies (SOS) and Dolphin Cove moved out.
IC Insider.com lowered the earnings per share for the two that moved out, based on the most recent release of interim results. In addition, SOS moved up in price following the release of nine months results.
Last week’s big new the entry, Scotia Group moved from $50 to close at $55.95 and now awaits the full year results which be out soon, for more direction. Based on IC Insider.com forecast Scotia is set to earn around $4.60 for the 2018 year to October with the PE at just 11 times earnings.
Earnings for General Accident have been adjusted down to 40 cents per share with the latest results now out, but it still holds on to the TOP 10.
The main market closed the week with the overall PE remains at 15.3, the PE of the Junior market is at 15.6 from the prior week.
The PE ratio for Junior Market Top 10 stocks average 9.4 and the main market PE is now 9.7.
The TOP 10 stocks now trade at an average discount of 40 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.