8 Stocks trade on JSE junior market

General Accident stock rose 11 cents to $1.57 on Friday

General Accident stock rose 11 cents to $1.57 on Friday

Trading in the Junior Market closed with 8 securities traded, with the price of 2 advancing, 3 declining and 3 traded unchanged. Trading ended with 1,655,230 units valued at $2,097,723. The JSE Junior Market Index rose 1.53 points to close at 672.57.
At the close of the market, there were 2 stocks with bids higher than their last selling prices and 2 stocks with offers that were lower. The junior market continues to exhibit weakness with 7 securities closing with no bids to buy. There were 4 securities that had no stocks being offered for sale.
Access Financial traded 2,400 shares at $9, Caribbean Producers traded 76,978 units to end at $2.20, and lost 1 cents, Consolidated Bakeries with 105,314 shares closed at 82 cents, Dolphin Cove exchanged 5,300 shares and lost 30 cents to end at $8.50, General Accident closed up, by 11 cents, at $1.57 while 61,516 units were traded. Lasco Distributors ended up with a volume of 650,000 being traded for $1.49 and the price rose 5 cents to $1.49, Lasco Financial traded 721,560 shares to end at 94 cents after losing 2 cents and Lasco Manufacturing traded at 99 cents with 32,162 shares.

Only 2 stocks trade on junior market

Trading in the Junior Market closed with very little activity on the second trading day of December. Trading ended with only 22,000 units valued at $27,980. The JSE Junior Market Index fell 5.44 points to close at 679.42, only 2 securities traded, with the price of 2 declining.
At the close of the market, there were 3 stocks with bids higher than their last selling prices and 3 stocks with offers that were lower. The junior market weakness continues with 8 securities closing with no bids to buy. There were 4 securities that had no stocks being offered for sale.
The two stock to trade are, Caribbean Cream closed with 5,000 shares trading lower by 1 cent at 70 cents and Lasco Distributors finished trading with 17,000 units and fell 6 cents to $1.44.

Eppley & Lasco Distributors dominate juniors

Lasco_Building280x150 Trading picked up on the Junior Market on Friday, making it the best day for several weeks for volume and number of securities traded. Eppley preference share was the dominant trade, in monetary terms, Lasco Distributors with volume and Dolphin Cove with price change.
Trading ended with 2,058,386 units, valued at $6,226,015. The JSE Junior Market Index fell 1.25 points to close at 660.02, as 8 securities traded, with the price 3 advancing and 3 declining. At the close of the market, there were 2 stocks with bids higher than their last selling prices and 3 stocks with offers that were lower. The junior market continues to exhibit weakness with 10 securities closing with no bids to buy. There were 5 securities that had no stocks being offered for sale.
Gains|Dolphin Cove had 33,690 shares changing hands and gained 80 cents to $8.80, Eppley 9.5% preference share contributed 661,120 units to trading and rose 2 cents to a 52 weeks’ high of $6.10, Lasco Distributors finished trading with 1,181,969 units to close with a gain of 2 cents at $1.32.
Firm|General Accident exchanged 5,000 shares at $1.53 and Lasco Manufacturing finished trading with 50,000 shares changing hands 95 cents.
Declines| Blue Power ended trading with 7,350 shares to close with a 66 cents fall to $7.10, a new 52 weeks’ low, Caribbean Producers finished trading with 110,000 units with a fall of 50 cents to $2 and Lasco Financial ended with 9,257 shares traded with a loss of 8 cents to close at 90 cents.
Caribbean Producers reported a loss in its latest quarterly result to September before minority interest of US$23,000 by acme out with small profit of US$2,500, this contrast with a profit of $447,000 in 2013.

Slight October recovery for Junior market

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JM ind 31-10-14 The Junior Market closed trading with 540,594 units, valued at $832,210 on Friday. The JSE Junior Market Index fell 0.33 points to close at 656.46, a few points higher, than the 653.79 points, September ended at. Only 5 securities traded, there were no advancing stocks while 2 declined.
At the close of the market, there were 4 stocks with bids higher than their last selling prices and only 1 stock with a lower offer. The junior market continues to exhibit weakness with 10 securities closing with no bids to buy. There were 6 securities that had no stocks being offered for sale.
The stocks that traded firm in the junior market are, Access Financial with 9,700 units to close at $10.01, Caribbean Flavours 67,195 units, closed at $2.35 and Lasco Financial with 6,540 units, ended at 98 cents.
The stocks with price losses are, Blue Power traded only 100 shares but lost 24 cents to $7.76, for a new 52 weeks’ low and Lasco Distributors with 457,059 units, closed 10 cents lower at $1.15.

Sales up margin down at Lasco Distributors

Peter Chin - Lasco Distributors' Managing Director

Peter Chin – Lasco Distributors’ Managing Director

Sales climb 17 percent for the September quarter, at Lasco Distributors to hit $2.7 billion and 10 percent in the six months to September, to reach $5.1 billion. Gross profit margin declined, leading to a growth of just 3.8 percent in gross profit, to $475 million from $457 million, for the quarter, and declined 2.2 percent to $910 million for the half year.
Operating cost jumped 15 percent in the quarter, to $377 million and just over 17 percent for the six months to $738 million, pushing profit down 19 percent to $112.5 million for the quarter, from $138.7 million in 2013 and down a much larger, 33 percent, to $203 million for the half year, versus $303 million in the 2013 period.
As disappointing as the second quarter numbers are, they represent a major improvement over the first quarter with a revenue increase of 4 percent, and a fall in profits of 45 percent compared to the 2013 June quarter.
Finances|The company has quite a bit of funds tied up in inventories $1.3 billion and receivables $1.7 billion, that are in excess of normal trading levels, cash funds on the other hand is up to $850 million and will be handy in helping to finance the 110,000 square foot warehousing facility, that they will be embarking on shortly, to meet what management says, is increasing demand flowing from new products to be distributed by the company.
The expected payment from their successful law suit against Pfizer is not yet booked and the amount not yet made public but should exceed $1 billion.
Lasco Manufacturing new "I Cool" drinks

Lasco Manufacturing new “I Cool” drinks

Lasco Distributors markets a wide range of household, foods and pharmaceutical products and is listed on the junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange. the company recently started the distribution of I Cool barnds of drinks its sister company Lasco Manufacturing commenced manufacturing recently, as well as Salada Foods products which it commenced distributing, at the start of the year.

Flat sales higher cost hit Lasco Manufacturing

Lasco Manufacturing new "I Cool" drinks

Lasco Manufacturing new “I Cool” drinks

Sales fell marginally to $1 billion from $1.03 billion in the September 2014 quarter, compared to 2013, at Lasco Manufacturing. A sharp jump in operating and finance cost helped to pressure the financial performance in the quarter to a profit of $127 million down from $176 million in 2013.
Earnings per share fell to 3 cents for the quarter and 7 cents for the six months. Year to date revenue was $2.08 billion compared to $1.88 billion for the same period last year, an increase of 11 percent. “This growth was driven mainly by increased volume in our export markets. Our International Division reported a growth of 40 percent during the quarter” management stated in their release with the financials.
Gross profit for the six months rose 14 percent to $602 million from $526 million and in the September quarter it grew to $287 million from $276, bettering gross profit margin moderately. Net profit for the six months declined 15 percent to $268 million against the comparative period last year. “The net profit performance was in line with the expectations of management and the board, this was due to temporary increase in manufacturing cost resulting from the effect of changes in staff complement, overhead costs associated with the new manufacturing plant, and increased finance cost,” the company’s management stated.
Operating expenses climbed 54 percent to $151 million in the latest quarter, and 41 percent, for the six months period. While there is no breakdown for the operating cost, other than the increased staff cost mentioned above, increased depreciation charge on the liquid factory would also be one of the factors pushing cost. With the other factory to be opened after the quarter’s end, the depreciation charge will rise again. Finance cost jumped to $25 million in the quarter from just $2 million in the 2013 quarter and for the half year to $57 million from $2.3 million. Prior to the completion of the factory, the finance cost associated with building and equipping the factories was capitalised as part of the factory cost. With the completion of the facilities, the cost will be a direct charge against income.
Heating of raw material to make bottles for Lasco's new drinks

Heating of raw material to make bottles for Lasco’s new drinks

During the quarter, the company introduced LASCO iCool water, iCool flavor water and iCool juice drinks to the market. The company made significant investments in marketing as well as promotional activities in collaboration with affiliated company LASCO Distributors.
“The company is on target with its long-term plan to invest in innovation across all facets of the business – from new product development to powering a pipeline of new products, drive financial performance and fuel continued consumer passion for the LASCO brand,” management stated.
Finances| At the end September, borrowed funds was at $1.49 billion with $187 million to be paid within the next twelve months, while cash funds were at $153 million. $2.1 billion is in work in progress to be transferred to fixed assets and will push total fixed assets to $3 billion when effected. The company is also in the process of constructing a new warehouse of 30,000 square foot. Up to the end of the September the company was operating from two factories one at the White Mall facilities as well as at Red Hills Road, thus resulting in duplicated cost. The liquid plant is to be up graded further by $3 million to reduce raw material cost and expanded for other products, including production for some foreign partner.

4 stocks trade on junior market

Paramount_building The Junior Market closed trading with only moderate interest and only 153,055 units valued at $196,918 changed hands. The JSE Junior Market Index increased 2.07 points to close at 666.40 as only 4 securities traded with 1 advancing and 1 declining.
At the close of the market there were 3 stocks with bids higher than the last selling price and 5 stocks with offers that were lower. The junior market continues to exhibit weakness with 9 stocks closing with no bids to buy, against 5 that had no stocks being offered for sale.
Lasco Manufacturing with 29,802 units, closed 2 cents higher at $1.04, Paramount Trading had 18,511 units trading, falling 2 cents to $2.50, Lasco Distributors traded 100,000 shares at $1.15 and Lasco Financial traded only 4,742 units at $1.

Lasco Distributors prevails against Pfizer

Lasco Distributors has prevails against Pfizer in a law suit that Pfizer brought against Lasco. The local company had won the case in the local courts but Pfizer appealed the judgement to the Privy Council in 2012.

Lasco Distributors has now advised, that the Privy Council has dismissed the Appeal by Pfizer Limited and has affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal.
“Lasco Distributors Limited’s (LDL) objection to grant Pfizer Limited a stay of the judgment of the Court was accepted by the Court of Appeal. This means that LDL is permitted to continue to trade in the product Las Amlodipine which it had been barred from distributing and to proceed to have the Supreme Court assess the damages caused by the issue of the injunction and to tax the cost payable by Pfizer,” the company reported in 2012.
Lasco ceased selling Las Amlodipine by an injunction granted in March, 2005, however, Lasco contended that under the provisions of the Patent Act of Jamaica, the Jamaican Patent was not in force when the Company started to market its own product, Las Amlodipine since an earlier patent No. 18266 granted to Pfizer in Egypt had expired in March 1997.
The matter was heard in the courts which found that the case for Pfizer for an infringement of Jamaican Patent No. 3247 failed. The court gave judgment for the Company with costs to be agreed or taxed and directed that there should be an enquiry as to damages suffered by the Company as a result of the interlocutory injunction granted to Pfizer under their undertaking in damages.
It is the expectation of the Company, based on legal advice it has received, that its lost sales of the product to date (estimated to be $400 million) are likely to be recovered in the event that it succeeds in this matter but it is difficult to quantify the amount of damages that could potentially be awarded to the Company as they will continue to accrue until the matter is decided. With the passage of time, the cost of money in Jamaica since 2005, lost sales from 2005 until they were permitted to start selling in 2012 and legal cost involved in the case Lasco distributors should end up with well over $1 billion from the case.