Lasco Manufacturing dominates

Lasco's bottling line

Lasco’s bottling line

Lasco Manufacturing finished trading with more than 3 million shares on a day when trading in the Junior Market closed with 7 securities trading with 3,887,715 units valued at $4,401,482. The JSE Junior Market Index rose 6.20 points to close at 673.62, with the price 4 stocks advancing and none declining.
At the close of the market, there were just 1 stock with the bid higher than the last selling price and none with the offers that was lower. Sentiments in the junior market seems to be on the mend with 6 securities closing with no bids to buy compared to as many as 11 a few weeks ago. There were 6 securities that had no stocks being offered for sale.
Lasco Manufacturing finished trading with 3,140,579 changing hands to end at $1, up by 2 cents, Lasco Distributors ended with 425,670 trading to end at $1.45 while gaining 1 cent, Blue Power Group ended with 950 units trading 11 cents higher at $6.16, General Accident Insurance closed trading with 11,332 shares and gained 16 cents at $1.75.
Caribbean Producers closed with 104,408 shares and ended at $2.20, Dolphin Cove ended with 6,000 to close at $8.50, Buying came into the market for Medical Disposables that finished with 198,776 units changing hands to end at $1.70, at the close there was a bid to buy 370,224 units, at $1.70.

2 new 52 weeks’ low for juniors

Kurk Boothe - Medical Disposables Managing Director. the company stock fell a new low on Monday, in spite of healthy profit gains.

Kurk Boothe – Medical Disposables Managing Director. The company’s stock fell to a new low on Monday, in spite of healthy profit gains.

Trading in the Junior Market closed with 7 securities trading, with the price 2 advancing and 2 declining, both losing stocks, closed at new 52 weeks’ low. Trading ended with 177,764 units valued at $294,489. The JSE Junior Market Index fell 2.48 points, to close at 670.09.
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 6 securities closing with no bids to buy, this is down from 11 a few weeks ago, as such sentiment is slowly on the mend. There were 4 securities that had no stocks being offered for sale.
The stocks that traded on Monday are, General Accident ended with 20,000 shares changing hands to gain of 3 cents to $1.60, Lasco Manufacturing closed with 30,000 units with a gain of 1 cent to $1. Caribbean Producers saw trading in 13,526 shares at $2.20, Dolphin Cove closed trading with only 108 shares changing hands at $8.50, Lasco Distributors completed trading with 13,130 shares changing hands at $1.49. Honey Bun ended trading with 15,000 units, the price slipped 22 cents to a new 52 weeks’ low of $1.90 and Medical Disposables ended with 86,000 units and closed at 20 cents lower to a new 52 week’ low of $1.80, and now trades lower than the issue price of $1.83, back in December 2013.

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.

4 junior market stocks trade

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Sweet River factory - the company stock was 1 of 4 that traded.

Sweet River factory – the company stock was 1 of 4 that traded.

Trading in the Junior Market closed with only 4 securities traded, with the price 2 stock declining and none advancing. Trading ended with 164,738 units valued at $207,678. The JSE Junior Market Index fell 8.38 points to close at 671.04,
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.
Market activity saw Caribbean Cream with 7,000 shares changing hands to close at 70 cents, Sweet River Abattoir ended with 4,800 shares changing hands to close at $3.86, Access Financial ended with 4,100 units as the price slipped $1.01, to $9 and Lasco Manufacturing closed with 148,838 shares trading lower by 1 cent to 99 cents.

Only 2 securities trade on junior market

Trading on the Junior Market has not be strong in recent weeks and the results of some of the companies have not been strong enough to drive investors buy these stocks. as such the level of participation has not been great with nearly half the market closing daily without bids.
On Tuesday the market closed trading with 87,295 units valued at $109,786 changing hands as only 2 securities traded, none advanced and one declined. at the close, the JSE Junior Market Index fell 4.31 points to 648.31.
At the end of the trading, there were 5 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 8 securities closing with no bids to buy. There were 5 securities that had no stocks being offered for sale.
Access Financial with 3,295 shares closed at $10.01 and Lasco Manufacturing had 84,000 units trading to close at 91 cents after losing 4 cents.

Lasco Manufacturing sole stock to rise

Section of new plant at Lasco Manufacturing at White Marl, St. Catherine

Section of new plant at Lasco Manufacturing at White Marl, St. Catherine

The Junior Market closed trading with only 196,509 units valued at $283,781. The JSE Junior Market Index fell 3.84 points to close at 652.62, with only 6 securities traded, 1 advanced and 4 declined.
At the close of the market, there were 2 stocks with bids higher than their last selling prices and only 1 stock with the offer 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. The weakness is in keeping with technical indicators, suggesting that the junior market has a while to go, before prices start to recover across the broader market. This is especially so with profits of two of the Lasco companies falling below the results for 2013.
Lasco Manufacturing was the only junior market stock to gain at the end of trading as trading closed with 20,800 shares trading to gain 4 cents at 95 cents and Caribbean Flavours 50,323 units traded to close unchanged, at $2.35.
Lasco Financial with 98,860 shares, ended at 98 cents, Dolphin Cove with 200 units but lost 50 cents to end at $8, General Accident added 6,326 shares but lost 2 cents to close at $1.53 and Medical Disposables put through 20,000 units but lost 4 cents in closing at $1.88.

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.

Slight gain for juniors

amg-packaging280x150 The Junior Market closed trading with 768,343 units valued at $761,700. The JSE Junior Market Index gained 0.54 points to close at 660.02, only 5 securities traded, 2 advanced and 2 declined.
At the close of the market, there were 2 stocks with bids higher than their last selling prices and 4 stocks with offers that were lower. The junior market continues to be weak with 10 securities closing with no bids to buy. There were 4 securities that had no stocks being offered for sale.
Caribbean Producers put through 50,000 units with a gain of 10 cents to end at $2.30 and Lasco Manufacturing had 187,742 units trading, to close at 95 cents, after gaining 4 cents.
AMG Packaging traded 300 shares and lost 1 cent, to end at $2.24, a new 52 weeks low and Consolidated Bakeries traded 271,241 shares, lost 3 cents at 82 cents and Lasco Financial with 259,060 units trading, closed at 96 cents.

Lasco Finance up 15 cents

LascoFinancialServices_logo280x150 The Junior Market closed trading with 124,625 units valued at only $158,408. The JSE Junior Market Index increased 2.04 points to close at 661.40 with only 3 securities traded, 1 advanced and none declined.
At the close of the market there were 5 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 11 stocks closing with no bids to buy. There were 5 securities that had no stocks being offered for sale.
At the close of trading the active stocks are, Caribbean Producers trading 24,625 shares to end at $2.38, Lasco Financial Services gained 15 cent with 80,000 units, to close at $1 and Lasco Manufacturing had 20,000 units trading, to close at 98 cents.