Once Upon a Time in Hollywood– The Golden Age

Leonardo DiCaprio tries to achieve fame and success in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a comedy-drama written and directed by Academy Award® winner Quentin Tarantino. The film stars Academy Award® winners Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Al Pacino,  Academy Award® nominees Margot Robbie and Bruce Dern, alongside Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler and Dakota Fanning.
The Art of Racing in the Rain– Navigating the journey of life
Through his bond with his owner, aspiring Formula One race car driver Denny, golden retriever Enzo learns that the techniques needed on the race track can also be used to successfully navigate the journey of life.

Cats is a Chinese animated film directed by Gary Wong and produced by Viva Pictures Release.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is a comedy-drama directed by Simon Curtis and written by Mark Bomback, based on the 2008 novel of the same name by author Garth Stein. The film stars Milo Ventimiglia (NCB’s This is Us), Amanda Seyfried (Mean Girls/Mama Mia!) and Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner as the voice of Enzo.
Cats – Escape to Paradise
A cat named Blanket has long been living in a high-rise apartment in the city with his son, Cape.

A golden retriever learns from his owner Milo Ventimiglia The Art of Racing in the Rain.

One day, curious about the outside world, Cape decides to leave home and embarks on an adventure to find the legendary cat’s paradise. To find his son, Blanket must overcome his fear and reconcile with his past, with the help of a female Macaw.
These movies are now featured at Palace Amusement Company’s cinemas in Kingston, Montego Bay and now at their newest movie house in Portmore, the Sunshine Palace.

Blowout Avengers US numbers

Avengers Endgame opens island wide in Jamaica on today (Friday) at all Palace Amusement cinemas and expected to be a blockbuster movie.
Report out of the United States quotes AMC Entertainment as saying, Disney’s Avengers: Endgame will show about 58,000 times this weekend at the company’s theaters to blow away the company’s previous weekend screening record by more than 10,000 showings.
AMC has put approximately 10 million seats on sale between Thursday night’s opening and Sunday night. The Avengers movie set an all-time record for Thursday night box office sales.
“With wildly enthusiastic critic and fan reviews, interest in Avengers: Endgame has continued to grow beyond even the most optimistic projections,” notes AMC.
In Jamaica, the movie that opens today will see patrons paying approximately 8 percent more to watch it and other movies than they would earlier in the month as Palace announced increased prices for movies effective April 26. Palace last increased prices around 4 percent effective July last year.

Barita up 593% top 2018 JSE stock

Barita climbs to a new closing high of $50 on Friday to gain 593% in 2018..

Stocks on the Jamaica Stock Exchange main market ending 2018 with a credible gain of 31.7 percent but brokerage house Barita Investments surged a by a huge 593 percent to be the markets best performing stock in 2018.  
Barita Investments gain mostly came after Cornerstone Investment Holdings officially sealed the deal to take over the company and laterally, after announcing a rights issue to shareholders at an exercise price of $15.50. The stock closed the year at $52. But there is a lot more going on with this company as the new majority owners take a more aggressive approach to capture more business locally and within the wider Caribbean.
Four stocks end 2018 with gains of more than 100 percent contributed to the year’s performance but the year’s movement fell below that of 2017, when the index rose 50.7 percent. The next best performer could only deliver a 211 percent rise in contrast to the stunning gains by Barita. Salada Foods ended the year with a jump in price to $35 on strong gains in profit, to capture the number 2 best performing spot rising by 211 percent for the year, followed by Palace Amusement with gains of 159 percent, the third year in a row that it is occupying the top 10 list. Kingston Wharves grew 135 percent to be one of 4 stocks to reappear in the top 10 for two consecutive years. Jamaica Broilers gained 67 percent. Pulse Investments reappeared in the Top 10 with a rise of 66 percent and heavy weight, PanJam Investment put in a strong showing of 65 percent, while Supreme Ventures chipped in with 57 percent, Mayberry Investments rose 52 percent and NCB Financial with 50 percent to retain one of the Top 10 spots for the second year in a row.
The worst performing stocks included Ciboney down 71 percent due mainly to the sale of property it previously owned with most of the proceeds distributed as a dividend thus reducing the value of its assets to a few million dollars. 138 Student Living was next with a fall of 42 percent with Portland JSX ending with a loss for the year of 25 percent following on from Kingston Properties with 22 percent and Sygnus Credit Investments with 20 percent from it 2018 IPO price. Both Ciboney and Carreras that are in the top 10 worst performing stocks in 2018 are coming from the top 10 in 2017.

4 new entrants in IC Top 10

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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.

New movie house for Portmore in 2019

Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay.

Palace Amusement is expanding with the re-entry into the rapidly growing Portmore community in 2019. The newest cinema house when complete, will bringing the number of movie houses to four.
The company in its 2018 annual report stated, “we are excited about the offerings of the four screens location to come” in Portmore. In 2004 fiscal year, the Portmore cinema brought in just over $15 million in revenue, with segment profit of $1.2 million. In 2004 the population was around 160,000 persons and with some estimates indicating it could be over the 300,000 region now, as a result, the new cinema could generate revenues of more than $100 million per year, with attendant profit to be added to the existing business. With Portmore so close to Kingston it could result in a switch in some of the existing business to the new one.
The company also stated, “It is our hope, in short order, to introduce laser technology in our cinema projection–which will offer a superior light quality for films. Additionally, we will introduce disposable 3D glasses in some of our locations–in response to customer preference and requests.”
Palace reported it best year ever with the fiscal year to June 2018 annual report states profit after tax of $152 million up from just $33 million for the full year in 2017 and earnings per share of $96.58. Revenues climbed  by 17 percent to $1.67 billion that flowed from a 25 percent rise in patronage income at Carib, 27 percent increase at Cineplex and just 11.5 percent in Montego Bay, Multiplex.
Palace share last traded at $1,500 but is on offer at $1,200 without any takers.

Review of 2018 stock market forecast

Palace hits a new high of $1,500 to be top performer in 2018 so far.

“ Assessment of the market, suggests that 2018 could be a grand year, with overall price gains likely to be in excess of 40 percent”, a quote from IC Insider.com in February, this year.
“Based on projected earnings for 2018, the average PE ratio suggests that main market stocks should grow by 26 percent. Falling interest rates could add another 20 percent to gains during the year, bringing overall gains in excess of 40 percent.”
“Technical readings of the market have the main market heading initially to around 390,000 points or 23 percent ahead of the December close, for the all Jamaica Index, before resistance sets in and then moving much higher, later on’ the IC Insider.com forecast for 2018 stated.
With almost three more months to go, before the year ends, the main market is broken through the 390,000 points mark to be up 31.7 percent for the year to date, there seems no stopping it for now.
The report in February stated that the main market was caught in a wedge formation, trading just below the upper end of channel that can be traced to late 2015. The wedge could hold the market in consolidation mode for a short time, a month or two, before breaking out, most likely to the upside.
IC Insider.com projects that many of the main market heavy weights will find it tough to repeat the strong gains they enjoyed in 2017, if that is the case, their impact on the market index is likely to be less than for 2017. Another factor that could make a repeat of 2017 tough, is the movement of interest rates. Last year, Treasury bill rates fell 29 percent from 6.56 percent to 4.83 percent, that level of decline, is unlikely to happen in 2018, even as some of the decline in the latter part of 2017 is yet to be fully reflected in the prices of stocks to date and should positively affect prices in 2018. IC Insider.com is forecasting rates on 182 days Treasury bill  hitting 3 percent by the end of the 2018 first quarter. Treasury bill rates in 2018 at 1.7 percent, have fallen more sharply than in 2017.
The original piece stated that “there are a number of other factors at play that are set to impact the market. Increasing employment is taking place with the highest number of persons employed in the country’s history. Attendant with that is the sharp fall in unemployment from more than 16.3 percent in 2013, to just over 10 percent in 2017. The annual net employment is growing around 30,000 persons per year and that could rise as the economy gains steam. This will mean more spending and increased tax collection for government. Alpart resumption of Alumina production is a big positive for the overall economy, for increased government revenues and more demand for local goods and services, some of which are provided by listed companies. The tourism sector is enjoying strong growth, apart from increasing foreign exchange intake for the country, will have direct impact on Jamaica Producers and Sagicor X Fund. Jamaica seems to be going through a construction boom with several new buildings under construction, Caribbean Cement and Berger Paints should benefit considerably from such developments.”
“More listings on the stock market will result in increased fee income for JSE and brokerage houses, from increased trading volumes.”
The TOP 10 stocks include a few surprises while there are others that sit just outside the top stocks that investors may still want to keep a keen eye on. Investors should be looking beyond 2018 as medium term gains beyond 2018 could be strong for stocks that will benefit from current developments, long term.
The TOP 10 selection is selling well below the average PE of the Main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at just over 6.3 versus nearly 12 at the end of 2017.

Barita last traded on the JSE as high as $20 on Friday.

Barita Investments moved more into fee based income and that is working well for them, with sharp growth, while net interest income stagnates. The prospects for continued strong growth in fee income continues with more investors seeking better returns than in the fixed interest market. The company should see a change in ownership soon and that could see a more aggressive approach to management that could optimize returns from exiting business and newer lines. Unrealized gains on investment ought to be factored into its earnings in valuing the stocks and that would boost its value considerably, the market is not paying attention.
Berger Paints is set to be a big winner with increasing sales coming from a buoyant construction sector resulting in increased profit and what IC Insider.com expects to be a healthy dose of dividend payments. It could become the next Carreras from a dividend yield standpoint but with growing profits. The company will benefit from lowering of overhead cost which was evident in 2017.
Jamaica Broilers continues to grow organically and from new business being acquired. Growth will continue as the Haitian market deliver greater returns form a growing market while the poultry demand in Jamaica continues to grow.
Caribbean Cement will benefit from lower operating cost, increased sales and a planned cut in financing of the lease which is said will cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of it cost that could come close to $2 per share per annum.
Palace Amusement Company, currently enjoying sell out cinemas with block buster hit, is one of those unusual choices. It enjoys minimal trading but it could surprise on the upside if all goes well. Growth in the economy and increased employment will help to boost patronage going forward and will aid in profit growth as well.
JMMB Group put out outstanding Q3 results with a 39 percent increase in profit and strong gains in revenues, auguring well for 2019 outcome.
The growth potential remains strong and investors in the stock will reap rich rewards down the road. Just one stock that requires patience. By the way fees and commission income jumped an impressive 71 percent to $512 million in the quarter and 53 percent in the nine months, over the similar period in 2016 and should continue to do so going forward.
Radio Jamaica continues to disappoint with below expected revenues and profit. It could return to favour but needs to generate more income from advertising. This is one to accumulate for a payoff down the road.
The other three stocks, Sterling Investments, Grace Kennedy and Sagicor Group are undervalued and could deliver some decent returns to patient investors.
Below the TOP 10 are strong candidates to deliver decent returns this year and beyond, the list includes NCB Financial that is on a strong growth trajectory and recently listed Wisynco Group that should generate earnings around $1.10 for the 2019 fiscal year that starts in July.

Record profit for Palace Amusement

Carib Cinema, the flagship for Palace Amusement.

Black Panther delivered record profit for Palace Amusement Company, the full year’s results show. Palace reported profit after tax of $152 million up from just $33 million for the full year in 2017 and earnings per share of $96.58.
For the final quarter the company posted profit of $102 million compared to just $28 million in 2017 but a $61 million gain on sale of the Harbour View property added $61 million to the company’s bottom-line. Revenues climbed nicely by 17 percent to $1.67 billion that flowed from a 25 percent rise in patronage income at Carib in Kingston 27 percent increase at Cineplex located in Kingston and just 11.5 percent at Montego Bay Multiplex.
The major contributor to the rise, was the blockbuster film Black Panther that ran from February to May this year. In the June quarter revenues rose 10 percent to $330 million and would have been generated form increase patrons coming to the movies. Cost rose with direct expenses climbing 13 percent for the year and 7 percent in the quarter while administrative cost was up 19 percent for the quarter and 10 percent for the year.
Palace ended the year with cash and bank balances of $284 million up from $141 million in 2017. The stock last traded on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $1,500 at a PE of almost 15.

The Escape Plan 2 – Survive & GET OUT!

Palace Amusement Company brings another summer release to the big screen at it cinemas in its three movie houses in Montego Bay and Kingston.
in the latest offering, Ray Breslin (Academy Award ® nominee Sylvester Stallone) manages an elite team of security specialists trained in the art of breaking people out of the world’s most impenetrable prisons.
But when one of his team members goes missing inside a computerized techno-terror battle-maze known as HADES, Breslin together with Trent DeRosa (Dave Bautista) and Hush (50 Cent) must now decipher a way to break into the world’s best hidden prison, release their kidnapped team, and make it out alive. Written by Miles Chapman and directed by Steven Miller, this action thriller is a sequel to the 2013 film; The Escape Plan.

Another record close for JSE on Friday

Trading on the Jamaica Stock Exchange main market ended at a another record close, with JSE All Jamaican Composite Index increasing by 763.78 points in a record closing high of 326,087.70 and the JSE Index gaining 695.89 points to a record closing high of 297,102.76.
At the close with only 28 securities traded versus 29 on Thursday. Trading ended with the prices of 7 stocks rising, 12 falling and 9 trading firm, in the main and US dollar markets.
Securities closing with sizable price changes include, Grace Kennedy lost $1 to end at $48, Kingston Wharves declined by $1 to $39, Palace Amusement dropped $150 on top of the $200 fall on Thursday to end the week at $750 and Scotia Group fell $1.50 to $52.
Main market activity ended with 5,136,325 units valued at over $124,111,209 compared to 11,332,892 units valued at over $423,780,603. JMMB Group closed trading with 1,575,126 units accounting for 30.67 percent of the overall market volume followed by Carreras with 819,568 units or 15.96 percent of total volume traded and Jamaica Broilers Group with 550,887 units with 10.73 of traded volume.
Trading resulted in an average of 190,234 shares valued at $4,596,711, for each security traded, compared to 419,737 shares valued at $15,695,578 on Thursday. The average for the month to date is 1,240,308 shares with a value of $6,425,698 and previously 1,510,327 shares with a value of $7,058,809. In contrast, March closed with an average of 626,526 units with an average value at $20,492,207 for each security traded.
The US dollar market closed on Thursday with 109 units valued at just US$24 as Proven Investments was the sole stock traded and ended unchanged at 22 US cents, leaving the market index unchanged at the close at 173.30.
IC bid-offer Indicator| At the end of trading, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator reading shows 6 stocks ended with bids higher than their last selling prices and 2 with a lower offers.
For more details of market activities see – JSE trading levels fall on Friday

Palace is much more than Black Panther

Carib Cinema, the flagship for Palace Amusement.

Revenues and profit are getting a big lift from the strong showing of the Black Panther movie currently playing at the Palace Amusement cinemas in Jamaica.
The stock jumped sharply in March, more than doubling the previous price of $560. Some investors are of the view that interest in the stock is purely as a result of the movie. While it may be a factor, Palace’s story goes well beyond that.
Although in the public eyes daily, the shares of Palace are not the focus of attention for many . One main reason is the 1,437,000 shares issued by the company, resulting in limited liquidity in the stock. The other is that historically profit can be a bit erratic. Management’s failure to split the stock for greater liquidity only adds to investors’ concerns.
Palace is reminiscent of Lascelles deMercado back in 1983 when the stock hardly traded due to liquidity issues and a lousy dividend policy. Asked then why the stock was so cheap, around $6, a broker responded —no one buys

A seen from Black Panther

Lascelles’ shares. That of course was a terrible error by investors as the stock went on to deliver one of the best returns on the local market with Campari ultimately buying out the company.
Stocks that are not sexy don’t get much attention from investors, but in many cases, these are the ones to record massive gains when the story is fully told. A reader of IC Insider.com indicated that a look at the last two years’ results revealed flat revenues. That prompted a review of the numbers. The history may not be spectacular but closer examination shows a high degree of attractiveness that is not based solely on the pile of added income Black Panther will rake in.
Revenues have been climbing since 2014 when it reached $833 million, rising to $916 million in 2015, with a slight dip in 2016 to $909 million. Revenues rose 9 percent in 2017 to $990 million and for the half year to December 2017, growth was 11 percent to $493 million with profit rising 138 percent.
Revenues will hit the billion mark for the first time in the company’s history, for the current fiscal year and remain over that level going forward. The performance of the economy is critical to the future fortunes and to a lesser degree, the quality of films. Data indicates that with a tight economy, patronage in Kingston suffered badly with the downturn in the economy from 2008 onwards. At the same time, strong growth, said to be around 7 percent per annum in the Montego Bay economy, showed up in strong revenue gains there compared to Kingston for a number of years. With the overall economy recovering and employment growing, Palace is benefitting and it’s reflected in the numbers to December 2017.

Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay.

Segment results tell the story of the strong impact of the economy on operations. For the six months to December, Box office patronage at Carib Cinema in Cross Roads rose 14 percent to $147 million, while at Palace Cineplex, the gains were 10 percent to $55 million and 8 percent at Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay to $77 million. Sales from the concessionaires surged 29 percent to $80 million at Carib, 22 percent at Cineplex to $27 million and 21 percent to $34 million at Multiplex. The fact that Carib has outgrown the other two cinemas is not an accident but is reflective of the recovery in disposable income of a large number of Jamaicans.
While revenues are on the rise, cost has been kept under control. Direct operating cost increased by 6 percent to $190 million for the quarter and 8 percent for the half year.

Another Palace movie – Bruce Willis and Cole Hauser star in Acts of Violence.

Administrative Expenses rose just 4 percent to $37 million in the December quarter and 7 percent for the six months to $76 million. Depreciation for the six months period rose just 5 percent to $17 million. If the trend continues into 2019 fiscal year earnings should be close to $100 per share range. Prior to Black Panther, earnings were set to reach around $45 per share but the phenomenal success of Black Panther is Projected by IC Insider.com to push 2018 earnings to be well over $100 per share when the fiscal year closes in June.
The company concluded the year with equity capital of $343 million, borrowings at just $25 million with cash funds of $130 million helping to push Current assets to $242 million as Current liabilities stand at $110 million.
The stock traded at $1,300 earlier in the month is poised to fall back with the lowest offer being $1,000. Palace trades on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at a PE around 10 times projected 2019 earnings and much lower based on the 2018 earnings.