$350 billion revenues in sight at NCB

NCB Financial head office in Kingston, Jamaica.

Gross revenues at Jamaica’s largest financial entity, NCB Financial Group, could hit $350 billion in 2020 data from the 2019 full year results suggests and would represent a significant rise from total revenues of $167 billion generated in 2019.
Total revenues jumped 128 percent in the September quarter to $81.3 billion, helped by the acquisition of a majority stake in Guardian Holdings and climbed 30 percent to $166.7 billion.  Guardian also contributed $580 billion to the Group’s total assets of $1.6 trillion.
NCB produced record profit in the twelve months to September, this year with profit attributable to NCB shareholders, growing 6 percent to $29.6 billion from $27.96 billion in 2018 with growth of 21 percent from $8.8 billion in the September quarter from $7.3 billion in 2018 quarter.
More importantly, profit from ongoing operations rose marginally from $28.69 billion for the year to September 2018, to $28.73 billion in 2019 and for the quarter, it rose 12 percent from $7.98 billion in 2018 to $8.97 billion. As impressive as the numbers suggest, not all things went well for the group. It suffered a significant loss from the loan portfolio having to book $4 billion in loan loss provision up 104 percent over $1.96 billion booked in 2018.
While the focus by many investors is on profit before other comprehensive profit, a closer look indicates that profit from normal operations does not tell the full story. Total profit for the year ended at $37.5 billion, up from $21.4 billion in 2018 with earnings per share of $15 for 2019.

Advantage General branch offices in Montego Bay Jamaica


Commercial and consumer division reported a loss of $414 million, compared with a profit of $2.75 billion, as a result of credit impairment losses moving from $1.1 billion to $4.1 billion in 2019. Payment services contributed $3.6 billion to profits from $2.9 billion in 2018. Corporate banking delivered $5.2 billion to earnings in 2019 from $3.4 billion to in 2018. Treasury and correspondent banking made the most significant impact on profit for 2019 with a profit of $9.9 billion but rose just a mere 3.6 percent from $9.55 billion in 2018. The group’s investment arm profits grew 8 percent to $9.9 billion from $9.2 billion, life insurance contributed $18.7 billion, up from $9.5 billion and general insurance saw profit more than doubling to $2.33 billion from $1 billion.
Interest income in the September quarter rose 43 percent to $20.5 billion from $14 billion and 28.6 percent for the year ended September to $67 billion from $52 billion in 2018. Interest expense increased 34 percent to $6 billion in the quarter, compared to a 20 percent increase for the year to $20.5 billion. Net interest income in the year was 33 percent higher than 2018, climbing to $46.7 billion from $35 billion and 47 percent in the quarter to $14.3 billion from $9.7 billion in 2018, resulting from an increase in the local loan portfolio and the 5 months results of GHL.
Fees and commission income grew 28.6 percent in the quarter to $7 billion from $5 billion in 2018 and 20 percent for the year, to $24 billion from $20 billion. Net fees and commission income ended the year at $19 billion, after increasing 21 percent from $16 billion in the prior year, with the September 2019 quarter climbing 39 percent from $4.2 billion to $5.8 billion.
For the quarter, insurance premium income skyrocketed to $33.5 billion from $2 billion and 539 percent for the year to $61 billion from $9 billion, which was due mainly to the consolidation of GHL results. Net insurance income in the year jumped 280 percent to $14.4 billion from $3.8 billion and 334 percent in the September quarter from $1.7 billion to $7.3 billion, of which GHL contributed $7 billion. Operating expenses rose 84 percent to $22.6 billion in the quarter and increased 49 percent in the twelve months to $64.7 billion and includes was staff cost which increased 45 percent in the quarter to $10 billion from $7 million in 2018 and for the year, 35 percent from $24 billion to $32 billion.
At the end of the year, shareholders’ equity stood at $146.6 billion, customers’ deposits and other funds placed by customers with the group rose to $731 billion from 697 billion in 2018. Total assets ended the period at $ 1.6 trillion inclusive of loans and advances of $423 billion, compared to 4373 billion in 2018. Investment securities rose to $760 billion from $391 billion.

NCB Financial Montego Bay branch

The group while acquiring additional shares in GHL taking its holdings to a majority of 61.97 percent, Advantage General Insurance was sold at the end of the fourth quarter, resulting in a gain of $2.6 billion. Additionally, $3.3 billion was realised from the disposal of its associated interest in JMMB in the first quarter of the financial year.
An interim dividend of 90 cents per share will be paid on December 6 to shareholders on record on November 22.
Earnings per share came out at $3.69 for the quarter and $8.49 for the nine months and ended the financial year at $12.18, but excluding the one-time capital gains earnings per share would have been closer to $10. The stock last traded at $205 on the Jamaica Stock Exchange and at TT$10.85 on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange at 14 times 2020 estimated earnings.

Eppley Carib Property considers JSE listing

Eppley Caribbean Property Fund is now being managed by Eppley, a Jamaican listed company

Eppley Caribbean Property Fund SCC announced its intention to cross-list the cellular shares of the Value Fund (“the Value Fund Shares”) on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
The Value Fund Shares are currently listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange and the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange and the believes that cross-listing the Value Fund Shares on the Jamaica Stock Exchange will enhance liquidity and make them available to wider universe of investors.
The Board of Directors has authorized ECPF’s fund managers, Eppley Fund Managers Limited, to evaluate the process of cross-listing the Value Fund Shares with the support of ECPF’s attorneys, investment bankers and other professional advisors.
If a decision is made by the Board of Directors to cross list the Value Fund Shares, Eppley expects that the cross-listing is likely to take place by the end of the second quarter of 2019 subject to any relevant regulatory approvals.
Eppley Caribbean Property Fund SCC (“ECPF”) is a closed-end mutual fund that invests in real estate across the Caribbean. ECPF has two segregated cells, namely the Value Fund and the Development Fund both of which are listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange and the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange

Angostura Holdings Q1 profit jumps 76%

Angostura Holdings aged rum.

Profit at Trinidad’s Angostura Holdings surged 77 percent in the March quarter, to TT$41 million before tax and up 76 percent to TT$28.4 million after tax resulting in earnings per share of 14 cents.
Sale revenues climbed 15.5 percent to TT$129.5 million but a 10 per cent fall in direct operating cost took cost down by to $37.7 million and boosted gross profit margin to 71 percent form 63 percent in 2017 and gross profit by 31 percent to $92 million.
Profit declined sharply from 2015 when the company posted $164 million after tax compared to TT$153 million in 2014 and then TT$122 million in 2016 and $111 million last year.
Marketing and sales expenses rose 11 percent to TT$37 million while administrative expenses rose just 2 percent to TT$14.6 million from TT$14.3 million in 2017. Finance cost was negligible.
Cash flow resulted in an increase of TT$61 million in cash pushing cash to TT$214 million as of March and investments of $218 million. At the end of March, shareholders’ equity stands at TT$1.01 billion with borrowings at just TT$20 million. Current assets ended the period TT$795 million well ahead of current liabilities of TT$96 million.
The stock traded at TT$15.75 on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange. Based on 2017 earnings the stock was selling at a PE ratio of 29 times. If the trend in earnings for the first quarter is held for all of 2018 the PE would fall 17 times earnings. Net asset value is TT$4.9 with the stock selling at 3.20 book value.
This one needs watching to see if the improvement deepens. It is worth noting that the company is amassing cash and could well be after a takeover target.
Angostura is one of the Caribbean’s major rum producers and producers of Angostura Bitters.

Republic is going higher soon

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Trinidad’s Republic Financial Holdings should be heading higher on Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange, sooner than many investors may think.
One reason is that the financial powerhouse, just posted pretty strong results, with profit before taxation rising a healthy 22 percent, to $490 million in the March quarter and a still respectable 14 percent for the half year. Increased taxation wiped out a bit a of the top line gains leaving profit at 3 percent higher for the quarter at $333 million and an increase of 4 percent at $694 million, for the half year. The improvement arose from slightly lower cost in the current year than for the previous one and an overall 8 percent increase in net income for the quarter to $1.17 billion from $1.08 billion in 2017 and 4 percent rise year to date to $2.34 billion. Earnings per share rose to $4.02 for the half year from $3.90 and compares favourably with $7.75 million reported for the fiscal year to September 2017 and gives it a PE around 12 on 2018 full year earnings and Friday’s closing price of $101,
Improvement was generated by the bank in Ghana, where that subsidiary moved from a small loss of just over $1 million to a profit of $68 million and the Cayman Islands’ operations that moved from a profit of $82 million to $113 million. Barbados also should marked improvement with profit of $149 million compared to $111 million before.
Helping the performance is increased lending, with loans rising from $34.4 billion at March 2017 to $37.4 million in 2018, a solid 9 percent increase.
The other factor why the stock price is set to move, is that the it peaked at $122 in 2014 and slid downward since and seems to have found a bottom. Added to that, is a wedge formation showing in a technical chart of its price movement that seems set to steer the price upwards in the months ahead.
IC Insider.com would normally give the stock a BUY RATED accolade, concerns linger about the Trinidad economy from which it earns the vast majority of income and profit, and what is seen as an overvalued currency.

Note that all prices are in Trinidad & Tobago dollar.

Trinidad recession bites Guardian Media hard

Guardian Media profit falls sharply since 2014.

A sharp fall in sale revenues in 2017, at Trinidad’s Guardian Media left the company hugging a small loss for the year ending December, according to an abridged quarterly report.
Profit dropped 94 percent in the 2017, to TT$488,000, for the December quarter before tax, from $8.5 million in 2016, but rose to $1.9 million after a tax credit of $1.4 million from a net profit of just $400,000 in 2016. For the year, the media house recorded a loss of TT$3 million after tax, from a profit after tax of $6.3 million in 2016, resulting in negative earnings per share of 8 cents.
Revenues fell 20.6 percent in the December 2017 quarter to TT$36 from $45 million and 16 percent to TTS$138 million from $164 million for the year.
The 2017 results is in stark contrast to 2015 when the company posted $35 million after tax and TT$34 million in 2014 from revenues in excess of $195 million for both years.
Cash flow brought in amounted to TT$20 million but capital payments and investments activities including paying $24 million in dividends used up $27 million, leaving cash at $72 million. Shareholders’ equity at the end of December, stood at TT$278 million, down from $305 million in 2016. Current assets ended the year at TT$131 million well ahead of current liabilities of TT$49 million.
According to the company’s chairman Peter Clarke, in his report included with the results, “2017 was a year of transition for Guardian Media as it implemented a number of planned structural changes. These changes included: (1) print automation systems to improve efficiency; (2) internal restructuring to lower the cost base and further improve the efficiency and quality of content creation and (3) re-alignment of teams to better serve our customers and fully equip the company for the digital media landscape. The one-time costs of these changes are reflected in these results. Parallel to this, the country’s economic slowdown has had a considerable impact on advertising spend across all sectors.”
The stock last traded at TT$17.98 in November on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE), but now has an offer at $16.38. Net asset value is TT$6.66 per stock, with the stock offered for sale at 2.46 times book value. The company is a subsidiary of Ansa McAl which is also listed on the TTSE.

Angostura Holdings 2017 profit drops 9%

Angostura Holdings aged rum.

Profit at Trinidad’s Angostura Holdings dropped 8 percent in the 2017, to TT$154 million before tax on profit and was down 9 percent to TT$111 million after tax.
The 2017 out turn, resulted in earnings per share of 54 cents, with profit coming from a 7 percent fall in sale revenues, to TT$575 million. Profit declined sharply from 2015 when the company posted $164 million after tax, compared to TT$153 million in 2014 and TT$122 in 2016.
Despite the fall in sales gross profit margin rose to 64 percent from 60 percent in the 2016, as operating cost fell 18 percent. Other income declined to a loss of TT$6 million from a loss of TT$1 million while interest income rose to TT$2.3 million from TT$642,000 in 2016.
Marketing and sales expenses declined by 4 percent to TT$131 million while administrative expenses rose a hefty 24 percent to TT$82 million from TT$66 million in 2016. Finance cost declined to TT$844,000 from TT$1 million in 2016.
Cash flow brought in TT$161 million but capital payments and receipts included put aside in net new investments of TT$118 million resulted in net outflows of TT$30 after paying TT$56 million in dividends.  Shareholders’ equity stands at TT$982 million at the end of December, with borrowings at just TT$20 million. Current assets ended the period TT$765 million well ahead of current liabilities of TT$98 million and cash and investment rose to TT$369 million from TT$281 million in 2016.
The stock traded at TT$15.70 on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange with a PE ratio of 29 times 2017 earnings. The company paid a dividend of 27 cents down from 32 cents in 2016. Net asset value is TT$4.78 with the stock selling at 3.28 book value.
In spite of the fall in profit since 2015, the stock price have remained around the $16 range from then resulting in the PE ratio rising sharply by nearly 50 percent.

Modest profit rise at First Citizens

Profit before tax at the Trinidad and Tobago based First Citizens group rose 7.2 percent to TT$876 million, the year to September 2017 over the similar period to 2016.
Profit after tax profits rose just $5 million to $642 million, with a hike in profit tax to 30 percent from 25 percent in 2016. The Group’s benefited from improved efficiency and growth in Investments and loans to customers. Citizens ended with a modest increase in earnings per share of $2.54 compared to $2.52 in 2016.
Investments grew 4.9 percent to $13.6 billion from $12.97 billion at the end of the 2016 fiscal year while loans and advances, rose 7.4 percent to $16.52 billion from $15.38 billion, resulted in an increase in the net interest margin of $135 million or 10.5 percent. Customer Deposits declined to $23.98 billion from $25 billion in 2016, while shareholders’ equity climbed to $6.75 billion from $6.68 billion
Board of Directors declared a final dividend of $0.71 per share, bringing the total dividend for the fiscal year to $1.40 per share, compared to $1.33 for 2016. The final dividend will be paid on December 29, 2017, to all shareholders on record as at December 20.
First Citizens traded at $32 on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange on Thursday for a PE of 12.6.

Tough economics hit West Indian Tobacco

Tough economic conditions, flowing from an ongoing recession in Trinidad, together with increased Excise and Corporation Tax, the business environment resulted in significant changes in consumption patterns adversely affecting revenue of West Indian Tobacco.
The situation seems to have worsened with illicit cigarettes in the country. According to the Chairman, Anthony Phillip “the Company continues to engage with relevant authorities and stakeholders on the issue of the increased presence of suspected illicit products in the market which has negatively affected our business.”
Against this backdrop, West Indian Tobacco has recorded profit before taxation of $398 million and net profit of $276 million for the nine months to September, down from $373 million in 2016. Revenues fell from $891 million to $787 million but revenues inched just higher in the quarter to $274 million from $272 million in 2016 and revenues net of excise tax was slightly down for the quarter.
Profit after tax for the September quarter fell from $123 million to $97 with tax increasing to $44 million from $43 million in 2016.
The Company continues to proactively respond to the evolving market conditions with ongoing reviews of its Brand Portfolio, Trade Marketing, and Distribution strategies, as well as careful cost management across its operation.
The Board approved the payment of a third interim dividend of $1.14 per ordinary share payable on 24 November 2017, the payment is down compared to $1.44 paid in 2016.
Earnings per share came out at $1.16 for the quarter compared to $1.46 for the similar period in 2016 and for the nine months period $3.27 versus $4.42 in 2016 and should end around $4.75 for the full year giving it a PE ratio of 26 and should result in more decline for the stock. In 2016, earnings amounted to $6.12 per share.
The stock that traded at $127.01 earlier in the year is down to $124.96 on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange.

Record close for Jamaican stocks on TTSE

Trading on the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange recommenced on Thursday, after a public holiday on Wednesday, with 12 securities changing hands compared to 11 on Tuesday.
The Jamaican based JMMB Group and NCB Financial Group moved to new 52-week highs of $1.70 and $5.31 respectively while Republic Financial Holdings led with 60 percent of the value of securities traded.
At the close, 5 stocks advanced, 2 declined and 5 were unchanged as 162,830 shares traded at a value of $1,808,056 compared to Tuesday’s trades of 452,687 valued at $3,307,105.
The Composite Index advanced 2.01 points to 1,248.64, the All T&T Index gained 0.18 points to 1,770.68 and the Cross Listed Index added 0.53 points to close at 97.71.
IC bid-offer Indicator| The Investor’s Choice bid-offer ended with 2 stocks with bids higher than last selling prices and 7 with lower offers.
Gains| Agostini’s ended with a gain of 1 cent and closed at $20.53 in exchanging 3,640 shares, JMMB Group traded 10 cents higher to a 52 weeks’ high of $1.70, with 106,000 shares trading, NCB Financial Group closed at a 52 weeks’ high of $5.31, rising 1 cent with 26,926 shares. Republic Financial Holdings gained 3 cents to settle at $101.79 with 10,572 shares valued at $1,076,113 and Scotiabank climbed 3 cents to $58.05 with 525 units changing hands.
Losses| The securities declining in trading are, Massy Holdings closing at $50.47, after falling by 3 cents in trading 411 units and Trinidad & Tobago NGL ended with a loss of 1 cent, at $23.01 with 1,930 units.
Firm Trades| Securities traded unchanged at the close, are Angostura Holdings closing at $15 with 1,000 units, Ansa McAL trading 740 units at $63.01, First Citizens ending at $31.76 with 3,000 shares, Grace Kennedy exchanging 3,391 shares at $2.90 and Guardian Holdings holding firm at $15.26 with 4,695 shares traded.

Storm closes TTSE

Trading on the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange was suspended for the day of 20th June 2017 because of the impending arrival of tropical storm Brett. The market last traded on Friday as it was closed on Monday for the Labour Day holiday.
On Friday, 13 securities changed hands compared to 16 on Wednesday with 2 stocks advancing, 5 declining and 6 unchanged with 143,801 shares traded at a value of $2,818,683 compared to Wednesday’s trades of 373,818 valued at $18,441,277. The market was closed for a public holiday on Thursday.
The Composite Index declined 1.05 points to 1,211.45, the All T&T Index slipped 0.63 points to 1,789.75 and the Cross Listed Index lost 0.20 points to 84.86.