TOP 15 JSE main market Stocks

TOP 15 JSE main market stocks for 2019

While Junior Market stocks seem poised to deliver better returns in 2019 than main market ones, there remain some attractive buys with great potential gains in the JSE premier market.
The average PE of the Main market for 2019 is 13 times estimated 2019 earnings, compared to nearly 16 at the end of 2018. This suggests potential for gains above 20 percent on average, for stocks in 2019. Stocks selling below the average for 2019, are poised to deliver above average growth for the year.  Added to this, is the current PE ratio at 16 times 2018 earnings that should rise further before prices fully reflect earnings for 2018, which will take place by March. Stocks with PE at 8 or lower are likely to at least double during 2019.
Seprod – PE 7.5. The company acquired new business from Facey Group in 2018 as well as taking ownership of the former Nestle’ production facility in Bog Walk. Both activities will help swell revenues and profit as cost are lowered, giving greater leverage in the local and overseas markets. The sugar operation that has been bleeding for years, is getting greater attention with a view to cutting out the large loss. It should not be too long before action is taken to stop the bleeding.  Elimination of the sugar losses will result in even more profit.
Sterling Investments PE 7. The company underperformed the overall market for most of 2018 but has room for growth with the price bouncing after the announcement of a 5 for 1 stock split. They are now raising additional capital to diversify their investment objective, which could help expand profitability and lessen reliance on movements in foreign exchange gains. Investors should not expect explosive growth from this one but with the stock undervalued there is some amount of healthy gains that can be realised.
Victoria Mutual Investments – PE 7.5. The company recorded increased profit from ongoing operations in 2018 to September but the booking of $118 million impairment on Barbados bonds negatively affected the profit for year to date. The company also reported other comprehensive income separately from regular profit but this is likely to change for the full year and could well provide a kick to the final result, for the year. The company is active in seeking areas of growth. It has also added new unit trust funds to the market. The continued buoyancy of the local stock market bodes well for increased profits from this area as well as a result on its impact on fee income from its equity linked unit trust fund.
Caribbean Cement – PE 8. Caribbean Cement has not yet delivered on its potential. The plant that was previously leased, was acquired in 2018, and is now saving nearly $2 billion per annum. Shareholders enjoyed none of those savings last year. That could change this year, as the company raised prices late in 2018 and will now be producing all of the cement they sell, thus lowering direct selling cost. For most of 2018, the company imported cement to meet a part of its demand while they were working on upgrading the plant to meet both local and export markets. With continued growth in the economy and strong expansion in the construction sector, the company should continue to enjoy increasing revenues and profit. Cement has partially refinanced some of its US dollar debt and started to pay down the US based debt as well, thus limiting FX losses.
Radio Jamaica – PE 9.5. RJR has so far not been able to deliver on the promise when the media business and that of the Gleaner, were merged. While they have cut out some cost, revenues have not grown to deliver improved results. They remain profitable and yet results have been below expectation and has dragged the stock price below 90 cents. Tightness in the local economy in the past few years and cost incurred to switch Television to digital telecast, added to the pressure on results. The biggest part of the problem is the failure to pull in more revenues. The improving economy is likely to help to improve revenues going forward as advertisers increase their marketing spend. Of note is the fact that the stock now trades below net asset value of 95 cents. Importantly, even as the company reported a loss of $133 million for the six months to September, operating cash flow generated was a positive $120 million.
Sagicor Group PE 9. The company has not delivered much in 2018 partially due to losses incurred in the write down of Barbados bonds that it holds. The company will benefit from increased revenues from the acquisition of the Scotia Group’s insurance business going forward and will also gain from investments in the local stock market as well as from the growth in the local economy and increased employment that should facilitate increased sales of life policies.
Sygnus Credit – PE 9.2. This company is relatively new and it listed in 2018. The company provides financing to viable but growing businesses by direct lending or other types of funding including factoring that will provide above average rate of return. The original concept was to deliver around 8 percent per annum to its investors, but depending on the nature of the investments they make the rate could be better. They have investments in two Portfolio Companies with profit sharing features attached. Up to September, return on invested funds was almost 11 percent. At the end of the September quarter US18 million was invested in various companies, with a similar amount available to be invested. The company incurred a loss for the September quarter due to exchange rate movement, which resulted in foreign exchange loss of US$7,000. Since then the local dollar has revalued and this will reduce the loss incurred. The stock pulled back after reporting the release of the last results and now offers investors a nice entry point for appreciation, especially with PE ratios mostly around the 15 mark. The Company intends to pay out up to 85% of the earnings generated from these investments as dividends on a quarterly basis, after the end of the first financial year.

JMMB Group

JMMB Group – PE 9.5. JMMB shares have suffered from selling by insiders from time to time that has left it undervalued. It has a long history of good performance. Revenues and profit rose in the half year to September as a number of areas performed very well. Going forward, the group has a great deal of room to expand in the Dominican Republic with a population of 11 million, compared to Jamaica with 3 million. Effective April 1, 2018, the Group adopted IFRS 9 “Financial Instruments”. Prior period amounts are in accordance with IAS 39 “Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement”. IFRS 9 has resulted in changes in accounting policies related to the classification, measurement and impairment of financial assets and liabilities, the company stated.
Carreras – PE 9.5. Regular increases in taxes on cigarettes have pressured demand for the product and squeezed profits for several years. There was no increase in prices in the last year but revenues grew in the half year to September while administrative cost fell. The company should earn around 80 cents per share to March this year and that should increase for the 2020 fiscal year. Growth in the economy and more importantly, the buoyancy in the construction industry will increase disposable income for smokers and thus drive increased demand for the company’s products. The stock is currently trading at just over 11 times earnings, based on 2019 earnings well below the market average of 16.  With the dividend yield around 7 percent, investors will get good value for an investment in the stock, but not big capital gains in the short term.
Proven Investments PE 9.5. Proven has been expanding with new acquisitions in 2018 and recently the purchase of 20 percent of JMMB Group shares. Access Financial Services in which it owns the largest block of shares, just concluded the acquisition of a loan company in Florida, while Proven concluded the acquisition of brokerage business in Cayman Islands and their St Lucian bank was in the process of acquiring a Latin American bank. IC expects more acquisition going forward and this should augur well for continued growth of the group.
Jamaica Broilers – PE 10. The company has been expanding by acquisitions and agronomic growth, leading to group revenues for the October quarter increasing 18 percent to $13.6 billion, over the $11.5 billion achieved in the similar period in the previous year. Gross profit for the quarter was $3 billion, a 3% increase over the previous year. Profit for the quarter was not as positive as the gains in revenues but that will change going forward as the company improves on profit margins.
Wisynco Group – PE 9.5. Shares are selling at a discount to the average of the market. At the same time, profit for 2019 should rise well ahead of the 2018 results as the company fully overcome the added cost associated with the damage and dislocation caused by fire that destroyed their warehouse in 2016. Profit growth should increase with the addition of the distribution of sugar and rum as well as improvement from the operating from one site as opposed to two in 2018. Growth in the local economy will be beneficial to sales growth and profit as well.
Berger Paints – PE 10.5. The company has been undergoing changes since Ansa McAl took control in 2017.  The Penta brand of paints is added to the product line, along with the strongly in demand Berger brand. Penta paints were previously imported, by a third party, with production locally, cost will be reduced and allow for greater profit margin. Other changes within the company will lead to increased sales at lower cost and greater profits going forward.
Jamaica Stock Exchange – PE 10.5. The JSE enjoyed its best year in trading ever, in 2018 with the value traded, almost doubling and bettering the highest level enjoyed in 2004. The company enjoyed more listings on the market last year and they expect a 20 percent increase in 2019. News listing not only bring added listing fee income but increased trustee fees as well. Additionally, new listings open up the market for new investors some of whom will start to be more frequent stock market traders, thus increasing fee income as further.
NCB Financial – PE 10.5. The group’s shares are not likely to be the top performer in 2019 but is expected to put in a decent return and could continue to increase in value for a number of years. NCB is currently on a strong growth path with operating profit increasing strongly with the December 2018 results rising 40 percent before onetime income. The planned acquisition of more shares in Guardian Holdings will only enhance the bright prospects ahead for the Group.

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