Huge blast at Carib Cement

Caribbean Cement is reporting another quarter of blow profits with revenues of $6.3 billion, up 32.6 percent over the $4.78 billion in the 2020 June quarter. Revenues blasted 32 percent to $12.3 billion for the half year compared to $9.3 billion.

The second quarter revenues growth beats the 31 percent rise in the first quarter as well as exceeding by 6.4 percent the $5.97 billion in the first quarter.
Profit after tax surged 200 percent higher to $1.56 billion in the second quarter from $521 million in 2020. And more than tripled the 2020 half year results of $1 billion to $3.09 billion.
Similar to 2020, gross profit was 47 percent in the second quarter to $3 billion versus $2.25 billion in 2020, while year to date it rose to 48 percent to $5.88 billion.
The company generated earnings per share of $1.84 for the latest quarter versus just 61 cents in 2020 and made $3.63 per share for the half year, up from $1.18 in 2020 and is well on the way the reach ICInsider.com forecast of $8.50 for the year, with the company stating “we expect continued buoyancy in the construction sector driven by both government-initiated infrastructure projects and many private developments.”
Foreign exchange losses are down to $50 million in the June quarter versus $376 million in 2020 and, for the six months, $258 million compared to $657 million.
Cash flows from operations amounted to $1.7 billion for the quarter and $4 billion year to date. $3.9 billion was repaid in loans for the six months period and will result in reduced interest cost in the second half of the year. The repayment of loans reduced borrowed funds to $3 billion. Shareholders’ equity stands at $14.7 billion, with accumulated profit at $5 billion.

Fontana coming to Portmore

Fontana announced plans to open its 7th location in Portmore, St. Catherine to be located at Braeton Parkway and Municipal Drive, adjacent to the new Pricemart and is expected to be opened late 2022 or early in 2023. The branch will be a fulfillment of expansion plans announced when the company went public in 2018.
Ray Therrien, Executive Director at Fontana in commenting on the new development stated, “We’re really excited to bring Fontana to Portmore and its surrounding communities.  It’s a great location that brings with it a large population covering a wide cross-section of people, and Fontana will provide an easy, safe and convenient shopping experience.” he said. “We have been assessing the opening of a store here, and we are honored to have the opportunity to serve them with our best-in-class pharmacy services.”
Following the company’s more modern iteration seen at the uber-popular Waterloo Square store, this new addition to the pharmacy chain will include a state-of-the-art pharmacy, a one-stop beauty hub, a baby and children’s selection, an extensive home décor collection, a business centre, courier services and over 200 parking spaces.
“We plan to deliver exceptional product breadth in a one stop location; it’s what our customers expect,” said Anne Chang, Managing Director of Fontana Pharmacy. “Our strategy is to continue to improve our stores with each new location, expediting innovation to make shopping faster and easier for our customers.  Portmore will benefit from being the latest great Fontana store.”
Furthermore, the new store will also have an entire department dedicated to Jamaican Artisan products, like its counterpart at Waterloo Square; Fontana’s way of embracing and supporting Brand Jamaica. Local authors and creators, who have benefitted from using the company as a distribution chain through shelf placement, will continue to benefit in this regard.
The new location is part of a larger development project and is anticipated to open in late 2022 or early 2023.  While not committing to a specific opening date, Executive Director Therrien commented that “the company is eager to get started on fulfilling the potential of a partnership with the people of Portmore.”
Fontana presently has 6 locations dispersed throughout the island including two in Kingston, Mandeville, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Savanna-La-Mar.
Investment in the new location will be in excess of $100,000,000 and employ roughly upwards of 80 Jamaicans.

June stopover visitor arrivals set for 160,000

Stopover arrivals in May 2021 were 122,522 Jamaica Tourist Board recently released data shows, just over 2,500 above ICInsider.com original May forecast. Data of passenger arrivals through the Sangster’s International Airport suggests that stopover arrivals for June should reach 160,000 or 67 percent of the arrivals of 239,000 June in 2019. 
If the trend continues, July is likely to see just over 200,000 stopover arrivals, which would amount to 77 percent of July 2019 stopover arrivals of 270,462.
In the meantime, arrivals for August this year could exceed the 215,000 arrivals in August 2019.
June arrivals through Sangster’s International Airport were 142,727, which amounts to 61 percent of the June 2019 numbers of 239,000.
For the January to May period, arrivals decreased by 36 percent to 366,499 stopovers, 207,632 less than the 574,131 that came in the first three months of 2020, with the industry closed until late June.
The total stopover arrivals, recently released by the Jamaica Tourist Board for May are down 42 percent from 2019, but a huge improvement over the decline of 65 percent that April suffered against the same period in 2019, additionally, May numbers are 48 percent above April this year, showing the strength of the recovery.

Stunning results from ICTOP10 stocks

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Caribbean Cream

Caribbean Cream delivered stunning positive results this past week with profit doubling, in line with ICInsider.com forecast and sent the stock up 25 percent to a 52 weeks’ high when it traded at $6.85 on Friday. The price is up 63 percent for the year to date but is set to clear $15, with projected earnings of 85 cents for the current year.
During the week, the Junior Market lost Caribbean Producers to the Main Market and the move attracted more trading in it, with Friday having the lowest volume of 104,442 and the highest 275,415 shares on the first day of the transfer, well up on the previous two days of 34,319 and 58,282 shares. The stock continues to move higher, with gains of 91 percent for the year to date.
tTech maintained last week’s price of $4.75 to return to Junior Market TOP10 this week, replacing Caribbean Producers that was the only new entrant to the JSE Main Market TOP10, replacing Jamaica Broilers.
This past week the average gains projected for the Junior Market fell from 202 percent last week to 183 percent and Main Market stocks moved to 176 percent from 170 percent.
The top three stocks in the Junior Market are General Accident, followed by Caribbean Assurance Brokers and Elite Diagnostic, with potential to gain between 233 percent and 242 percent compared to 240 and 282 percent last week, as Elite price moved up by 15 percent to $3.60 following the announcement a proposed dividend consideration and a change in the Chief Executive. The top three Main Market stocks are Radio Jamaica in the number one spot, followed by JMMB Group and PanJam Investment, with expected gains of 181 to 379 percent versus last weeks’ 161 to 379 percent.
The Junior Market closed the week with an average PE 13.1 based on ICInsider.com’s 2021-22 earnings and currently trades well below the target of 20 as well as the recent historical average of 17 for the period to March this year based on 2020 earnings. For the Junior Market to trade at the historical average, the PE Ratio would have to rise by 30 percent and requires a rise of 53 percent to reach the targeted PE of 20 by March 2022. Main Market stocks would have to rise by 19 percent to hit a PE of 19 and 24 percent to get to the target of 20. The Junior Market Top 10 stocks average PE is a mere 7.2., just 55 percent of the market average, indicating substantial gains ahead.
The JSE Main Market ended the week with an overall PE of 16.1, a little distance from the 19 the market ended at in March, suggesting just an 18 percent rise at a PE of 19 and 24 percent at a PE of 20 from now to March 2022. The Main Market TOP 10 trades at a PE of 7.6 or 47 percent of the PE of that market, well off the potential of 20.
This week’s focus: Results for Caribbean Cream with revenues up a solid 28 percent and profit doubling to $54 million, from $27 million with earnings of 14 cents per share, speak for themselves. Radio Jamaica is at a totally different level. The company delivered an 11.6 percent revenue rise in the March quarter and a profit of $44 million, pushing full year’s profit to $171 million of just 7 cents per share. The year’s performance comes against the backdrop of $366 million in what can be considered one off costs and in a year when revenues fell 7 percent. The 2022 results are set to be a stunner.
IC TOP10 stocks are likely to deliver the best returns up to March 2022 and ranked in order of potential gains, based on likely increase for each company, taking into account the earnings and PE ratios for the current fiscal year. Expected values will change as stock prices fluctuate and result in movements in and out of the lists weekly. Revisions to earnings per share are ongoing, based on receipt of new information.

Persons who compiled this report may have an interest in securities commented on in this report.

Jamaica’s GDP drops 6.7 percent in Q1

GDP fell 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2021 due to the 9.9 percent fall in category service industries, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica reported.

Mining records GDP gains in 2021

Declines recorded for service industries except for government services. GDP for Hotels and restaurants fell 56 percent, being the main contributor to the decline. The Goods Producing Industries grew by 2.6 percent, with mining and Quarrying up 7.1 percent. Construction grew 10.5 percent, but Manufacturing suffered a 1.1 percent decline. Agriculture fell 2 percent due to drought conditions, Statin stated.
Declines were experienced in Other Services 21.9 percent, Transport, Storage and Communication 7.8 percent, Electricity & Water Supply 6.9 percent, Wholesale & Retail Trade; Repairs; Installation of Machinery & Equipment 5.1 percent, Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities 1.9 percent and Finance and Insurance Services 1.2 percent.

9% unemployment rate for Jamaica

Jamaica’s unemployment rate was 9 percent for the period to April 2021, and marginally worse than the January survey with unemployment of 9 percent, an increase for the same period last year, data released today from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica shows.
The latest data is an improvement over the 9 percent reported for January this year.
According to Statin, 1,206 million Jamaicans are employed during March this year, up from 1,195 shown by the January survey but 3.2 percent worse than in April 2019. No survey was done for April 2020 last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The art, entertainment and other service industries suffered the worse decline in employment.

Caribbean Producers shifts to Main Market

Caribbean Producers is set to shifts to Jamaica Stock Exchange Main market at the start of trading on Tuesday, having completed ten years on the Junior Market.

Caribbean Producers traded 52 weeks’ high on Monday.

The switch now reflects no bids and offers for the stock that lasts, traded at $4.95 on Monday, with the highest bid being $4.86 to purchase 10,764 shares and the lowest offer at $4.94 to sell 142,428 shares. The stock traded 58,282 units on Monday at a 52 weeks’ high of $5.05.
The shift to the main market could open up new buying opportunities for the stock as some investors see stocks listed on the main market as better investment options for them than Junior Market stocks.
CPJ, a major supplier to the hotel trade, is benefiting currently from a strong rebound in tourist traffic into the country, with 39 percent more passenger arrivals coming into the country in June compared to May this year on top of a 44 percent spike in passenger arrivals through the airport for the second city of the country May over April.
The indication is that visitor arrivals should hit 105,000 in May, up from 82,702 in April. June arrivals through the airport topped 142,000 for the first time since the industry opened up for foreign visitors in June last year. June this year ended with 142,727 arrivals for the month, amounting to 61 percent of the June 2019 numbers of 239,000.
The stock is up 78 percent for the year from $2.80 to $4.98. CPJ is the third Junior Market to move to the Main Market and follows Eppley and Key Insurance. 

Jamaica Tourism arrivals jump 39%

Stopover visitor arrivals to Jamaica appear set to increase by 40 percent over May numbers, data compiled from reports of passenger arrivals disclosed by the Sangster International Airport suggest. According to the data, 39 percent more passenger arrivals came into the country in June compared to May this year.
May saw a 44 percent spike in passenger arrivals through the airport for the second city of the country over April, an indication that visitor arrivals should hit 105,000 in May, up from 82,702 in April. June arrivals through the airport, topped 142,000 for the first time since the industry opened up for foreign visitors in June last year. June this year ended with 142,727 arrivals for the month, amounting to 61 percent of the June 2019 numbers of 239,000.
Aircrafts arriving in the country, rose by 5.8 percent in June to 2,490 compared to a 15 percent increase in May with 2,353 units over April, with the trend showing increased passenger load.
July is set to see the total visitors breaking the 200,000 mark for an increase of 40 percent putting it to 76 percent of the July 2019 influx of 270,462.
August could see the industry coming back to the 2019 levels and may well exceed it and possibly suggest full recovery for the industry.
The latest Jamaica Tourist data published is only for April and was published for the public’s use on June 17, more than a month and a half after the month closed. The data for February was even worse coming out on April 27, nearly two months after the close of the month reported on.

Junior Market at highest level since 2019

The Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market is trading at the highest point in over 18 months when the market index crossed into the 3,400 points mark and hitting a high for the early morning at 3404.24, helped by Tropical Battery that traded at a record high of $1.50.
The move pushes the Junior Market up, as it has now decisively broken through the resistance point around 3,300 level.
The previous high was recorded on December 16, 2019, when the market closed at 3,412.43.
The Main Market is up 464,059.44 from 462,144.64 points at the close on Monday, With Grace Kennedy trading at a record high of $100.

Jamaica’s reserves spike US$100m

Jamaica’s Net International Reserves climbed US$100 million higher in May to reach US$3.42 billion from US$3.32 at the end of April after a $300 million surge in March with a rise of US$303 to US$3.32 billion from US$3.016 billion at the end of February, this year.
The country’s gross reserves are now at US$4.35 billion and include US$930 million due to the International Monetary Fund. The increase in May comes at a time when inflows from tourism are at the highest levels since March 2020 as the sector makes rapid strides in recovery, with May having the highest number of overseas visitors since the country reopened its borders to tourist in June last year. Reports from the tourism industry suggest that visitor arrival numbers for June and July will be appreciably better than for May and should add to foreign currency inflows into the country and most likely the NIR as well.
The country is also benefitting from a continued increase in remittances inflows that became evident since May 2020.
The reserves are at the highest sustained levels in the country’s history. The net reserves represent an estimated 30.57 weeks of Goods & Services imports for Jamaica.