Profit bounces at Stationery & Office Supplies

Many investors miss out on highly profitable investments in the stock market by focusing on the wrong things. Take the case of Stationery and Office Supplies that suffered a major reversal in profits in 2020 with just $33 million versus $135 million in 2019, with earnings per share of a mere 13 cents versus 54 cents in the prior year.

Operating profit at Stationery & Office Supplies grew 33% in 2021 Q1 over 2020.

Some investors see the historical PE Ratio for Junior Market for 2020 to be around 24 cents per share, as such, the company would be worth around $3 per share. Others would prefer to use the trailing four quarters earnings. Based on that, the company’s trailing earnings to March would be just 22 cents and the value would be even less than the full year’s numbers suggest. On the above two bases, at $7.52, the last price the stock traded at would be highly overvalued. The stock price jumped from $6 in trading before the results to trade mostly over $8 suggesting others investors are looking beyond the historical earnings and focusing on the future.
For the March quarter, revenues fell 7 percent to $313 million from $337 million in 2020. Importantly the average monthly sales rose 29 percent over the average for all 2020 to $104,522 but fell 7 percent against the 2020 first quarter. Despite the fall in revenues, profit rose 33 percent before gains on sale of fixed assets and loss of fair value of financial investments. A loss of $22 million was incurred in the June quarter last year, with negative 9 cents per share and profit in the September quarter last year was a mere $6.8 million from a 19 percent fall in revenues to just $240 million or $79,855 per month.
The company enjoys a ten-year tax profit break and will be subject to zero taxation until mid-2022 and 50 percent thereafter for five years.
Gross profit margin rose to 54 percent for the quarter, from 49 percent in 2020, as gross profit rose just four percent to $170 million. Administrative and other costs fell six percent to $81 million from $86 million in 2020.  Selling and promotion expenses fell 10 percent from $23 million in 2020 to $21 million. Finance costs dipped from $3.3 million to $2.5 million as the company continues to use limited debt financing to grow its business.
The principal activities of the company are the sale and distribution of stationery and office furniture.
Shareholder’s equity stood at $665 million at the end of March 2021 and loans amounts to $163 million, with $36 million earmarked to be repaid to March 2022. Current assets totaled $522 million and current liabilities $140 million. Inventories rose to $245 million from $226 million in 2020 and receivables dropped from $172 million to $124 million representing around a month of sales.
Cash funds and investments amount to $121 million after the company generated cash funds of $69 million before working capital and capital financing needs. projects earnings of $1 for the financial year to December 2021 and $1.60 for 2022.
The stock last traded at $8.20, with a PE ratio of 8 based on the reported earnings and 5 based on the 2022 projected earnings.
Contributors to this article own shares in the company.

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