10 TOP stocks for 2017 back ground

C&W could be 2017 top stock from the main market.

Technical indicators show that both the main and junior markets broke through major resistance levels and seem poised to reach new highs with the all Jamaica composite index seeming poised to hit 290,000 points and around 3,400 points for the junior market index before the year is out.
Projected earnings for 2017, and what now appears to be rising PE ratios, suggest the possibility of a much bigger move ahead for the local stocks.
While the junior market seems to be in the clear to move on to 3,400 before any major resistance, the same is not the case for the main market. The latter is only a few thousand points from a major resistance that has it genesis in 1992 with the major resistance in 2005. This coming week will be a big test. Friday’s initial pull back in the morning session and push back of National Commercial Bank, Scotia Group and PanJam Investment may be early signs that we may be at a tough region presently.
Treasury bill rates are set to decline this year, against the background of stability in the Jamaican dollar, with strong inflows of foreign currency into the system and low inflation. Here technical indicators are pointing to 192 Treasury bill rates going to 4.5 percent, with it reaching around 5 percent late this year or early next year and the lower level in 2018.
With low rates, more funds would be flowing into the stock market driving up valuations, with indications that the current prices for a number of stocks suggest could put PEs around 20 time earnings. Added to this, a look at orders for the majority of stocks indicates a chronic shortage of supply of stocks for sale. The implications, with the majority of stocks priced around 10 times 2017 earnings or less should result in a sharp increase in prices that would take both markets well beyond where technical indicators suggest, in the next few months.
Company expansion| The best rate of growth in the economy for years is expected to continue, with prospects of 2.5 to 3 percent seemingly on the cards for 2017. Against this background, most companies appear set to benefit with increased sales. The real big gainers should come from those companies that are undergoing expansion. They will have a double benefit, that from the pickup in economic activity and from the expansion.
Then there are those companies that will benefit from lower interest rates and pick up in stock market activity. Investors would be wise not to see bullishness in stock prices as a prelude to increased instant profits in all cases. An example is the Jamaica Stock Exchange, while the market is exhibiting a high level of bullishness, it is not translating into high volumes and value in the daily trades as yet. In the peak of the market in 2014, the JSE traded $50 billion currently, the level is running around $35 billion annualised. Last year in the first quarter, the JSE earned a big increase in fees as a result of the Desnoes & Geddes share trade. This year, there is no such a transaction expected in the quarter. Later on, the stock exchange is likely to benefit from increased trading levels as well as increased listings in 2017, with the latter also helping to increase the volume of stocks trading.
There are companies that will benefit considerably from cash provided by operations that will be used to generate increased business. This is most applicable for the smaller junior market companies. For a detail look at the Top 10 stocks for the rest of 2017 in the junior and main market, see Top 10 junior stocks and Top 10 main market stocks.

Shameful, does the JSE care?

Glnr 21834 Investments, (formerly The Gleaner Company Limited) advised the Jamaica Stock Exchange that the Audited Annual Financial Accounts for March, 2016 will be late and unavailable for publication by May 30, 2016. 1834 anticipates that it should be available for publication on or before June 30, 2016.
This is bad news for investors and bad news for the capital market. Both the Stock Exchange and the Financial Services Commission who overseas such matters should hang their heads in shame for such failure that have deprived investors of getting important financial information on the company’s operations for more than 8 months.
In the past several companies have changed their year end, as recently as late last year Desnoes & Geddes and Access Financial changed their but provided investor with results for all relevant quarters, but the Gleaner Company who changed theirs to March from December did not do so. Regulators of the Stock Exchange gave some clumsy excuse why they could not ask for the December quarter results.
The rules of the Stock Exchange are quite clear, listed companies are required to submit a quarterly interim financial report within 45 days of each quarter. In the case where a company opts to release an audited account within 60 days of the year-end, they can opt in lieu of a quarterly report within 45 days.
The focus is on reporting quarterly, that comes before the audited. What seems to escape the regulators at the Exchange is that investors are kings and queens and they are to one to be foremost in the minds of the regulators to ensure that their investment is protected. One of the main means is timely financial information. If the exchange understood this they would have ensured that the Gleaner Company would be demanded to release the December results within 45 days.
Based on the exchange’s inadequate surveillance we now have a situation where the Gleaner Company (now 1834 Investments) have not reported financial for what looks like 6 months and who knows when it will release the information.
Markets thrive on information and that is the reason why the JSE opted long ago to the publication of quarterlies rather than a six months interim and it has served investors well.

JSE to consider a dividend

JSE buld with blue skyThe Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) has advised that the Board of Directors will meet on April 19, 2016 to consider the payment of an interim dividend.
In December last year, the company made a second dividend payment of 47 cents per share on December 30, to shareholders on record as at December 23 following a payment in July of 53 cents per share which brought the total pay-out to $1 per share for a total $140 million. Last year’s dividends provided a staggering 63.7 percent yield based on the 2014 closing price of $1.57. With the price of the stock in the $20 range in 2016, the yield is bound to drop dramatically to around 10 percent or less. The stock last traded on Wednesday on the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $19.55.
The company reported earnings for 2015 of $1.25 per share or $175 million, up from only $3 million in 2014. JSE had the best quarter in March with revenues of $259 million and profit of $87 million after tax. The 2016 first quarter seems set to better that of the 2015 first quarter with a big $110 million income from trading a block of Desnoes & Geddes shares almost equal to the estimated $120 million hauled in from the block of Scotia Group shares that was transferred from the Canadian parent to a Caribbean based one.

Marlene Street Forrest - General Manager of the JSE

Marlene Street Forrest – General Manager of the JSE

The December 2015 quarter had the next best quarter with revenues of $196 million but with profit before tax of $40 million much lower than in the September quarter as added cost eroded the profits that should flow from the higher revenues.
What should help boost the first quarter results is added business undertaken by the exchange particularly, the registrar services, for handling of the repo business and increased stock market activity in 2016 over the first quarter of 2015. Last year, for the first quarter, regular trading was $4.9 billion while for 2016 its $6.44 billion, for a 31 percent increase. The JSE also engineered increases in fees charged for some of it services.

C&W shares may fetch over $3 in a takeover

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Cable & Wireless with the old Lime brand logo

Cable & Wireless with the old Lime brand logo

Shares of Cable & Wireless Jamaica (C&W) shot up 22 percent on Friday October 23 to 82 cents, in response to an announcement that Liberty Global, a UK based company was in discussions with CWC Communications PLC (CWC) to acquire it for a consideration in cash and shares, worth US$5.5 billion.
Cable and Wireless shares had become scarce in recent weeks, with one investor IC Insider sources indicated, was seeking 7 million shares to buy, earlier last week at 60 cents each. From as far back as the 8th of October, there were only 4 million units on offer between 55 cents and $1.21. By Thursday the supply dropped even more with trading taking place as high as 67 cents. At 12.30 on October 22, there were 453,964 shares on offer at 67 cents, with 5,000 units sold out of this amount by the close of the market. A total of 305,850 units were on offer at 70 cents, with the next at 90 cents, with 5,000 units. At 99 cents there were 233,730 units, at $1 one block of 877,723 units with the next lot of 10,000 at $1.71, the next 130,169 shares at $2 and 1.66 million units at $3.75. That not a lot for a stock that usually trade in millions of units.
Only 5,850 shares traded on Friday at 82 cents and demand swelled to more than 5 million units at the close to buy at 82 cents. Supply disappeared with only 4 offers listed, ranging for 10,000 units each at $1.20, $1.21 and $1.70 and then 2.66 million units at $3.75.
The question on investors’ minds, is where will the price settle? One broker indicated that it will trade at $1 on Monday if there is supply. With the imbalance between supply and demand, a higher price than that seems imminent. Some Investors are wondering why some buying on the buyout news of the parent when there is uncertainty if the Jamaican shareholders will be bought out as well if the deal goes through. Some are looking at the Diageo transaction with Desnoes & Geddes and speculating that the same could happen here.
IC Insider.com has the stock as BUY RATED from February 2014 on the basis of a turnaround in the financial fortunes of the company. Based on what’s happening locally the current price can be justified as the company is now in a position to be reporting profits, with rising revenues and falling cost. If the deal with CWC goes through, (that does not seem likely at the stated price) and the minority shareholders in C&W were to be bought out, IC Insider went to work to see how high the price could be, in a takeover.
CW grph 10-15C&W had major improvement in earnings in the June quarter, with EBITDA rising a very strong 82 percent. Net results saw a sharp fall to a loss of just $303 million, from a loss of $712 million in 2014 as revenues grew 13 percent to $5.45 billion, aided by a 17 percent growth in mobile subscribers and 27 percent increased mobile revenues. Operating expenses were static at $4 billion but finance cost rose to $1.1 billion from $962 million in 2014, depreciation was down and amortization up. Revenues should climbed close to $6 billion in the September quarter and is likely to result in a profit around $200 million before any allowance for tax.
In March 2015, CWC completed the purchase of Columbus International, a fibre-based telecommunications and technology services provider operating in the Caribbean, Central America and the Andean region, for a consideration comprising US$708 million in cash and 1,558 million CWC shares. This resulted in an increase in share capital of US$78 million and the formation of a merger reserve of US$1,209 million. The total consideration, $2 billion for the CWC acquisition resulted in a multiple of 7.8 times EBITDA.
The proposed price of US$5.5 billion being proposed for CWC with EBITDA of US$840 for the combined entities at March, would be 6.55 times EBITDA. Applying this ratio, puts C&W value based on EBITDA for the current fiscal year around $3.30 each. CWC communications paid much higher multiple for Columbus only a year ago which would make it difficult for CWC management to justify to their shareholders a deal that reduced the value of the group with the full benefit of the merger of the Flow operation not yet visible. The proposed buyout price would, however, be more than the market value of CWC, worth 2.6 billion pounds, or about $4 billion, based on its market capitalization on Thursday. John Malone the major owner of Liberty Global already has a 13 percent stake in CWC.

More gains for JSE Thursday morning

The Jamaica stock market after 90 minutes of trading, recorded another morning of increases in the indices on Thursday morning, but just being barely up after being up by a fair amount up to 11am. Trading resulted in 23 securities changing hands with a volume of 3,586,645 units as 9 stocks gained and 8 declined.
The All Jamaican Composite index jumped 66.87 points to 135,115.30 JSE int 22-10-15 JSE Market Index rose 59.84 points to 122,731.18 the JSE combined index rose 145.04 points to be at 127,412.39 and the junior market index rose 9.91 points to 1,291.86.
In trading, Desnoes & Geddes exchanged 2,000,220 between $30 and $30.25 and now trades at $30, Jamaica Broilers exchanged 62,885 shares at $7.80, down by 20 cents, Caribbean Flavours traded at a new high of $3.80 with 400,000 shares as the stock gained 30 cents Lasco Financial Services had 439,750 units trading down to $2.41 after opening at $2.60 and lost 19 cents in the process.

US$194m for minority D&G owners

Red stripe botJamaican shareholders will make a windfall when Dutch based Heineken bids US$194 million for the remaining shares in the Red Stripe brewery company it now does not own.
It could result in the delisting of Desnoes & Geddes (D&G) similar to what occurred a few years earlier when Italian based Campari bought the bulk of shares in Lascelles deMercado from Trinidad based CL Group triggering a bid for the remaining shares.
Heineken earlier this week acquired nearly three-quarters of the shares in local based brewery from UK based Diageo in a deal spanning Jamaica, Malaysia and Singapore and Ghana totalling US$780.5 million.
“In accordance with the Jamaican Takeover Code, as a result of the acquisition of Diageo’s shareholding in D&G. Heineken will in due course make a mandatory offer for all shares of D&G not already owned by Heineken. If they acquire enough shares to give them 90 percent ownership, they intend to apply the mandatory offer to compulsory acquire the rest. The minority interest represents 26.7 per cent of the issued share capital of D&G, and implies a maximum total consideration of US$ 194 million. Further announcements regarding the mandatory offer will follow in due course,” stated Heineken in a release.
Desnoes and Geddes had a bid as high as $13 per share during trading today but the stock never traded and it ended with 2,744,725 units on the bid at $10.58. The stock last traded on Wednesday at $8 well below the offer price of almost J$31 for each share with the offer priced in US dollars.
Owners in Jamaica Stock Exchange will also be in on the fortunes of the deal as the exchange will end up collecting a nice payday when the local shares are transferred. Going forward the exchange will lose the annual listing fee and fees for trading the stock on the exchange.

D&G offer pushes JSE, juniors at new high

Activity on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning has been slow but the news dominating the market is a J$31 offer proposed by Heineken to buy out all the shares in Desnoes & Geddes it does not now own. Heineken bought out the subsidiary of Diageo that owned the shares in Desnoes & Geddes thus giving them majority holdings in the local company. D&G traded at $8 with an increase of $1, the bid is now quoted at $10.50.
JSE int 7-10-15Elsewhere, trading so far has seen the junior market at a new all-time high with only a few of the stocks being active. Overall only 10 securities have traded at 11:15 am with a volume of a mere 57,540 units, 2 stocks declined and 6 gained.
Trading activity resulted in the JSE Market Index 535.63 points to 98,338.12. The JSE All Jamaican Composite index rose 598.60 points to 108,854.67, the JSE combined index 617.64 points to be at 102,281.64 and the junior market is up 12.53 points to 1,056.68 for a new record and is not very far off from the all-time high of 1,040.59.

HEINEKEN J$31 offer for D&G shares

Red Stripe tinHeineken N.V. (“HEINEKEN”) is to make an offer to acquire all of the minority shareholders shares in Desnoes & Geddes at US$0.259 per shares or the equivalent of J$31, the company stated in a release today. Udiam shall offer US$ 0.259 (the “Offer Price”) for each D&G Share. The Offer Price is the same price per D&G Share as Heineken International paid to Diageo in respect to the Acquisition.the offer represents a huge premium on the last traded price of the stock of $8 in trading today. The bid on the stock is now at $10.50.
Heineken N.V. (“HEINEKEN”) today has announced that Heineken International B.V. (“Heineken International”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of HEINEKEN, has acquired the entire issued share capital of Udiam Holdings AB (“Udiam”) from a subsidiary of Diageo plc (Diageo plc and its subsidiaries being “Diageo”) for the sum of US$420,992,826 (the “Acquisition”). Udiam owns 1,625,549,827 shares in D&G, which constitutes approximately 57.87% of the share capital of D&G. Heineken International has also acquired a small shareholding which Diageo Heinikenheld directly in D&G. The price paid by Heineken International to Diageo for Udiam, and the direct shareholding, equates to US$ 0.259 per D&G share. Prior to the Acquisition, another subsidiary of HEINEKEN already owned 434,033,141 D&G shares, which constitutes approximately 15.45% of the share capital of D&G. Following the Acquisition, HEINEKEN indirectly owns 2,059,610,670 shares, which constitutes approximately 73.32% of the share capital of D&G.
As a consequence of the Acquisition, and pursuant to Regulation 12(1) of the Jamaican Takeover Code, Udiam intends to make an offer (the “Offer”) to the shareholders of D&G for the acquisition of any and all of the shares which HEINEKEN does not, directly or indirectly, currently own (the “D&G Shares”). The Offer will be made through a formal tender offer pursuant to the Jamaican Takeover Code and applicable requirements.

JSE gains in early Monday trading

Activity on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Monday morning continues to reflect moderate interest by investors, resulting in 17 securities trading changing hands at 11 am with a volume of 1,298,546 units, with 2 stocks declining and 6 rising.
JSE int 5-10-15Trading activity resulted in the JSE Market Index gaining 211.59 points to 96,831.34. The JSE All Jamaican Composite index rose 236.46 points to 107,170.76, the JSE combined index climbed 257.66 points to be at 100,565.96 and the junior market is up 6.49 points to 1,023.87 and is not very far off from the all-time high of 1,040.59.
Cable & Wireless last traded 799,014 shares at 51 cents, Desnoes & Geddes traded 27,650 shares at $7 after gaining 38 cents, KLE Group had 228,390 units trading at a new low of 43 cents and Lasco Distributors had 187,793 units trading at $1.97.

Rising JSE stocks outpace decliners Thursday

Cable & Wireless HQ - the stock traded 10.7m units on Thursday.

Cable & Wireless HQ – the stock traded 10.7m units on Thursday.

The Jamaica Stock Exchange saw low activity with only 24 securities trading, the volume increased sharply from recent trading days with Cable and Wireless trading almost 11 million shares and Ciboney with just over 4 million units than on Thursday. At the close there were 11 stocks rising to 4 declining. The market closed with 24 totalling 18,198,760 units, valued at $28,814,733 changing hands traded in all market segments.
The main market indices enjoyed a second day of increases with the JSE Market Index gained 89.23 points to 95,827.25, the JSE All Jamaican Composite index added 99.71 points to 106,048.63 and the JSE combined index rose 167.49 points to end at 99,045.89.
IC bid-offer Indicator| At the end of trading, in the main and junior markets, the Investor’s Choice bid-offer indicator had a reading of 16 stocks with bids higher than their last selling prices and 8 with offers that were lower. JSE Sum -24- 9-15
This is an indication that while there is buying interest above current prices for a large number of stocks, there are still a noticeable number of stocks that investors want to be out of, at lower prices, than the last selling price.
Stocks that particularly weak are Hardware and Lumber with a last sale of $13 now being offered at $11.50. Grace Kennedy reported earlier in the year that they were considering an offer for this subsidiary at a maximum price of $18.50 and that the deal should be closed by the end of July. To date there has been no further information on the buy out offer, even as the July deadline is long past. Sterling Investments with a last sale of $13.40, now have on offer at $13.15, 242,600 units and no bids to buy.
Trading in the main market ended with Berger Paints trading 20,000 shares at $2.28, Cable and Wireless slipped 1 cent with 10,774,000 shares changing hands, to close at 49 cents. At the close the stock had 1,122,637 units on the bid at 48 cents and 172,996 units on offer at 51 cents. Carreras traded 224,067 shares at $49.50 while gaining 50 cents, Ciboney Group with 4,365,250 shares at 9 cents, Desnoes & Geddes ended with 135,000 shares trading with a 35 cents gain to close at $6.50, Jamaica Broilers had 35,930 units trading at $6.09, JMMB Group traded at $7.63 with 10,984 shares changing ownership. JSE fn qts 24-9-15 Mayberry Investments had 160,100 shares trading at $2.80, National Commercial Bank had 81,100 units changing hands and ended at $27.76 while losing just 1 cent, Sagicor Group with 80,000 shares trading, closed 1 cent higher at $12.82, Scotia Group traded 52,000 shares to close with a rise of 2 cents to $23.77. Scotia Investments traded 10,110 shares in closing at $24.53 with a gain of 1 cent, Jamaica Money Market Brokers 7.50% preference share 313,046 units at $2 and Jamaica Money Market Brokers 8.75% preference share 1,841,065 units at $2.50 fo a rise of 1 cent.