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. ICInsider.com 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.

Record Carib Cement profit up 70%

Caribbean Cement reported record profit for the year ending December 2020 from sales that rose 13 percent to $20 billion and up 17.8 percent in the final quarter to $5 billion from $4.3 billion in 2019.
For the year, profit after tax surged 70 percent to $3.2 billion after tax provision of $1.2 billion. The tax charge includes deferred tax amounting to $414 million, down from $664 million in 2019. The results would have been far better but for a billion loss in foreign exchange movement, but interest cost fell from $939 million to $812 million, partially cushioning some exchange losses. Interest cost will fall further in 2021 as the debt load recedes with the strong cash flows allowing for the rapid repayment of the $4.4 billion of long term loans.
Gross profit improved rapidly, surging faster than the increase in revenues with a 26.45 percent increase from $7.2 billion to $9.1 billion. The company also benefited from reducing administrative and other expenses that fell from 2.5 billion to $2.35 billion. The company has contracts that hedge diesel fuel to protect it from major increases in one of the largest cost in its operations.
Earnings per share came in at $3.76 for the year, just ahead of ICInsider.com’s forecast of $3.76. ICInsider.com projects earnings of $5.7 billion with EPS of $6.70 in 2021.
Cement generated positive cash flow of $6.5 billion, repaid $4.7 billion in loans and paid $1.5 billion to redeem preference shares due to the Trinidad Cement, its immediate majority shareholder. The amount owing for the TCL preference shares is now down to $2.3 billion with loans outstanding at 4.4 billion, of which $3.1 billion is in Jamaican dollars owing to National Commercial Bank and $1.34 billion due to Cemex Espana in US dollars. The reduction in overseas debt has significantly reduced the foreign exchange exposure, with 2021 set to benefit from a sharp reduction in exchange losses.
At the end of the year, shareholders’ equity moved to $11.5 billion from $8.3 billion at the end of 2019. The stock is one of the original IC TOP 15 stocks for 2021 in the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange and remains in the list but now at 13th position with a target price of $135 in the next twelve months. The company is set to benefit from an improving economy, with low interest rates encouraging real estate development and ownership as well as expansion and rehabilitation of the country’s infrastructure that will consume an increasing amount of cement.
The stock closed at $65 on Friday with eth PE ratio at 17 times 2020 earnings and just 10 times 2021 projected earnings. The company has a strong balance sheet that is getting stronger each year and is moving into a phase where the payment of a dividend cannot be far away. Based on the above, Caribbean Cement enjoys ICInsider.com coveted BUY RATED investment approval.

2020 a great year for Grace Kennedy

The year just past may have been a terrible one for many, for at Grace Kennedy, they have much to be thankful for and management wish must be for another repeat performance like 2020.
Grace reports record profit of $6.2 billion attributable to shareholders for 2020, jumping 39 percent from $4.49 billion in 2019 after taxation more than doubled to hit $2.85 billion for an increase of 178 percent.
Profit before tax rose a strong 58 percent compared to 2019 to end at $9.7 billion. Importantly profit before other income jumped a stunning 82 percent to $6.8 billion while other income rose 20 percent to $3 billion. In what was a spectacular year for the 100 years old company, revenues grew 12 percent to $115 billion, surpassing the $99 billion generated in 2019. Direct and operating expenses rose 9 percent to $109 billion. Other comprehensive income brought total profits to $9.2 billion versus $9.26 billion in 2019.
The groups’ segments had a mixed performance, with Food trading profit almost doubling from 11 percent rise in sales while Insurance and Money transfer contributed 21 percent and 26 percent in profit but banking and Investments fell.
GK’s Food Trading segment saw improved revenue and profitability primarily due to the outstanding performance of its international food businesses. GraceKennedy Foods (USA) LLC showed triple digit increase in gross profit and marked growth in revenue, with the Grace and La Fe brands recording growth and improved margins; and GK’s Jamaican food distribution business recorded strong growth in both revenue and pre-tax profit, coupled with improved operating margins,” a release from the company stated.
The group earned 6.26 per share for the year versus $4.51 in 2019 and the stock price closed on Friday with a last traded price of $84.50 for a PE ratio of 13, well below the market average of 20. ICInsider.com projects 2021 earnings of $11 per share and see the stock heading close to $200 for the year and receives the coveted IC BUY RATED stamp of approval.
Total shareholders’ equity stood at $29 billion at the end of December, up from $27 billion in 2019. the group paid $1.59 billion in dividend during the year, up slightly from $1.54 billion in 2019.

Q4 profit jumps 76% for Honey Bun

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The Easter bounce in earnings never happened for Honey Bun with sales in the March quarter up 13 percent and the June quarter down 7 percent, but fourth quarter sales compensated for the June fall out, increasing a strong 15.5 percent.

Rising profit at Honey Bun

Profit after tax in the fourth quarter rose a healthy 76 percent to $54 million from $31 million in 2019, bettering the 21 percent rise in the June quarter, to $20.4 million from $16.7 million. For the year to September, profit increased just 6.6 percent to $167 million from $156 million in 2019.
Sale revenues rose 15.5 percent for the quarter, to $432 million from $374 million but rose 8.5 percent for the year, to $1.675 billion from $1.544 billion in 2019. The company manufactures and distributes baked products in Jamaica and overseas, with overseas revenue less than 10 percent of gross sales revenue.
Historical profit performance has not been exhibited a predictable pattern, partly due to expansion related cost. Profit jumped sharply in 2016 from 2015 but dipped in 2017 and again in 2018 but rose in 2019 as a recent expansion allowed for increased sales, with the latest period continuing to reflect growth but muted by the COVID 19 dislocations.

One Honey Bun’s Products.

Notwithstanding the profit performance that may present a chequered path, the company has one of the best management teams of Junior Market companies to build-out the capacity for continued growth in revenues and increased efficiency.
Gross profit margin moved up from 46 percent in 2017 and has been consistent at 48 percent since 2018 and resulted in gross profit rising nine percent to $799 million from $745 million.
Administrative and other expenses rose just one percent to $295 million, while depreciation charges relating to administrative expenses increased 28 percent to $48 million. Selling and distribution expenses rose 17 percent to $292 million from $250 million in 2019.
The company employed an average of two hundred and seven workers during the year, up from one hundred and eighty in the 2019 period costing $428 million compared to $406 million in 2019.
Finance cost was negligible at just over $1 million for the year.
Earnings per share came out at 35 cents for the fiscal year. The stock traded at $4.83 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at a PE ratio of 14 times earnings. ICInsider.com is forecasting 55 cents per share for 2021 at a PE of 9 times. Net asset value is $1.85, with the stock selling at 2.6 book value. The company paid a dividend of 8 cents d 20uring the year.
Gross cash flow brought in $260 million but increased working capital reduced the amount marginally to $253 million and payment of dividends amounting to $38 million acquisition of fixed assets amounting to $119 million and the payment of $27 million in taxation left $98.5 million to be added to funds on hand at the start of the year. Current assets ended at $444 million, including inventories of $71 million, receivables of $73 million, cash and bank balances of $297 million. Current liabilities stood at $148 million. At the end of the year, shareholders’ equity stood at $870 billion, with borrowings at just $26 million.