Fesco trades at $1.04

Fesco opened trading on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock exchange on Friday, trading 2.38 million shares at $1.04 up from 80 cents the share were sold to the market at.
The stock has 151,000 units on the bid at $1.04 with just 55 000 on offer at $1.06, but trading is frozen for an hour. The rise helped to push the Junior Market Index up to 3,155.07. The Main Market has climbed to 446,096.49 at 9.43 after rising to a high for the session of 446,591 points.

Knutsford Express on the mend

Good turnaround candidates are companies that investors can make oversized gains from, Knutsford Express falls into this category and investors would be wise to take a serious look at the company’s third quarter results to February this year.

Knutsford Express

While they did not return to profit in the quarter, they made huge strides in almost closing the gap, with the February quarter showing a moderate loss of a mere $1.7 million from revenues that fell 42 percent from $318 million to $185 million. The results show a marked improvement over November when revenues fell from $283 million to $149 million with a loss of $34 million. At the same time, the Jamaican operation enjoyed a breakeven position in the third quarter. The performance is in keeping with the Directors, comments stated in their report accompanying the quarterly for November, “we expect an improved performance in the next quarter.”
Information coming in about the tourist sector indicates that the industry is on the mend with the expectation for high demand for the summer months. This will augur well for Knutsford that transports visitors to places like Negril and Ocho Rios. In addition, a more buoyant tourism sector and greater vaccination of Jamaicans will encourage more Jamaicans to travel using their buses.
The latest development is good news for the company that suffered an 11 percent decline in revenue and a 78 percent drop in profit for the 2020 financial year and a loss of $26 million for the August 2020 quarter, which worsened to $34 million in the November quarter. This followed the $70 million loss incurred in the April quarter last year, as dislocations caused by the impact of the COVID virus the company’s severely affected operations.
For the February quarter, administrative and operating expenses fell at a much slower pace and amounts than the fall in revenues, with expenses dropping 31 percent from $271 million in the 2020 January quarter to $187 million in 2021.

Knutsford Express closed at an all time high of $16 on Friday

Finance income in the 2021 quarter pulled in $4 million compared to $757,190 collected in 2020, while finance costs declined from $7 million in 2020 to $4 million in 2021.
Revenue dropped 51 percent from $925 million for the nine months to February 2020 to $456 million in 2021.
For the nine months to February this year, administrative and operating expenses fell at a much slower pace and amounts than the fall in revenues, with expenses dropping 35 percent from $797 million in the 2020 quarter to $514 million in 2021. Depreciation charges accounted for $87 million, up from $74 million in 2020.
The US operation generated a mere $638,000 in revenue and a loss of $11 million that is down from the prior year with a loss of $26 million from revenues of $21 million.
Cash flows from operating activities brought in $31 million, down from $190 million at the end of January 2020. After spending $137 million on the acquisition of fixed assets and borrowing $65 million, the balance of cash funds fell to $38 million at the end of the period, down from $96 million at the end of January 2020. The company also has investments amounting to $101 million compared to $140 million at the end of February 2020. The build out of their Drax Hall Business centre has used up some of the funds.
Current assets ended at $183 million at the end of the quarter, down from $357 million at the end of February in the previous year. Current liabilities stood at just $96 million and is well covered by current assets. At the close of January, shareholders’ equity stood at $710 million, down from $845 million as of January 2020. The company has borrowings of $300 million in borrowed funds on the books.
Earnings per share came out at a loss of just one cent for the quarter and 13 cents for the nine months. The company stands a good chance of returning to full or nearly full operations in the new fiscal year commencing in June. ICInsider.com’s estimate is for earnings per share of 45 cents for a PE of 20 times 2022 projected earnings. Knutsford Express currently trades on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $9.
The results for the latest quarter support ICInsider.com‘s forecast for the company to return to profit for the 2022 fiscal year.

Jamaica Broilers profit jumps 64%

Nine months through the fiscal year, profit after tax at Jamaica Broilers Group jumped 64 percent to $1.9 billion, up from $1.1 billion for the similar period to January 2020. The group had a solid third quarter performance registering a 61 percent increase of $287 million over the corresponding period to land at $758 million.
Revenue gains have been small, with a two percent rise to $41 billion for the nine months through January and a three percent rise to $14.7 billion for the third quarter. However, the second quarter enjoyed a seven percent increase in revenue that pushed profit before finance charge up a strong 42 percent at $1.3 billion for the quarter and 35 percent for the nine months at $2.97 billion.
Gross Profit climbed 11 percent to $3.84 billion from $3.45 billion and three percent to $10.28 billion from $9.94 billion in 2020. Gross Profit margin increased to 26 percent in the 2021 quarter from 24 percent in 2020 and remained at 25 percent for the nine months period.
Other Income rose from $81 million in the 2020 January quarter to $225 million and from $184 Million to $453 million for the nine months period.
Distribution Costs fell 14 percent in the third quarter to $601 million from $696 million in 2020 and by 6 percent to $1.7 billion for the nine months period from $1.8 billion in 2020.
Administrative Expenses rose 13 percent to $2.19 billion from $1.94 billion for the latest quarter and fell modestly for the nine months to $6.07 billion from 6.12 billion in 2020. Finance cost climbed 37 percent to $330 million from $240 million in the 2020 January quarter and dropped 33 percent for the nine months to $509 million, from $758 million in 2020.
Segment profits rose in the Jamaica operations by a convincing 29 percent, from a four percent fall in sales for the nine months largely driven by the first quarter performance with a 24 percent increase.

Jamaica Broilers announced a new acquisition last week

Sales in the USA market was up nine percent in Jamaican dollars with profit rising by 10 percent. Haiti continues to operate at a loss, but the group has managed to reduce the loss by 75 percent to just $23 million, with sales improving by 26 percent for the nine month period to $1.7 billion.
The group has been enjoying geometric growth as well as by using cheap debt in financing acquisitions of new businesses, helping to grow profits.
The business brought in gross cash inflows of $3.7 billion, up from $2.3 billion in 2020, $2.15 billion was spent on investing activities versus $2.46 billion in 2020, mainly due to acquisition of property, plant and equipment and ended with cash and equivalent of $3.4 billion up marginally from $3.37 billion in 2020. Borrowings of $20.7 billion as of the end of January 2021, while Shareholders equity stood at $17.9 billion, up from just under $16 billion at the corresponding point in 2020.
Listed among IC.Insider.com’s Top 15 for 2021 and remains on the TOP 10 list. Earnings per share closed out the quarter at 74 cents and $1.77 for the nine months. IC.Insider.com projects earnings per share of $3 for the year ending April and $4 for fiscal 2022. Jamaica Broilers last traded at $31 on Monday with a PE of 10 based on 2021 earnings and 7.4 times 2022 EPS.

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Junior Market jumps 47% since March 2020

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The Junior Market climbed 47 percent in just over a year since the market collapsed by just over 39 percent in March last year from the close of 2019 when the market hit a multi-year low of 2,031.79 on March 18 last year.  
At the same time, the JSE Main Market, while trading above the March 2001 low, is nowhere near the 2020 high and closed out the first quarter marginally down on the 2020 closing.
The Junior Market is up 13 percent for 2021 to the end of March, clawing back most of 21 percent of the fall in 2020 and is now just 11 percent from the close of 3,348.97 at the end of December 2019.
In 2020, the Junior and Main Markets declined, with the Junior Market just edging out the Main Market index with a lower decline of 21 percent versus 22.6 percent for the year.
One year ago, to the end of March, the Junior Market Index dropped 29 percent to 2304.14 but was down a much steeper 47 percent to March 18, at 2031.79 points on the market index. The March 2020 low was the lowest point for the Junior Market since it closed at 2,032.77 points on July 1, 2016.
The market made some recovery last year from the year’s low when it moved higher on April 14, to 2,686.90 points but drifted down after some attempts to break over 2,600 points on a sustained level and closed out 2020 at 2,643.38.
In the meantime, the JSE Main Market failed to move higher in 2021, ending the first quarter 0.20 percent lower than the December close. It is still a bit lower than the 442,905.76 reached on the All Jamaica Composite Index after the early rebound from the 2020 low of 375,091.09 reached on March 25 last year, or the 438,045.18 reached subsequently on November 30.
The gains of eighteen stocks in the first quarter, this year, exceed that of the average of the market and just three performed worse, including CAC 2000 with a fall of 24 percent 19 percent decline for Dolphin Cove and 16 percent in the case of Knutsford Express. Five stocks contributing to the 2021 rebound for the Junior Market are Jamaican Teas up 60 percent, Indies Pharma 48 percent, Lumber Depot 47 percent, Blue Power 35 percent, Caribbean Flavours 35 percent and Fosrich 28 percent.
The Main Market recorded gains in 16 stocks that beat the market’s average move in 2021, with 26 falling below. Main market stocks with healthy gains are Ciboney with a stunning 142 percent rise, followed by Salada Foods with 125 percent gain aided by a 10 to one stock split, Grace Kennedy 37 percent, First Rock 31 percent and proven Investments 27 percent.  Palace Amusement Company that the Covid-19 dislocation has badly hurt is the worst-performing stock with a 51 percent decline, followed by Portland JSX with a loss of 25 percent and Radio Jamaica with 22 percent. Wisynco lost 14 percent and Wigton Windfarm 13 percent.

Fosrich APO coming

FosRich, a distributor of lighting, electrical and solar energy products and a Junior Market listed company, seems set to go back to the capital market to raise funds for expansion and reduce loan funding.
“We are currently examining a possible additional Public Offer (APO) in 2021,”  managing director Cecil Foster stated in response to ICInsider.com enquiry as to why would they not take advantage of favourable market conditions currently to reduce the high debt load.
Fosrich borrowed debt totalling $1.6 billion is more than twice the Shareholders’ equity of $869 million at the end of December last year. The company has lent nearly $400 million to a related party that should be repaid this year, with the proceeds expected to reduce the debt load. Even after that, the company will still be overleveraged and will need approximately $500 million in new equity to bring its financing to accepted levels. Any new issue seems unlikely until the last quarter of 2021, with the company annual general meeting that will likely be held in August, as was the case in 2020 that would most likely approve such an issue. Additionally, with the stock now price over $5, a stock split would likely be considered to be approved at the 2021 AGM.
The company had a successful 2020 financial year with increased profits from rising sales and the stock price rising 31 percent so far in 2021.

Fesco IPO opens next week

Future Energy Source Company (Fesco) initial public offer of shares will open at 9 am on Wednesday, March 31 and close on April 9, at 4 PM, unless it closes earlier.
The issue comprises 300 million new shares with 200 million to be sold by existing shareholders at 80 cents each. If successful, the total issued shares will be 2.5 billion, with the shares slated to list on the Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market.
The projection shows a profit of $151 before taxes for the year ended March 2021 from revenues of $7 billion and earnings per share of 7 cents. The company forecast revenues of $106 billion and a profit of $264 million or 10.5 cents per share for 2022.
ICInsider.com had earlier done a detailed review of the offer and rated it a buy with long term growth prospects as there is much room for expansion as it currently has only 14 service stations under its banner. NCB Capital Markets is the lead broker.

More record profits for Limners & Bards

Limners and Bards reported strong first quarter results with rising revenues and profit for the first three months of the new fiscal year. Revenues for the quarter ending in January this year grew a strong 36 percent over the 2020 period to $356 million from $263 million, with profit rising 36 percent to $67 million as cost of operations rose 38 percent over the 2020 period.
Profit for the quarter is more than 50 percent of the profit of $127 million made in the fiscal year ending October 2020.
The growth in revenues continues the increase of 31 percent enjoyed in 2019 over 2018 and 44 percent in 2020 over 2019.  “The revenue growth is attributable to increases in the company’s core business, media placement (up $21.3 million or 16.6 percent) and production (up $72.8 million or 92.3 percent). These increases were to some extent offset by reduction in advertising agency (down $0.9 million or 1.7 percent) during the period,” Steven Gooden, Chairman and Kimala Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, stated in their report to shareholders in their comments on the results for the first quarter.
The principal activities of the company is that of an advertising and public relations agency and have several large Jamaican businesses as clients.

Kimala Bennett, Chief Executive Officer of The Lab.

Cash and cash equivalents climbed to $342 million from $249 million at the end of the first quarter in 2020 but is down from $380 million at the end of the fiscal year ended October last year after the company paid $70 million in dividends. Current assets ended at $560 million, with current liabilities at $157 million, leaving them in a healthy working capital position.  Shareholders’ equity stood at $461 million at the end of the 2021 first quarter, slightly lower than the $464 million at the end of October last year.
The company seems set to nearly doubling profit for the full year, with a profit of approximately $200 million and earnings per share of 20 cents. The stocks traded at $2.80 on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Friday last, with a PE of 14 based on projected earnings.
The stock seems to be meeting resistance at $3, after trading at a record high shortly after listing in 2019 when it hit $4. This past week following the results, it traded at $2.95 when 1.1 million units traded, followed by 3.1 million on Friday, the highest daily volume for some time. Prior to December 2019, it hit $3 and again in December 2020, $3.10 and then retreated, but could move up to $3.30 with a PE of 16.5 times this year’s earnings.

Berger Paints holds some promise

Berger Paints held the number one spot in ICInsider.com’s TOP15 list for 2021 based on its performance for the nine months ended September 2020, which has changed with the failure for sales growth to continue into the final quarter.
Revenues climbed eight percent in the September quarter to $574 million, with a gross profit of $304 million. Profit suffered a sharp fall in the June quarter, with sales negatively impacted by the partial closure of some businesses resulting from the spread of the covid-19 pandemic in the country. Revenues for the nine months were down, with profit after tax coming in with a loss of $60 million. Revenues for the fourth quarter to December failed to enjoy the level of growth in the September quarter and dipped against the similar quarter in 2019.
Audited financials for the full year show revenue for 2020 of $2.37 billion, six percent below 2019 figures, with the fourth quarter dipping just two percent at $877 million versus $892 million in 2019. Losses suffered in the earlier part of the year were simply too much for the company to overcome and recoup. Profit before tax for the year was down a noticeable 72 percent to $12 million, but profit before tax for the December quarter of $38 million was vastly better than the loss of $9 realised in the 2019 period. The December quarter profit after tax of $32 million was vastly better than the $11 million in 2019.
Direct operating cost declined by 4 percent or just $38 million to $1.22 billion for 2021. Staff cost also declined from $558 million to $512 million.
At $211 million, cash and bank balances fell 64 percent in 2020, down from the $585 billion recorded at the end of 2019 as the company paid down the $655 million owed to fellow subsidiaries by $552 million. Current assets of $1.3 billion include trade and other receivables of $575 million and inventories of $446 million, down from $639 million in 2019.

Berger Paints is one of IC Insider’s TOP 10 stocks.

Current liabilities ended at $484 million for the financial year, down from $1 billion in 2019, with amounts owing at the end of 2020 include $148 million due to the parent company and $102 million due to fellow subsidiaries. Shareholders’ equity closed out the year at $1.15 billion. The only interest bearing debt was for leasing, amounting to $65 million.
Earnings per share for 2020 was just 5 cents compared to 14 cents in 2019. IC.com projects 2021 earnings of $1.50 as the company benefits from recovery of sales that fell out in 2020 due to the effects of Covid and increased sales from a buoyant construction sector, relatively new automotive paints and better data usage from the new IT system.
The stock last traded at $13 on the Main Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange and is now at the lower end of the ICTOP10 stocks for 2021 at a PE of 9 times 2021 earnings, but it could surprise with better than expected results.

Jamaican Teas profit jumps sharply

The Jamaican Teas Group enjoyed an outstanding first quarter with rising sales and profits fueled mainly by strong growth in exports that rose 88 percent over the prior year and accounted for 64 percent of total sales in the quarter and positive contribution from the investment division.

Jamaican Teas traded the most volume on Monday.

Sales rose 41 percent to $611 million and profit attributable to shareholders jumped 321 percent to $117 million from just $28 million in 2019. The improved profit result occurred with profit fully taxed compared to the 2019 quarter that was taxed at 50 percent of the normal rate for Jamaican Teas’ profits.
The real estate division also contributed to improved profits following completion of an apartment complex. The subsidiary QWI Investments, contributed positively to the profit performance following improved investment performance, resulting in the equity portfolio delivering a $143 million increase from dividends and capital appreciation of stocks in the quarter.
The supermarket contributed reduced sales and profit due to continued curfew restrictions on its hours of operation and the closure of schools. Manufacturing sales climbed 48 percent to $428 million for the quarter, with domestic sales increasing just 7 percent compared with a year ago.
First quarter revenues at the Supermarket amounted to $135 million slightly below the $142 million generated a year ago. There was a progressive fall in the rate of decline as the quarter elapsed.
The gross profit margin was a consistent year over year with a 27.5 percent margin for the latest quarter versus 27.4 percent for the 2019 first quarter for the group.
Marketing expenses fell for the quarter by $5 million to $8.7 million resulting mainly from the cost of new products launched in 2019, and not repeated in the latest quarter.
Administrative costs rose moderately by 11 percent to $63 million and Interest expense declined during the quarter resulting from lower interest rates on some borrowed funds. According to the directors in their quarterly commentary, referring to the sale of apartment units they developed, “we have signed contracts and expect to record sales for the last 4 apartments in our second quarter. Manufacturing sales after the end of the quarter are 15% higher in the first 28 days of January compared with a year ago and our quoted investments continued to improve.”
Earnings per share came in at 5.5 cents, 323 percent above the 2019 – earnings of 1.3 cents. ICImsider.com earnings forecast is for 30 cents per share, gains in the investment division could impact it positively or negatively. Based on the forecast the PE ratio at the last traded stock price of $2.75 is 9.2, suggesting a strong upside for the stock assuming a target PE of 20.
Jamaican Teas produces black and green and many herbal teas, soaps and some other consumer product and owns a supermarket and has a subsidiary that invests in local and overseas stocks. The chairman of the group is John Jackson.

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

45% gains for ICTOP15 stock

Robust gains for some stocks after less than a month of trading in 2021 have shaken up ICTOP 15 stocks forcing a number of them out or at the edge of moving out of the 2021 TOP list. Jamaican Teas now the lead stock for the year, dropped out of the Junior Market list this week, with a rise of 45 percent since the start of the year.

Jamaican Teas is the leading JSE stock for 2021 to date with a 45% increase in price. 

This brings to two, stocks that have migrated from the Junior Market TOP15 so far. Jamaica Producers fell out of the Top 15 Main Market list with the price dropping to $19.81, from $21 but Margaritaville suffered a greater fall to replace it.
Jamaican Teas one of the top 15 stocks for 2021 scaled record highs this past week as more and more investors piled into the stock since the three for one stock split in November last year. The gain also follows the directors’ report for the September quarter results that stated  “Subsequent to the year-end, overall sales increased by 47 percent in October 2020, with export sales increasing 85 percent and a 10 percent increase in domestic sales. We have good orders in hand for November and these developments, along with booking of more real estate sales, hopefully, improvement in the investment portfolio should result in a good first quarter for the financial year 2021.”
Mailpac was the first to drop out of the list and now has gains of 29 percent so far in 2021. Lumber Depot surged to $2.10 on Friday but closed at $1.95 from $1.46 last week and now sits at 15th spot on the Junior Market TOP15 for 2021, with a 25 percent gain for the year to date. Reports in the newspapers indicate bullish sales expectations from Caribbean Cement and rising prices for some construction inputs.

MailPac is the Junior Market second-best performing stock for 2021.

The news pushed investors to snap up Lumber Depot stock and drove the price much higher, since. QWI Investments is up 17 percent since the end of last year to trade at 90 cents with the net asset value rising since the latter part of last year to sit at $1.18 as gains in both local and overseas stocks continue to add to the value of the company’s portfolio. The stock is now at 14th spot on the Main Market list. A large number of shares were overhanging the market and pressuring the stock price. Once they were bought out, the supply has shrunken leaving room for the price to recover.
Caribbean Cream posted eleven percent growth in sales for the November quarter and eight percent for the nine months, with profit rising 96 percent for the nine months and a 37.5 percent increase for the third quarter. The stock is up 18 percent for the year at the close on Friday and remains at the seventh position on the 2021/22 TOP15 list.
With interest rates at low levels on government bonds and expected to remain low for a protracted period, investors are becoming more comfortable with PE of 20 times earnings or more, according to the TOP 15 rankings the above stocks still have room to gain over 90 percent from the current price for the rest of the year.

It pays to read ICInsider.com.