The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) ended the month of June on a slim, though positive note, up 0.46% at 38, 275.55 basis points.
Year to date, the index closed up 0.09% just about squeezing out a profit. Compared to earlier in the year when it appeared stocks were on steroids, 0.09% does seem like a huge disappointment.
Despite this drop, we did have some stocks that posted returns of over 60% and above. In fact, about 37% stocks posted double-digit returns in the first half of the year.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 starting from the bottom;
The leasing company has had a terrific 2018 so far. With a year to date return of about 60%, the stock came 10th on the list of best stocks this year. In its recently declared 2017 results, C&I Leasing reported a 19% rise in profits to about N1 billion. Despite the rise in profits the company still had a debt load to deal with and has mooted raising capital to fix its balance sheet.
Could this be a reason for the rise in its share price? Some analysts believe there might be a correlation in there as most stock prices typically rise ahead of news of an equity raise. Investors smell an opportunity and ride their luck that capital appreciation could sustain for a while. In terms of valuation, it currently trades at 2.9X its earnings and 0.39x its book value. On paper, this can be regarded as cheap but we will let this pass for now.
Fidson Healthcare Plc
Fidson is 9th on the list of the top gainers for the 2018 half-year. The stock closed at N6 on Friday, up 62% year to date.
First quarter 2018 results show that revenue increased from N3.4 billion in 2017 to N3.6 billion in 2018. Profit before tax increased from N236 million in 2017 to N298 million in 2018. Profit after tax jumped from N160 million in 2017 to N202 million in 2018.
There were rumours earlier in the year that this company was exploring a merger plan with May & Baker but the company put out a press release denying it outright. This has however not stopped speculators from propping up its share price and if you have been in the market as long as we have, then don’t be surprised if this goes on for a little longer.
Eterna Oil & Gas Plc
Eterna Oil closed at N6.41 on Friday’s trading session. As at June 29th, 2018 the stock is up 66%.
Results for the first quarter ended March 2018 show that revenue increased from N51.9 billion in 2017 to N54 billion in 2018. Profit before tax, however, fell from N1 billion in 2017 to N751 million in 2018. Profit after tax also dropped from N681 million in 2017 to N510 million in 2018. Last May, the NNPC issued a 2-year crude export license to some local and foreign companies including Eterna Oil.
Eterna Oil has some strong revenue potentials and we rated this a buy in a short analysis we did last year. At the time we wrote this article back in September, the share price was N3.46.
Today it’s trading at about N6.50. At a PE ratio of 4.22 it’s easy to believe this is enough momentum for a higher share price.
Beta Glass Plc
Beta Glass closed at N86.3 on Friday’s trading session. As at the half year ended June 2018, the stock is up 68%.
Beta Glass Plc manufactures, distributes and sells glass bottles and containers for the leading soft drinks, wines and spirits, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics companies.
The company is a subsidiary of Frigoglass Industries Nigeria Limited (the parent company) which holds 61.9% of the ordinary shares of the company. The ultimate controlling party is Frigoglass S.A.I.C, Athens.
Results for the first quarter ended March 2018 show that revenue increased from N4.4 billion in 2017 to N6.4 billion in 2018. Profit before tax increased from N1.1 billion in 2017 to N1.6 billion in 2018. Profit after tax increased from N800 million in 2017 to N1.1 billion in 2018.
We have been tracking Beta Glass for some time now and we believe its strong capital appreciation growth is a function of its strong earnings and the lack of liquidity for the stock. It is incredibly difficult to find sellers for this stock.
Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc
Caverton Offshore Support Group (commonly known as Caverton) closed the first half of the year at N2.25, up 69%.
Caverton has risen, largely on the back of the positive market sentiments in the first quarter, and the company signing a major contract with Chevron Nigeria Limited.
First quarter 2018 results show that revenue fell from N5.1 billion in 2017 to N4.5 billion in 2018. Profit before tax increased from N355 million in 2017 to N476 million in 2018. Profit after tax increased from N214 million in 2017 to N293 million in 2018.
We like this stock too and have in on our Watch list.
Ikeja Hotels Plc
Ikeja Hotels closed at N3.36 on Friday’s trading session and is up 76%, year to date. The rise in its share price is largely due to the lifting of a 2-year suspension by the NSE.
Results for the first quarter ended March 2018, show that revenue increased from N2.7 billion in 2017 to N3.0 billion in 2018. Profit before tax increased from N180 million in 2017 to N328 million in 2018.
There had been a boardroom tussle between Goodie Ibru and a faction led by Maiden Ibru. Goodie, stepped down from the board in February last year, citing the need for a new generation of Ibru’s to take over the firm. Some analysts believe this could be one of the major reasons why there is a scramble for the share price. In fact, the stock experienced a major surge as soon as the Nigerian Stock exchange lifted their suspension. This could be a bull trap so be careful.
Learn Africa Plc
Learn Africa is up 80% for the first half of the year ended June 2018. The stock closed at N1.58 on Friday’s trading session. Learn Africa is in the business of the publication and marketing of textbooks for the entire gamut of the educational system – nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary.
Nothing much can be deciphered on why the share price has returned this much especially for a stock with very little volume of trade. We suspect there could be a potential merger or acquisition in play here or the company might be planning to raise capital.
In its 2017 annual report, the company reported a profit after tax of N268 million compared to N237 million a year earlier. In its 2018 first quarter results, it reported a loss after tax of about N185 million. In terms of debts, it has a combined external loan of just over N100 million so it is unlikely it is looking to raise capital to repay debts. This stock’s performance remains a mystery for us.
Unity Bank Plc
Unity Bank closed at N0.93 on Friday, up 83% year to date. The bank, earlier in the year, was the best performing stock, before being overtaken by CCNN.
The rally in its share price was initially due to news of a planned $1 billion investment by a private equity firm, Milost Global.
Milost then terminated the agreement following threats by an unnamed investor. Unity, however, denied that any form of agreement was signed. The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently investigating the transaction.
The renewed capital appreciation we have seen lately perhaps is indicative of another deal in the offing. Unity Bank has been bailed out by the CBN and is running against time to get a buyer.
NEM Insurance Plc
NEM insurance takes the second position with a 93% gain, year to date. In addition, the stock is the best performing insurance stock, year to date.
First quarter 2018 results show that gross premium increased from N5.1 billion in 2017 to N5.6 billion in 2018. Profit before tax rose from N715 million in 2017 to N889 million in 2018. Profit after tax rose from N604 million in 2017 to N751 million in 2018.
The first 5 months of the year are typically great period for NEM stocks. Some investor buy around February hoping to see capital appreciation come April when they would have released their result. It did happen that way too but more recently the company’s board squabbles can be largely attributed to the share price hike. We explained this in a recent article.
Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, also known as Sokoto Cement, closed at N23.5 on Friday’s trading session. Year to date, the stock has appreciated by a whopping 153% and the best for the first half of the year.
Recently, we received news of a merger with Kalambaina Cement, a subsidiary of BUA Cement. BUA is ultimately controlled by Abdulsamad Rabiu. Whilst this may not be the reason for the impressive return of the stock, investors typically like to buy stocks that have a hint of a merger or acquisition. We did moot this in one of our Newsletters and also published as an article.
Results for the first quarter ended March 2018 show that revenue increased from N4.3 billion in 2017 to N5.3 billion in 2018. Profit before tax jumped massively from N684 million in 2017 to N1.5 billion in 2018. Profit after tax increased from N513 million in 2017 to N1 billion in 2018.
The company’s result has been impressive and perhaps investors are also bullish about its potentials thus the reward of capital appreciation. Is this still a good buy? It may appear a little pricey at a Price Earnings Ratio of 7.96x but if its mid-year performance beats expectations then one might in hindsight believe that its current share price is cheap. Despite this, we do not see this stock hitting another 100% in the next 6 months (we hope we are wrong).