On the top 10 performing stocks were the shares of Airline Services and Logistics, ASL Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company plc, Cadbury Nig. Plc, Okomu Oil Palm Co. Plc, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, CCNN Plc and Vitafoam Nig. Plc.
Others were Eterna Plc, Julius Berger Nig. Plc, Red Star Express plc and R.T Briscoe Plc.
The biggest iinflightcatering services provider in Nigeria, ASL took the lead among other top performing stocks, notching up by 19.30 percent or N0.33 to close at N2.04 from N1.71 it started the week at. The company recently kicked off operation in Rwanda in line with its earlier plan as a result of increasing competition from foreign entrants into the Nigerian in-flight catering business. It also planned to expand to other East African countries. The company also has plans to expand its business into oil and gas catering. In line with this, ASL stated that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with third parties to set up ASL Rwanda and ASL Oil & Gas Logistics Limited as a special purpose vehicle for the Rwandan operations.
The full year financial results of the company for December 2013 showed that year-on-year its revenues fell by 8.63 per cent from N3.83 billion to N3.50 billion. This along with an increase in selling, general and administrative costs contributed to a reduction in net income from N492.41 million in 2012 to N144.84 million in 2013, a 70.59 percent decrease.
Year on year, both dividends per share and earnings per share excluding extraordinary items growth dropped 52.00 percent and 70.55 percent, respectively. ASL works for major airlines such as Emirates, Qatar, Lufthansa, South African or British Airways. The company serves 1.5 millions meals annually and provides services such as Lounge and Restaurants operations, but also manages Duty Free outlets.
A newly listed oil exploration and producing company, Seplat ranked second with 15.30 percent or N51.10 price increase to close at N385.00 from N333.90 per share. Since its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, on April 2014, the stock has been beaten by dwindling market fortune, though it was held in certain quarters as at the time of its listing that the listing price was unusually high. At the last count, its share price has slumped by 33.16 percent falling from the listing price of N576.00 per share to the current market price.
However, the company has a number of positives to its credit. In less than one year of its entry to the Exchange, it was included in the NSE 30 Index after the review of the Index on January, an indication of the liquidity of the share. The NSE 30 Index comprises top 30 companies on the NSE and are picked based on their market capitalization from the most liquid sectors.
An attempt by the company to combine its business with a London Stock Exchange listed independent oil exploration and production company, Afren Plc, hit the rock last week as Afren has said that they have ended talks on the matter after Seplat requested for an extension of timetable to make an offer. Afren, which has most of its oilfields in Nigeria, said it had not received any proposal from Seplat that it believed could be implemented on satisfactory terms. In a notice to the NSE, Seplat confirmed that it did not intend to make an offer.
Cadbury Nig Plc followed with 10.21 percent or N3.98 appreciation, closing at n42.98 from N39.00 per share. Cadbury is among 10 other companies commended by the Exchange for filing its 2013 year end result two weeks ahead of the stipulated timeline. Following disappointing revenue reported by Cadbury Nigeria Plc for its half year to June 2014, analysts at Renaissance Capital lowered their Cadbury Nigeria Plc FY14 headline earnings per share (HEPS) forecast from N3.21 to N1.75, a 45 percent decline.