By Nkiruka Nnorom
On the top 10 performing stocks last week were the shares of Honeywell Flour Mill Plc, Glaxosmithkline Consumer Nig. Plc, Costain (West Africa) Plc, Aiico Insurance Plc, Wema Bank Plc and Champion Breweries Plc.
Others were Associated Bus Company, ABC Plc, 7-Up Bottling Co. Plc, Nestle Foods Nig. Plc and National Aviation Handling Co. Plc.
Honeywell Flour Mill led with 7.91 percent or N0.22 price appreciation to close at N3.00 from N2.78 per share. In 2013, the company increased its production capacity by adding 1,000 metric tons flour milling capacity, in two tranches of 500 metric tons each. According to the managing director, Mr. Lanre Jaiyeola, the expansion has started yielding results. Recently, Honeywell made changes to its board with the appointment of five new members, out of which, four were foreigners.
Available financial report and account of the company for the six months ended September 30, 2014 showed that it posted three per cent increase in its profit before Tax (PBT) from N1.32 billion in six months of 2013 to N1.36 billion during the period. Also, its total assets for the period rose by 11 per cent to N63.62 billion from N57.14 billion reported in Q2 2013, driven by on-going facility expansion projects. However, its revenue declined moderately to N26.9 billion from N27.8 billion reported a year earlier owing to high raw material cost and an effect of the current state of insecurity in the North-East part of the country.
GSK came far behind with five percent or N2.00 increase, closing at N42.00 from N40.00 per share. In 2013, GSK witnessed a failed attempt by its parent company, GSK United Kingdom, to increase its stake in the Nigerian subsidiary. The company had planned to increase its stake from 46.4 percent to 75 percent, which the minority shareholders vehemently kicked against and later won victory through the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, backing via a directive that the price at which GSK UK planned to buy additional shares from Nigeria shareholders (N48 per share) be reviewed upwards while GSK UK should not vote at the meeting.
On a brighter note, the company emerged the winner in the2014 Pearl Awards under the category. The Pearl (Performance Earning and Returns Leadership) Awards was instituted in 1995 to reward companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, for outstanding operational and stock performance. Costain (W/A) Plc with all its lack of fundamentals to investing public to undertake proper analysis on the stock emerged third on the list, rising by 4.92 percent or N0.33 to close at N0.64 from N0.61 per share.
Costain is constantly falling short of the Exchange’s post-listing rules requirement, especially in the area of rendition of its quarterly and yearly financial accounts and reports. It is among the companies flagged by the NSE for failure to file their 2013 audited account and uptill now, the market is yet to receive that. Further to this, the company has not made any of its 2014 quarterly financial reports available to guide investment decision on the share.
The only positive news on the company in almost two years was the refutal of receivership claims on the company by First Bank of Nigeria in 2013 over a trade debt. However, its share price had risen to N1.55 earlier in the year before sliding to the present market price.
Aiico Insurance was the next with 3.45 percent or N0.03 price appreciation to close at N0.90 from N0.87 per share. Just last month, the underwriting firm secured N3.8 billion convertible loan from International Finance Corporation, IFC, to facilitate its expansion project in Nigeria.
The company, according to reports, will use the loan facility to increase its agency network and retail centers as well as increase its reach and footprint across the country. Wema Bank appreciated by 3.23 percent or N0.03 to close at N0.96 from N0.93; Champion Breweries advanced by 3.20 percent or N0.16 to close at N5.16 from N5.00; ABC went up by 1.92 percent or N0.01 to close at N0.53 from N0.52; 7Up followed with increase of 1.31 percent or N2.01 to close at N156.01 from N154.00; Nestle went up by 1.16 percent or N9.50 to close at N829.50 from N820.00, while NAHCo appreciated by 0.60 percent or N0.03 to close at N4.99 from N4.96 per share.