The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) ended the first half of the year on a positive note. Year to date, the index closed up 0.09%. Although the index had a slight drop, stocks in the banking, oil and gas, and consumer goods sectors have witnessed impressive performance.

Stocks in these sectors are gradually recovering from the economic contraction of 2016, and with improved economic indices, some top players are now back on the path of profitability.

Here is a look at top performing stocks in these sectors for the first half of the year 2018.

Banking Sector

Unity Bank Plc

Unity Bank closed trading on Friday at N0.93, up by 83%, year to date. Earlier in the year, the bank had an impressive outlook and was adjudged the best performing stock. This was largely attributed to a rumored $1 billion investment plan by a private equity firm, Milost Global.

However, the deal did not sail through as the private equity firm had to pull out, citing threats from unnamed sources.

Although the bank denied entering into such an agreement, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently investigating the deal.

Business day

Skye Bank Plc

Skye Bank closed trading on Friday at N0.72, up by 38%, year to date.

Although the bank is yet to release its results since 2016, unconfirmed reports suggest that the bank is in a N700 billion hole. Nevertheless, investors have poured money into the bank’s stocks hoping to keep reaping rewards if share prices continue to rise.

Sterling Bank Plc

Sterling Bank closed trading on Friday at N1.39, up by 38%, year to date. At the beginning of the year, the bank announced the retirement of Mr. Yomi Adeola as its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer and appointed Abubakar Suleiman as its new CEO.

Deal book 300 x 250

The new CEO comes with a background in non-interest banking – a segment which Adeola had signified that the bank would be getting a stand-alone license for.

The bank has also announced plans to change its operating structure to that of a holding company.

The bank’s financial result for Q1 2018 shows a surge in gross earnings from N28 billion in Q1 2017 to N39.7 billion in Q1 2018. Profit before tax increased from N2.03 billion in Q1 2017 to N3.17 billion in Q1 2018.

Wema Bank Plc

Wema Bank closed trading on Friday at N0.7, up by 40%, year to date.  The bank has revealed plans to raise additional ₦20 billion from the bond market in July this year. This will be its second debt program after it initially raised ₦6.2 billion in the first tranche of its ₦50 billion debt program.

The debt issue would help Wema Bank to boost its capital adequacy ratio above its internal guidance of 15%, from 14.3%.

In its Q1 2018 financial reports for the period ended March 31, 2018, gross earnings increased from N15.27 billion in Q1 2017 to N16.07 billion in Q1 2018. Profit before tax also increased from N849 million in Q1 2017 to N883 million in Q1 2018.

Oil & Gas Sector

Eterna Oil & Gas Plc

Eterna Oil closed at N6.41 on Friday’s trading session. As at June 29, 2018, the stock is up 66%.

Eterna Oil was incorporated on January 13, 1989, as Eterna Oil and Gas Limited. The company commenced operations in 1991 and was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1998.

The company is into the manufacturing and marketing of lubricant oils, petrochemicals, importation, and sale of fuel through its retail outlets for gas and crude oil trading.

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.

Consumer Goods Sector

NASCON Allied Industries Plc

Nascon Allied Industries closed at N22.75 and as of June 29, 2018, the stock is up by 23%.

In its Q1 2018 financial statement for the period ended March 31, 2018, revenue increased from N6.46 billion in Q1 2017 to N6.76 billion in Q1 2018. Profit before tax dropped from N1.17 billion in Q1 2017 to N1.56 billion in Q1 2018.

In Q1, its revenue from sales also increased from N5.5 billion in Q1 2017 to N5.7 billion in Q1 2018. The amount represents revenue realised during the period from the sale of edible, refined, bulk and industrial salt, as well as seasoning, tomato paste, and vegetable oil.

Nascon Allied Industries Plc (formerly known as National Salt Company of Nigeria Plc) was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company on April 30, 1973.

It was fully privatised in April 1992 and became listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on October 20, 1992.

The major shareholder of the company is Dangote Industries Limited which owns 62.19% of the issued share capital, while the remaining 37.81% is held by the Nigeria investing public.

Unilever Plc

Unilever Plc closed trading on Friday at N52.25, up by 28%, year to date.  In its Q1 financial results for the period ended March 31, 2018, revenue increased by 16% from N22.17 billion in Q1 2017 to N25.81 billion in Q1 2018. Profit before tax also increased from N2.18 billion in Q1 2017 to N3.93 billion in Q1 2018.

In its recent Annual General Meeting, the shareholders of Unilever Plc approved the plan by the company to divest its spread segment to Sigma Bidco. The spread business segment currently includes the production of Blue Band Margarine.

The company has also disclosed a planned initiative aimed at increasing access to local raw materials through a partnership with intermediary farmers.  This will, among other things, drastically reduce the company’s dependence on importation of raw materials and cost of production.

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