Yesterday, UAC of Nigeria Plc, one of Nigeria’s oldest conglomerates, sank to levels not seen in over 5 years. The stock opened at N8.90 and closed at N8.50, down N0.40 or 4.49%. Year to date the stock is down 12.8%.
Drivers of the decline
The tumbling share price is largely due to market sentiments and poor results. The NSE shed 17.81% last year and is currently down 1.76% year to date.
Results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018, show that revenue fell from N68.2 billion in 2017 to N55.7 billion in 2018.
Profit before tax fell sharply from N3.1 billion in 2017 to N483 million in 2018. Profit after tax also declined from N2.2 billion in 2017 to N347 million in 2018.
Work in progress
Themis Africa, a private equity firm, took up a key stake in the conglomerate last year. The private equity firm has since instituted some changes in problem units such as UAC Properties.
Folasope Aiyesimoju was appointed CEO of UPDC in April last year. Aiyesimoju is a partner at Themis Africa. Niun Taiwo, who had been acting managing director prior to this, was appointed Chief Operating Officer.
Omolara Elemide, the Executive Director, Corporate Services, is currently Acting Group CEO, following the retirement of Abdul Bello.
While it is unknown if Elemide will be appointed substantive Group CEO, she served as MD of CAP Plc, as one of the star performers in the UAC fold, between 2009 and 2017.
How low will it go?
While the stock is trading at lows last seen in over a decade, bearish (negative) sentiments in the market could lead to a further decline in share price.
From precedence, the company has typically released its full-year results between March and April. FY 2016 were released on March 31st, 2017. FY 2017 results were released on April 6, 2018.
In the event of a post-election rally, the decline may slow down. In the medium to long term, the stock will continue to do poorly, till turnaround efforts yield fruit.