When Med-View commenced domestic operations in November 2012, it did so amidst fanfare, with a fleet of two Boeing 737-400 aircraft and one Boeing 737-800, which was acquired a month later. Little did the management of the indigenous airline know that providence had other plans for its future.
Two years later, the airline acquired another Boeing 737-400 Classic aircraft with a capacity for 150 passengers in business and economy classes. In January 2017, the board of what used to be one of Nigeria’s fastest-growing flag carriers listed the shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and is the only airline presently listed on the local bourse.
18 months later, Med-View airline decided to spread its tentacles beyond the shores of Nigeria with the Dubai route. This feat made the airline the first Nigerian carrier with high passenger traffic on the international route, as it airlifted 72,175 passengers.
The fortune of the company started dwindling in 2017 when its flight from Lagos to London was disrupted, leaving its passengers stranded at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
According to the airline, the embarrassment was attributed to operational reasons. The airline, in a statement signed by its media consultant, Mr Obuke Oyibhota, assured the passengers that efforts were being intensified to airlift them to their destination the next day.
Oyibhota stated, “We are deeply sorry for all the inconveniences suffered by the affected passengers and everything possible within Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) in aviation is being done to airlift them. Med-view Airline will not abandon its obligations to passengers, noting that safety comes first in all its operations.”
While some of its passengers decided to renew their faith in the services of the airline, others took to their heels. But the hopes of the former got dashed between December 22 and 27, 2017 in the United Kingdom when Med-View’s fully boarded 8777 aircraft made an Air Return to London Gatwick for safety reasons, which called for serviceability checks and certification lasting 72 hours.
Despite that fact it deployed two aircraft as relief flights, the holiday season compounded the backlog of passengers, which stretched to December 27th. The development also affected passengers on the Lagos/Abuja/Dubai route.
In April 2018, Med-View Airlines suspended all international operations while also reducing regional routes on its flight schedule to just two cities. The airline, which once had about six aircraft in its fleet, suspended flight operations to Gatwick, London, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
The airline blamed what it described as a temporary suspension of its international operations on bad leasing arrangement for two operating aircrafts servicing the London, Dubai and West Coast routes.
Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Muneer Bankole, explained that the leased Boeing 777 aircraft developed faults and failure of the lessor to avail an alternative aircraft as agreed, affected the operations.
According to him, the airline had not left the international operation because it could not meet its financial obligations on the international front but for operational difficulties which they had learnt from to emerge better.
He said, “We have four airplanes and we own all of them. The best way to survive in this industry is to own your asset. Our own B737-500 (Abeke) is going through a C-check and reconfiguration from 221 to 242 (passengers). Before, we had 30 business-class and 191 seats in the economy. By the time it returns, it will be in three cabins with world-class onboard facilities.”
The Med-View boss argued that contrary to claims in some quarters that the company is exposed to high debt profile, the airline is healthy.
Where Med-View stands in NSE
The value of the shares on the floor of the NSE has not moved below or above N1.80 in the last two years. As at October 22, 2019, data obtained from the local bourse disclosed that the company recorded 0 trade and 0 volume within the period under review.
Also, the airline has been among companies listed on the NSE’s Free Float Deficiencies for some months now.
What it means
Companies listed on the Exchange are required to maintain a minimum free float for the set standards under which they are listed, in order to ensure that there is an orderly and liquid market for their securities. The free float requirement for companies on Main Board, where Med-View belongs, is a minimum of 20% of the issued and fully paid-up shares.
An X-Compliance report, which was released on October 18, 2019, disclosed that the company had applied for waivers from the Regulation Committee of the National Council of The Exchange (RegCom). After approval, the company is expected to provide quarterly disclosure reports to the Exchange which it has not done for months.
Last April, the airline released its audited results for the 2018 financial year. Its revenue fell sharply from N36.9 billion in 2017 to N9. 5 billion in 2018. This marks a 74% decline year on year (y-o-y).
Even more worrisome is the fact that the firm made a mega loss in 2018. The company made an N10.3 billion loss after tax in 2018, as against an N1.2 billion profit after tax in 2017. This represents a 925% decline year on year.
Also, its shareholders’ fund dropped from N7.38 billion in 2017 to a loss of N3.26 billion in 2018. Its Basic Earnings per share also dropped to a loss from N12.87 to –N106.22 within the same period.
Why the loss?
Management of the firm shed more light on the factors that led to its woeful performance. Chairman of the airline, Sheik Abdul-Mosheen Al-Thunayan, blamed the performance on political tension and tight liquidity.
He said, “The political tension and extremely tight market liquidity in Nigeria affected the economic growth of Med-View. The depleted aircraft fleet, due to C-Check at the early part of 2018 and reprotection exercise, also contributed to the decline in the revenue of the Company.”
The reprotection exercise pertains to its London route. Al-Thunanyan also disclosed that the firm had encountered mixed fortunes on its London route.
Import on airline
Having been aware of these challenges and in a bid to stay afloat, Med-View Airline decided to downgrade the staff strength of the company.
The airline sector in Nigeria is increasingly becoming highly competitive, with an interesting twist of surpassing one another by the major players. The Airline’s new competitors are not necessarily registered airlines, but rather charter services by individual and corporate entities who have an interest in aviation.
There are chances of a likely acquisition or take-over by new entrants or foreign investors, which would be ready to do business differently, whether the Bankole led-administration likes it or not because potential passengers are no longer waiting for airline offers to travel around the world; various groups and organizations are putting up irresistible packages for passengers and bringing them to fly with registered airlines. This, in turn, is splitting the revenue to be generated by the airlines in scheduled operations.
Buy what? Dangote vs BUA Cement
Dangote Cement has a market capitalization of N3.65 trillion, while BUA posts a N2.49 trillion capitalization, but does size win?
I want to review the performance of the largest quoted companies in Nigeria.
On the Nigerian Stock Exchange, they don’t come any bigger than Dangote Cement (Dangote) and BUA Cement (BUA). Only MTNN stands with both cement companies in terms of market capitalization. Dangote and BUA are both blue-chip companies, in the same sector and both enjoy federal import protection, they also both serve a local market with huge demand for cement.
Which is a better investment? Let us assume I have N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira,) which should I buy? Let us review both stocks with FY 2020 results they posted. For consistency, I am going to use my trading view terminal numbers.
First, we talk about capitalization, (Market cap is the number of shares issued x market value of shares ). Dangote Cement has a market capitalization of N3.65 trillion, while BUA posts a N2.49 trillion capitalization. Does size win? Dangote is bigger? Not yet!
With N100,000 I can buy about 465 shares of Dangote at N215 a share and 1,360 shares of BUA at N73.50 per share. Is BUA cheaper? do we have a winner? Not quite. Let us dig deeper.
Dangote Cement posted a Net Income figure of N276 billion, if we divide this earning by the number of issued shares which is 17 billion, we get an Earnings Per Share (EPS) of N16.14, so every share of Dangote Cement earns (not pays) the investors N16. Similarly, the Earning Per Share of BUA is N2.0
Thus when I buy Dangote Cement N215 per share, I am buying 16 times the earnings of Dangote. We can simplify this by simply comparing the price I pay per share of Dangote to the EPS of Dangote (Price to Earnings Ratio), thus I invest my cash of N215 to buy 16 times the earnings of Dangote, thus the Price to Earnings Ratio of Dangote is 13.31 (P/E). Using the same calculation, the price for each earnings of BUA (the P.E.) is 35.38. This means even though I am paying more cash for each share of Dangote, I am paying less to buy the earnings of Dangote, thus Dangote is cheaper than BUA.
So our first milestone is reached, we have used the Net Income, Market Price, and Number of Issued shared to get the Earnings Per Share, we have then determined what amount of earnings we are buying to determine which stock is at a bargain.
Let us look at the earnings that will be paid in cash. Remember, Earnings, is just the Net Income of Dangote, we as equity holders have the opportunity to share in any portion of the Net Income.
Dangote in 2020 paid out from earnings N272.69 billion as dividends, this translates to about N16 per share or in terms of returns 7.44%. We get this Dividend Yield return by comparing the dividend paid to the market price per share (D/P). BUA also in 2020 paid out N59.26 billion as dividends from earnings, this translates to a dividend yield of 2.81%.
So, if I invested N100,000 in shares of Dangote Cement, I would earn a cash return of 7.44%, if I did the same with BUA I would earn a cash return of 2.81%.
Let us go a bit deeper…
When you buy a stock, you are buying into the earnings and cash flow. Dangote Cement in 2020 earned N276 billion and paid N272 billion as dividends meaning they retained about N3 billion for that FY while generating over N248b in Free Cash Flow. Similarly, BUA earned a net N71.52 billion, paid out N59 billion in dividends, retained N19 billion but posted a negative Free Cash Flow of (N95.49 billion). Should BUA cement have simply used that cash to finance working capital rather than paying it as dividends? Perhaps. Let us speak more of Cash flow.
Cash retained is cash not paid to you the investor. You have to ask how well your company is utilizing that cash retained. Should it all be paid out as dividends? Or retained in the company to fund expansion and growth?
Look at it this way, if Federal Government Bonds were offering a Yield of 15% and we see that Dangote is offering a yield of 7.44%, then as shareholders you should demand that Dangote pays more cash to you to allow you to invest in FGN bonds because you get a higher return (at lower risk). The point is any company retaining cash or paying cash at a lower yield than the market is hurting the investors, who are missing the opportunity of investing higher elsewhere.
Let us score both company managers by how well they have managed the revenues and capital of the companies
|Return on Assets %||Return on Equity %||Return on Invested Capital %||EBITA Margin %||Net Margin %||Debt to Assets||Long Term Debt to Assets|
Across the board, the management of Dangote Cement has done a better job when compared to BUA Cement in managing the assets of the company. Dangote Return on invested capital is higher with a much lower recourse to debt and of course a higher FCF number.
Overall, on Earning, Returns and Efficiency, it appears Dangote Cement posts better fundamentals…
Do follow @FinPlanKaluAja1
This is not investment advice, this is not a recommendation to buy or sell. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Speak with your adviser before investing. Equity is risky.
Is something fishy going on at Custodian Plc?
Custodian stock hit a year high just as it announced a Convertible Loan Instrument set to be approved at its AGM.
Custodian Plc, one of the largest insurance companies in Nigeria is currently trading at a new year high of N7.10 and is up 21% year to date. Nairametrics Blurb team has in recent days noticed an upsurge in its share price especially since the company announced its AGM.
As we pen this article, about 2.9 million units have exchanged hand at a share price of N7.
The stock is included in the Pension Index and by some measure quite illiquid. It is also one of the stocks recommended in our Premium Service Stock Select Newsletter thus the need for further introspection.
Custodian Investment AGM
Typically, when companies announce AGMs we are keenly curious as this is where decisions that can ultimately affect shareholders (especially smaller retail investors) are approved.
In its recent filings, the company stated as follows in item 10.
That the Board of Directors of the Company be and is hereby authorised to:
(a) raise the Naira equivalent of up to $15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million US Dollars), as additional capital through a convertible loan instrument;
(b) convert the loan in the Naira equivalent of up to $15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million US Dollars) into shares in the Company (the “Conversion Shares”) at a conversion price, being the higher of N6 per share or the 12-month historical average daily share price of the Company derived from the Daily Official List of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (for the period ending on March 23, 2021), subject to adjustment upon the occurrence of certain adjustment events;
(c) allot the Converted Shares to the Lender upon the exercise by the Lender of its right to convert the Loan into shares in the Company, subject to applicable law; and
(d) take steps necessary or reasonably desirable to give effect to the foregoing resolutions and for effecting any transactions pursuant thereto, including the appointment of professional advisers, and the obtention of relevant regulatory approvals.
What this means?
In simple English, the directors of Custodian are seeking the approval of its shareholders to borrow $15 million (N6.1 billion) in convertible loan instrument.
A convertible loan instrument is simply a loan that you can convert into shares if the lender so wishes. The share price for conversion are predetermined and in this case, they stated N6 per share or the 12-month historical average daily share price of the company’s stock.
If the lender does decide to convert the loans to shares at the current share price of N6 per share, it means about 1 billion shares will be offered to the lender, an equivalent of 17.4% of the total outstanding shares of the company. This loan is in effect, a potential dilution of existing shareholders of the company if it is approved at the AGM.
So why is the company seeking a convertible loan or even diluting its shareholders?
Fishing around for why
Typically when a company decides to raise money via a convertible loan instrument, they are looking for lower interest rates, debt that avoids the burden of periodic repayment, and/or looking to delay when the actual equity is issued. There are also tax considerations at play but not as significant as the ones mentioned above.
Except, Custodian is looking to purchase another asset, after it bought UPDC, we do not understand why it will be looking to raise capital huge enough to dilute existing shareholders. It also did not explain why it is seeking to raise the said capital in its AGM Notice, a slight departure from the norm in cases like this.
- Custodian is also highly capitalized with a Net Asset of about N46 billion and a balance sheet size of N176.1 billion (after the acquisition of UPDC) as of 2020.
- Suffice to add that the company recently paid shareholders about N2.6 billion in dividends, making us wonder why it is seeking to dilute shareholders when it could have just ploughed that amount to its capital raising needs.
- In fact, the dividends paid in 2020 was just 21% of profits, meaning it had retained about N10 billion in profits made during the year. Again, why does it need N6.1 billion in loans?
- Custodian also has a thriving insurance business which fetched it about N58 billion in gross premium income out of which N32 billion was from non-life. Again, why does it need N6.1 billion on convertible loans?
- The company currently carries a debt of about N5.5 billion which was inherited from its acquisition of UPDC. The debt is mostly a bond issued at an interest rate of 16% per annum and due for full liquidation in 2023.
- There is no rush to pay down this debt.
We are lost as to why the company is looking to raise this capital and can only now think of two reasons. Firstly, could it be the existing shareholders looking to tighten their stake in the company? Custodian’s majority shareholders are Gratitude Capital Limited and Mikeade Investments Limited with 22.48% and 15.72% respectively.
- The company CEO Oluwole Oshin represents Gratitude Capital while Business Mogul Micheal Ade (Elizade) owns Mikeade Investments Limited. Could it be either of these two investors looking to up their stakes?
- There could also be a reason for this back door approach. About 74.5% of the company is owned by just 20 shareholders so it is clear that increasing majority stake will be difficult to achieve.
- The other reason is perhaps an institutional investor looking to acquire a significant stake in the company through the backdoor. Is this plausible?
Well, these are speculations that only Cusdotian can confirm. We hope they do so as soon as possible.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
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- NSE approves delisting of 11 Plc shares.
- Berger Paints Nigeria Plc reports a 67% decline in Profits in FY 2020.
- MTN Nigeria raises N73.5 billion from CP Issuance to finance operations.
- Jaiz Bank proposes dividend worth N884 million for shareholders.