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Stock Analysis

Financial ratios you need for stock analysis

Stock picking is not an easy science or art, though it is not rocket science either. It requires methodical calculations and analysis.



Financial ratios you need for stock analysis, Understanding price multiples and how to use them for stock selection, Bears grip Nigerian bourse ASI Index down 0.71%, How to Profit from Directors’ Share Dealing Notifications.

Stock picking is not an easy science or art, though it is not rocket science either. It requires methodical calculations and analysis. Some of the calculations are simple while some are more involving. Professional analysts undertake their stock-picking by estimating the intrinsic value of a company of interest. Estimating the intrinsic value entails forecasting a company’s sales, costs, earnings and financial conditions, among others.

Equipped with the intrinsic value of a company, an analyst can identify if a stock is overvalued, undervalued, or fairly valued in relation to their current market value. It is this relationship between the estimated intrinsic value and the current market price that informs a buy, sell or hold decision.


Though the professional analysts, who make a living from financial analysis and stock picking and trading use a wide range of robust analysis or algorithms and engage in painstaking and time-consuming research, there are a few basic financial ratios that the not too sophisticated lay stock market investor can use in making investment decisions. Just like financial statements come in sub-reports, financial statement analysis by way of ratio analysis follows each of the subreports. Here are some of them.

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Profitability Ratios

Profitability ratios track the financial performance of a company over a period of time. Among the profitability ratios that analysts use include, gross profit margin, operating margin, net profit margin, return on assets employed, return on equity, and earnings per share, among others. Gross margin measures the margin available to cover a company’s operating expenses. It is measured as gross profit divided by net sales and expressed in percentage terms. On the other hand, operating margin measures a company’s profitability from the main business of the company.

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It is measured as operating profit divided by net sales expressed in percentage terms. Net profit margin measures the same profitability after accounting for taxes. It is measured as net profit after taxes divided by net sales. Return on equity measures the return on investments made by shareholders through their equity holdings in a company. It is measured as net income after taxes divided by total owners’ equity.  Return on assets is a measure of the return to shareholders and creditors of a company.  It is measured as net income after taxes divided by total assets of a company.

[READ MORE: Macro weakness: Justification for cheap Nigerian stocks?]

Liquidity Ratios

These ratios measure the extent to which a company’s cash or short-term assets are able to cover its current or short-term liabilities. While current assets are expected to outweigh current liabilities, a liquidity ratio that is too high could signify that a company is not utilizing its current assets well and may be sacrificing profitability. When liquidity ratio is too low, it is an indication that a company may not be able to meet its short-term financial obligations when due. So, investors and analysts look for a middle-of-the-road liquidity ratio. The liquidity ratios that are in use include current ratio, quick ratio, and working capital.

Current Ratio

The current ratio as a liquidity ratio measures the ability of a company to pay back its current or short-term liabilities. The higher the ratio, the higher the ability of a company to meet its short-term debt obligations. It is calculated as Current Assets divided by Current Liabilities. The information or data for this calculation is obtainable from the current asset/liability section of the balance sheet of a company.

Quick Ratio

The quick ratio, otherwise known as acid test ratio, is very much like the current ratio and measures basically the same thing. However, certain current assets that may not be easily realizable in cash, such as inventory, that are included in the calculation of current ratio, are excluded from quick ratio calculation. Like current ratio, a higher quick ratio indicates a higher ability of a company to meet its short-term financial liabilities. The quick ratio is calculated as (Current Assets less Inventory) divided by current liabilities.


Working capital is current assets minus current liabilities. It measures the extent to which current resources of a company exceed its current financial obligations. The greater the number, the greater the comfort level that a company has to meet any unforeseen cash requirements.


Solvency Ratios

Solvency ratios are those ratios that reflect a company’s ability to meet its financial long-term obligations. It also points to how a company finances its operations. Again, a middle-of-the-road ratio is desirable, as too high solvency ratio portends a company that may be struggling with meeting its long-term financial obligations, while too low solvency ratio could indicate a company that is not taking advantage of long-term borrowing opportunities. Among solvency ratios that analysts use, include debt to assets, debt to equity, long term debt to equity and interest coverage ratios.

Debt-to-Equity Ratio

Debt to Equity Ratio is a ratio that indicates how much a company is in debt in relation to the stake that shareholders have in the company, otherwise called shareholders’ equity. The higher the ratio, the worse the situation. The ratio is calculated as Total Liabilities divided by Shareholders Equity. The information on the total liabilities and shareholders’ equity are readily available from a company’s financial statements, notably, the balance sheet.

Debt to Asset Ratio

This ratio measures the extent to which a company borrows money to finance its operations. It is calculated as total debt divided by total assets. The higher the ratio, the worse the financial state of a company.

Interest coverage ratio measures the extent to which operating profit exceeds the fixed interest expenses that a company must pay. The higher the ratio, the less the likelihood that the company would be unable to meet its fixed interest expense when due.

Using Financial Ratios

Financial ratios are not just calculated for the fun of it. They are used to compare a company’s current performance with its prior years’ performance to know if its financial circumstances are improving, deteriorating, or the same.  They are used to also compare similar companies (peer comparison) so as to know which to invest in.


[READ ALSO: Don’t get stuck buying these stocks]

Financial ratios you need for stock analysis

Limitations of Financial Ratios

Financial ratios are not perfect; they are only surrogates to the real numbers and should, therefore, be interpreted and used as such. Financial ratios are based on numbers from the financial statement, such that, where the financial statement is doctored or window dressed, the resulting ratios will follow suit. However, analysts have designed ways and means to uncover financial shenanigans when analyzing financial ratios.  In my next article on this topic, I will take a look at how to watch for and detect financial shenanigans.

Uchenna Ndimele is the President of Quantitative Financial Analytics Ltd. and (both Quantitative Financial Analytics company website) is a leader in supplying mutual fund information, analysis, and commentary on African mutual funds. We provide reliable fund data; and ratings information that will add value to fund managers, the media, individual investors and investment clubs.

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List of Dividends announced so far in 2020 (June)

List of Dividends announced so far in 2020 (June)



Dividends announced on the Nigerian stock exchange

As audited accounts start to trickle in, companies will propose dividend payments to their shareholders as recommended by their respective boards of directors. It is also important to track these announcements to know who is eligible to collect the dividend, when it will be approved and when it will be paid. Dividend payment also affects share prices.

This page will be updated from time to time.


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Date Announced – The date the company announced dividends evidenced by a corporate action published on the website of the NSE.

Qualification date – Shareholders who own shares as of this date will receive dividends. If you buy shares and want to receive dividends make sure it is at least three days before this date. Shares get transferred to you on the basis of the T+3 rule (the date you bought plus 3 working days).

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Payment date – This is when the dividend will be paid to you, either via post (dividend warrants) or direct credit to your bank accounts (e-dividend).

Calculate Dividends

Closure of Register – Only shareholders who own shares listed in their register before this date will be paid dividends.

You can also scroll sideways to view the rest of the columns if using a mobile phone.

READ MORE: How to read stock market tables


2020 Dividends from companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange

CompanyDPSDate AnnouncedBonusClosure of RegisterAGM DatePayment DateQualification date
Prestige Assurance PlcNil4th June 20202 New shares for every 11 existing shares22nd - 26th June 202030th June 2020N/A19th June 2020
Presco PlcN2.00k3rd June 2020Nil20th - 22nd July 20205th August 20207th August 202017th July 2020
Trans-Nationwide Express PlcN0.03k1st June 2020Nil6th - 10th July 202016th July 202020th July 20203rd July 2020
Nigeria Aviation Handling Company PLCN0.30k28th May 2020Nil1st - 3rd July 202016th July 202016th July 202030th June 2020
Skyway Aviation Handling Co. PlcN0.16k1st June 2020Nil17th - 23rd June 202030th June 202030th June 202016th June 2020
11 PlcN8.2528th May 2020Nil30th Sept - 5th Oct 2020to be announcedto be announced29th Sept 2020
Glaxo SmithKilne Consumer Nig. PlcN0.55k22nd May 2020Nil23rd June - 2nd July 202023rd July 202024th July 202022nd June 2020
Airtel Africa0.0313th May 2020Nil6th July 2020Not applicable24th July 2020NA
Caverton Offshore Support Group PlcN0.20k22nd May 2020Nil16th June 202025th June 202025th June 202015th June 2020
Nigerian Breweries Plc (Revised)N1.51k20th May 2020Nil5th-11th March 202023rd June 202024th June 20204th March 2020
BUA CementN1.75k19th May 2020Nil28th Sept - 2nd Oct 202022nd October 202023rd October 202025th September 2020
NASCON Allied Industries PlcN0.40k13th May 2020Nil15th - 16th July 202027th July 202029th July 202014th July 2020
Total Nigeria PlcN6.7113th May 2020Nil5th - 11th June 2020to be announced24hrs after meeting4th June 2020
Cadbury Nigeria PlcN0.49k13th May 2020Nil25th - 29th May 202024th June 202025th June 202022nd May 2020
May and Baker PlcN0.25k13th May 2020Nil27th - 29th May 20204th June 20208th June 202026th May 2020
NPF Microfinance Bank PlcN0.20k11th May 2020Nil17th - 22nd June 202030th June 202030th June 202016th June 2020
Okomu Oil Palm PlcN2.0023rd April2020Nil19th - 22nd May 202028th May 202029th May 202018th May 2020
Lafarge Africa PlcN127th April 2020Nil4th - 8th May 20203rd June 20203rd June 202030th April 2020
Wema Bank PlcN0.04k23rd April 2020Nil7th - 12th May 202018th May 202018th May 20206th May 2020
UAC of Nigeria PlcN0.10k20th April 2020Nil19th - 22nd May 2020to be announcedto be announced18th May 2020
Union bank of NigeriaN0.25k13th April 2020Nil27th - 30th April 20206th May 20206th May 202024th April 2020
FBN HoldingsN0.38k6th April 2020Nil21st - 22nd April 202027th April 202028th April 202020th April 2020
Lafarge Africa PlcN1.00k6th April 2020Nil4th - 8th May 202026th May 202026th May 202030th April 2020
Ikeja Hotel PlcN0.023rd April 2020Nil2nd - 8th July 202030th July 20207th August 20201st July 2020
McNichols Consolidated PlcN0.03k1st April 2020Nil2nd - 8th July 202030th July 20207th August 20201st July 2020
NEM InsuranceN0.15k1st April 2020Nil4th - 8th May 2020to be announcedto be announced30th April 2020
FCMB Group PlcN0.14k31st March 2020Nil15th - 17th April 202028th April 202028th April 202014th April 2020
Beta Glass Nigeria PlcN1.67k30th March 2020Nil15th - 19th June 20202nd July 20203rd July 202011th June 2020
Capital Hotel PlcN0.05k26th March 2020Nil20th - 24th April 202027th May 20203rd June 202017th April 2020
Sterling bank PlcN0.03k26th March 2020Nil5th - 8th May 202020th May 202020th May 20204th May 2020
Boc GasesN0.30k26th March 2020Nil8th - 10th June 202025th June 202026th June 20205th June 2020
Fidelity Bank PlcN0.20k23rd March 2020Nil20th - 24th April 202030th April 202030th April 202017th April 2020
Seplat Petroleum Dev. Company Plc0.0523rd March 2020Nil13th May 202028th May 20204th June 202012th May 2020
Julius Berger Nig. PlcN2.75k13th March 20200.0021st to 3rd June 202018th June 202019th June 202029th May 2020
Nigeria Energy Sector Fund (NESF)N75.0010th March 2020Nil20th March 20206th April 202019th March 2020
Access Bank PlcN0.40k6th March 2020Nil15th April 202030th April 202030th April 202014th April 2020
Nestle Nig PlcN45.00k28th February 2020Nil18th - 22nd May 20202nd June 20202nd July 202015th May 2020
Stanbic IBTC Holdings PlcN2.005th March 2020Nil19th - 26th March 202030th June 202018th June 202018th March 2020
Guaranty Trust Bank PlcN2.50k2nd March 2020Nil19th March 202030th March 202030th March 202018th March 2020
United Bank of AfricaN0.80k2nd March 2020Nil16th - 20th March 202027th March 202027th March 202013th March 2020
Transcorp PlcN0.01k28th February 2020Nil18th - 23rd March 202025th March 202027th March 202017th March 2020
MTN Nigeria PlcN4.97k28th February 2020NilFebruary 17, 19008th May 202019th May 202017th april 2020
Transcorp Hotels PlcN0.07k28th February 2020Nil13th-17th March 202024th March 202026th March 202012th March 2020
United Capital PLCN0.50k18th February 2020Nil9th-13th March 202024th March 202026th March 20206th March 2020
Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank PLCN0.035K30th January 2020Nil9th-13th March 20207th May 202014th May 20206th March 2020
Zenith bank PlcN2.50k21st February 2020Nil10th March 202016th March 202016th March 20209th March 2020
Africa Prudential PlcN0.70k25th february 2020Nil9th-13th March 202023rd March 202023rd March 20206th March 2020
Dangote Cement PlcN16.0025th february 2020Nil26th May 202015th June 202016th June 202025th May 2020
Tripple Gee & Company PlcN0.05k8th July 2019Nil2nd-6th September 201916th September 201928th September 201930th August 2019
Presco PlcN2.006th June 2019Nil8th-10th July 201924th July 201929th July 20195th July 2019
C & I Leasing PlcN0.07525th June 2019Nil15th-19th July 201930th July 201931st July 201912th July 2019
NPF Microfinance Bank PlcN0.0525th June 2019Nil8th-12th July 201925th July 201925th July 20195th July 2019
Learn Africa PlcN0.15k2nd July 2019Nil23rd-27th September 201917th October 201918th October 201920th September 2019
Academy Press PlcN0.05k1st Juky 2019Nil5th-9th August 201919th September 201926th September 20192nd August 2019
University Press PlcN0.15k1st July 2019Nil2nd-6th September 201926th September 201926th September 201930th August 2019
Redstar Express PlcN0.43k2nd July 2019Nil17th-19th July 20198th August 201916th July 2019
Veitva Griffin 30 PlcN0.27NilN/AN/A31st May 2019
Vetiva S&P Nig. Sovereign Bond ETFN13.00Nil31st May 2019N/A7th June 2019
Law Union & Rock Insurance PlcN0.029th May 2019Nil3rd - 7th June 201925th June 201926th June 201931st May 2019
NEM InsuranceN0.1330th April 2019Nil3rd - 7th June 201925th June 201925th June 201931st May 2019
Forte OilN1.153rd June 2019Nil4th - 7th June 2019N/A10th june 20193rd June 2019
Smart ProductsN0.1530th April 2019Nil1st - 5th July 201929th August 20195th Septemner 201928th June 2019
AIICO Insurance PlcN0.0616th April 2019Nil10th - 17th May 201920th May 201920th May 2019May 9 2019
Consolidated Hallmark Insurance PlcN0.0223rd April 2019Nil7th - 13th March 2019to be announcedto be announced6th May 2019
FBN HoldingsN0.2612th April 2019Nil24th - 29th April 20193rd May 20196th May 201922nd
Lotus Halal Fixed Income FundN28.00NilN/AN/A12th April 2019
Nigerian Aviation Handling Coy PlcN0.2517th April 2019Nil9th - 11th July 201926th July 201926th July 20198th July 2019
Prestige Assurance PlcN0.0317th April 2019Nil6th - 10th May 2019to be announcedto be announced3rd May 2019
Regency Alliance Insurance PlcN0.0315th April 2019Nil13th - 17th May 201918th June 201919th June 201910th May 2019
Cement Coy. Of Northern Nig. PlcN0.4029th March 2019Nil2nd - 8th July 201925th July 201926th July 20191st July 2019
Dangote Sugar Refinery PlcN1.104th April 2019Nil3rd - 5th June 201918th June 201919th June 201931st May 2019
The Initiates PlcN0.052nd April 2019Nil3rd - 7th June 2019to be announcedto be announced31st May 2019
Aluminium Extrusion Ind. PlcN0.08526th March 2019Nil17th - 21st June 2019to be announcedto be announced14th June 2019
Beta Glass Nigeria PlcN1.3029th March 2019Nil17th - 21st June 20194th July 20195th July 201914th June 2019
UAC of Nigeria PlcN0.6429th March 2019Nil21st - 24th May 201926th June 201927th June 201920th May 2019
Okomu Oil Palm PlcN3.0027th March 2019Nil14th - 17th May 201913th June 201920th June 201913th May 2019
Wema Bank PlcN0.0329th March 2019Nil29th April - 6th May 20198th May 201913th May 201926th April 2019
Berger Paints PlcN0.6519th March 2019Nil29th April - 3rd May 201923rd May 201924th May 201926th April 2019
Caverton Offshore Support Group PlcN0.2529th March 2019Nil8th May 201921st May 201924th May 20197th May 2019
Eterna PlcN0.2529th March 2019Nil14th - 17th May 201913th June 201914th June 201913th May 2019
Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank PlcN0.0329th March 2019Nil25th April - 9th May 201916th May 201923rd May 201924th April 2019
CAP PlcN2.5029th March 2019Nil27th - 31st May 201920th June 201921st June 201924th May 2019
Portland Paints and Products Nig. PlcN0.0528th March 2019Nil6th - 10th May 201930th May 201931st May 20193rd May 2019
Glaxo SmithKilne Consumer Nig. PlcN0.058th March 2019Nil24th April - 6th May 201923rd May 201924th May 201922nd April 2019
Chams PlcN0.034th April 2019Nil18th - 24th April 2019to be announcedto be announced17th April 2019
Fidson Healthcare PlcN0.153rd April 2019Nil18th - 24th April 2019to be announcedto be announced17th April 2019
Capital Hotel PlcN0.052nd April 2019Nil24th - 29th April 2019April 22, 20009th May 201923rd April 2019
May and Baker PlcN0.2029th March 2019Nil23rd - 26th April 201930th May 20193rd June 201918th April 2019
Unilever of Nigeria PlcN1.5029th March 2019Nil15th - 23rd April 20199th May 201910th May 201912th April 2019
Total Nigeria PlcN14.0028th March 2019Nil23rd - 29th April 201927th June 201928th June 201918th April 2019
FCMB Group PlcN0.1429th March 2019Nil12th - 18th April 201926th April 201929th April 201911th April 2019
Fidelity Bank PlcN0.1129th March 2019Nil15th - 19th April 201926th April 201926th April 201912th April 2019
Custodian Investment PlcN0.3521st March 2019Nil12th - 17th April 201924th April 201924th April 201911th April 2019
11 PlcN8.2522nd MarchNil3rd - 10th May 201916th May 201917th May 20192nd May 2019
NASCON Allied Industries PlcN1.0022nd March 2019Nil31st May - 3rd June 201913th June 201917th June 201930th May 2019
Cadbury Nig. PlcN0.2521st March 2019Nil20th - 24th May 201918th June 201919th June 201917th May 2019
Julius Berger Nig. PlcN2.0021st March 2019Nil3rd - 7th June 201920th June 201921st June 201931st May 2019
UBA PlcN0.6515th March 2019Nil3rd - 9th April 201923rd April 201923rd April 20192nd April 2019
Access Bank PlcN0.25k14th March 2019Nil12th April 201925th April 201925th April 201911th April 2019
Stanbic IBTC Holdings PlcN1.50k7th March 2019Nil21st March 201919th June 201920th June 201920th March 2019
Guaranty Trust Bank PlcN2.456th March 2019Nil9th April 201918th April 201918th April 20198th April 2019
Seplat Petroleum Dev. Company PlcUS$0.056th March 2019Nil21st March 201916th May 201923rd May 201920th March 2019
Nestle Nig PlcN38.50k4th March 2019Nil13th - 17th May 201928th May 201929th May 201910th May 2019
McNichols Consolidated PlcN0.05k1st March 2019Nil9th - 15th April 201916th April 201926th April 20198th April 2019
Dangote CementN16.0028th February 2019Nil4th - 10th June 201917th June 201918th June 20193rd June 2019
Africa Prudential PlcN0.50k26th February 2019Nil14th - 20th March 201926th March 201926th March 201913th March 2019
United Capital Plc30kobo21st February 2019Nil14th - 20th March 201928th March 20192nd April 201913th March 2019
Zenith Bank PlcN2.5019th February 2019Nil11th - 15th March 201918th March 201918th March 20198th March 2019
Transnational Corp. of Nig. Plc3k18th February 2019Nil1st - 5th March 201915th March 201919th March 201928th February 2019
Nigerian Breweries PlcN1.83K18th February 2019Nil7th - 13th March 201917th May 201920th May 20196th March 2019
Transcorp Hotel15k15th February 2019Nil28th February - 1 March 201915th March 201919th March 201927th February 2019
Newrest ASL NIG Plc20kNil29th April - 3rd May 201915th May 201916th May 2019
SIAML Pension ETF 40N1.17Nil25th January 2019N/A28TH January 2019

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Company Results

Analysis: Is this a Lafarge rebirth?

Lafarge Africa Plc, one of the biggest building and concrete solutions companies in the world’s three biggest Achilles’ heels.



Lafarge Africa Plc, Analysis: Is this a Lafarge rebirth?

Lafarge Africa Plc, a unit of LafargecHolcim Group – one of the biggest building and concrete solutions companies in the world, has had a pretty long run in the construction sector. With projected growth in urbanization and inevitable population expansion, the leading producer of building materials and construction solutions has its stake in the huge Nigerian housing market. The company had served customers in Nigeria and South Africa (now discontinued) for decades, their customer base cutting across individuals requiring small building projects to major construction and infrastructure projects. All of these do well to place the company as an active participant in the economic growth of Africa.

Yet, so much has plagued the company in the past few years, curtailing its success with avoidable losses and below-par profits. While it, no doubt, has a series of challenges to worry about – like most organizations – three of its biggest Achilles’ heels had been its failing South African operations, its incessant changes in its corporate leadership, and of course, the one pandemic threatening to rip the global economy to shreds – COVID-19.


Lafarge South Africa

The company’s experience with its South African subsidiary gives credence to the phrase, “If anything is not serving you well, cut it off.” After years of dragging the African cement-maker down, the subsidiary was eventually spun off in July last year – not before it incurred a final loss of N3.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019. It was only after, when Lafarge restated its accounts by adjusting figures from the discontinued operations from its books, that the company set off on a positive growth trajectory.

Following the sale of Lafarge South Africa Holdings (LSAH) in Q3, there was a remarkable improvement in gross and operating margins, clearly showing that the sale of LSAH was valued accretive to shareholders. For one, the total debt reduced drastically. Short term loans and long term loans also had a drop of 79% and 75% respectively in comparison with the first quarter of last year. Other financial assets increased significantly from N1.7 billion in 2019 to N4.8 billion in Q1 2020. Also resulting from the sale was the increase in EPS from Q1 2019 of 0.36 to Q1 2020 of 0.93.

(READ MORE: Analysis: Total Nigeria needs a financial overhaul)

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Khaled El Dokani, CCEO of Lafarge Africa had stated, “Our turnaround and cost-reduction strategy in FY 2019 and the divestment of the South African business, have delivered strong results. The decrease in net debt has significantly strengthened our balance sheet and has placed us in a vantage position to face the future.”

Lafarge Africa, Lafarge dismisses Alleged SEC probe , Analysis: Is this a Lafarge rebirth?

Its Changing Leadership

In 2018 alone, the firm appointed four directors in the space of three months. 9 months ago, in September, former CFO of Lafarge Africa Plc., Bruno Bayet, resigned.  Just a month later, the board had announced the appointment of Lolu Alade Akinyemi as the new CFO. Next, the group CEO, Michel Puchercos, also resigned leaving Khaled Abdelaziz El Dokani in charge. Even amidst the challenges of 2020, Jean-Philippe Benard resigned from being a Non-Executive Director in January 2020 and by April, the retirement of two Non-Executive Directors was announced, as well as the appointment of three new directors. The high turnover of its leadership means one (or both) of two things. The first is the possibility that there could be more than meets the eyes within the company and the second is the truth that the newer leadership will need time to adjust to the company’s operations before the wins.

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Just when things started looking up, COVID-19 came with all its challenges and it didn’t help that the first carrier of the virus – an Italian man, had been visiting Lafarge Africa’s factory in Ogun State. The loss in the demand for cement with the stalled construction activities will pose an additional challenge for the organization. In the performance summary released alongside the financials, the company had noted that the pandemic “will adversely affect the company’s results in Q2, 2020.” This is also coupled with the burgeoning competitive landscape with bigger brands like BUA and Dangote owning larger market shares.

While the company seems to be moving in the right direction, it might take a while for things to pick up. At its current price of N11.65 juxtaposed with its indicative dividend yield of 8.58%, the company could serve as an easy buy capable of yielding dividend income while investors wait patiently and hopefully for its wins to come.


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Stock Analysis

Dangote Cement: Subdued earnings outlook but valuations still attractive

Trading at FY 2020 EV/EBITDA of 7.0x compared to its EM peer average of 9.2x and its 5-year average of 7.7x, we believe the company’s valuation remains attractive.



Dangote Cement reported a 3.8% y/y growth in Revenue to N249.2bn in Q1 2020. The growth in group revenue was solely driven by an improvement in revenue from its Nigerian operations (up 5.6% y/y to N179.3bn) amidst a flattish performance from Pan African operations (down 0.6% y/y to N69.8bn). We expect the impact of COVID-19 to have a more profound impact on Nigeria Sales in Q2-2020, given that Lagos, Ogun, and the FCT went on full lockdown from 30 March. Although the lockdown measures were relaxed on 4 May, economic activities are yet to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Similarly, we expect weaker Revenue from Pan African Operations driven by weakness in South Africa (poor macro conditions, lockdown in the last week of March amidst weak infrastructure spending by the government), Tanzania (production challenges and unfavorable weather conditions) and Zambia (the economy slipped into recession in Q1, leading to a decline in the cement market) to have a material impact on overall Pan African sales volumes. As such, we have made marginal adjustments to our forecasts.


We retain our target price of N182.4/s and maintain our Buy recommendation largely due to attractive valuations. Trading at FY 2020 EV/EBITDA of 7.0x compared to its EM peer average of 9.2x and its 5-year average of 7.7x, we believe the company’s valuation remains attractive. We arrived at our target price using a blend of DCF valuation and relative valuation in the ratio 60:40. We also note that the company’s planned share buyback has been approved by SEC and management will review the opportunity to deploy the programme in due time. We believe this remains a catalyst for an upward re-pricing of its shares.

READ ALSO: Dangote Cement’s Q1 Result: Weak topline and higher OPEX drive weak earnings

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Review of Q1 2020 performance

Q1 2020 Revenue grew 3.8% y/y to N249.2bn. The growth in group revenue was solely driven by an improvement in revenue from its Nigerian operations (up 5.6% y/y to N179.3bn) amidst a flattish performance from Pan African operations (down 0.6% y/y to N69.8bn). On a q/q basis, we note that group revenue grew stronger, up 17.6% q/q, again on the back of a sturdy growth from Nigerian operations (up 26% q/q). We believe the growth in revenue from Nigerian operations reflects stronger demand for cement particularly in the months of January and February which more than compensated for the slowdown in March due to headwinds triggered by the outbreak of the global pandemic. Notably, cement sales volumes grew by 0.7% y/y to 4.0MT, the highest Q1 volume in the last four years. However, we note that the momentum in sales volumes has slowed down, following the lockdown implemented in states such as Lagos, Ogun, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

EBITDA grew 2.2% y/y to N114.2bn. The low single-digit growth in EBITDA was due to a higher increase in cost of sales adjusted for depreciation (up 6.3% y/y) compared to the growth in revenue (up 3.8% /y). The increase in cost of sales adjusted for depreciation was largely driven by growth in salaries and related staff costs (up 13% y/y) and other production expenses (N4.0bn in Q1 2020 vs N1.5bn in Q1 2019). However, the company reported a sub-inflationary growth in OPEX (up 4% y/y to N47.7bn). We highlight that expenditure on advertisement and promotion was up 96% y/y to N3.7bn- we believe this was due to the continued implementation of sales promotional activities to drive sales volume. Overall, EBITDA margin weakened marginally by 0.7ppts to 45.8% in Q1 2020.

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Net Finance Cost dipped significantly, down 60.5% y/y t0 N3.7bn in Q1 2020, due to a decline in Finance Cost (down 23% y/y to N9.0bn) alongside foreign exchange gains of N3.7bn recorded in Q1 2020. However, Finance Income was down 32.6% y/y to N1.5bn, reflective of the decline in Cash and Bank Balances (down 41% y/y to N101.8bn) and a lower yield environment. We note that the decline in Finance Cost was due to the absence of Foreign exchange loss in Q1 2020 compared to N3.1bn recorded in Q1 2019.

Pre-tax Profit grew 11.5% y/y to N88.1bn in Q1 2020. A higher effective tax rate of 31% in Q1 2020 compared to 24% in Q1 2019 led to a flattish growth in Profit after tax, up 0.6% y/y to N60.6bn in Q1 2020. Earnings per share rose to N3.60/s in Q1 2020 from N3.54/s in Q1 2019.


Looking ahead, we expect the deterioration in the macroeconomic narrative of Nigeria, caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 and significantly lower oil prices to constrain activities in the construction industry as fiscal spending on capital projects weakens, on the back of lower oil revenue. In a similar fashion, we expect private sector investment in gross fixed capital formation to slow down as businesses cut down on their CAPEX plans given fragile macro conditions, which will weaken aggregate demand.


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Similarly, we expect weaker Revenue from Pan African Operations driven by weakness in South Africa (poor macro conditions, lockdown in the last week of March amidst weak infrastructure spending by the government), Tanzania (production challenges and unfavorable weather conditions) and Zambia (the economy slipped into recession in Q1, leading to a decline in the cement market) to have a material impact on overall Pan African sales volumes. Considering the 1.4% decline in Pan African Sales Volumes in Q1 2020, we have revised downwards our forecast on Pan-African volumes to 9.25MT (previously; 9.82MT) in 2020.

Valuation; BUY rating maintained

We retain our target price of N182.4/s and maintain our Buy recommendation largely due to attractive valuations. Trading at FY 2020e EV/EBITDA of 7.0x compared to its EM peer average of 9.2x and its 5-year average of 7.7x, we believe the company’s valuation remains attractive. Furthermore, we highlight that the proposed share buyback is a positive catalyst for upward re-pricing of the shares. We arrived at our target price using a blend of DCF valuation and Relative valuation in the ratio 60:40.

CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Lagos (CSLS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of FCMB Group Plc and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria. CSLS is a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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