The shares of Nigerian Breweries Plc, the largest brewer by market capitalization on NSE, have gained a whopping 58.06% since August, almost two months ago.
This was discovered by comparing the market opening price of the company’s stock on the 3rd of August (N31.00), with the market closing price of the shares after September 28’s trading session, which was N49.00. This is a whopping N18.00 difference or 58.06% increase in the value of Nigerian breweries shares, in 56 days.
However, the increase in the share price of Nigerian Breweries is quite surprising, considering the fact that the earnings of the company were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the figures contained in its half-year results, the brewer suffered a 10.8% decline in revenue in the first half of the year, as a result of a material decline in beer volumes, following the restrictions to movements and gatherings directed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.
The restrictions placed on bars, restaurants, and night clubs impacted the sales of the company, as approximately 64% of beer and alcoholic drink sales come from on-premise demand.
In like manners, pressures from the cost of sales, marketing & distribution expenses, and administrative expenses severely kept the profit of Nigerian Breweries down in H1 2020, this led to a 58.03% decline in profit after tax, when compared with the profits the company reported over the same period last year.
Despite the earnings challenges the company faced in H1 2020, the confidence of Nigerian Breweries’ major shareholder Heineken Brouwerijen B.V (Heineken Breweries), in the long-term fundamentals of Nigerian Breweries, and its relative valuation as of 3rd August, inspired the Dutch brewer to spend N439.2 million, to accumulate 11,697,324 additional units of Nigerian Breweries shares, at an average price of N37.55, in just 39 days.
Heineken Brouwerijen B.V investment of N439.2 million into the company, has led to an unrealized gain of N133.96 million in just 45days.
It is important to note that the purchase of the shares of Nigerian Breweries, by Heineken Brouwerijen and other majority shareholder, has mopped up stray volumes on the bourse, and this could be one of the factors that had pushed the shares of brewer higher.
Shares of Nigerian Breweries at the end of the trading session closed at N49.00, and this is 6.76% lower than the market opening price for the day, 8.09% higher than the market opening price a week ago, and 32.43% higher than the market opening price for the month. While the YTD gains stand at -16.95%.
Relative Strength Index indicates that Nigerian Breweries shares are currently trading in the overbought zone, although approaching the neutral zone, given the 6.76% decline today. While other Momentum Indicators, like the William Percentage Range and the stochastic variant of the Relative Strength Index, indicate that the shares of the company are currently trading in the neutral zone.
Outlook for Q4 and H2 2020
The performance of Nigerian Breweries is subject to seasonal fluctuations, as a result of weather conditions and festivities. The Company’s full-year results and volumes are dependent on the performance in the peak-selling season, especially the festive seasons, and this typically results in higher revenue and profitability in the last quarter of the year.
The impact from this seasonality is also noticeable in several working capital related items, such as inventory, trade receivables and payables, and as such the overall profitability of Nigerian Breweries is expected to be beefed up in Q4 2020.