Lafarge Africa, Nigerian Breweries, Stanbic IBTC, United Capital, and FTN Cocoa made the list of best-performing stocks in the third quarter of 2020 (July – Sept’20).
The third quarter of the year was a recovery period for the Exchange, as the All Share Index grew by 9.61% to close the gap caused by the negative performance it endured in the first quarter of the year – during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also recorded a 14.92% positive growth in the second quarter.
As Company stocks is one of the popular means of short-term investments in Nigeria and a look at persistent inflationary pressures; it is imperative to assess the performances of the stocks listed on the exchange during the covid era, to ascertain the profitability of investors in this period.
To determine the best-performing stocks, we looked at the stock prices as of the last trading day in June 2020 and compared to their prices as of the last trading day of September 2020. Here are the top 5:
Lafarge Africa Plc
The Cement manufacturing company grew its stock value by as much as 50% between July and September 2020. As at 30th June 2020, the stock of Lafarge was worth N10 per unit of share but grew to N15 as at the last trading day of September – with a market capitalization of N241.6 billion.
A cursory look at the Q2 2020 financial performance, shows a 5% year-on-year decrease in revenue generated. However, a reduced cost of sales helped improved the company’s gross profit by 10% and a subsequent 78% increase in profit before tax at N19.38 billion.
June 30th – N10
September 30th – N15
Return – 50%
Ranking – First
Nigerian Breweries Plc
The second on the list is the brewery giant, Nigerian Breweries – the makers of Star Lager, Fayrouz, Goldberg, and many other consumables. It grew its stocks by 35.73% from N36.1 as of 30th of June to N49 per share at the end of Q3 2020. The market capitalization also closed at N391.8 billion as at the review period, being the second most capitalized consumer goods firm – only behind Nestle Nigeria.
A look at the Q2 2020 financials, shows that the company endured a downturn, mostly affected by the COVID-induced lockdown, which halted all social gatherings, as it posted a profit before tax of N69.8 million – 99% decline compared to N7.95 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
However, with the lifting of lockdown nationwide, the outlook for the Q3 and Q4 2020 appears to be positive, as investors have shown confidence in the brand, which has translated into a positive stock performance in the quarter.
June 30th – N36.1
September 30th – N49
Return – 35.73%
Ranking – Second
Stanbic IBTC Plc
The third most capitalized bank on the stock exchange is also the third on the list of best performing stocks in Q3 2020, growing its stock by 33.88% from N30.25 per unit of share recorded as of June 30th to N40.5 at the end of trading in September – with a total market capitalization of N449.8 billion.
In the same vein, the Q2 performance of Stanbic IBTC indicates an 11% increase in gross earnings, which permeates into 32.2% increase in profit before tax – from N21.1 billion recorded in Q2 2019, as against N27.9 billion in the review period.
June 30th – N30.25
September 30th – N40.5
Return – 33.88%
Ranking – Third
United Capital Plc
The financial and investment service firm recorded a 30.59% increase in its stock value, as it moved from N2.55 per unit of share as at June 30th to N3.33 as at the end of September. This growth places United Capital in fourth position, as one the best performing stocks between July and September 2020.
The investment firm displayed firm resolve against the effects of COVID-19 in the second quarter of the year – as it posted a profit before tax of N1.5 billion, as against N1.2 billion reported in the corresponding quarter of 2019. This indicates a 22.9% increase in profit.
June 30th – N2.55
September 30th – N3.33
Return – 30.59%
Ranking – Fourth
FTN Cocoa Processors Plc
A unit of FTN Cocoa shares was valued at 20 kobo as at June 30th. However, it grew by 30% to N26 kobo as at the end of trading on 30th September 2020, leaving its total market capitalization at N572 million.
Data obtained from Nairalytics – the research arm of Nairametrics, showed that FTN Cocoa has not released its financials since Q1 2019. However, the cocoa processing company was able to post a positive stock performance in the third quarter of the year to sit fifth on the list.
The company was formerly registered as Fantastic Traders Nigeria Limited, a Limited Liability Company, which was incorporated in 1991. It commenced cocoa processing business in a third-party arrangement (Toll Processing) with Stanmark cocoa processing company limited in 1995. They converted cocoa beans into cocoa butter and cocoa cake/powder, and later extended their activities to Ile-oluji, Cocoa Cooperative etc.
June 30th – N0.20k
September 30th – N0.26k
Return – 30%
Ranking – Fifth
The following stocks make up the rest of the top 10 in descending order:
6. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc
7. University Press Plc
8. Eterna Plc
9. Unity Bank Plc
10. Fidson Healthcare Plc
Explore some Advanced Financial Calculators on Nairametrics
Bottom line: With a double-digit growth in the following stocks, Investors who bought these stocks would be delighted to see their investments appreciate during this period and will look forward to gaining more in the subsequent periods.
Fidelity Bank Plc must cover the chink in its curtains to keep rising
Fidelity Bank Plc follows the narrative of top tier-2 banks, which have had better or easier years.
The Nigerian banking sector has consistently been one of the most profitable sectors in the Nigeria Stock Exchange market. However, in 2020, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have faced a flurry of impediments, which may have affected their solidity.
With reduced income from fee and commission implemented at the start of the year by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the paucity of foreign currency for international transactions, the resulting economic contraction from dire effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and the consequent operational constraints of keeping employees safe, 2020 is obviously fraught with numerous disorders for banking institutions.
For most, it hasn’t exactly been a year for growth at all, more like a walk in the woods, where improvements to bottom-line is almost unexpected. This period, many banks seem content with simply surviving and fundamentally matching their previous feats.
Fidelity Bank Plc follows the narrative of top tier-2 banks, which have had better or easier years. The bank generated a 2020 9M PAT of N20.4billion, rising 7.08% from the corresponding figures last year, but drilling solely into its results in Q3’2020 and its exact comparative period in 2019, the bank suffered reduced interest revenue, reduced fees and commission, reduced profit before tax, and reduced after-tax profit.
Fidelity Bank Plc concluded Q3 with a profit position of N9.1billion, 13.7% decline compared to its position in 2019 y/y. PBT reduced by 12.9% from N10.8billion in 2019 to N9.4billion this year. Gross earning in Q3 was only N49billion as against N57billion in 2019 – plummeting 14%.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, commenting on the result said: “Our 9 months results reflect our resilient business model, particularly in a very challenging operating environment. We worked closely with our customers to gradually recover from the economic impact of the pandemic and the attendant effect of the lockdown. The drop in gross earnings was due to the decline in interest and similar income, caused by lower yields and drop in fee income.”
True cause of the reduction in earnings
DMBs generate gross earnings under three primary subheads: Interests earned, Fees and commission, and Other operating income. Fidelity Bank Plc generated a combined total of N150.8billion for the period ended September 2020 from these three categories, compared to the N158.5billion in the corresponding period last year.
Deeper analysis reveals that this rising tier-2 bank has seen more deficit in revenue from fee and commission compared to the other aforementioned gross-earnings’ generating-sources within this period. Interest earned dropped by a difference of N4.3billion, while revenue from fee and commission saw a decline of N4.8billion from N14.5billion in 2019 to N19.3billion YoY.
Fee and commission as a component of gross earnings
Card maintenance fees, account maintenance fees, commission on remittances, collect fees, telex fees, electronic transfer fees, amongst others, represent the plethora of channels that makes up income from fee and commission.
The real insight this particular component of gross earnings provides is that a spike in revenue generated indicates increasing/increased customer account activity. The more a customer maximizes the usage of an account’s product and facilities, the more the revenue earned from this segment. Thus, earnings from fees and commissions are so overriding due to their apparent controllability.
For example, a bank could make the decision to purely pursue and aggressively drive the usage of its ATM debit card and promptly see the revenue from commission rise. Furthermore, an increased rate of card production and collection necessitates usage and consequently means more money is earned as card maintenance fees.
The fact that gross earnings reduced mostly from fees and commissions should be a telling concern for the Management of Fidelity Bank Plc. Post covid-19 would birth the dawn of a new era for business processes. The management must guarantee the usability of its electronic banking channels, promotion of its cards, and with urgency, implement improved service delivery mechanisms to ensure that it is the first port of call to customers for general payments and remittances.
These measures are of grave significance in the bid to bridge its widened fee and commission income gap.
Holistically, in the 9 months ended September, it is worthy of note that the bank made certain advancements. Customer Deposits, Net Loans and Total Assets all grew in double digits. Customer Deposits grew by 22.3% from N1.2billion to N1.5billion, Total Assets also rose by 21% from N2.1billion in 2019 to N2.5billion, and Net Loans rose by 12.9% to N1.3billion from N1.1billion.
No more N100 a plate meal in Nigeria
Food items across markets have experienced a spike in prices, making it impossible for one to find a decent meal for N100 today even in local outlets.
Gone are the days when an average Nigerian could purchase a meal with N100 and be filled to the brim. Even in Lagos, where foodstuffs are generally perceived to be expensive, a hungry Nigerian with just N100 could buy a loaf of ‘Agege’ bread for N60, beans for N30, and two sachets of pure water at N5 each; or White rice for N50, beans N30, spaghetti N10, and 2 pure water.
Similarly, with N100, an average Nigerian could purchase 1 wrap of “amala” for N50 and 2 slices of meat at N20 each with 2 pure water, while some other person could prefer to buy “fufu” in place of “amala” and still be filled.
However, prices of food items are known to be downward sticky in Nigeria, as food items across diverse food classes have experienced price increases in recent times. Of all items, staple food items are the most affected, especially the prices of rice, garri, yam, potato, cassava, and yam flour, to the prices of relatively ostentatious items like semovita, semolina, or poundo yam.
Even the market prices of spaghetti and indomie, which are considered close substitutes for rice, have experienced major spike in recent times. By taking an investigative stance, one would realize that Golden penny pasta (spaghetti) which sold for between N120 – N150 a year ago, ow sells for between N230 – N250 a piece, marking about a 66.67% increase in 12 months.
Similarly, egg, a pocket-friendly and close substitute for fish, meat, chicken, and turkey, is not so pocket-friendly anymore, with a price increase from N25 a year ago to N50 as of today – a 100% increase.
In line with the recent development, coupled with the widespread economic vulnerabilities in the nation, it is obvious that the cost of cooking a meal in Nigeria today is twice as expensive as it was a year ago. As the price of cooking ingredients like tomato paste has increased by more than 200% this year alone. The price of onion, which is a widely eaten vegetable in the country, has also increased.
Consequently, the cost of buying cooked food from ‘Mama Put’, food restaurants, and other outlets has also gone skyrocketed — it is impossible to get a satisfying meal without spending as much as N300 or more in the process, depending on the type of outlet you patronise. If a person were to spend on meals, an average of N300 twice a day for 31 days, it therefore indicates that an average Nigerian spends at least N18,600 on feeding in a month considering that many Nigerians still earn below the minimum wage of N30,000.
What they are saying
A food vendor in Abule Egba, known by her street name, Iya Sodiq, said that the cost of items she uses in cooking has gone up recently, and the only option she had was to increase the price she charges her customers to compensate for the recent increase. She disclosed that most times when asked to sell a fixed amount of food by a customer, the quantity she sells now is considerably lower than what she would have sold at the same amount earlier this year.
She stressed that even the smallest bread she sells in her shop currently goes for nothing less than N100.
“The prices of everything in the market is now high. Even the customers are complaining that my food is now small, but they don’t understand that I am not even making many gains anymore because food items are now so expensive in the market,” Iya Sodiq said.
In a conversation with another food vendor at Ikeja, by the name Mrs. Tobiloba, she highlighted that the cost of preparing a pot of soup has spiked significantly, given that the price of tomato paste, onions, pepper, seasoning, fish, meat, and even rice has gone up relative to last year, which meant her customers have to spend above N100 to quench their hunger.
She said, “Onions, pepper, tomatoes, rice, fish, meat and everything you need to prepare soup or stew have increased in prices in the market. If I sell in the quantity I was selling before, I will definitely run at a loss.”
What this means
The persistent increase in the prices of food items has put downward pressures on the real value of money and also the real income of Nigerians. With food inflation rate moving towards the 2017 level of 17.38%, the purchasing power of Nigerians has never been this constrained, with nothing to compensate for the recent increase in the prices of food items, despite the increase in the national minimum wage.
What you should know
After a careful comparison of the composite food index between September 2015 and September 2020, Nairametrics reported last month that food inflation increased by 110.5%, this shows that the purchasing power of Nigerians is constrained, as real income has reduced significantly, despite the 66.7% increase in the National minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000.
Article jointly written by Samuel Oyekanmi and Omokolade Ajayi
How Crypto can curb Nigeria’s high unemployment rate
Cryptos, when fully adopted, will have a considerable impact on Nigeria, by increasing the financial inclusion of individuals and companies.
Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, has been unable to efficiently tackle its increasing unemployment rate – a ticking time bomb, if not addressed quickly. In 2020, the frontier market witnessed a rise in its unemployment rate, due to an ever-growing dependent population, reduction in the total output of goods and services, and the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which negatively impacted the economy and led to job loss for thousands of Nigerians.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that:
- Nigeria’s unemployment rate as at 2020 Q2 reached 27.1% — indicating that about 21,764,614 (21.7 million) Nigerians are unemployed.
- Also, 13.9 million Nigerian youths are unemployed.
- Youths between 15-24 years constituted the highest unemployment rate, 40.8%; followed by youths between 25 – 34 years, 30.7%.
Such unimpressive economic data can be curbed, if Nigerian regulators and stakeholders tap into the potentials inherent in cryptos, to further strengthen the development of Africa’s largest economy.
Cryptocurrencies can help tackle the numerous challenges faced in international trade by many Nigerians, who don’t have a bank account. With the help of blockchain technology, many unemployed Nigerians can utilize the tools behind crypto and blockchain to generate income, as traditional jobs steadily become outdated.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could also help the unemployed facilitate small-scale international trade. Bitcoin enables these parties to sell products in exchange for Bitcoin and a boycott of traditional e-commerce systems, which often involves having to set up a merchant account with traditional banks, coupled with its attendant charges.
Cryptos, when fully adopted, will have a considerable impact on Nigeria, by increasing financial inclusion of individuals and companies. Particularly, by reducing the transaction fees and time, cross-border payments can be improved. This is beneficial for remittance payments, peer-to-peer lending, and international trade.
Experts discuss the utilization of cryptos to curb unemployment
In an exclusive interview with Nairametrics, Chike Okonkwo, Business Development Manager, OKEx, spoke on the role crypto can play in providing income for a substantial number of young Nigerians.
“Since the adoption of cryptocurrency in Africa, Nigeria has become a major hot zone in the African cryptocurrency space. The adoption of blockchain/cryptocurrency by Nigerians, has been able to give jobs to young Nigerians like me.
“The industry will further curb unemployment in Nigeria, but to achieve this — Blockchain and Crypto education must be a key focus because it’s a young industry. I personally encourage a lot of young people looking for a career path to explore the blockchain and crypto space.
“We need people who understand business development, media, marketing, programming, Crypto trading, legal Compliance, design/graphics, etc. in the industry.
“Young Nigerians have built trusted platforms for buying and selling of cryptos and there is more to come. I am a member of Stakeholders in Blockchain Association (SiBAN), which aims to unite/self-regulate players in the industry and Blockchain Nigeria User Group (BNUG), with core focus on educating people about the Industry.”
Charles Okaformbah, Blockchain Solutions Architect, in a note to Nairametrics, gave key insights on the job opportunities that crypto can offer Nigeria’s growing population.
“Aside the trading activities carried out by Nigerians, DeFi products can be created with cryptos to help create businesses that will employ more Nigerians.
“Trading with little funds might not really yield much in comparison with the inflated cost of living, but long-term investments on solid crypto-assets have proven to be a game-changer or yielded much more returns.
“Remittances can also be done with cryptos at a charge for international traders, who are currently limited by government’s monetary policies.
“There is also crypto-collateral. Aside crypto as an end-product, employment can also be provided via tech for tech enthusiasts/geeks, by creating their services like crypto/blockchain solutions for organizations, developing crypto-related products, providing audit for smart contracts, crypto forensic auditing, project management, and a whole lot more.”
Digital currencies or cryptocurrencies as a standalone will not make an all-encompassing impact on the Nigerian unemployment index. However, Nigeria must start building native Blockchain Infrastructures post-pandemic.
This way, the core sovereignty of the technology will originate and mutate in meeting our unique Nigerian market niche. The domino effect across the skilled, entrepreneurial and regular professional layers would be massive.
The improvement of financial inclusion is the most significant and most developed benefit of crypto-currencies for Nigerians.