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Stay-at-Home Stocks: Microsoft, Apple, Facebook surge after upbeat results from Netflix

The Nasdaq index had earlier hit a record high on hopes of impressive earnings later this week.

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Stocks, U.S. approves New York Stock Exchange listing plan to cut off investment banks

Nasdaq recorded impressive buying pressures with the so-called “stay-at-home” winners, including Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft, which rose after upbeat results from Netflix Inc recorded last week.

Netflix’s share price had earlier recorded impressive gains after it beat market expectation, powering the video streaming stock to close on the account that it added more customers than expected and revealed it no longer needed debt to build its entertainment empire.

  • The positive upbeat guidance on free cash prompted bullish remarks from Wall Street analysts, though some questioned how much of the subscriber growth was pulled forward.
  • The Nasdaq index had earlier hit a record high on hopes of impressive earnings later this week from the likes of Apple, Facebook, and Google, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average index, dominated by industrials and airlines, struggled to keep such bullish momentum.

That said, the U.S Equity market generally pulled back from its record highs in recent days, waiting to see if COVID-19 vaccines could reduce COVID-19 infection rates globally.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 0.12%, to settle at 30,960 pints; however, the S&P 500 gained 0.36%, to close at 3,855.36 points and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.69%, to settle at 13,635.99 points.

In a note, Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at Axi, spoke on the bullish rally sighted in U.S based tech brands.

“One argument for the outperformance could be that tech enjoys low rates, so the fixed-income performance helps amid lockdowns. After all, in a foreshadowing effect, Netflix rose 16% last week after subscriber numbers soared by a record 37mn in 2020.

“Unsurprisingly, it seems lockdowns and TV go hand in hand and by extension, so does gaming and the use of cutting-edge software and hardware components.

“And with the bulk of Tech market cap (75%) reporting during the next two weeks, it’s clear investors like the pack’s heavyweight leaders instead of buy-the-laggards, leading to these eye-catching moves. And I’m not sure that logic doesn’t make sense.”

What to expect: But at some point, the stock bears might come back to haunt the stock market. There’s nothing in the investment world that’s quite like hitting a patch of black COVID-19 economic ice when traditional investing wisdom suggests the best offence is a good defence by taking your foot off the gas pedal as the most straightforward function of damage control.

Olumide Adesina is a France-born Nigerian. He is a Certified Investment Trader, with more than 15 years of working expertise in Investment trading. Follow Olumide on Twitter @tokunboadesina. He is a Member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society.

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BUA commences legal action over allegations of involvement in $20 million bribe scandal

BUA has urged stakeholders and the public to disregard malicious, baseless allegations circulating in some news media concerning its OML 110.

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Kabiru Rabiu, BUA Group

The management of BUA Group has commenced legal actions against parties involved in spreading spurious allegations of corruption and involvement in a $20 million bribe scandal.

The leading conglomerate revealed that the corruption allegations which were published by some Nigerian news channels allegedly attributed to a purported statement by Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Deribe and Cavendish Petroleum with respect to BUA’s OML 110 as false, defamatory, malicious and libellous.

According to the statement published by the management of BUA, the Group had been duly contacted by Cavendish Petroleum as well as the alleged writer of the statement, Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Deribe and both parties have told BUA on the record that neither Cavendish, the Mai Deribe Family nor any of its Executives put out such a malicious statement.

The Group noted that the statement was made with the clear intent to impugn the integrity and reputation of BUA Group and its Chairman, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu.

BUA fingers Kainos MD as instigator of false allegations, commences legal action

An inhouse investigation conducted by the Group revealed that the source of the fraudulent news is Mr James Onyejekwe, the MD of Kainos Exploration and Production.

In reaction to this, BUA has therefore instructed its legal team to immediately commence criminal defamation proceedings against the MD of Kainos, the said originator of the malicious letter fraudulently attributed to Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Deribe, with damages.

The legal action will also extend to the online blog, blazenews.com.ng – which first published the unsubstantiated malicious news without a careful fact check in their duty of journalistic care, to confirm and clarify the source of such a weighty allegation.

The Group believes these actions are necessary, in order to protect the name and reputation of the manufacturing conglomerate, noting that there is no reason why Mr. James Onyejekwe of Kainos Exploration and Processing would single out BUA in a supposed business dispute which had no link to the BUA Group in its entirety.

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Dangote Sugar, sweet in more ways than one

Significant growth in gross revenue was driven largely by sale to Nigerian Bottling Company Limited and Seven-Up Bottling Company Limited.

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Quick take: Sustained cost pressure weighs on profit, Dangote Sugar Refinery: Revenue recovers but cost pressures remain

By refining capacity, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (DSR Plc) is acknowledged as the largest Sugar Refinery in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the largest in the world. With up to 60 percent market share, it is also clearly, the most dominant player in the Nigerian sugar market.

DSR Plc recently released its audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2020 and overall and year-on-year group performance results were very good.

Despite the impact of the Covid-19 induced lockdown which curtailed distribution across the country and resulted in decreased revenues from income generated from freights, gross revenues increased by over 33 percent year-on-year to ₦ 214.3 billion. The significant growth in gross revenue was driven largely by a rise in revenue from the sale of its 50kg sugar, with the two main customers being the Nigerian Bottling Company Limited and Seven-Up Bottling Company Limited who operate principally from Lagos.

READ: Dangote Sugar completes acquisition with Savannah Sugar Company Limited 

Year-on-year, gross profit increased by over 40 per cent to ₦ 53.75 billion, Profit before tax increased by almost 53 per cent to ₦ 45.62 billion, and Profit after tax increased by 33 per cent to ₦ 29.78 billion.

Notwithstanding the good result, the group operating results showed some issues and headwinds. First, during the year, DSR Plc wound up Dangote Niger Sugar Limited (one of four companies that had been set up to acquire large expanse of land and locally grow sugarcane as part of its concerted backward integration project). The winding-up was sequel to continued community dispute over land acquired in Niger State for this purpose. This winding-up event cost DSR Plc approximately ₦ 100 million.

Second, there continues to be a heavy reliance on Lagos for its gross revenues as revenues generated from Lagos State increased significantly from circa 33 per cent at the end of 2019 to over 50 per cent by the end of 2020. The share of the Lagos segment in gross revenue thus continued to grow and currently represents a significant market concentration risk for DSR Plc.

READ: Nigeria’s biggest oligopolies: Who are the real beneficiaries?

Third, provision for impairment on financial assets or in simple terms, receivables that are unlikely to be collectable, also trended upwards from ₦ 1.3 billion in 2019 to ₦ 1.45 billion by end of 2020 with net financing expenses also rising significantly from ₦ 516.2 billion in 2019 to ₦ 1.92 billion by the end of 2020. This rise in expenses was largely driven by a significant rise in exchange losses incurred in the ordinary course of business, rising from about ₦ 7 million in 2019 to over ₦ 1.57 billion at the end of 2020.

Finally, administrative expenses represented mainly by employee salaries grew year-on-year by over ₦ 1.2 billion.

With the recent reopening of land borders, we expect that revenues and margins will become squeezed as sales and production volumes become constrained by the influx of largely smuggled, lower quality, and much cheaper sugar and its substitutes. DSR Plc’s sugar refinery is also strategically located very close to the Apapa port and its logistics operations, distribution of raw materials and delivery of finished goods will continue to be impacted by the infamous Apapa Traffic Gridlock and road diversions/closures around the axis. Although the effort of Lagos state and the recent introduction of the electronic call up of truck by the NPA has eased the issue, still, it needs to be watched closely.

READ: Dangote Sugar yearly revenue surge by 33%, announces a dividend of N1.50

Earnings per share at the end of 2020 was ₦ 2.45 (2019: ₦ 1.87; 2018: ₦ 1.85)

Subject to approval at its forthcoming Annual General Meeting, DSR Plc board of directors have proposed a dividend of N1.50k per ordinary share (2019: ₦ 1.10k, 2018: ₦ 1.10k).

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This performance is sweet in more ways than one.

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