STOCK WATCH

 

 

By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Updated Aug 24, 2002

 

This week KSE-100 index closed at 1926 points with a market capitalization at nearly US$ 7.5 billion. One may say that the index currently reflects positive fundamentals than mere speculation. However, the market is considerably overbought and technical correction is expected during the next week. This impression is based on the local psyche which shows large scale buying when prices are 

 

moving up. While the prices moved up at the back of dividend news by some of the volume leaders, larger daily trading volume has mostly resulted due to the possible final dividend announcement by HUBCO.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan's directive regarding composition of the Board of Directors of stock exchanges, initially created an impression of confrontation between the brokers and the regulators. However, later on the split among the brokers became too evident. Some of the largest players extended unconditional support to the regulators. The million dollar question is, why they chose to support the regulators? Are they seeking a big favour from the regulators or cannot afford to disagree?

ASKARI COMMERCIAL BANK

The bank has posted about Rs 334 million profit after tax for the first half of year 2002 as compared to a profit of Rs 198.5 million for the corresponding period of last year. This improvement was achieved at the back of increase in net mark-up/interest as well as net non mark-up income. There was increase in administrative expenses and provision against non-performing debts. Basic earnings per share for the six months period improved from Rs 1.83 for the year 2001 to Rs 3.07 for the period under review. However, the Board did not declare any interim dividend.

SHELL

Shell jolted the market by showing improvement in its full year results. The company earned a net profit of Rs 1,062 million and the board approved a 140 per cent dividend. The total payout comes to 180 per cent. The company has done exceptionally well in relatively tough operating environment. A 5.3 per cent increase in sales can be attributed to higher sales price because volume declined marginally. A relatively lower increase in cost of goods sold resulted into a 19 per cent improvement in gross profit. However, the improvement in the gross margins could not be translated into operating margins due to a 32 per cent increase in operating expenses. The decline in net margin was also due to a 20 per cent reduction in other income.

FFC-JORDAN FERTILIZER

Despite reduction in sales and increase in financial charges, the company managed to reduce its loss during the first half of year 2002 as compared to the corresponding period of previous year. Sales came down from Rs 2,683.5 million to Rs 1,656.4 million and cost of goods sold from Rs 2,864.8 million to Rs 1,214.9 million. This enabled the company to post Rs 441.5 million gross profit for the period as compared to a gross loss of Rs 181 million for the first half of year 2001. The company also succeeded in bringing down operating expenses from Rs 304 million to Rs 246.8 million. However, this advantage was completely eroded due to increase in financial charges, from Rs 891.6 million to Rs 1,223 million. Another factor which gave some respect was a compensation amounting one billion rupees from the GoP. The company has been asking the GoP to extend financial support due to closure of its DAP plant located at Bin Qasim.

SIGMA LEASING

The company has posted Rs 20.6 million profit before tax for the year ending June 30, 2002 as compared to a profit of Rs 12.3 million for the previous year. The Board of Directors approved 3.5 per cent final dividend. Earlier it had paid 5 per cent interim dividend, making a total payout of 8.5 per cent for the year. Last year company had paid 3.5 per cent dividend only.

UNILEVER PAKISTAN

Based on half yearly results the Board of Directors announced an interim dividend of Rs 58 per ordinary share having a face value of Rs 50.00 This payout was driven due to an overall improvement in performance of the company. Sales went up from Rs 9,642.6 million to Rs 10,947.3 million. Gross profit increased from Rs 2,574.4 million to Rs 3,439.4 million. There was also an increase in operating expenses, from Rs 1,402 million to Rs 1,762 million.

HONDA ATLAS CARS PAKISTAN

The company has announced 45 per cent dividend for the year ending June 30, 2002 as against a payout of 20 per cent for the previous year. The improvement is attributed to the massive increase in sale. Sales went up from Rs 4,485 million for the year 2001 to Rs 6,519 million for the year under review. This provided a big boost to gross profit which increased from Rs 355.5 million to Rs 771.4 million. One of the pleasant surprise about the company is its very low financial charges, as low as Rs 1.2 million for the year, and registering a decline from Rs 1.6 million for the previous year.

MOVEMENT AT A GLANCE

SCRIP

HIGH
(Rs.)

LOW
(Rs.)

CLOSING 
PRICE

TURNOVER
 (SHARE)

Hub Power

28.65

26.55

28.65

449,589,500

P.T.C.L.A

19.50

18.55

19.30

142,160,000

P.S.O.

179.00

154.45

179.00

141,788,00

National Bank

24.05

23.40

23.40

34,574,000

I.C.I.

42.40

39.45

41.50

32,670,900

M.C.B.

26.40

25..70

25.80

24,164,500

Dewan Salman

14.50

13.65

14.20

18,210,500

Adamjee Ins.

45.70

41.55

43.45

16,420,000

Ibrahim Fib

16.40

15.55

16.00

3,576,500

Shell Pak

240.00

228.00

240.00

400,100