Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Pulse suspended by Jamaica Stock Exchange

Published:Wednesday | January 14, 2015 | 12:00 AMTameka Gordon
Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer Kingsley Cooper, CEO of Pulse Investments Limited.

Trading in the shares of Pulse Investments Limited was suspended in December for the model agency's failure to file its financial reports on time to the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), but CEO Kingsley Cooper said Tuesday that the company was close to rectifying the breach.

There is no expectation of a delisting of the stock, as happened in 2001 for a similar breach, Cooper told Wednesday Business.

He blamed some of the company's tardiness on the illness of staff.

"We do not have a large staff, and when the majority of our administration and accounting personnel fell ill at the same time during the critical period of accounts preparation, we were unable to meet the deadline date for submission," he said.

Pulse's financial year closes annually in June. The agency had 90 days to submit its year-end results, as stipulated under JSE Rule 408, which also requires that two directors sign off on the accounts.

Wentworth Graham, chief regulatory officer, told Wednesday Business that the suspension followed failure to meet an extended November 28 filing deadline.

He said for the hold to be lifted, Pulse must present the outstanding documents.

"What we hope is that the company will regularise its status to continue trading on the exchange," Graham said.

Pulse hopes to have its financial reports presented to the JSE soon, said Cooper.

"The accounts are with our auditors and the financial statements will be filed shortly," Cooper told Wednesday Business via email.

He said the company does not "anticipate a delisting of the stock as a result of this late reporting," and is focused on earning a satisfactory return for its shareholders.

Pulse is committed to returning value "without incurring any debt," said the CEO.

"We have managed to reduce our debt to banks from some $280 million a few years ago, to less than $25 million at present," Cooper said, while noting the investments in the Trafalgar Road headquarters, as well as its Villa Ronai projects, were from earnings.

The 35-year-old company further hopes shareholders "will see value in our stock and act accordingly," he added.

At Pulse's delisting in 2001, the company also sought to rally shareholders with assurances of "much improved" value. The company also pointed out then that its "high debt levels" of the 1990s had been reduced.

barely active stocks

At its 2014 suspension, the Pulse stock was trading at 35 cents per share, valuing the company's 271.9 million shares at $95 million.

The stock was barely active during the year, trading only a dozen times, lastly on November 11. It traded at a high of 99 cents and a low of 30 cents in 2014.

The model agency's last earnings report for the nine-month period to March 2014 recorded zero long-term loans; assets of $1.5 billion, of which $1 billion was in the form of investment properties; and put the company's net worth at $1.3 billion.

During the period, the company's revenues dropped to $175 million ($210m: 9M 2013). Earnings per share fell from 53 cents to 50 cents.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com