Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Eppley stock split approved

Published:Wednesday | November 16, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Nicholas Scott, managing director of Eppley Limited.

At $735 per share, Eppley is the most expensive ordinary stock trading on the Jamaica Stock Exchange and out of the reach of many investors.

But a 150:1 stock split approved by shareholders Tuesday should help resolve that.

With the vote, the junior market stock will grow from just under 1.3 million listed shares to more than 192 million units. The price should also split to around $5.

On the JSE Combined Index, the only other stock that compares to the price point of Eppley is the narrowly held preference stock, Jamaica Public Service Company 9.5%, which currently trades at $1,247 per share. Of the top three most expensive ordinary stocks, cinema company Palace is second at $195 per share, and cigarette trader Carreras third at $65.

Eppley's board will set a date for implementation of the split. Managing Director Nicholas Scott declined to comment on the reason for the stock split and the short to medium term expectations for the company.

Eppley reported a net book value of $672 million or $524 per share at its third quarter ending September. Its nine-month profit rose to $61 million or $60.08 per share, from $42 million or $52.47 per share in 2015.

The company says it has a $1.6-billion portfolio consisting mainly of loans, leases and receivables. It reported that the average income yield for the portfolio stood at 18 per cent.

Eppley's business spans insurance premium financing, lease and loan financing.

The top five shareholders in Eppley are: Stony Hill Capital Limited 320,652 shares; ATL Group Pension Fund Trustees Nominee Limited, 320,347 shares; Shani Limited, 137,326 shares; General Accident Insurance Company (Jamaica) Limited, 117,688; and Coldharbour Partners Inc, 101,629 shares.