Ep­p­ley stock split ap­proved

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Busi­ness@glean­erjm.com

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.

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