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Lafarge Africa, Nigerian Breweries, Stanbic IBTC, United Capital, and FTN Cocoa made the list of best-performing stocks in the third quarter of 2020 (July – Sept’20).

The third quarter of the year was a recovery period for the Exchange, as the All Share Index grew by 9.61% to close the gap caused by the negative performance it endured in the first quarter of the year – during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also recorded a 14.92% positive growth in the second quarter.

As Company stocks is one of the popular means of short-term investments in Nigeria and a look at persistent inflationary pressures; it is imperative to assess the performances of the stocks listed on the exchange during the covid era, to ascertain the profitability of investors in this period.

To determine the best-performing stocks, we looked at the stock prices as of the last trading day in June 2020 and compared to their prices as of the last trading day of September 2020. Here are the top 5:

Lafarge Africa Plc

The Cement manufacturing company grew its stock value by as much as 50% between July and September 2020. As at 30th June 2020, the stock of Lafarge was worth N10 per unit of share but grew to N15 as at the last trading day of September – with a market capitalization of N241.6 billion.

A cursory look at the Q2 2020 financial performance, shows a 5% year-on-year decrease in revenue generated. However, a reduced cost of sales helped improved the company’s gross profit by 10% and a subsequent 78% increase in profit before tax at N19.38 billion.

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June 30th – N10

September 30th – N15

Return – 50%

Ranking – First

Nigerian Breweries Plc

The second on the list is the brewery giant, Nigerian Breweries – the makers of Star Lager, Fayrouz, Goldberg, and many other consumables. It grew its stocks by 35.73% from N36.1 as of 30th of June to N49 per share at the end of Q3 2020. The market capitalization also closed at N391.8 billion as at the review period, being the second most capitalized consumer goods firm – only behind Nestle Nigeria.

A look at the Q2 2020 financials, shows that the company endured a downturn, mostly affected by the COVID-induced lockdown, which halted all social gatherings, as it posted a profit before tax of N69.8 million – 99% decline compared to N7.95 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

However, with the lifting of lockdown nationwide, the outlook for the Q3 and Q4 2020 appears to be positive, as investors have shown confidence in the brand, which has translated into a positive stock performance in the quarter.

June 30th – N36.1

September 30th – N49

Return – 35.73%

Ranking – Second

Stanbic IBTC Plc

The third most capitalized bank on the stock exchange is also the third on the list of best performing stocks in Q3 2020, growing its stock by 33.88% from N30.25 per unit of share recorded as of June 30th to N40.5 at the end of trading in September – with a total market capitalization of N449.8 billion.

In the same vein, the Q2 performance of Stanbic IBTC indicates an 11% increase in gross earnings, which permeates into 32.2% increase in profit before tax – from N21.1 billion recorded in Q2 2019, as against N27.9 billion in the review period.

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June 30th – N30.25

September 30th – N40.5

Return – 33.88%

Ranking – Third

United Capital Plc

The financial and investment service firm recorded a 30.59% increase in its stock value, as it moved from N2.55 per unit of share as at June 30th to N3.33 as at the end of September. This growth places United Capital in fourth position, as one the best performing stocks between July and September 2020.

The investment firm displayed firm resolve against the effects of COVID-19 in the second quarter of the year – as it posted a profit before tax of N1.5 billion, as against N1.2 billion reported in the corresponding quarter of 2019. This indicates a 22.9% increase in profit.

June 30th – N2.55

September 30th – N3.33

Return – 30.59%

Ranking – Fourth

FTN Cocoa Processors Plc

A unit of FTN Cocoa shares was valued at 20 kobo as at June 30th. However, it grew by 30% to N26 kobo as at the end of trading on 30th September 2020, leaving its total market capitalization at N572 million.

Data obtained from Nairalytics – the research arm of Nairametrics, showed that FTN Cocoa has not released its financials since Q1 2019. However, the cocoa processing company was able to post a positive stock performance in the third quarter of the year to sit fifth on the list.

The company was formerly registered as Fantastic Traders Nigeria Limited, a Limited Liability Company, which was incorporated in 1991. It commenced cocoa processing business in a third-party arrangement (Toll Processing) with Stanmark cocoa processing company limited in 1995. They converted cocoa beans into cocoa butter and cocoa cake/powder, and later extended their activities to Ile-oluji, Cocoa Cooperative etc.

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June 30th – N0.20k

September 30th – N0.26k

Return – 30%

Ranking – Fift

Bubbling Under

The following stocks make up the rest of the top 10 in descending order:

6. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc

7. University Press Plc

8. Eterna Plc

9. Unity Bank Plc

10. Fidson Healthcare Plc

Bottom line: With a double-digit growth in the following stocks, Investors who bought these stocks would be delighted to see their investments appreciate during this period and will look forward to gaining more in the subsequent periods.

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