C & I Leasing Plc wednesday maintained its lead on the price gainersâ€™ chart for the second consecutive day even as the stock market rebounded. The market, which opened on Monday on a negative note, recovered yesterday as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index 0.15 per cent to close at 35,358.57. Nine stocks advanced, while 18 depreciated. However, C & I Leasing Plc remained the top price gainer, appreciating by 9.5 per cent to close at N1.96 per share. The stock had last week led the price gainers, chalking up 28.3 per cent. It opened this week with a growth of 9.8 per cent before garnering 9.5 per cent yesterday.
Market operators attributed the renewed demand for C & I Leasing to companyâ€™s prospects. The leasing firm reported a highly impressive results for the six months ended June 30, 2017 with revenue growing by 32.3 per cent, while profit after tax (PAT)soared by 298 per cent. For instance, PAT rose from N145 million
The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Andrew Otike-Odibi had attributed the financial performance to the strength in the diversity of its business.
He said: â€œOur three business lines namely, Marine, Fleet management and Outsourcing are gaining strength in their different markets with each contributing positively to the overall performance of the business. This is not without the difficulties faced in the operating environment with rising financing and operating costs coupled with continuous pressure on turnover. We remain focused on sustaining delivery of superior customer service and continued diversification of earnings, to take advantage of growth opportunities in the markets and business segments we operate in.â€
Meanwhile, NASCON Allied Industries Plc closed as the second highest price gainer with 4.9 per cent, followed by UACN Property Development Company Plc and Vitafoam Nigeria Plc chalked up 4.7 per cent apiece
Conversely, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc led the price losers with 4.9 per cent, trailed by Continental Reinsurance Plc with 4.6 per cent. Learn Africa Plc, Unity Bank Plc and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc 3.8 per cent, 3.5 per cent and 3.3 per cent in order.
Commenting on the market performance, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said: â€œThe gain recorded in the equities market can be attributed to investors taking advantage of the relatively low prices of the market heavyweights which witnessed days of consecutive declines. We expect the current positive sentiments to linger in the coming days.â€