The stock market recorded bearish performance on Thursday following profit taking that set in after two days of growth. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell by 0.24 per cent to close at 37,051.54, while market capitalisation shed N30.3 billion. While the index and volume of trading declined, trading value rose by 94.9 per cent.
However, the negative close stemmed mostly from profit taking in Dangote Cement Plc, which is the highest capitalised stock in the market. But for the decline of 0.9 per cent recorded by Dangote Cement, the market would have closed 0.04 per cent higher.
In all, 22 stocks depreciated while 21 appreciated. Apart from Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Guinness Nigeria Plc and Zenith Bank Plc also recorded declines.
On the positive side, Caverton Offshore Support Group led the price gainers with 9.4 per cent trailed by International Breweries Plc with 8.3 per cent. 11 Plc garnered 7.8 per cent, while May & Baker Nigeria Plc appreciated by 5.0 per cent.
Caverton and May & Baker recorded improved results for the nine months ended September 30, 2017. Caverton reported a revenue of N14.834 billion in 2017, up from N14.448 billion in 2016, while profit after tax of N1.193 billion in 2017, as against a loss of N1.041 billion in 2016.
Speaking on the results and future prospects, the Chief Executive Officer of COSG Mr. Bode Makanjuola said the management has been able to contain the administrative expenses during the period by about 61 per cent arising majorly from the impact of the government intervention in stabilizing the foreign exchange rate market as well as consistent paying down of their loan which now resulted in their finance charge dropping by eight per cent.
According to him, as Nigeria gradually moves out of recession, the company remains optimistic for an improved business operating environment.
In same vein, May & Baker posted a revenue growth of 16.5 per cent to N6.926 billion from N5.944 billion in the corresponding period of 2016. Profit before tax soared by 386 per cent from N66.288 million to N322 million, while profit after tax soared by 392 per cent from N44.397 million to N218.506 million in 2017.
In his comments, the MD/CEO of May & Baker, Nnamdi Okafor, said the company has re-strategised to sustain its growth tempo.
He said: â€œEvery sector of the economy has its opportunities and threat, we have chosen to adopt survival strategies to achieve our target figures.â€