Kenyan Stock Market Update

Nairobi Stock Exchange

Nairobi Stock Exchange

Our markets have been unpredictable for the last couple of months and many analysts have fallen over themselves trying to determine which direction it will take. Many have tried to call its bottom-line and failed miserably because apparently, our market is like a pendulum, swinging daily in different directions at the behest of various market dynamics such as supply, demand, investor sentiment, grand coalition government woes and company key fundamentals.

An analysis by Hidalgo Investments picks these companies as the top ten stocks to watch in the next quarter (and especially the next one month):

1. Kenya Airways

Low P/E – Upcoming poor results already factored in to the price. Will recover from effects of post-election violence for now and grapple with the current economic downturn which has made traveling only essential, thus cutting its passengers by 17 percent. Fuel prices are cheaper now, and hedges which they had gotten themselves into must have run out direct flights from JKIA. This will mean more connecting flights from Eastern/Central Africa. The worst of the financial crises is however over thus making KQ a good buy for the long term.

2. Centum

Low P/E – Upcoming bad results already factored in to the price. Their big loss will be a one off; will not affect next financial period, and their rebranding seems to be paying off.

Their application to buy into carbacid shares will be a definite boost since it will be an opportunity to unlock millions in investment options held by the company. Their holdings will appreciate starting April (except RVR), but hoping that RVR does get a strategic partner in South America, Brazil. Solid company, good management, have learnt their lesson through the rebranding issues.

3. AccessKenya

High P/E – AccessKenya has its own network of fibre optic cable, something no other ICT company, save for Safaricom through sea cables has. It also bought a stake in the undersea cable and currently has the largest satellite download. They could look at leasing out some of their bandwidth in the future, something which competitors Kenya Data Networks (KDN) until recently had a monopoly on. Key difference in their internet offering with Safaricom is that theirs is guaranteed speed, while Safaricom’s go by how many users are logged on and targets the mass market. AccessKenya targets mainly high net worth individuals and corporate. I think the high P/E is more reflective of the growth potential on this company. From a price perspective, the stock is also quite stable technically on pricing.

4. 4. Sasini

Low P/E – Low price; can rise 50 percent without breaking a sweat; diversification into the hospitality business with its brand name, ‘Savannah”. The re-strategy of its core business to factor with the global crisis thus keeping it ahead of its peers in the same industry. Tea output has suffered in Kenya, so it will be interesting to figure out if its farms have suffered the same. On the plus side, the Shilling has lost value against the dollar and tea prices globally are high (on account of reduced supply); it is also not clear if its diversification initiatives have borne any fruit thus far – that is, Savannah’s contribution to the bottom line. Speculative buy for me based on low price.

5. Equity

Low P/E – They are opening 500ac’s/day in Uganda. The best bank in terms growth and client acquisition; regional expansion working for them; incredible marketing strategies to stay ahead of the rest; impressive results and prudent management. The three year lock in period for majority foreign shareholders did elapse. The split is their best ever strategy to make the share more affordable to the local retailer and increase its supply at the market. World Bank and IMF support.

The aforementioned are companies that deserve a second and third look when investing and the short notes below each company represent the issues of sentiment, fundamental and fact about each company that one needs to consider. As an analyst, I stand to be corrected especially in a market like ours.

Steve Wafula C.E.O of Soko Directory