Nigerian equities halted a three-day downtrend on Thursday as investors upped demand for Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc, which announced impressive growths in earnings in the third quarter.
After losing successively since Monday, equities broke the downtrend with a net capital gain of N41 billion, representing an average day-on-day gain of 0.44 per cent.
The rally was spurred by the positive sentiments that trailed the release of the third quarter results of GTBank, the most capitalised banking stock, which grew gross earnings and profit after tax by 43.6 per cent and 59.6 per cent respectively.
The results, which beat analysts’ consensus and a counter to the tough macro and banking challenges, quickened investors’ appetite.
GTBank’s share price recorded the highest percentage gain of 5.11 per cent to close at N24.49 per share at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
GTB was also the most active stock with a turnover of 17.07 million shares valued at N426.53 million.
The All Share Index (ASI), the common value-based index that tracks prices at the NSE, improved from 27,478.04 points to close at 27,598.34 points.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also rose correspondingly from its opening value of N9.438 trillion to close at N9.479 trillion. Thus, the average year-to-date return, though still negative, improved slightly to -3.64 per cent.
There were 16 gainers against 14 losers in the broadly positive trading session. Other top gainers were Seplat Petroleum Development Company, which rose by N7 to close at N368; Guinness Nigeria, which added N1.09 to close at N80; Mobil Oil Nigeria, which gathered N1 to close at N187 and International Breweries, which rose by 95 kobo to close at N19.95.
The volume of activities also improved on Thursday after sinking to its year-to-date low on Wednesday. Total turnover stood at 111.89 million shares valued at N4.01 billion in 2,699 deals.
The nine-month report for GTBank for the period ended September 30, 2016 showed that gross earnings rose by 43.6 per cent to N329.28 billion by September 2016 as against N229.37 billion in September 2015. Profit before tax jumped by 53 per cent to N140.84 billion in 2016 as against N92.06 billion in 2015.
After taxes, net profit also rose by 59.6 per cent from N75.16 billion in September 2015 to N119.93 billion in September 2016. Thus, earnings per share rose to N4.24 in September 2016 as against N2.65 in September 2015.
Most pundits have hailed the GTBank’s results with the FSDH Group noting that the bank managed its interest expenses very well.
“Our takeaway is that the market is likely to have a positive reaction to these numbers,” FBN Capital stated on the GTBank results.
Meanwhile, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated led the downside with a loss of 40 kobo to close at N10.13. Dangote Sugar Refinery declined by 14 kobo to close at N6.26. African Prudential Registrars and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company dropped by 13 kobo each to close at N2.56 and N2.92 while Custodian and Allied Insurance declined by 9.0 kobo to close at N3.71 per share.
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