Top 25 CEOs is a yearly publication of BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU) that focuses on the chief executive officers (CEOs) of companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) who aroused positive interest in the Nigerian capital market. The maiden edition came up in 2013, for the activities that transpired on the floor of the NSE in 2012 fiscal year. And in that publication, the major parameter for selecting the top CEOs was share price appreciation. This edition is an improvement over the maiden edition in the sense that the growth rate in profit after tax of the latest quarterly results in 2013 was considered in addition to share price appreciation. The overriding objective is that by considering the two criteria, i.e., share price appreciation and growth in quarterly PAT, will strengthen our ability to assess managerial competence and gauge the extent CEOs have added value to shareholders’ investment.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange’s (NSE) All Share Index (ASI) posted 47 percent return to emerge the best performing market in Africa in 2013. It is for this outstanding performance we decided to bring to the knowledge of the general public the most effective CEOs who made this astonishing result possible. In this year’s publication, food and beverages sector has the highest number of CEOs (6) while the building materials and financial services subsectors have 3 entries each. Furthermore, conglomerates, health care, insurance , oil & gas subsectors have 2 entries each just as agriculture, breweries, chemicals & paints, construction and real estate subsectors have just one entry each. Unlike in 2013, the banking/financial services sub sector had the highest number of CEOs in 2012 as eight banks featured amongst the top 25 most performing stocks.
In tandem with the market dynamics, the top 25 CEOs in 2013 added N2.88 trillion to shareholders’ wealth and that was 58 percent better than N1.82 trillion that the best 25 CEOs in 2012 made for investors. And what’s more, these CEOs collectively accounted for 68 percent of the gain the market recorded in 2013. That is why the Top 25 CEOs deserve commendation. Another interesting thing about the forthcoming publication is that the 2013 winners are further divided in two sub-groups: platinum group and new entrants. The platinum group comprises CEOs who for two years running not only beat the ASI, but also ensured that their companies’ PAT for Q2 or Q3 in 2013 maintained a steady growth. Members of the prestigious platinum group are the CEOs of International Breweries Plc, Cadbury Plc, National Salt Company Plc, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Chemical and Allied Products (CAP) Plc, Livestock Plc, Transcorp Plc and Nestle Nigeria Plc. The new entrants are the other CEOs who made the list for the first time this year.
Forte Oil is a new entrant and posted the overall best performance when measured in terms of share price appreciation. Its share price rose 1,165 percent from N7.73 to N97.75 during the year under review. Also, Q3 PAT for the period ended September 2013 stood at N2.74 bn up from N656m made at the end of similar period in 2012. Consequently, Forte Oil’s CEO added N97bn to shareholders’ investment in 2013. We excluded Jos International Breweries and Eterna Oil & Gas plc for the simple reason of non-availability of their quarterly results for 2013 financial year even though their share prices posted good performance.
Exclusion from the list because of the aforementioned reason or due to the negative growth in quarterly PAT in 2013 even when the affected companies’ share prices beat the index should not be interpreted to mean that something fundamental is wrong with these companies or they are not in good financial condition. A good example is Honeywell Flourmills Plc, whose share price appreciated by 75 percent in 2013 whereas its Q3 PAT in 2013 fell by 23 percent. With good brands on sale within the nation’s food and beverages market, the decline in PAT during the period under review was traceable to 141 percent rise in finance cost. BRIU only wanted to enhance the efficiency of the capital market and that is why we have come up with more objective parameters for selecting the eventual winners.
Transcorp made very impressive results in 2013 as not only its share price skyrocketed by 314 percent, its Q3 PAT for 2013 financial year ballooned by 114 percent. Consequently, Transcorp CEO succeeded in improving shareholders’ wealth by a whooping N128bn. The power sector privatisation policy of the federal government could have skewed market sentiments in favour of Transcorp as investors became forward-looking when the coast was clear that the firm was one of the successful bidders that the privatisation team announced.
Three companies made our list from the Dangote Group: Dangote Cement; Dangote Sugar and National Salt Company Plc. By appreciating 95 percent, Dangote Sugar emerged the best performing stock within the group from the viewpoint of share price appreciation. Also, Dangote Cement’s share price rose 71 percent and that translated to a huge N1.55 trillion gain in market capitalisation.The composition of the companies that made the 2013 list reveals the extent of information the selected industry managers can extract from the budgetary provisions of the federal and state governments. It also shows how government activities could turn around the fortunes of firms operating in those sectors towards which government policies are favourable. In a bid to revive the state of the nation’s infrastructure, so much money was allocated to capital projects especially in road construction, housing and related activities last year. Added with the private sector investment in infrastructural development, it did not come to us as a mere coincidence that the greatest beneficiaries will be firms whose activities are in line with the direction of government spending. Above all, the credit goes to these CEOs because they harnessed the opportunities presented by the direction of government spending through quality products and services, favourable trade terms and proactiveness. Thus, the link between the performance of equities in building materials, chemical & paints, construction and real estate development and the policy actions of government.
By and large, what were the initiatives each of these CEOs took last year to emerge as members of the prestigious 25 Top CEOs in Nigeria? These and many more will be unveiled in the full publication that will come out before the end of February 2014. For further enquiries, kindly contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org ..
By: TELIAT SULE