WorldStage Newsonline-- Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc on Monday announced its fourth quarter (Q4) 2011 result on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange with strong sales at N17.2 billion, 31 per cent growth as against the same quarter last year, but profit after tax (PAT) was down 18 per cent during the quarter.
The oil marketer's full year PAT was put at N3.8 billion, 3 per cent lower than the previous year, it’s operating expense of N1.9 billion (the highest quarterly opex in 2011) increased 17 per cent y/y and 3.3 per cent q/q
The company also proposed to pay a dividend per share of N5.00 and a bonus share of 1 for 5. The cash dividend implies a payout ratio of 40 per cent and yield of 4 per cent.
Despite the strong sales performance, gross margins declined for the second successive quarter, by 70bps, to 14.1 per cent. This compares with a nine month 2011 average of 16.7 per cent. Unlike in Q3 when margins were weighed down because of a 31 per cent surge in the price of inputs, especially base oil which is a major raw material used in the production of lubricants, base oil prices only went up 4.1 per cent in Q4 2011.
According to analysts from FBN Capital, the company's Q4 2011 sales figure represents the highest quarterly sales the company has reported in 10 successive quarters and beat our estimate by 10 per cent.
“The stellar y/y sales performance is flattered by base effects because Mobil had lost market share in 2010 due to stiff completion from both NNPC and other fringe players after the introduction of sovereign debt notes (subsidy guarantee scheme).
“The improvements over the past few quarters indicate that Mobil continues to claim back lost ground. However, the strength at the topline was not carried through to the profit lines in Q4.”