According to most economic analysts, the year 2018 was not a good one for the majority of businesses in the country. The year saw many businesses struggling to remain afloat as the investment environment became tough by each passing day.
In 2018, various high-end companies issued profit warnings. The companies that issued profit warnings in 2018 include the Bamburi Cement, Deacons, HF Group, and Kenya Power and Lighting Company.
Some companies also went under administration during the year with the most recent being Midland and Deacons East Africa. Despite various assurances from the government that the economy was sound, it was evident that it was tough for businesses.
Every start of the year, Kenyans are often on the lookout for the listed companies that they can invest in terms of shares and trading through them at the stock exchange, the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
With the current wavering trends in the economy, sometimes it is difficult to tell a company that is stable enough to invest in and make profits through dividends every time financial results are released.
The year 2019 comes with hope for most Kenyan investors who hold the view that from the experiences of 2018, companies took time to reflect and strategize for the New Year.
Safaricom is a household name. Its brand has roots almost all over the country. It is one of the profit-making giants in Kenya and in the region. This was a stock to watch in 2017, 2018 and it is still a stock to watch in 2019 too. While making a list of the stocks to invest in, Safaricom should not miss.
Safaricom’s share price has been consistent for the 12 months of 2018, closing the year at an average of 27.43 shillings per share. The share price hit the highest in March with an average price of 32 shillings per share followed by February where it hit 29.78 shillings per share.
The image below shows the average share price of Safaricom Plc for the 12 months of 2018:
Equity Bank Group
Equity Bank Group is another stock that is set to shape 2019 in terms of investments. Despite the challenges that were brought about by the interest rate cap, the lender has consistently been making profits while featuring among the top movers on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
Its share price averaged 44.65 shillings per share in 2018 hitting the highest in March at 54 shillings per share followed by April where it averaged 50.5 shillings per share.
The group has been widening its net for income and greatly minimizing on expenses. In December 2018, the group revamped its KCB M-Pesa platform to enable more people to take loans through it. Despite the challenges, the group has been consistent in maintaining positive books.
The shares of KCB Group averaged 44.15 shillings per share in 2018, just a few cents away from Equity Bank Group. The share hit the highest March at 53 shillings per share followed by the month of April at 47.75 shillings per share.
Co-operative Bank of Kenya
Analysts say the Co-operative Bank of Kenya has the potential of giving one good returns when invested in. The bank has embarked on revamping its mobile banking system and has been consistent in making profits over the years.
Its share price averaged at 16.58 shillings per share in 2018, hitting the highest in March at 19.7 shillings per share in March.
Kenya Power and Lighting Company
I would not advise you to rush in buying shares in Kenya Power if you are in a hurry to make money. If you are patient, this is the company you should buy shares in. The stock was very unpredictable in 2018, issuing a profit warning and registering a drop in profits by more than 60 percent.
The share price for Kenya Power averaged 6.14 shillings per share in 2018. Hitting the lowest at 3.23 shillings per share in December.
Kenya Airways is one of the most promising stocks on the market right now. The company has been on a positive recovery mode. Coming from a loss of 27 billion shillings and now just remaining with some millions before jumping into the profit-making zone again. The airline launched direct flights to the United States of America and although the route is not yet lucrative, with time things will be good.
The share price of Kenya Airways averaged 11.73 shillings per share in 2018, starting off the year in 2018 at the high of 15.6 shillings per share (January) and has been consistent in cutting down losses.
Many people think that the insurance sector is performing poorly. It is true that the penetration in the country is way much below, less than four percent but for those companies that have established themselves, things have been blooming.
Jubilee Insurance is a good stock with its share price averaging at 476.94 shillings per share in 2018, hitting the highest in April last year at 531 shillings per share.