I have covered poultry stock Astral Foods since its unbundling from Tiger Brands in 2001, and also Quantum Foods, the specialist animal nutrition and egg business, since 2014, when it was unbundled from Pioneer Foods. At the time of writing their market capitalisations were R8.9bn and R884m respectively — Quantum is about a tenth of Astral’s size. By the time this magazine is on the shelf, Astral Foods will have published clucking good results. Its trading update has indicated that headline earnings per share would rise by between 90% to 100%. Towards the end of November Quantum Foods’ results will be published. In its recent trading update it said its forecast year-on-year headline earnings rise was a cracking 224% to 244%. This places Astral Foods on a prospective average earnings multiple of 5.6 and Quantum on 2.6. Both of them are prodigious cash generators, have an aversion to debt and are expected to pay fat dividends. But the market gives them a low rating. From their 2018 sh...

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