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Three Shares that Lost to the Market Today

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Singapore’s flagship stock market barometer, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), ended Friday with a little cheer as it stepped up 0.2% to 3,147 points.

Within the index, 14 out of its 30 components managed to make some headway while 11 others weren’t so lucky as they clocked losses.

Let’s take a look at some shares that did worse than the index.

Transport services outfit ComfortDelGro Corporation (SGX: C52) slipped 1.0% to S$1.94. Yesterday, the company’s subsidiary, bus and train service operator SBS Transit (SGX: S61), announced that it would contribute up to S$7.2m to the Public Transport Fund to help reduce the burden of transport fees for lower income households.

Recently, the Public Transport Council (PTC) in Singapore had increased fares for bus and train services here by 3.2%. While the 3.2% quantum does not seem huge, SBS Transit’s chief executive Gan Juay Kiat is also aware that “any increase in fares, however small, will have more of an impact on certain groups of commuters.” That’s what prompted the company to contribute S$7.2m to the transport fund to help the needy.

The fare hikes announced by the PTC would help to alleviate some pressure on SBS Transit, which has seen big declines in its profit margins over the past few years due to rising operational costs.

SBS Transit’s press release regarding the contribution to the Public Transport Fund also highlighted the improvements it has made to its transport services. Some of these include a S$433m order of 1,000 buses made in 2012 that will be delivered over three years; the addition of 2,497 weekly trips to the Punggol and Sengkang Light Rail Transit networks since 2013; and the addition of 497 weekly trips to the North East Line in 2014 alone.

GKE Corporation (SGX: 595) has dropped some 17.2% to S$0.12. The company, which provides logistics services in Singapore, Indonesia, and the United States, announced its second quarter results on Tuesday.

For the six months ended 30 Nov 2013, revenue grew 10.2% year-on-year to S$14.8m. The bottom-line however, was bad as the company made a loss of S$2.3m, compared to a profit of S$10.9m a year ago.

The company had gave a profit warning for its second quarter results back in December last year and said that it expected to lose money due to higher finance costs, bank charges, and acquisition related fees, along with higher depreciation charges and staff salaries. All these largely panned out as expected in its actual earnings release.

GKE “expects its overall performance to decline temporarily owing to the warehouse acquisitions initiated in the current and last financial year.”

Ezra Holdings (SGX: 5DN) fell 13.2% to S$1.115. The offshore contractor for the oil & gas industry made it known today that it has hired J.P. Morgan (S.E.A.) Limited “to advise the Company on strategic options, aimed to optimise the international profile and competitive position of its subsea services division, EMAS AMC.” It’s a move that’s meant to “unlock value for shareholders and to enhance access to capital.”

Meanwhile, the company’s first quarter results, released a week ago, saw quarterly revenue climb 22% year-on-year to US$340m while profits only managed to inch up marginally by 1% to US$50.6m.

Ezra’s profit margins had suffered as its revenue growth was driven by its subsea services business segment which carries inherently lower margins.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore writer Chong Ser Jing doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.