Three Shares that Beat the Market Today

The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) closed the day at 3,048 points for a 0.5% decline. Only seven blue chips had managed to make some headway with 18 others clocking losses.

But while Singapore’s blue chips weren’t exactly having the best of days, there were shares outside the Straits Times Index that made some nice gains. Here are three such shares, all of which had reported full-year earnings yesterday.

Asia Enterprises Holding (SGX: A55) jumped 4.8% to S$0.22. The steel products distributor’s full-year results saw its annual profit grow 124% year-on-year to S$3.7m despite revenue decreasing 14% to S$115m.

The company’s top-line had shrunk on the back of a decline in sales volume and lower average selling prices. The latter’s brought on by trends in international steel prices which were lower in 2013 as compared to 2012.

While revenue dropped on macroeconomic conditions, Asia Enterprises managed to handle its inventory costs well such that its gross profit margins actually rose from 7.8% in the previous year to 10.8%. The improvement in gross profit margins flowed all the way to the bottom line as operating expenses were held steady and thus led to the big jump in net profit.

In a separate filing, the company announced that its non-executive director, Teo Keng Thwan, would assume the role of an independent director while the previous independent director Tan Keh Yan would now become the lead independent director. Both re-appointments have been in effect since yesterday.

Hotel owner and property developer Fragrance Group (SGX: F31) is up next with a 2.3% rise to S$0.22. The company’s annual turnover increased by 26.1% from S$420m a year ago to S$529m. Meanwhile, profits almost doubled from S$126m to S$248m.

Fragrance Group’s growth in 2013 was mainly powered by its property development sector where a number of old and new development projects – such as Parc Rosewood, Novena Regency, Urban Vista, Suites @ Bukit Timah etc. – had contributed revenue and profits.

IPC Corp. (SGX: I12) rounds up the trio as its shares gained 1.3% to S$0.153. The property investor and developer had experienced some great growth as sales grew 175% to S$47m while profits moved up an even more impressive 282% to S$18.2m.

IPC had been involved with a number of condominium projects and business hotels (one for the former and four for the latter) in Japan over the past year, all of which contributed to the significant revenue growth.

The company’s investment properties in Japan also clocked revaluation gains that are worth S$11.8m, which partly led to the big jump in profits.

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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.