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Three Shares That Lost To the Market Today

Singapore’s stock market picks up slightly today as the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) has inched up by 0.1% to 3,094 points. Just less than half – 14 to be exact – of the index’s 30 components ended the trading session with gains but it was enough to push the benchmark into the green.

In any case, there were also some shares that did worse than the index. Let’s take a look at them.

Ezion Holdings (SGX: 5ME) is down 2.9% to S$2.04. Last week, the oil & gas equipment and rig provider had issued S$55 million worth of notes (i.e. debt) for “general corporate purposes, including the financing of investments in offshore and marine assets and general working capital of the [company]”.

These notes mature in 2020 and carry an annual interest rate of 5.1%. This translates into additional annual interest payments of S$2.81 million, which is just 1.6% of Ezion’s operating income in 2013 and would thus likely not overburden the company financially in any significant way.

But of course, some caution is still warranted as Ezion’s latest balance sheet (excluding the latest notes) shows it having US$166 million in cash while carrying total debt of US$1.09 billion.

Book publisher, retailer, and distributor Popular Holdings (SGX: P29) slipped 2.2% to S$0.22. The company’s recent third quarter results, released last Friday, saw a further deterioration of its business. Revenue for the nine months ended 31 Jan 2014 climbed 8.4% year-on-year to S$426 million but profits had dropped by a third to S$13.4 million.

In the financial year ended 30 April 2012, Popular Holdings, which is also engaged in property development, had earned S$31.3 million in profit. Since then however, the company’s income over the last 12 months has shrunk to S$16.7 million.

In Popular Holdings’ latest earnings release, management touched briefly on Singapore’s residential property market, noting that the property cooling measures enacted by the government “have softened the demand for residential properties and may impact sales.” In addition, management also commented that staff and rental cost pressures “may not ease in the immediate term”, hinting at further tough times ahead.

Soilbuild Construction (SGX: S7P) declined by 2.0% to S$0.24. The construction outfit had revealed last week that it had won a S$39.5 million contract to help build a residential flat. The contract was awarded by a consortium led by Tong Eng Brothers Private Limited.

Following this latest contract win, Soilbuild Construction’s order book now stands at S$410.4 million. Most of the work for the company’s current order book is “expected to be substantially completed in the next 24 months.”

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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.