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3 Shares That Beat the Market Today

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Although we don’t believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on changes — just in case they’re material to our investing thesis.

Despite having only 10 of its 30 constituents suffer losses while 14 others had made gains, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) still started the week on the back-foot today by dropping 2 points, or 0.04%, to 3,257 from last Friday’s close of 3,259 points.

Let’s take a look at a number of market beaters outside the index.

MoneyMax Financial Services (SGX: 5WJ) climbed 4.6% to S$0.34 after announcing last Friday that it would be investing in a network of eight Malaysian pawnshops as part of its regional expansion plans.

The company, which operates 37 pawn shop outlets in total in Singapore, would be spending RM15.6 million (around S$6.1 million) to buy a 51% stake in the Malaysian business. The current owner of the Malaysian pawnshops is Chong Mei Sang, an individual with “over 30 years of experience in the production and trading of jewellery both domestically in Malaysia and in the export market”.

MoneyMax would be using both its internal resources and bank borrowings to pay for the acquisition. With revenue of S$72 million in the last 12 months, cash on hand worth S$7.3 million, and total borrowings of S$91 million, the investment in the Malaysian pawnshops is a significant one for MoneyMax.

It’d be worth for MoneyMax’s investors to keep a close watch on how this new investment plays out as it “marks the start of [the company’s] regional expansion.” Management believes that MoneyMax could potentially run up to 71 pawnshops in Singapore and Malaysia – the success or failure of this new venture could give investors some clues on how feasible that growth target actually is.

Offshore oil & gas support vessel builder Nam Cheong (SGX: N4E) has its shares up by 1.3% to S$0.39. The company had made known earlier today that it has sold two vessels (Accommodation Work Barges) for a total of US$84 million (around S$105 million). Nam Cheong’s customer, the Malaysia-listed Perdana Petroleum Berhad, also has the option to purchase another two vessels.

These new contracts would see Nam Cheong build its largest AWBs yet and has propelled its order book to RM1.5 billion (around S$585 million).

Aspial Corporation (SGX: A30) rounds up the trio with a 1.1% gain to S$0.465. The jewellery retail outfit, property developer, and pawn broker (through its subsidiary Maxi-Cash Financial Services (SGX: 5UF)) had announced slightly more than two weeks ago that it had just issued S$85 million worth of new notes (i.e. debt).

These notes carry an annual interest rate of 5.05% and would expire in 2019. Aspial’s latest balance sheet figures as of 31 March 2014 has it carrying S$143 million worth of cash and equivalents and a total of S$1.01 billion in debt. Out of all its borrowings, Aspial has S$305 million worth of debt that would be coming due sometime between 31 March 2014 and 31 March 2015. The new issue of S$85 million worth of notes would come in handy to meet those payments.

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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.