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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.

The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) has dipped by 0.2% to 3,322 points after being dragged down due to 17 of its 30 constituents ending the day in the red. Only nine others had managed to clock gains.

Let’s take a look at some market beaters both within and outside the index.

Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX: S68) has inched up by 0.1% to S$7.10. The stock exchange operator revealed yesterday that it saw “market volumes grow in July from June”.

But even though there’s been some month-on-month improvement, some of the figures don’t look good when compared with a year ago. For instance, the company’s Securities business, which accounts for a third of total revenue, saw total traded value drop by 24% year-on-year to S$21 billion. There were also only six initial public offerings in July which raised S$508 million; this compares against 8 listings a year ago which raised S$1.5 billion.

Singapore Exchange’s latest full-year earnings saw its revenue and profit decline by 4% and 4.6% respectively. The company has been struggling to grow its top-line – revenue was S$640 million for the financial year ended 30 June 2010 (FY2010) and had grown by only 7% in total to S$687 million for FY2014 – so it’d be important for investors to keep an eye on its operational statistics to see if there are any signs of a sustained improvement in its business.

Construction and property development outfit BBR Holdings (S) Ltd. (SGX: KJ5) has climbed 3.5% to S$0.295 following the release of its second quarter results yesterday. For the first half of 2014, the company’s top-line surged some 83% year-on-year to S$334 million while its profit more than doubled from S$4.8 million to S$10.2 million.

BBR’s growth was “largely attributable to higher revenue recognised from general construction and property development projects, and partially offset by lower specialised engineering revenue.”

Mr. Andrew Tan, Chief Executive Officer of BBR, is very optimistic about the future of his company:

“We are confident that the Group can sustain its profitability backed by our strong order book of S$850 million, predominantly in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as ongoing efforts to improve productivity and cost effectiveness across all business segments.

We expect stronger contribution from Malaysia, which contributed 10% to our top-line last year. Our expertise in specialised engineering works, in particular for bridge construction, puts us in good stead to tap on the strong demand for such projects in Malaysia.

As for the property segment, we are pleased to report that Bliss@Kovan is 94% sold and is due for completion (TOP) in 2015. At the same time, we are gearing for the project rollout for the 35% owned executive condominium development at Yuan Ching/ Tao Ching Road which will be launched for sale in the 4Q2014.”

Olam International Ltd (SGX: O32) has gained 1.7% to S$2.44. The company has been busy of late in raising capital. Two weeks ago on 22 July 2014, it issued S$400 million worth of notes (i.e. debt) which would mature on 2019 and carry an annual interest expense of 4.25%.

Then just yesterday, the company issued US$300 million 4.50% notes which come due on 2020. These additional borrowings would come in handy for the company in terms of refinancing its existing debt. As of 31 March 2014, Olam had S$3.75 billion worth of borrowings which have to be repaid within 12 months while having only S$1.02 billion in total cash and short-term investments.

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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.