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2 Shares That Beat the Market Today

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.

Singapore’s blue chips has started the week on the wrong foot as 25 out of the Straits Times Index’s (SGX: ^STI) 30 constituents had suffered losses. The benchmark index fell by 1% to 3,312 points as a result.

Let’s take a closer look at a couple of shares, both within and outside the index, which managed to beat the market by posting gains.

SembCorp Industries Limited (SGX: U96) has inched up by 0.4% to S$5.20. Earlier in the morning, the utility and marine engineering conglomerate revealed that it would be expanding its energy business in China with two power plants in the city of Chongqing.

The company would be embarking on a joint venture with Chongqing Energy Investment Group, a government-linked entity, to “collaborate on a mine-mouth coal-fired power project in Chongqing municipality.” The project, which is expected to cost S$1.2 billion in its entirety, would see both parties (SembCorp Industries and Chongqing Energy Investment) acquire a stake in a power plant in addition to building a new 1,320 megawatt coal-fired power plant.

This project, which is conditional upon regulatory approvals among other considerations, would see SembCorp Industries’ energy business in China grow significantly. If/when the new 1,320 megawatt power plant is completed, SembCorp Industries’ energy generation capacity in the country is set to increase by 2.5 times from 987 megawatts to 2,607 megawatts.

Bookstore operator and property developer Popular Holdings Ltd. (SGX: P29) has climbed by 6.4% to S$0.250 following the release of its first quarter results last Friday. For the three months ended 31 July 2014, Popular Holdings saw a 5.9% year-on-year growth in revenue to S$141.4 million. Its profit meanwhile had surged by 77% to S$9.41 million.

Popular Holdings has three main business divisions, namely, the Property Division, the Retail and Distribution Division, and the Publishing and e-Learning Division. It was the latter two divisions which contributed to the company’s top-line growth. Much better control of costs across the board by the company had led to the disproportionate growth in its bottom-line.

Popular Holdings has seen its business decline dramatically in recent years – its profit had dropped from S$31.1 million for the financial year ended 30 April 2012 (FY2012) to just S$10.6 million for FY2014 – so any improvements would be a welcome sight for its investors.

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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.