Noble Group Limited Leads the Singapore Market Lower this Week

Singapore’s market barometer, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), slumped 1.6% this week to close at 3,363 points. Of the index’s 30 constituents, only two managed to eke out a weekly gain while 26 ended the week with losses. The remaining two had share prices which were unchanged from last Friday.

The firm that lost the most for the week was Noble Group Limited (SGX: N21). Shares of the commodity firm, which plunged 10% to S$0.95 this week, have been very volatile of late following poor fourth quarter results and damning reports on the company by a little-known research firm, Iceberg Research.

At the other end of the spectrum, telecommunications outfit Starhub Ltd (SGX: CC3) was the best performer in the index, having gained 1.4% to end the week at S$4.29. For its fiscal fourth-quarter ended 31 December 2014, the telco’s revenue increased 5.1% year-on-year to S$647.4 million while profit grew by 10.1% to S$94.2 million.

Outside the index, Raffles Medical Group Ltd (SGX: R01), the largest private medical group practice in Singapore, saw its shares slip by 1% to S$3.88.

In the middle of February, Raffles Medical announced its fiscal fourth-quarter results. Even though quarterly sales grew by some 13% year-on-year to S$100 million, the healthcare firm’s bottom-line tanked 49% to S$22 million, mainly due to the absence of a large one-off gain seen in the same period a year ago.

A final dividend of S$0.04 per share will be dished out to shareholders of Raffles Medical, bringing the total dividend for 2014 to S$0.055. It is noteworthy that Raffles Medical has been increasing its annual dividends consistently in each calendar year since 2008.

Going forward, the healthcare services provider is expecting to complete the extension of its flagship hospital, Raffles Hospital, in the first quarter of 2017 while a new medical facility at Holland Village should be completed in the first quarter of 2016. The firm is now trading at 32 times its historical earnings.

Meanwhile, another medical practice, this time the largest private dental healthcare group in our shores, Q & M Dental Group (Singapore) Limited (SGX: QC7), gained 1.9% to S$0.53.

For the full year ended 31 December 2014, Q&M Dental’s revenue spiked by 41% to a record S$100.3 million. This was mainly on the back of “higher revenue from existing dental and medical outlets, contributions from new dental and medical outlets in Singapore and in Malaysia as well as the acquisition of Aoxin Stomatology Group based in Shenyang, China in July 2014”. The growth in sales trickled down to the bottom-line as Q&M Dental’s net profit surged 33% year-on-year to S$8.6 million.

The STI is currently going at 13.7 times its historical earnings.

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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 contributor Sudhan P doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.