2015 Review For The Singapore Stock Market: Transportation Companies

We are nearing the end of 2015. For many investors in Singapore, it has been a year of pain and hardship.

The SPDR STI ETF (SGX: ES3), an exchange-traded fund which tracks the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), has seen its net asset value per unit fall 14% from S$3.408 at end-2014 to S$2.93 as of 28 December 2015.

How have companies in different industries fared this year? Let’s have a look at major transport-related companies listed in Singapore to find out the biggest winners and losers for 2015 in that space.

The overall transport landscape

Public transport is seen by some to be a defensive sector. This is because people still need to travel for all kinds of purposes regardless of the health of the economy.

One of the biggest shakeups in Singapore’s public transport scene happened in 2014 when the government decided to change the public bus service model. But, how the changes will eventually impact the business models for public bus operators SBS Transit Ltd (SGX: S61) and SMRT Corporation Ltd (SGX: S53) are as yet unclear.

For this review, I’d be looking at the stock market performance of SBS Transit, SMRT, Singapore Airlines Ltd (SGX: C6L)Comfortdelgro Corporation Ltd (SGX: C52)Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd (SGX: C07), and Vicom Limited (SGX: V01).

Source: S&P Capital IQ

In a comparison of their total returns (including reinvested dividends) from 1 January 2015 to 28 December 2015, ComfortDelgro tops the list with a 16.3% return.

The company, one of the world’s largest land transport outfits, saw its earnings grow by 6.3% year-on-year for the first three-quarters of 2015. Besides earnings-growth, its stock market returns had also been aided by an increase in valuation – ComfortDelGro’s price-to-earnings ratio had stepped up from 19 in 2014 to 21.5 currently.

The worst performer in the group was Jardine Cycle & Carriage, down 13% for the year. The conglomerate, which counts vehicle distribution in Indonesia as one of its largest businesses, had suffered a 16% drop in net income in the first nine months of 2015 due to weaker sales and the declining Indonesian rupiah (the company reports in the U.S. dollar).

Foolish Summary

Although the stock market performance of companies over a single year is often too short to fully reflect their fundamentals, it is still interesting to note the wide difference in performance between companies that are operating in a similar space.

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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 Stanley Lim owns shares in Jardine Cycle & Carriage.