The Top Performing Stocks In The Straits Times Index In 2015

2015 was not a great year for Singapore’s stock market – the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) fell by 14% in price, rivalling the results of stock markets of countries like Greece, which is mired in economic turmoil.

Our stock market’s dismal performance is perhaps due mainly to the huge collapse in the prices of oil and other commodities, which in turn led to the fall in stock prices of many commodities-related companies. As examples, commodities trader Noble Group Ltd (SGX: N21) and oil-rig builder SembCorp Marine Ltd (SGX: S51) had seen their shares sink by 65% and 44% (after accounting for reinvested dividends), respectively, in 2015.

Interestingly, among the 30 constituents of the Straits Times Index, only seven had managed to generate a positive return for investors in 2015 if we include gains from reinvested dividends (subsequent returns-data for stocks also include gains from reinvested dividends). And of the seven, just two companies managed to produce a return of more than 7%. Let’s take a closer look at these two firms.

Delivering more than just your food

SATS Ltd (SGX: S58), one of the newest additions to the Straits Times Index, went against the bear market and produced a 31% return for its shareholders in 2015.

The airline catering and gateway services provider grew its net income by 21% year-on-year for the first half of FY2016 (fiscal year ending 31 March 2015). Moreover, the company has consistently generated strong cash flows from operation over the past decade.

With Singapore’s Changi Airport set for a major expansion in passenger-handling capacity over the next few years, there’s a strong tailwind for SATS to potentially enjoy.

The boring business of transportation

ComfortDelgro Corporation Limited (SGX: C52) is the next best performer in the Straits Times Index. In 2015, shareholders of the firm had enjoyed a 21% return.

Those gains may have some support from ComfortDelgro’s business – in the first nine months of 2015, the company’s net income had climbed by 6.3% year-on-year. It has also been generating free cash flow consistently over the past five years.

Foolish Summary

Both SATS and ComfortDelgro’s great performances in 2015 can perhaps be partly attributed to the growth in their businesses. In the long run, the share price of a company is related to the performance of its underlying business.

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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 doesn't own shares in any company mentioned.