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3 Companies That Are Saying “NO” To The Current Market Slump

January 2016 could be considered one of the worst starting months of a calendar year for Singapore’s stock market since the Global Financial Crisis. To the point, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) has fallen close to 9% in the month.

Unfortunately, February hasn’t been kind either – the Straits Times Index is sitting at 2,573 points at the time of writing (11:38 am), down by 2.1% since the end of January. With the market barometer’s painful drawdown in 2016 thus far, most stocks in Singapore’s market have likely had similar experiences.

But interestingly, there are some companies that have been able to go against the wave with their shares actually climbing since end-2015. Let’s take a closer look at three such companies to see what the future may have in store for them.

Palm oil producer Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (SGX: E5H) has seen its shares gain some 10.3% in price in 2016 thus far. In the first nine months of 2015, the company’s revenue and profit had fallen badly due to the depreciating rupiah (the company operates mainly in Indonesia but reports in the U.S. dollar) and a decline in palm oil prices.

But, given that the rupiah has stablised, would the economic dynamics of the palm oil market improve in the months and years ahead for Golden Agri-Resources? With such a sharp gain in its share price in the current year, it seems like investors might really be expecting a turnaround in its business after the poor performance in 2015.

With its share price up more than 7% year to date, SMRT Corporation Ltd (SGX: S53) has also outperformed the market this year. The land transport outfit had recently reported its fiscal third-quarter earnings. With its revenue and profit both improving, it may seem like the worst is over for SMRT after a painful time over the past few years in which the company’s profit had sunk from S$164 million in the fiscal year ended 31 March 2010 (FY2010) to a low of S$62 million in FY2014.

Moreover, SMRT has started selling its fleet of buses to the Land Transport Authority as part of the transition of the public bus industry to a new business model. If there are more offloading of assets, it may allow the company to repay some of its debts and improve its balance sheet going forward. With these developments, I think the sky looks brighter for SMRT.

Retail-mall focused CapitaLand Mall Trust (SGX: C38U) has seen its unit price rally by 6.8% so far this year. The real estate investment trust’s stock market performance may have been supported by a strong showing in its latest earnings report.

To the point, the REIT’s net property income and distribution per unit had both grown in 2015. With the upcoming redevelopment of Funan DigitaLife Mall and enhancement works at Tampines Mall, the REIT appears to be working hard to drive future growth.

Foolish Summary

Although Singapore’s stock market – on aggregate – has suffered a painful decline so far in 2016, not every listed company and/or trust has been negatively affected.

The above three entities – Golden Agri-Resources, SMRT, and CapitaLand Mall Trust – have displayed some improvements in their business fundamentals which could be possible reasons for their defiance against the market decline. This speaks volumes regarding why investors may want to focus on the underlying businesses of stocks when investing in the stock market.

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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 does not own shares in any companies mentioned above.