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It’s a Wrap: The Top 3 and Bottom 3 Straits Times Index Stocks for May

The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), which tracks the performance of the top 30 largest and most liquid companies listed in Singapore, was in the red for May. For the month, the local stock market benchmark tumbled 5.1% to 3,428.2. Of the 30 index components, seven were in the positive territory while the remaining 23 were in the negative region.

The top three winners of the STI were ComfortDelGro Corporation Ltd (SGX: C52), Genting Singapore PLC (SGX: G13) and Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited (SGX: J36).Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence (stock price for Jardine Matheson has been converted to Singapore dollars from US dollars)

In May, ComfortDelGro announced its financial results for the 2018 first-quarter. Revenue for the three months ended 31 March 2018 inched up by 1% to S$878.8 million, but net profit declined 19.6% to S$66.3 million. The group has been disrupted in recent times by the proliferation of ride-hailing apps.

However, there could be some light at the end of the tunnel for its Singapore taxi business as the chief executive of ComfortDelGro, Yang Ban Seng, said:

“For this quarter, we saw a slower decline in our local Taxi business. With the reduced subsidy and incentives for drivers and riders by ride-hailing apps operators, and the Authority’s review of regulations for private hire vehicles, we believe that the competition will be on a more level playing field going forward. This is a positive development.”

The land transport giant also announced last month that it has agreed to cancel the strategic agreement with Uber, which was entered into last December. This comes after Uber bowed out from the region. However, ComfortDelGro’s boss said that his firm “still has every intention to go into the private hire vehicle space”.

In May, just like ComfortDelGro, Genting Singapore made public its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2018. Revenue for the first quarter grew 15% year-on-year to S$675.1 million while net profit went up 3% to S$217.2 million. The top-line improved due to healthy growth in volumes across all major business segments.

On the other hand, the top three losers of the index were Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd (SGX: BS6), Hutchison Port Hldg Trust (SGX: NS8U) and StarHub Ltd (SGX: CC3).  Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence (stock price for Hutchison Port has been converted to Singapore dollars from US dollars)

In an announcement towards the end of last month, Yangzijiang said that it has started buying back its shares, “affirming confidence in the value of the company”. It added that the shipbuilding market sentiment continues to be optimistic and that the firm is confident in building up its order book at a healthy pace. As at 31 March 2018, the shipbuilder had an order book of US$4.5 billion, giving it a stable revenue stream for the next 2.5 years.

As for StarHub, its revenue for the first quarter ended 31 March 2018 fell 4.7% year-on-year to S$561.0 million. The decline in sales was mainly due to lower revenue from mobile and pay TV services, together with lower sales of equipment. Meanwhile, net profit tumbled 14.9% to S$61.5 million.

The SPDR STI ETF (SGX: ES3), an exchange-traded fund which can be taken as a proxy for the Straits Times Index, was valued at a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.1 and had a distribution yield of 2.9% on 1 June 2018.

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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.