Last month, Singapore’s stock market, as represented by the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), inched up by 0.7%, or by around 23 points, to 3212.7. Of the 30 index stocks, 18 were in the positive territory, 10 were in the red, while the remaining two were flat.
Thailand’s leading beverage producer, Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (SGX: Y92), was the best performer of the pack. The company’s shares rose 11.6% to S$0.815 apiece.
For the first quarter ended 31 December 2018, Thai Beverage’s revenue surged 59.7% year-on-year to THB 72.6 billion while net profit attributable to shareholders more than doubled from THB 2.96 billion to THB 7.42 billion. The increased revenue was due to higher volume across all business segments. The spirits segment showed exceptional performance, with revenue growing 28.6% and net profit climbing 41.5%.
Venture Corporation Ltd (SGX: V03) was the second-best performer among the index constituents as its shares increased by 9.5% to S$17.80 each. In 2018, Venture’s revenue dipped 13% year-on-year to S$3.48 billion while its net profit inched down by 0.7% to S$370.1 million.
Venture’s board proposed a final dividend of 50 Singapore cents per share for its 2018 fourth quarter. Including the interim dividend of 20 cents per share already given out, the total dividend for 2018 would be 70 cents per share, up 16.7% from 60 cents per share for 2017.
On the other end of the winner-loser spectrum, Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd (SGX: C07) lost the most ground; the company’s shares tumbled 11.7% to S$33.34.
For 2018, Jardine Cycle & Carriage’s revenue grew 10% to US$18.99 billion, mainly on the back of revenue growth in most of Astra’s businesses. Net profit, though, fell 55% to US$419.6 million after taking into account non-trading items. Excluding the non-trading items, underlying net profit would have grown by 12% to US$858 million. The dividend for the year increased by 1% to 87 US cents per share.
Ben Keswick, Jardine Cycle & Carriage’s chairman, commented the following in the earnings press release:
“The Group achieved good overall results in 2018, but Astra is likely to face a number of macro-economic and commercial headwinds in 2019, while the Group’s Direct Motor Interests and Other Strategic Interests may also see slower growth.”
Another loser for the month was Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Limited (SGX: O39). The bank’s shares fell 3.9% to S$11.06.
For the financial year ended 31 December 2018, OCBC’s total income inched up by 2% year-on-year to S$9.70 billion (net interest income went up by 9% to S$5.89 billion, but non-interest income fell 7% to S$3.81 billion). Net profit hit a record of S$4.49 billion, improving 11% year-on-year. As a result of the record earnings and a strong capital position, the bank increased its final dividend to 23 Singapore cents per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 43 Singapore cents, up 16% year-on-year.
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 11.3 and a distribution yield of 3.6% at end-February.
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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. The Motley Fool Singapore has recommended shares of OCBC. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.