The local stock market, as represented by the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), ended last month unchanged at 3,212.9. There were 16 index components which beat the index; three were flat while the remaining 11 were in the red.
Land transport giant, ComfortDelGro Corporation Ltd (SGX: C52), emerged as the best performer of the 30-stock index; its shares surged 7.5% to finish at S$2.57 apiece.
In February, the company released its 2018 financial results where revenue grew 6.4% year-on-year to S$3.81 billion while net profit climbed 0.6% to S$303.3 million. ComfortDelGro also declared a higher dividend for the year, increasing its total dividend by around 1% to S$0.105 per share, up from S$0.104 per share in 2017.
Another big gainer was Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd (SGX: BS6), which rose 4.9% to S$1.50. The shipbuilder announced its 2018 financial results on 1 March where total revenue increased by 21% year-on-year to RMB 23.2 billion. All business segments performed better for the year. Likewise, net profit grew 23% to RMB 3.6 billion, translating to an 11% increase in its 2018 dividend to S$0.05 per share.
Ren Yuanlin, executive chairman of Yangzijiang, commented the following in the earnings release:
“The recovery on the shipbuilding market was accompanied with several uncertainties. Through several business cycles, Yangzijiang has grown into a resilient entity that consistently outperformed in unstable market conditions. The market recognises our strong capabilities in the building of containerships and dry bulkers, and our order book will continue to provide a stable revenue stream in the next few years.”
On the other hand, Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited (SGX: J36) was the biggest loser of the Straits Times Index. Jardine Matheson’s share price tumbled 9% to US$62.36 in March.
The conglomerate’s 2018 revenue and underlying net profit both grew by 10% year-on-year to US$42.53 billion and US$1.70 billion respectively. Strong performances mainly from Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd (SGX: C07) and Hongkong Land Holdings Limited (SGX: H78) led to the better result. Jardine Matheson’s shareholders would be delighted to note that the 2018 dividend per share swelled 6% to US$1.70.
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 12.4 and had a distribution yield of 3.6% on 29 March 2019.
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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 Hongkong Land Holdings Limited. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P owns shares in Hongkong Land Holdings Limited.