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Singapore Press Holdings Limited Led the Stock Market Lower in July

The Singapore stock market barometer, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), declined by 0.6%, or around 21 points, to 3,300.8 last month. Of the 30 index stocks, 16 were in the red, 12 were in the green, and the final two ended flat.

The biggest loser of them all was Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SGX: T39); the media giant’s shares tumbled 10.4% to S$2.21.

For the company’s third quarter, operating revenue decreased by 1.6%, to S$246.1 million, while net profit plunged 44.1% to S$26.2 million. Lower print advertisement revenue was identified as the culprit for the decline in the top line.

Singapore Press Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer Ng Yat Chung commented on the earnings release:

“The Media business continues to be challenged on various fronts including the ongoing trade tensions and the slowing of the Singapore economy, but we remain focused on our digital transformation strategy. We see improved recurring income from the Property segment which has expanded its portfolio following recent acquisitions.”

In April 2019, the property segment’s student accommodation portfolio added more than 1,000 beds in the UK’s cities of Southampton, Sheffield, and Leeds with a 133.7 million British pound outlay. With that, the portfolio comprises 5,059 beds across 10 cities in the country with assets under management of over S$600 million.

Singapore Press Holdings also subscribed to Prime US REIT’s (SGX: OXMU) initial public offering (IPO), taking up a 6.8% stake as a cornerstone investor. The real estate investment trust (REIT) debuted on our shores in the second half of last month.

Along with Singapore Press Holdings, SATS Ltd (SGX: S58) also had a less-than-ideal July. SATS shares fell 7.7% to S$4.82 as its first-quarter net profit tumbled 14% even though revenue grew 5.8%.

On the other hand, Wilmar International Limited (SGX: F34) emerged as the biggest winner of the 30-stock index.

Last month, Wilmar said the Chinese stock market regulator has accepted Yihai Kerry Arawana Holdings’ application to list on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Yihai Kerry is a 99.99%-owned subsidiary of Wilmar. If listed, Wilmar is expected to have a reduced stake of 89.99% in the company. Wilmar will release its second-quarter earnings on 13 August after the stock market closes.

The SPDR STI ETF (SGX: ES3), an exchange-traded fund that can be taken as a proxy for the Straits Times Index, was valued at a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.7 and had a distribution yield of 3.4% as of 31 July 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 SATS Ltd. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P owns shares in SATS Ltd.