Friday, June 30, 2006

Market News: Sony offer flash memory disk for pc!

Sony Corp will offer its ultramobile personal computer with a flash memory disk for storing applications from July 3, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, citing the company. The move will make Sony the first Japanese company to sell PCs that replace the conventional hard-disk drive with a solid-state storage device, the report said. In early June, South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. unveiled a similar product. Sony's notebook features 16 gigabytes of flash memory, which allows programs to launch up to three to six times as fast as in computers with conventional hard drives, the Nihon Keizai said. The new Sony unit is priced from 209,800 yen, compared to 65,000 yen for similar hard-drive-equipped notebooks, the report said.

Stock Earnings: Popular post better FY results!

Popular may rise on better FY results, div Popular Holdings Ltd may trade higher after reporting its year to April net profit jumped 51 pct to 16 mln sgd on improved sales. The regional education group engaged in publishing, retail and distribution and content creation also declared a final tax-exempt cash dividend of 0.7 cents (tax exempt) per share, up from 0.5 cents in the previous year. Going forward, Popular said it expects its retail and distribution division to continue its growth in Malaysia and aims to improve its sourcing capabilities and bring more titles to its retail network across Asia. Popular closed yesterday's session flat at 0.395 sgd.

Popular Holdings Ltd year to April results:
Sales - 383.79 mln sgd vs 360.11 mln
Pretax profit - 21.88 mln sgd vs 15.14 mln
Net profit - 16.0 mln sgd vs 10.61 mln
EPS - 3.56 cents vs 2.36
Final div - 0.70 cents vs 0.50

Fourth quarter to April results:
Sales - 82.31 mln sgd vs 76.84 mln
Pretax loss - 4.15 mln sgd vs loss 4.68 mln
Net loss - 4.60 mln sgd vs loss 4.29 mln
Loss per share - 1.02 cents vs loss 0.95 cents

Stock News: Hour Glass to buy 5% of Gems TV holdings!

Luxury watch retailer Hour Glass Ltd said it has agreed to buy a 5 pct stake in Gems TV Holdings, a manufacturer and television home shopping retailer of jewellery, for 9.73 mln usd. The acquisition, to be funded from internal funds and bank borrowings, is expected to be completed by the end of the month. Hour Glass said in a statement that Gems TV has successfully penetrated the UK television home shopping market and has potential for growth and expansion.

Stock News: LMA secured device product approval

LMA International Ltd, a designer and distributor of medical devices, was higher after securing a CE Mark approval to market its medical device product called StoneBreaker in Europe, dealers said. StoneBreaker is an intra-corporeal lithotripter device used to fragment and remove stones in the urinary tract. LMA said there has been strong demand for the product following the completion of clinical trials last year. The company expects sales of the device will contribute positively to its financial performance next year. LMA was up 0.055 sgd or 7.48 pct at 0.79 with 1.46 mln shares changing hands.

Stock Downgraded: Hi-P target price reduced to 0.8 by Citigroup!

Citigroup has reduced its target price for electronics contract manufacturer Hi-P International Ltd to 0.80 sgd from 1. 15 and lowered its earnings estimates for this year through 2008 by 12-21 pct. The brokerage said it cut its earnings estimates as it believes that earnings this quarter and next will remain weak due to a decline in handset volumes. It expects net profit to fall from 89 mln sgd last year to 74 mln this year, before improving to 95 mln sgd in 2007 and further to 110 mln in 2008. "Checks suggest Hi-P has seen handset volume decline rapidly, due to lost market share and a slowdown in end-market demand," Citigroup said in a note published on Tuesday. "Utilization at its Tianjin plant (in China) has now fallen to 30 pct from over 70 pct in the first quarter, thus second quarter and third quarter (earnings) look set to see consecutive sequential sales decline," it added. Apart from weaker sales in the handset market, Hi-P's margins are also under pressure, the brokerage said. At 9.30 am, Hi-P was down 0.01 sgd or 1.19 pct at 0.83 with 143,000 shares changing hands.

Stock News: Nokia sues Longcheer's rivals!

China-based cellphone maker Longcheer fell after Nokia Corp sued two of Longcheer's rivals for making and selling cell phones that allegedly copy the design of Nokia's 7260 cell phone, dealers said. Investors fear that if Nokia wins its case against Shenzhen Telsda Mobile Communication Industry Developing Co and Song Xun Da Zhong Ke Electronic Co, the case could pave the way for more law suits by international cellphone makers against other Chinese cellphone makers. "Some of Longcheer's designs resemble those of Sony Ericsson and Motorola. If Nokia wins, we cannot rule out the probability that Longcheer will be sued for its designs by the other two," UOB Kay Hian analyst Frank Rong said in a note to clients. Longcheer was down 0.01 sgd or 1.17 pct at 0.845 with 1.28 mln shares changing hands.

Stock Buy Call: Pine Agritech with a price target of 2.46 by Kim Eng!

Kim Eng said it has upgraded its rating on Pine Agritech to 'buy' from 'hold' with a 2.46 sgd price target, based on its view that the company will continue to enjoy strong growth. "We believe the business model justifies this premium valuation, built around expansion of high margin products secured by long term supply agreements with locked-in pricing, volume and tenures," the brokerage said in a note. Kim Eng also eyes some upside potential in its 2006 earnings forecast of 329.8 mln yuan if Pine Agritech is able to secure more new customers than expected or if it achieves better average selling prices and margins on its existing orders. "We believe the time to reflect more bullish assumptions in our 2007 forecast is drawing closer and there should be greater clarity in the third quarter of 2006," Kim Eng added. Upside potential for its present 2007 estimate of 418.7 mln yuan will come from higher utilisation of its expanded soy oligosaccharide syrup (SOS) capacity and profit contributions from the new peptide product, the brokerage said. At 10.33 am, Pine Agritech's shares were up 0.11 sgd or 4.90 pct at 2.36 with 240,000 shares changing hands.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Stock Buy Call: Hong Leong Asia with price target of 1.63 by CitiGroup!

Citigroup said it has upgraded its rating for Hong Leong Asia to 'buy' from 'sell' while maintaining its price target of 1. 63 sgd, as it believes the company's stock is attractive at current levels given its positive earnings outlook. The brokerage said that the anticipated 177 pct growth in earnings this year for Hong Leong would be underpinned by a higher contribution from its white goods unit, Xinfei. Hong Leong has raised its Xinfei stake to 90 pct from 51 pct. Citigroup said that Hong Leong's other business segments such as Yuchai, GPac and building materials are also seeing improvement. Citigroup expects Hong Leong's net profit to grow from 20 mln sgd last year, to 54 mln this year, 72 mln next year, and 82 mln in 2008. At 10.41 am, Hong Leong Asia was up 0.02 sgd or 1.52 pct at 1.34 with 105, 000 shares traded.

Stock downgraded: Pac Andes price target of 1.19 by CIMB-GK!

CIMB-GK Research said it has cut its target price for Pacific Andes Holdings (PAH) to 1.19 sgd from 1.22 sgd to reflect the share price decline of its unit China Fishery Group. But to factor in future contributions from its purchase of three Peruvian companies, CIMB has raised Pacific Andes' earnings per share estimates by 1 pct for the year to March 2007, 9 pct for 2008 and 11 pct for 2009. "Establishing itself in Peru (through the acquisition), PAH exposes itself to one of the most productive fishing regions globally," CIMB said in a client note. Hence, while CIMB considers the 100 mln usd acquisition as pricey, raising the net gearing for PAH to about 140 pct, it is still keeping its 'outperform' rating on the stock. At 10.51 am, Pacific Andes was down 0.005 sgd or 0.73 pct at 0.685 on volume of 263,000 shares.

Stock Upgraded: NOL with price target of 1.88 sgd!

CIMB-GK Research has upgraded its rating on Neptune Orient Lines Ltd to "neutral" from "underperform" but slashed its target price to 1.88 sgd, on expectations of lower earnings in the next three years. "We believe any further decline in NOL's share price for now will be unjustified. However, the time is not yet ripe for a brightened outlook on container shipping as well," CIMB-GK said in a note. It said that a leadership transition with the imminent departure of NOL chief executive officer David Lim does not bode well for the company. CIMB-GK also assumed lower EBIT margins because of high fuel costs and declining freight rates. At 11.10 am, NOL was up 0.03 sgd or 1.71 pct at 1.79 on volume of 1.51 mln shares.

Stock News: Pacific Internet rejected Mediaring takeover offer!

Pacific Internet Ltd (PacNet) has rejected the takeover bid of MediaRing Ltd, saying the offer by the Singapore-based provider of voice over Internet telephone service in Asia, was "financially inadequate." PacNet made the decision in response to MediaRing's announcement Tuesday to extend its tender offer for PacNet to June 26. MediaRing was planning to buy the rest of PacNet shares that it does not own for 8.25 usd per share. MediaRing held about 11.8 pct of PacNet as of June 12. "The board of directors confirms that it stands by its previous unanimous recommendation to the shareholders to reject the offer as it found the offer financially inadequate," PacNet said in a statement.

Stock News: Midas Holdings secured 8.9 mln yuan of deals!

Midas Holdings Ltd, manufacturer of aluminium alloy extrusion products and polyethylene pipes in China, said its unit Jilin Midas Aluminium Industries Co Ltd has secured 8.9 mln yuan worth of deals to supply aluminium alloy extrusion profiles. These include a second deal with Siemens Group valued at 4.2 mln yuan for the manufacture of metro train cars for its train project in Norway and a contract with Changchun Railway worth 4.7 mln yuan for phase 1 of its Changchun City Light Rail Transit project. "Both contracts are scheduled to be delivered in 2006 and 2007 and expected to have positive impact on the respective year's financials," Midas said in a statement.

Stock News: US ITC to investigate patent infringement related to ipod!

Creative Technology Ltd, the makers of the ZEN portable digital media player, said the US International Trade Commission has voted to investigate Apple Computer Inc over a patent infringement relating to its iPod portable media player . The company asserted that its 'ZEN' patent covers the user interface in Creative NOMAD and ZEN portable digital media players and the iPod, iPod Nano and iPod Mini. Creative said the investigation is based on a complaint relating to the sale of certain portable digital players in the US which infringe on its ZEN patent. Typically the Commission will issue its ruling in 12 to 15 months of the institution of the investigation.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Stock News: CG Tech to invest 65 mln yuan in new plant!

CG Technologies Holdings said it will invest 65 mln yuan in constructing a new manufacturing plant for polyester short fiber (PSF), for which it has obtained the necessary permits. Construction will start next month. It said the plant will have the capacity to produce about 7,500 tons of polyester short fiber annually. CG Technologies manufactures and distributes of polyethlylene terephthalate (PET) chips and yarn for the textile industry in China

Stock News: China Enersave secured new orders worth 11.4 million sgd!

China Enersave Ltd said its associated company, Amanda Maintenance, Industrial, General & Offshore Services Co Ltd, has secured new orders worth 11.4 mln sgd for heat treatment services and installation works in Vietnam. The works will be carried out in stages and will be completed by the end of 2007, it said. It said the company's order book now stands at 39.8 mln sgd.

Stock News: Raffle Group to pay up to 0.7 sgd per share!

Raffles Holdings Ltd, a unit of CapitaLand Ltd, said it will pay shareholders cash of up to 0.70 sgd per share in the fourth quarter in the form of a capital reduction exercise and special dividends. Raffles said it will distribute 0.37 sgd per share under the capital reduction plan and pay a tax-exempt interim dividend for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2006 of as much as 0.33 sgd per share. The actual amount of the special dividend, arising from gains from the sale of its remaining asset Raffles City, will be announced after Sept 30, it said. Raffles City was sold to CapitaCommercial Trust and CapitaMall Trust, both of which are real estate investment trust units of its parent CapitaLand, for 2.09 bln sgd. The sale is expected to be completed by end-August.

Stock Buy Call: Raffle Education with price target of 2.57 by DBS Equity Research!

Raffles Education Co Ltd may rise after DBS Equity Research upgraded its rating on the stock to "buy" from "hold", and its one-year price target to 2.57 sgd from 2.05, because it has become more optimistic over the design school operator's earnings prospects. "Raffles Education has the potential to tap on the growth of higher education in China, worth 5 bln usd," it said. Raffles Education closed up 0.01 sgd at 2.23 yesterday.

Stock Outperform Call: FerroChina with target price of 0.78 by Daiwa!

FerroChina Ltd may edge higher after Daiwa Institute of Research initiated coverage of the firm with an "outperform" rating and a six-month target price of 0.78 sgd. "We believe FerroChina will benefit from continued Chinese demand for galvanized steel with its expansion plans. FerroChina is upgrading its first galvanization line currently, and is constructing its Phase III facility," Daiwa said in a note. FerroChina slipped 0.010 sgd to settle at 0.590 yesterday.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Stock News: Chartered Semiconductor reiterated earning guidance for Q2!

Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd was lower after the chipmaker reiterated its earnings guidance for the second quarter. The company said it still expects second quarter revenue of about 363.0 mln usd, plus or minus 4.0 mln usd, and earnings of 0.05 usd per American depositary share, plus or minus 0.02 usd. On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial forecast a per-share profit of 0.06 usd on revenue of 366.4 mln usd. Chartered plans to release second-quarter results on July 21. Chartered was down 0.05 sgd or 3.29 pct at 1.47 with 306,000 shares traded.

Stock Downgraded: Yellow Pages "hold" rating by SIAS Research!

SIAS Research said it has lowered its rating for telephone directory publisher Yellow Pages to 'hold', given the firm's limited domestic growth potential, while keeping its price target at 1.23 sgd per share. "Revenue from [its] Singapore phone directory continues to decline and we believe this trend will continue for at least another year or two, but at a slower rate, before stabilizing," SIAS said in a note to clients. "Although Internet Yellow Pages has been highlighted as the next growth driver for Yellow Pages, its overall contribution to its revenue is still small and therefore will not provide the needed boost for Yellow Pages growth rates in the short run," the brokerage said. At 10.17 am, Yellow Pages was flat at 1.15 sgd, with 115,000 shares traded.

Stock News: Tee Int secured 8 contracts worthed 15.52 mln!

Tee International Ltd said its units have secured eight contracts with a combined value of about 15.52 mln sgd. It said unit PBT Engineering Pte Ltd won the largest deal worth 11.33 mln sgd from SMRT Corp, while Trans Equatorial Engineering Pte Ltd was awarded four projects worth a total 3.39 mln sgd from various companies. Its other units Security Pro-Telco, Multi AMP Engineering Sdn Bhd and Nexfrontier Solutions Pte Ltd have also won one contract each valued at 243, 626 sgd in total. The new contracts bring to 57.25 mln sgd the value of outstanding orders for Tee's units here and in Malaysia. Tee said these orders will be recognized in the company's earnings for the year to May 2007.

Stock News: Techcoomp Holdings secured OEM agreement with NuAire!

Techcomp Holdings Ltd, a China-based manufacturer of medical laboratory instruments, said it has secured an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement from NuAire Inc, a leading designer and manufacturer of biological safety cabinets. Techcomp anticipates it will manufacture over 1,000 units of NuAire's biological safety cabinets when the first model commences serial production. The company also exclusively distributes NuAire's biological safety cabinets in the China. "The agreement further strengthens our position as a leading supplier in the rapid-growing area of medical research, health care laboratory, drug discovery and general scientific research," Techcomp president Lo Yat Keung said. "Demand from these sectors will drive our growth in the next few years," he added.

Stock News: Starhub proposed capital reduction exercise!

StarHub Ltd said it is proposing to return 2.13 sgd per share to shareholders, or a total of about 652 mln sgd, through a capital reduction exercise. It said the exercise will involve the cancellation of about 306 mln ordinary shares, or 14.3 pct of StarHub's issued share capital. "The directors of the company are of the view that the capital reduction exercise will allow the company and group to achieve a more efficient capital structure and return surplus capital to its shareholders," StarHub said in a disclosure to the Singapore Exchange. StarHub said the capital reduction will be funded by cash and possibly from drawdowns from its credit facilities. "StarHub will continue to review its capital structure in light of its cash flow trends, cash operating requirements and investment needs," StarHub president and chief executive officer Terry Clontz said in a statement. "We will make further adjustments to StarHub's capital structure when appropriate," he said. The proposed capital reduction is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. "Subject to these approvals, StarHub expects that shareholders will be paid the cash distribution from the capital reduction by end-September," the statement said.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Stock News: Mediaring offers to Pacific Internet may be rejected by shareholders!

MediaRing - Pacific Internet Ltd said its board has recommended that shareholders reject the offer by internet telephony provider MediaRing Ltd to buy the rest of the company for 8.25 usd per share. MediaRing, which holds a 4.86 pct stake in Pacific Internet, made the offer in February. Based on the advice of its financial adviser, BNP Paribas, Pacific Internet said that as an alternative to the MediaRing proposal, it is evaluating various options at maximizing shareholder value. Pacific Internet said it wants to remain as an independent entity and transform itself into an internet protocol (IP)-based communications and solutions provider over the next five years. It said it is also seeking merger and acquisition opportunities that can add value to the company. Despite the adverse recommendation by Pacific Internet's board, MediaRing said it remains committed to its offer. "We are disappointed that you have recommended that our cash tender offer be rejected. We believe that we have put a strong offer on the table for your shareholders," MediaRing said in a letter to the Pacific Internet board. "Our offer provides every shareholder with an opportunity to receive 8.25 usd net in cash per share, which represents a 27.7 pct premium over Pacific Internet's closing share price prior to our initial offer announcement," it said. "Shareholders will be able to realize their investment without having to wait for or take risk on the successful execution of your announced five-year business plan," it added.

Stock Buy Call: DElong by OCBC Investment research!

Delong Holdings Ltd may advance after OCBC Investment Research upgraded its rating on the stock to 'buy' from 'hold' on expectations of higher earnings this year because of rising steel prices. In a client note, OCBC said it raised its target price for Delong to 0.16 sgd from 0.13. "We have upgraded (our full-year) net profit forecast from 95.8 mln sgd to 110.7 mln on the back of firmer prices for hot rolled coils products. Our fair price target for Delong has been upgraded to 0.16 cents on a PER (price-to-earnings ratio) of 8 times, due to the positive fundamentals," OCBC said.

Stock Outperform Call: Mapletree by Daiwa!

Mapletree Logistics Ltd may gain after Daiwa Institute of Research raised its rating to "outperform" from "hold" with a price target of 1.08 sgd because it believes the recent selling of the stock was overdone. "We believe Mapletree has many inherent strengths, and that the current trading discount with its peers ignores Mapletree's overseas acquisition opportunities," Daiwa said. "Mapletree has been actively acquiring properties overseas, in many instances leveraging on its close ties with shipping and logistics multi-national corporations that are expanding their operations across Asia," it said.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Stock News: Oakwell Eng secured 20.5 mln contract!

Oakwell Engineering Ltd, which provides engineering and contracting services for the oil, gas, marine and electronics industries, said its subsidiary Oakwell Engineering International Pte Ltd has secured a 20.5 mln sgd contract to build a mid-ship section for the vessel "Queen of the Netherlands". The project will start next month and is expected to be completed in 13 months, it said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

Stock News: DMX secured 2.64 mln usd contracts!

DMX Technologies Group Ltd said it has won two contracts worth a total of 2.64 mln usd from PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel), an Indonesian wireless telecommunications service provider. Under one contract worth 1.6 mln usd, DMX unit PT Packet Systems Indonesia will enhance the availability of Telkomsel's IP/MPLS backbone network. Another contract, worth 1.04 mln usd, is for Packet Systems Indonesia to build new Telkomsel telecommunications centers as part of its expansion plans. "This is where DMX expertise in digital infrastructure comes in to help service providers such as Telkomsel to meet not only their current business needs, but also help to prepare them for future market demand," DMX CEO Giang Phung said in a statement.

Stock News: OCBC set aside 500 mln on share buy back program!

OCBC Bank said it is setting aside another 500 mln sgd to buy back shares, in line with its share purchase program. In a media release, OCBC said this will be the third time it is buying back 500 mln sgd worth of shares. Its second buyback program, which started last July, is nearly completed with 491 mln sgd utilized and 76 mln shares purchased as of May 30, it said. The new buyback program will start when the second program is completed. The shares will be bought from the normal trading and odd lots counters depending on market conditions. OCBC, which intends to hold the shares in its treasury, plans to use the shares for various purposes such as funding employee share incentive schemes.

Stock Earnings: link Hi Holdings net profit up 93%!

China-based precision tube maker Link Hi Holdings Ltd said its net profit for the year to March rose 93 pct to 18.76 mln yuan on the back of strong steel tubing sales. Its overall tubing sales for the period rose 26.1 pct year-on-year to 241. 80 mln yuan. "The increase was mainly due to an increase in sales of steel tubing to the non-automotive industry of about 69.8 mln yuan," Link Hi said in a statement. The company added that contributions from exports to overseas markets rose to 16 pct for the year from 0.03 pct previously. The company said it is optimistic about its manufacturing businesses due to growth in the automobile, oil and gas and manufacturing equipment sectors. "Barring unforeseen circumstances, our directors believe that our group will remain profitable for the year to March 2007," it said.

Link Hi Holdings Ltd's year to March results:
Sales - 241.80 mln yuan vs 191.79 mln
Pretax profit - 18.76 mln yuan vs 14.45 mln
Net profit - 18.76 mln yuan vs 9.72 mln
EPS - 0.1876 yuan vs 0.0972

Stock News: Cosco Corp secured contracts worth 114.7 mln usd!

COSCO Corp (Singapore) Ltd may advance after its unit COSCO Shipyard Group secured several contracts totalling 114.7 mln usd. "The high-yielding ship repair, conversion and offshore marine engineering projects we have secured will contribute positively to group revenue and profitability in the current financial year," company president Ji Hai Sheng said.

Stock News: Keppel Vorp secured 96 mln contract!

Keppel Corp said its unit Keppel Offshore & Marine has secured a contract worth 96 mln sgd from Maersk Contractors for the conversion of a tanker to a floating production storage offloading (FPSO) facility. The tanker, a very large crude carrier called Ellen Maersk, will arrive at Keppel's shipyard in early 2007 and the conversion work is expected to be completed by early 2008. The FPSO, which will be capable of producing 120,000 barrels of oil per day, will be leased to Woodside Energy of Australia, it said.