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  1. #21
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    foolish takeaway

    Foolish takeaway

    To buy and hold a company’s shares for the long-term also means the need to keep up with developments in the firm.

    18 August 2015 Straco Corporation Ltd’s Latest Earnings: What Investors Should Know By Hui Leong Chin
    Straco Corporation Ltd (SGX: S85) released its fiscal second-quarter earnings report last Friday. The reporting period was for 1 April 2015 to 30 June 2015.

    Straco is an owner and operator of tourism assets in China and Singapore. In China, the company has the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium (SOA), Underwater World Xiamen, and Lintong Lixing Cable Car attractions under its umbrella. As for Singapore, Straco had bought a majority stake in the iconic Singapore Flyer late last year.


    You can catch the firm’s first-quarter earnings here. You can also read more about Straco in here and here.


    Financial highlights


    The following’s a quick rundown on the latest figures from Straco:

    1. Revenue for the second-quarter rose by a zippy 49.4% year-on-year to $29.4 million.
    2. Meanwhile, profit attributable to shareholders jumped by 25.6% compared to the same quarter last year.
    3. Consequently, Straco’s earnings per share (EPS) expanded by 24.5% from 0.98 Singapore cents in the second-quarter of 2014 to 1.22 cents in the reporting quarter.
    4. Cash flow from operations came in at $14.8 million with capital expenditures coming in at $1.1 million. The low capex gave the tourism asset operator a healthy $13.7 million in positive free cash flow for the reporting quarter. These figures also represent solid growth from a year ago when Straco had cash flow from operations, capital expenditures, and free cash flow of $10.1 million, $216,000, and $9.9 million, respectively.
    5. As of 30 June 2015, the firm had $108.8 million in cash and equivalents and $79.9 million in borrowings. This gives a net cash position of $28.9 million. This is an improvement from the net cash position of $19.1 million that Straco had at the end of 2014.

    In all, Straco’s revenue continues to benefit compared to the previous year partly as a result of new sales flowing in from the Singapore Flyer (more on these shortly). Meanwhile, the positive free cash flow generated by Straco had helped it to facilitate a $10.8 million reduction in debt from the previous sequential quarter.


    Operational highlights


    The revenue increase for the reporting quarter was supported by higher receipts from the SOA and new contributions from the Singapore Flyer.


    Straco managed to enjoy a near-20% year-on-year jump in overall visitor arrivals to 1.23 million for the reporting quarter. That looks great, but investors must also be aware that the year-on-year increase is not an apples-to-apples comparison; the Singapore Flyer was not part of Straco’s portfolio in the second-quarter of 2014.


    Straco’s Executive Chairman Wu Hsioh Kwang had given the following important comments in the earnings release regarding the firm’s reporting quarter:


    “The acquisition of the Singapore Flyer has contributed positively to our Group’s performance. SOA continued to achieve positive growth in revenue and profit in the second quarter, while Underwater World Xiamen (“UWX”) performance continued to be hit by falling visitor numbers resulting from the changes in ferry regulations since last October and restriction on daily visitor numbers to Gulangyu Island…


    …Since April this year, we have extended the operating hours of UWX to mitigate the effects of falling visitor numbers. At Singapore Flyer, we have strengthened our marketing team with new hires to improve sales; we will also continue to streamline processes, eliminate wastages and improve operational leverage to enhance profitability.”


    Looking ahead, Straco believes it’s able to enjoy a number of tailwinds. Here’s what the tourism asset owner has to say on the topic in the earnings release:


    “On the tourism sector, the China National Tourism Administration reported that China’s tourism expenditure grew 14.5% year-on-year to RMB1.65 trillion in the first half of 2015, while investment in the national tourism industry grew 28% to RMB301.8 billion.


    It is expected that the industry will continue to enjoy high growth as China enters a new economic phase through reforms and consumers shift towards service consumption.


    In Singapore, the outlook of the tourism sector remains good. In a recent media release, Singapore Tourism Board will be collaborating with Singapore Airline and Changi Airport Group on a two-year partnership to promote inbound travel to Singapore.


    The three parties will jointly invest $20 million to promote the Singapore experience to leisure, business, and MICE audiences in more than 15 markets worldwide.”


  2. #22
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    Foolish take away

    Foolish take away

    At its closing price yesterday of $0.97, Straco traded at around 19.4 times its trailing earnings and has a dividend yield of 2.1% thanks to its annual dividend of S$0.02 per share in 2014.

    18 August 2015 Hot Stock Noble up 5.5% on news that it may sell core businesses SINGAPORE (Aug 18): Shares in Noble Group rose by as much as 5.5%, a day after its CEO said that the commodities trader is open to selling its core businesses.
    By 9.40am, Nobles shares had risen 4.4% to 47.5 cents, with some 15.3 million shares traded, making it the second most active counter on the bourse.
    On Monday, Yusuf Alireza said at the company's investor information day that Noble was evaluating a number of options both internally in terms of shutting down certain businesses, and externally such as working with banks and strategic investors. He did not specify what businesses he was referring to as core.
    Noble, already under pressure in a weak commodities market, hit the spotlight in February when blogger Iceberg Research alleged the company was inflating its assets by billions of dollars by not fairly representing the value of its commodity contracts. Noble has rejected the claims, and the board-appointed consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers found no wrongdoing in a report published this month. But there is still some uncertainty on the company's unrealised commodity contracts, or mark-to-market.

  3. #23
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    18 August 2015 Hot Stock Lizhong Wheel

    18 August 2015 Hot Stock Lizhong Wheel surges 94% after major shareholder launches offer for firm SINGAPORE (Aug 18): Shares in Lizhong Wheel Group rose by as much as 94% in early trading, a day after its major shareholder launched a voluntary cash offer for the aluminium alloy wheel maker for 50 cents each.
    The offer was made by Berkley International, an investment holding firm owned by Tianjin Dong An Brothers which in turn is owned by Li Zhong Investment - the investment vehicle of the Zang family that owns 64.23% of Lizhong Wheel.
    At 9.10am, the counter was up 92% or 23.5 cents at 49 cents. The stock was among the top three gainers on the bourse, with some 906,000 shares changing hands.
    Li Zhong Investment and two other shareholders have executed irrevocable undertakings in favour of the offer with the undertaking shareholders, as at the date of the announcement of the offer, representing 66.77% of the total issued shares.

  4. #24
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    18 August 2015 YuuZoo buys

    18 August 2015 YuuZoo buys “key assets” of Chinese mobile game developer SINGAPORE (Aug 18): YuuZoo Corp has acquired "key assets" of China-based mobile game developer Camigo Media LLC that include user data for over 26 million users, 11 leading mobile games and the Camigo brand.
    Camigo is a developer and distributor of mobile games there, founded by Chinese celebrity Wilber Pan and two other partners in 2010.
    YuuZoo says it will make full payment via YuuZoo shares, which represents less than half of 1% of the issued shares of the social e-commerce solutions provider.
    YuuZoo says the mobile games it acquired includes the bestselling game MeWantBamboo, which has reached over one million downloads in the week of its launch.
    It says it will also benefit from Camigo’s distribution and payment relationships that include China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, DoMob, LiMei and AliPay.
    Shares in YuuZoo ended down 1.4 cents or 8.1% at 16 cents on Monday.

  5. #25
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    18 August 2015 SATS cashes

    18 August 2015 SATS cashes in on e-commerce boom with new SingPost freight handling deal A new automated facility will be launched.
    Ground handling services provider SATS has inked a new commercial agreement with SingPost to tap the region’s booming e-commerce market.
    Under the agreement, SATS will unveil a 6,000-square metre automated facility to provide airmail consignment handling services to SingPost.
    The facility will be located at SATS Airfreight Terminal 1 within the Changi Airfreight Centre. SingPost will be its anchor customer.
    SATS will become the first ground handler in the world to own such an airside facility. Under the terms of the agreement, SingPost will outsource its airport consignment operations located at Changi Airmail Transit Centre 2 (ATC2) to SATS when its lease at ATC2 expires in end-2016.
    This collaboration will result in the integration of both SATS’ and SingPost’s airmail consignment operations under one roof.
    The integration will enable single scanning and sorting, and remove the need to tow consignments such as mail and parcel bags as well as pallets between facilities.
    When fully operational, SATS eCommerce AirHub is expected to achieve a productivity gain of more than 30%.

  6. #26
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    18 August 2015 OCBC chooses Sing dollars for first Additional Tier 1 bonds

    18 August 2015 OCBC chooses Sing dollars for first Additional Tier 1 bonds SINGAPORE — Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation has kicked off bookbuilding on its first Basel III-compliant Additional Tier 1 issue, which is expected to generate keen interest.
    The non-cumulative, non-convertible perpetual with a call at year five is being marketed at a guidance of 4 per cent area.
    The bonds will be rated A3/BBB-/BBB, way below the issuer's ratings of Aa1/AA-/AA-.
    There is a reset to a new fixed rate equal to the five-year Singapore dollar SOR plus the initial spread.
    The trigger event will be when either the Monetary Authority of Singapore notifies the bank that a write-off is necessary or the MAS decides on a public sector injection of capital. When this happens, a partial or full writedown will be imposed on the bondholders.
    OCBC is sole bookrunner and will be joint lead manager with Citi and JP Morgan.
    Pricing is expected as early as today. Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. REUTERS

  7. #27
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    18 August 2015 More earnings misses than hits in Q2: UOB Kay Hian

    18 August 2015 More earnings misses than hits in Q2: UOB Kay Hian IT was "another reporting season to forget", was how the Q2 2015 UOB Kay Hian Report Card released on Tuesday described the second-quarter earnings period.
    The report said results in Q2 2015 continued to be lacklustre, with 39 per cent of the results from companies under its coverage missing the mark (versus 42 per cent in Q1).
    There was just a slight cheer with the number of hits rising to 15 per cent in Q2, compared with 6 per cent in Q1, which was a low since 2009.
    Regarding bottom lines, UOB Kay Hian said: "Most sectors continued to suffer earnings contractions, with significant cuts seen in aviation, oil services and shipyards.
    "Following the weak set of results in 2Q15, we have cut our 2015 market EPS (earnings per share) growth forecast to 1.1 per cent (previously 7.4 per cent) and largely maintain our 2016 forecast at 10.2 per cent. Consensus forecasts remain on the downtrend."
    Companies' top-lines also remained under pressure, while margins trended lower in 2015, it said.
    "We have lowered our top-line forecasts across all sectors under our coverage. Other than banks, which enjoyed a slight uptick in Q2 turnover adjustments, all other sectors saw downgrades in revenue forecasts, with significant declines seen in oil services and supply chains.
    "As for margins, EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margins in Q2 declined slightly to 6.5 per cent from 6.9 per cent."
    In the banking sector, both DBS and OCBC exceeded market forecasts in Q2.
    Among telcos, StarHub was ahead of Singtel and M1 due to lower handset subsidies.
    Oil services (with the exception of Pacific Radiance) were unsurprisingly weak in Q2, with shipyards reporting a mixed set of results.
    In the property sector, both CapitaLand's and City Developments' results were below expectations due to timing issues, while most Reits performed in line with expectations.
    In the transport sector, ComfortDelGro delivered a solid set of results, recording broad-based revenue growth across its bus, rail and taxi segments, while SMRT's Q1 results were disappointing as train operations were loss-making and costs stayed high.
    Overall, UOB Kay Hian finds the Straits Times Index's (STI) 2016 price-to-earnings ratio of 12.8 times "inexpensive", but the environment remains "volatile (with a) lack of catalysts".
    "With pressure on top lines and margins likely to persist for the rest of the year, we foresee that the STI will be range-bound," it said.

  8. #28
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    18 August 2015 Norwegian fund excludes Genting, Daewoo, Posco and IJM over palm oil

    18 August 2015 Norwegian fund excludes Genting, Daewoo, Posco and IJM over palm oil [OSLO] Norway's gigantic sovereign wealth fund announced on Monday it was divesting from four large Asian companies over the environmental damage their palm oil activities have on tropical forests.
    The world's largest public investment fund, managing 7.15 trillion kroner (S$1.22 trillion), said its decision to exclude four groups - including South Korean group Daewoo International - from its portfolio was based on "an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage" from their conversion of tropical forests to cultivate palm oil.
    Daewoo, South Korean steelmaker Posco and Malaysian groups Genting and IJM were targeted in the divestment decision by Norway's central bank, which manages the wealth fund that owns around 1.3 per cent of all stocks on global equity markets, with stakes in about 9,000 companies.
    The fund manages its investments according to strict ethical guidelines that have previously led it to exclude around 60 companies from its holdings, including Airbus, Boeing, Safran, Philip Morris and Wal-Mart.
    Under the guidelines, it must avoid investments in groups accused of serious violations of human rights, child labour or serious environmental damage, as well as manufacturers of "particularly inhumane" arms and tobacco firms.
    The decisions by the fund - which draws investment money from Norway's huge oil revenues, a fact that hasn't escaped some detractors - are frequently replicated by other international investors concerned about ethical perceptions of their holdings.
    Palm oil - used primarily in the cosmetics, food, and bio-fuel sectors - is a controversial industry, with campaigns mounted by environmental groups and consumers.
    Daewoo fell afoul of the fund's managers for its 85-per cent stake in an Indonesian company accused of clearing large swathes of the country's tropical forest for palm oil cultivation.
    At the end of 2014 the fund owned 0.91 per cent of Posco worth US$198 million at the end of 2014, and 0.28 per cent of Daewoo valued at US$9 million.
    Its 0.4-per cent stake in Genting was worth around US$41 million, and its 1.6-per cent position in IJM was worth US$46 million.
    Independently of the ethical guidelines, the fund has in recent years put increasing emphasis on environmental issues in its investments, noting that problems such as deforestation and water management can affect a company's financial viability.
    In early 2012, it pulled out of 23 palm oil producers, without naming them.
    Indonesia and Malaysia together account for about 80 per cent of global production, though the industry is growing rapidly in Africa.
    In order to improve practices, palm oil producers, distributors and non-governmental organisations in 2004 created the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an association whose charter bars producers from clearing old-growth forests or other conservation sites for cultivation.
    Neither Daewoo nor Posco are members of RSPO. Palm oil represents only a small fraction of Daewoo's and Posco's overall businesses.
    "This is a sign that the fund takes the issue very seriously," said Nils Hermann Ranum of campaign group Rainforest Foundation Norway.
    Genting and IJM are RSPO members but have been accused of not respecting its guidelines and not being transparent enough.
    "This shows that RSPO is archaic when it comes to environmental certification," Ranum said.
    "If it still wants to be taken seriously, it needs to tighten up its regulations." Norway's pension fund is intended to pay for future generations in the welfare-state after the country's oil wells run dry. AFP

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    18 Aug 2015 10:59 CST DJ Noble Group

    18 Aug 2015 10:59 CST DJ Noble Group Could Use a Little More Transparency, Says CEO -- Market Talk 0259 GMT [Dow Jones] Yusuf Alireza, chief executive of commodities trader Noble Group (N21.SG) acknowledged at an "investor day" in Singapore that the company must implement recommendations by PricewaterhouseCoopers made in a review of the firm's accounting. He said the review was positive for Noble, but that the company would address PwC's recommendations regarding transparency and consistency in its accounting. "One of the things that came out of the PwC review is that a suggestion that the right way of looking at things is: let's say we are looking at a company and that company has a published production schedule. What we would have done in the past is not take that company's production schedule, we would have taken our reserved assumption around that production schedule as our base case. What is important about transparency is to first start with the published production schedule and then to incorporate the reserves," he said.

  10. #30
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    Market Talk

    18 Aug 2015 10:53 CST DJ What to Know From Noble Group's Investor Day, Part Two -- Market Talk 0249 GMT [Dow Jones] Noble Group (N21.SG) rounded off its investor day in Singapore with a press conference, the first opportunity for members of the media to ask questions. The takeaways: Noble confirmed news reports that it had hired dealmaker Michael Klein, a former investment banker, as a consultant to assess investment options for the firm. Mr. Klein was at the investor day. Noble also clarified that recent statements it made about being approached by parties seeking investment options referred to strategic investors, among others, not just banks and consultants pitching business. Noble chief executive Yusuf Alireza said the company's focus going forward would be on consolidation of the business. "There are times when you should focus on growth and investing and there are other times when you focus on consolidation. Currently our focus will be on consolidation. It will be deleveraging or starving businesses that are not delivering returns...and supporting the businesses that are delivering returns," he said. "Our focus will be on the immediate results and immediate cash flow and to ensure that our balance sheet is managed to an investment grade rating."

 

 

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