SINGAPORE (Mar 2): RHB is downgrading its recommendation on HRnetGroup to “neutral” from “buy” with a lowered target price of 61 cents from 81 cents previously, as the headwinds are further intensified by effects of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

This came in despite the group on Feb 27 recording a 7.1% increase in its FY19 earnings to $51.6 million, compared to $48.2 million in FY18. Revenue for the full year ended December 2019 was however 1.3% lower y-o-y at $423.1 million.

In a Monday report, analyst Jarick Seet says, “In our previous report, we highlighted that we expect Singapore hiring to be weak due to the tough macroeconomic environment. However, with the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, it should see further headwinds.”

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