SINGAPORE (Aug 29): OCBC is maintaining its “buy” on Wing Tai with an unchanged target of $2.37 for its compelling valuation and healthy balance sheet which positions it in a position to benefit from firmer conditions in the domestic housing sector.

In 4Q17, Wing Tai’s PATMI surged fivefold to $9.5 million mostly due to a positive lift from taxes and higher share of profits from associates and JVs.

However, operating profit worsened to a $12.9 million loss in 4Q17 due to lower contributions from property development, although this was partially mitigated by a higher share of profits from Wing Tai Properties in Hong Kong.

4Q17 revenues fell 58% y-o-y to $58.6 million from $140.7 million due to lower development contributions. Over the financial year, the group also recognised progressive sales from The Tembusu and the additional units sold in Le Nouvel Ardmore in Singapore and Verticas Residences in Malaysia.

“Full year FY17 PATMI amounted to $20.1 million, which translates to a 184% y-o-y increase, and is broadly within our expectations,” says lead analyst Eli Lee in a Tuesday report.

A total dividend of 6.0 cents -- 3 cents first and final dividend and 3 cents special dividend -- has been proposed, unchanged from the previous year.

Together with Keppel Land, Wing Tai was recently jointly awarded the tender for a 99-year leasehold residential site at Serangoon North Ave 1 with a top bid of $446.3 million or $965 psf ppr to develop over 600 units for the redevelopment.

In China, Wing Tai also launched Phase 1 of Malaren Gardens in Shanghai where more than 90% of the 189 units launched has been sold.

To recap, Wing Tai made a voluntary unconditional cash offer for Wing Tai Malaysia (WTM) in May. It will proceed to delist WTM after holding 96.75% of the voting shares at the final closing date, which triggered the compulsory acquisition threshold.

As at 2.41pm, shares in Wing Tai are trading at $2.12.