Venture Corp, facing pressure from an ongoing slump in demand, recently bought back shares for the second time in a month as its share price reached a one-year low. On Aug 31, the blue-chip contract manufacturer acquired 25,000 shares on the open market for a total of $317,310.70 or $12.68 each.
Earlier this month on Aug 7, Venture acquired 100,000 shares at $13.92 each. This brings the total number of shares bought back under the current mandate to 125,000 shares, equivalent to 0.043% of the share base.
Before August, the most recent buybacks were made on March 3 when Venture acquired 40,000 shares at $16.92 each and Nov 30 last year when it acquired 11,000 shares at $17.20 each.
Venture’s significant shareholders have been in the market too. On Aug 30, Schroders acquired 2,100 shares for $27,300 or $13 each, bringing its stake to 17.45 million shares or 6% of the company. This follows a sale of 300 shares on Aug 23 for $4,008 or $13.36 each.
Separately, BlackRock on Aug 31 sold 635,111 shares for just over $8.33 million or $13.11 each, lowering its stake to 14.23 million shares, equivalent to 4.89% of the company.
On Aug 4, Venture reported earnings of $140 million for 1HFY2023 ended June, down 19.7% y-o-y from $174.3 million. Revenue in the same period was down 11.9% y-o-y to $1.58 billion. The company attributes the poorer showing to the high base last year and softening demand across most of its technology domains and customers’ inventory destocking.
Despite lower earnings, Venture has maintained its interim dividend at 25 cents per share, backed by healthy cash and equivalents of $895.6 million as at June 30, higher than the $812.6 million recorded as at Dec 31, 2022.
In its earnings commentary, Venture says it has taken steps to work on several new initiatives to drive revenue and profitability, and improve its working capital. These include working with customers and partners who are “de-risking” out of a geographic presence into Venture’s manufacturing sites as well as its supplier bases in Southeast Asia. By doing so, Venture expects to capture more market share quickly.
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Fund makes an XMH exit
Credence Capital on Aug 31 sold its entire stake of 20.92 million shares in XMH Holdings for $7.32 million or 35 cents each via a married deal.
Credence Capital, a fund managed by individuals including private investor Koh Boon Hwee, first invested in XMH back in May 2013 when it subscribed for $10 million worth of shares at 27.74 cents each. According to filings, some of the shares sold by Credence Capital were bought by Tan Tin Yeow, the chairman and managing director of XMH. According to filings, Tan made a series of transactions between Aug 29 and Sept 5, buying shares from both the open market and through married deals.
For example, on Aug 29 and Aug 31, Tan acquired 165,000 shares at 31 cents each on the open market and 5.23 million shares at 35 cents in a married deal respectively. Most recently on Sept 5, Tan acquired 348,700 shares at 35 cents each. He now has a total stake of 49.56%.
In 2HFY2023 ended April 30, marine engineering company XMH reported earnings of $2.9 million, up 49.2% y-o-y from $1.93 million. Revenue in the same period was up 83.1% y-o-y to $70.7 million. In line with higher earnings, XMH plans to pay a final dividend of 0.25 cents plus a special dividend of 1.25 cents.