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Will Venture Corp take another hit as customer guides for lower growth?

SINGAPORE (July 15): Shares in electronics manufacturer Venture Corporation have fallen a long way since April last year, when it dived spectacularly after a steady two-year climb.

Venture’s stock price broke through a previous high of $10.00 in January 2017, and streaked to a dizzying height of $28.82 in early April 2018 – threatening to break the psychological level of $30.00.

And then it all crumbled.

Two UK stocks identified as undervalued proxies to rising trend in online gambling

SINGAPORE (May 13): Two UK gambling-related stocks stood out during our recent stock filter to help identify growth stocks. Playtech, a developer and provider of software platforms for both online and land-based gambling operators, had a five-year compound annual growth rate for cash flow, net profit and revenue that was higher than its growth in price over a five-year period.

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Ascott REIT awaits inclusion into much-followed index as earnings profile changes

(Mar 25): Ascott Residence Trust’s (Ascott REIT) portfolio composition has changed subtly over the years. In 2015, for instance, China was its largest exposure, accounting for 17% of its portfolio by asset size, followed by Japan with 15.9% and Singapore at 13.3%. As at Dec 31, 2018, Singapore was the largest with 20.3%, followed by Japan at 12.8% and the US at 12.5%. In terms of gross operating profit (GOP, the equivalent of net property income), the US contributed 16.3%, followed by Japan with 13%, and France with 12%.

FEHT's full-year DPU rebounds for first time since IPO as Sentosa hotels open

(Mar 25): Far East Hospitality Trust (FEHT) reported a distribution per unit of four cents for FY2018, up 2.6% y-o-y. In 4QFY2018, DPU rose 3.1% y-o-y to one cent. This was the fourth consecutive quarter that DPU showed a y-o-y increase. Last year was the first time since the real estate investment trust’s IPO in 2012 that full-year DPU grew y-o-y (see chart). Last year’s DPU is still below the one recorded in 2016, but it appears likely to continue its glacial growth this year and next.

Great Eastern's FY2018 earnings underwhelm, company eyes Indonesia for growth, stock offers value

SINGAPORE (Feb 25): Great Eastern Holdings, 88%-owned by Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, reported a set of underwhelming FY2018 earnings compared with that in FY2017. Net profit fell 68% in 4QFY2018 to $136.9 million, from $426.8 million a year ago, mainly due to lower non-operating profit and shareholders' funds profit. FY2018 earnings came in at $740.7 million, 29% lower y-o-y.

Operating profit rose 5% y-o-y to $171.6 million in 4QFY2018 and 4% y-o-y to $625.3 million for FY2018.

Defensive utility stocks could ride infrastructure boom

SINGAPORE (Feb 18): Utility companies, which are usually deemed to be boring defensive stocks, could turn out to be sexy growth counters. This is because the growing demand for better infrastructure and amenities on the back of the population growth and rising affluence in Asia-Pacific is leading to the implementation of new utility projects in the region.

Japfa milks profits from its dairy business

SINGAPORE (Dec 7): Japfa, an agri-food company that is focused on feeding Asia’s emerging market population, has seen its share price rise 43.14% year to date, compared with a decline of 8.2% in the Straits Times Index.

Investor interest and demand for its products are driven by the need for more protein from the rising middle class in the region. As such, Japfa’s shares are seen as a proxy to rising food demand in Asia.

In 3Q18, the group’s sales, margins and profit showed marked improvement.

Keppel Corp focuses on property as it awaits O&M upturn; M1 acquisition to boost earnings

SINGAPORE (Oct 22): Keppel Corp — once the world’s largest jack-up rig manufacturer — is taking a few steps to boost its earnings independently of the oil price rebound and a possible recovery in the global offshore and marine (O&M) sector. For the past 2½ years, Keppel has had to lean on its property sector under Keppel Land to underpin earnings.

6 Asian equity picks for 2018: HSBC

SINGAPORE (Dec 8): HSBC is expecting the relatively robust cement demand recovery in Indonesia to continue into 2018, with the country’s utilisation set to rise even with sub-optimal property demand growth – while the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) industry could peak its return-on-equity (ROE) cycle in the year ahead.

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