IT was a mixed bag of results from companies announcing their earnings on Thursday night and Friday morning, and investors are likely to take their cue from this in moribund trade.
Financial results of Frasers Centrepoint Ltd (FCL), and United Overseas Bank (UOB) provided positive spins for Friday trading.
FCL marked a 55 per cent jump in its net profit for the fiscal first quarter ended Dec 31, 2014 to S$186.87 million as it enjoyed new income streams from the listing of a hospitality trust in July and the acquisition of Australand in August. Group revenue almost doubled to S$1.07 billion during the first quarter from S$552.12 million in the year-ago period.
THE UOB Group on Friday posted a 1.7 per cent increase in its net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014 to S$786 million on the back of broad-based growth across core income streams. This brings its full-year profit to S$3.25 billion, which marks a new full-year high and an increase of 8 per cent from a year ago. Asset quality stayed resilient with the non-performing loans (NPL) ratio stable at 1.2 per cent.
But investors were also greeted on Friday morning with Olam International's report of lower earnings in the fourth quarter than a year ago and a "trade with caution" warning on United Engineers from the Singapore Exchange (SGX).
Dragged by higher expenses and a loss in share of results from jointly controlled entities and associates, Olam International's net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014 fell 12 per cent to S$118.7 million. Excluding exceptional items, operational profit after tax and minority interest (Patmi) for Q4 2014 slipped 18.5 per cent to S$105.1 million. With the exception of "Confectionery & Beverage Ingredients", other business segments chalked up declines in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) during the quarter.
United Engineers was issued a "trade with caution" note from the SGX on Friday in view of the substantial 7.52 per cent increase in its share price on Thursday. This followed a third query from the SGX on unusual trading activities in the shares of United Engineers in the past six months.
The company responded to the SGX, saying that other than its earlier disclosures on the discussions that its controlling shareholders have on possible transactions relating to their combined stakes in United Engineers and WBL Corporation Ltd, it was not aware of any other reason for its share price movements.