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Stocks to watch: FJ Benjamin, Great Eastern


THE following stocks made announcements that could affect trading on Friday morning:

Retailer FJ Benjamin on Thursday evening posted a net profit of S$1.24 million for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2014, up from S$586,000 in the corresponding quarter a year earlier.

This was despite revenue slipping 17 per cent to S$87.09 million, as the retail industry battled headwinds. Meanwhile, earnings per share grew to 0.22 Singapore cent, up from 0.10 cent.

The bottom line was boosted in part by higher share of results of associates/joint ventures, which came in at S$853,000 versus S$151,000 previously.

The counter last traded at S$0.15 on Wednesday.

Great Eastern Holdings on Friday morning posted a 25 per cent rise in net profit to S$207.8 million for the fourth quarter, thanks to higher mark-to-market gains and a growth in operating profit from the insurance business.

Gross premiums were 6 per cent higher at S$2.3 billion.

For the full year, the oldest insurance group in Singapore and Malaysia recorded a net profit of S$878.6 million, up 30 per cent from 2013, given more favourable market conditions last year.

Shares in Great Eastern closed at S$24.16 on Thursday, four cents lower from the previous session.