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Stocks to watch: Great Eastern, First Sponsor, SembMarine, Cosco

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AS more Singapore-listed companies release their quarterly earnings reports this week, investors here are finding a mixed bag of news to chew on, setting the stage for moribund trading.

Among those that put up sterling reports was First Sponsor, an associate of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc.

It achieved a 13.1 per cent growth in net profit to S$19.33 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30 on the back of higher development income. Revenue during the quarter grew 11.5 per cent to S$80.35 million due mainly to higher revenue from sale of properties of S$16.8 million, which was partially offset by a decrease in revenue from property financing of S$8.6 million.

Great Eastern Holding also reported on Wednesday a surge in net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30 to S$195 million from S$68.4 million a year ago due to higher operating profits and favourable financial market conditions. Its bottom line was underpinned by higher profits from its insurance business and shareholders' fund's investments.

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But the troubled oil and gas sector continues to dole out negative news.

Rigbuilder Sembcorp Marine fell into the red for its third quarter, recording a net loss of S$21.8 million compared with net profit of S$32.1 million in the previous year, the group said on Tuesday evening. For the three months ended Sept 30, revenue fell 21.4 per cent to S$888 million from the year-ago period.

Ahead of its Q3 results scheduled on Nov 11, Shipbuilder Cosco Corporation (Singapore) warned shareholders to expect a worse set of results for its third quarter ended Sept 30, 2016, after the net loss of S$82 million a year ago. The expected higher net loss is mainly attributable to cancellations of several orders as well as several offshore projects having experienced delivery extensions resulting in lower revenue recognition, higher construction costs and increases in provisions, Cosco said.

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