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Stocks to watch: Sembcorp Industries, First Ship Lease Trust, POSH

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Sembcorp Industries, First Ship Lease Trust and PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH) all released their results after the market closed on Wednesday.

WEIGHED down by oil-and-gas exposure in its marine business, Sembcorp Industries' net profit for the first quarter fell 25 per cent year on year to S$107 million. Its bottom line was also hit by a spike in finance costs, which more than doubled to S$86.2 million from S$31.2 million mainly due to its utilities business in India as well as higher bank borrowings for its marine business.

Earnings per share came to 5.45 Singapore cents, down 30 per cent from 7.83 cents.

Gross profit fell 6.9 per cent from a year ago to S$269 million, dragged down by weaker operations linked to rig building projects. Its share of net profit from SembMarine fell 48 per cent to S$33.5 million. This was offset in part by a slight lift in earnings on its utilities business, which contributed 72 per cent of the group's net profit.

FIRST Ship Lease Trust's net profit fell 55.1 per cent to US$2.3 million in the first quarter of 2016 after incurring a US$4.2 million loss from the sale of two panamax vessels. Earnings dropped to 0.36 US cent per share for the three months ended March, from 0.77 US cent in the corresponding quarter a year earlier.

Income available for distribution increased by 70.8 per cent to US$5.4 million - but the trust will continue to retain all of those profits as it did a year ago - and revenue grew 7.6 per cent to US$26.7 million.

OFFSHORE marine services provider PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH) turned in a stronger performance for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, reporting a net profit of US$4.5 million for the period, compared with a net profit of just US$21,000 the year before. This came on the back of a 2 per cent growth in revenue to US$58.7 million this year. Revenue growth was driven by its offshore accommodation business division which offset lower contributions from other divisions.

POSH's gross profit grew 76 per cent year-on-year to US$14 million as cost of sales fell 10 per cent to US$44.7 million. Meanwhile, its share of joint ventures' results improved to a profit of US$4.9 million, from a loss of US$1.3 million the year before.