Stocks to watch: Nam Cheong, Vard, Blumont, ARA, Sim Lian

OFFSHORE marine group Nam Cheong, which reported its results early Tuesday morning, saw net profit more than double to RM126.29 million (S$48.68 million), up from RM58.69 million previously, for the third quarter ended Sept 30, on the back of higher revenue. Revenue surged 81 per cent to RM618.62 million as both its shipbuilding and vessel chartering businesses reported higher revenues. As the offshore and marine industry battles headwinds, the firm stressed that it operates in the highly resilient shallow water segment, which it deems "recession proof" due to the lower cost of oil production, compared to the deepwater segment.

VARD Holdings sank into the red with a net loss of 37 million Norwegian kroner (S$7.01 million) for the third quarter ended Sept 30, compared to a profit of 76 million kroner a year earlier, partly dragged down by higher costs. Revenue rose 18.5 per cent year on year to 2.81 billion kroner but the shipbuilder turned in an operating loss of 108 million kroner, against an operating profit of 72 million kroner, as costs and other operating expenses rose. The firm reported its results on Tuesday before the market opened.

BLUMONT turned in a net loss of S$13.48 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2014, in the absence of S$40.91 million net unrealised fair value gains on its financial assets previously. This is compared to a net profit of S$33.73 million a year ago. Meanwhile, revenue declined 38 per cent to S$779,000 from S$1.26 million over the same period. The firm reported its third-quarter results before the start of trading on Tuesday.

ARA Asset Management chalked up a 53 per cent increase in net profit to S$30.7 million for the third quarter as revenue jumped 60 per cent to S$52.8 million. The topline was boosted by higher recurrent management fees from Reits, as well as from fee contribution from acquisitions made by its Reits and private funds. Group chief executive John Lim expects that the firming up of the strategic partnership with The Straits Trading Company will also create another engine of growth for ARA. In October last year, STC bought a 20.1 per cent stake in ARA.

SIM Lian, which reported its results after the close of market on Monday, saw net earnings more than double to S$71.66 million for the first quarter ended Sept 30, due to strong revenue booking from property development projects. Group revenue surged to S$379.02 million, up from S$151.17 million, as revenue from property development more than doubled to S$297.23 million.


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