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Stocks to watch: Noble, Centurion, Global Invacom, Pacific Radiance, Banyan Tree, StarHub, Sheng Siong
NOBLE Group halted the trading of its shares on Thursday after Iceberg Research launched its second litany of allegations against the commodity group, saying that Noble's profits are overstated as Noble books fair-value gains on long-term offtake agreements it has with its suppliers upfront.
It also highlighted that the fair value of unrealised commodity contracts (mark-to-market) which are related to its long-term offtake agreements is too high and needs to be written down.
It added that Noble's operating cash flows are weak and the reported operating cash flows are inflated as it excludes interest expenses and includes cash balances with futures brokers not immediately available for use in the business operations.
Centurion Corp reported on Thursday that its net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014, soared to S$72.97 million, thanks to a major boost from the fair-value gain on its investment properties.
The accommodation provider generated S$26.11 million in revenue during the quarter, up 74 per cent from a year ago, boosted in part by maiden revenue from its four newly acquired student accommodation assets in the United Kingdom, as well as an increase in capacity of its workers accommodation.
Satellite equipment provider Global Invacom on Thursday reported a 36.5 per cent slump in net profit to US$5.1 million for financial year 2014, dragged down by higher administrative expenses.
Revenue rose 15.9 per cent to US134.1 million, on increased orders from a major US customer, recognition of contribution from an acquisition made in November 2013, and contribution from two months trading of its latest acquisition, OnePath Networks (trading as Foxcom), in Israel.
Pacific Radiance, which provides offshore marine services in Asia, reported on Thursday that its net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014, fell 69 per cent to US$5.05 million, compared to US$16.37 million a year ago.
This was due to lower gross profit from its subsea and offshore support services due to the softer market conditions during the quarter.
Revenue fell 12 per cent to US$37.21 million, from US$42.38 million a year ago.
Banyan Tree said on Thursday a gain on revaluation of its investment properties in Seychelles helped its net profit increase 13 per cent to S$4.13 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014.
This was despite a 6 per cent drop in revenue to S$91.83 million, which was a result of lower contribution from architectural and design fees from China projects, and less revenue from hotel operations. The latter were affected by the slowdown of the European market, especially Russia, due to the sharp depreciation of the rouble and weak Russian economy.
StarHub on Wednesday evening posted a 10 per cent increase in quarterly net profit to S$94.2 million, on the back of a 5 per cent rise in revenue to S$647.4 million, led largely by higher sales of the new iPhones launched last September and growth in mobile services.
Higher operating profit margins led to grocery chain Sheng Siong reporting a net profit of S$11.8 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014, up 26.5 per cent from S$9.3 million a year ago, it said on Wednesday evening.
Revenue rose 4.7 per cent to S$178.4 million, from S$170.4 million a year ago.