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Stocks to watch: SingPost, Frasers Hospitality Trust, Ascendas Hospitality Trust, OSIM, Cogent


THE following stocks released material announcements either before the start of trading on Friday or after the market closed on Thursday.

Singapore Post (SingPost): In response to a query from the Singapore Exchange, SingPost said on Friday that it was not aware of any information that could be responsible for the unusual trading activity which caused its stock to lose 6.5 per cent on Thursday. However, it cited market reaction to a letter published in The Business Times on Jan 28, "SingPost saga: Untenable for PwC to stay on as special auditor", as a possible reason. The counter closed at a 22-month low of S$1.30 on Thursday, after a 4.5 per cent fall on Wednesday.

Frasers Hospitality Trust (FHT): FHT reported on Thursday a distribution per stapled security (DPS) of 1.72 cents for the first quarter ended Dec 31, 2015, boosted by full contributions from Sofitel Sydney Wentworth which was acquired in July last year. This represented a 7.5 per cent increase from an estimated DPS of 1.6 cents for the same period last year based on a pro-rata basis for comparative purpose.

FHT achieved an estimated 16.2 per cent growth in gross revenue to S$31.38 million and an estimated 16.9 per cent increase in net property income (NPI) to S$26.33 million for the fiscal first quarter, on the back of a strong performance by its Japan and Australian properties.

Ascendas Hospitality Trust: Ascendas Hospitality Trust reported on Thursday a distribution per stapled security (DPS) of 1.45 Singapore cents for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2015, up from 1.3 cents in the corresponding period a year earlier.

Gross revenue slid 9.5 per cent year-on-year to S$54.9 million, while net property income dropped 9.3 per cent to S$23.4 million.

This was mainly due to the loss of income from Pullman Cairns International which was divested in June 2015, and lower contribution from Pullman and Mercure Brisbane King George Square due to the lack of large-scale events, compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

Income available for distribution rose 17.6 per cent to S$17 million. This was largely attributed to absence of costs related to the unwinding of a cross currency swap this quarter, as well as the inclusion of a portion of proceeds from the divestment of the Cairns Hotel.

OSIM International: Against the backdrop of a slower retail environment, lifestyle products group OSIM International reported on Thursday a net profit of just S$9 million for its seasonally strong fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2015, down 66 per cent from S$27 million a year ago.

Lower profits were also due to a one-off S$5.6 million loss from the closing down of underperforming nutrition subsidiary ONI Australia, and legal fees of S$3.4 million related to luxury tea segment TWG Tea.

For the fourth quarter, revenue fell 5 per cent to S$169 million from S$178 million a year ago. For the entire year of 2015, revenue fell 10 per cent year-on-year to S$620 million, while net profit halved to S$51 million. Earnings per share for 2015 was 6.8 cents, down from 13.4 cents in 2014.

A final dividend of two cents a share was proposed, unchanged from a year ago.

Cogent Holdings: Logistics group Cogent Holdings said on Friday that its board is currently reviewing the business and operations of the group to evaluate indications of interest received periodically. This was in response to a Jan 28 article by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) which said that Cogent's controlling shareholders are seeking buyers for the listed firm in a deal that could be worth more than S$400 million. According to the WSJ, which quoted sources familiar with the situation, Cogent's bankers have released information on the business and its assets to prospective bidders to boost interest in the auction.

"The company has from time to time received indications of interest relating to the group and its businesses. There is no certainty that any transaction will materialise from the current process," Cogent added in a release to the Singapore Exchange.

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