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Stocks to watch: Singtel, First Sponsor, Jumbo, SATS, SunMoon

THE following companies saw new developments that may affect trading of their shares on Thursday:

Singtel: Lower contributions from its associates and NBN migration revenue in Australia, as well as intense competition in India, and a margin erosion in traditional carriage services dragged Singtel's third-quarter results. For the three months ended Dec 31, net profit fell 14.2 per cent to S$822.8 million, from S$959.2 million for the year-ago period. Earnings per share stood at 5.04 Singapore cent, down from 5.88 Singapore cents in the preceding year. Singtel shares closed flat at S$3.03 apiece on Wednesday.

First Sponsor: Mixed property developer First Sponsor Group on Thursday reported a 36.5 per cent rise in net profit to S$58.2 million for the fourth quarter from S$42.7 million a year ago. For the full year to Dec 31, the company garnered S$113 million in earnings, up 28 per cent from S$88 million the year before. Earnings per share (EPS) for the fourth quarter rose 32.7 per cent to 8.73 Singapore cents from 6.58 cents the year before. Meanwhile on a full-year basis, EPS was at 16.72 cents, up 22.9 per cent from 13.61 cents the year before. Shares for First Sponsor closed at S$1.23 on Wednesday evening, down 3.5 per cent or S$0.05.

Jumbo: Multi-dining concept food and beverage establishment Jumbo Group posted a 15.7 per cent improvement in its first quarter net profit at S$2.4 million. However, revenue of the Catalist-listed group dipped 1.5 per cent year on year from S$36 million to $35.5 million for the three months ended Dec 31, 2018. The decrease in revenue was due mainly to the closure of under-performing outlets in Singapore, Jumbo announced on Wednesday. Earnings per share for Q1 FY2019 was 0.4 Singapore cent, up from 0.3 Singapore cent for Q1 FY2018. Jumbo shared closed at S$0.395 apiece on Wednesday. 

SATS: SATS' third-quarter net profit rose 3.5 per cent to S$68.9 million, following growth in food solutions and gateway services, and higher contributions from its associates and joint ventures. The ground handler and in-flight catering services provider said its revenue for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 grew 5.5 per cent to S$464 million, on the back of increased volume growth in food solutions, with growth across all its core catering subsidiaries in Singapore, Japan and China. Sats shares closed up 2.47 per cent or S$0.12 at S$4.98, before the results were announced.

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SunMoon Food Company: A challenging and competitive operating environment continues to plague SunMoon, as it saw a net loss of S$1.85 million for the third quarter, widening its S$1.29 million loss from a year ago. The supplier of fruit products and fresh fruits mainly attributed those losses from its contributing operations to widened gross losses. Gross loss for the third quarter ending Dec 31, 2018, was S$456,000, about nine times the S$40,000 gross loss a year ago. SunMoon said that this was mainly due to seasonally low pricing of certain key products in China and the weakening of the Chinese yuan. SunMoon is on the Singapore Exchange's watch list. The counter closed unchanged at S$0.035 on Wednesday, before results were announced.

NetLink NBN Trust: Fibre network provider NetLink NBN Trust took a hit to third-quarter earnings from rising operation and maintenance, installation and staff costs, among other expenses, according to results out on Wednesday. Net profit was S$19.6 million for the three months to Dec 31, 2018, down by 9.4 per cent on the same period the year before, even as revenue grew by 6.7 per cent year on year, to S$89 million. The rise in income was on the back of more residential fibre connections, despite a lower monthly recurring charge, as well as more non-residential connections, where the monthly charge increased. NetLink NBN Trust closed flat at S$0.805, before the announcements.

Sunvic Chemical: The Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) has directed Sunvic Chemical to place the 384.6 million yuan (S$77.13 million) proceeds from a proposed sale of equity in an escrow account to be operated jointly by the company's independent directors. The amounts are not to be withdrawn till completion of investigations into two unauthorised corporate guarantees. The regulator is asking the mainboard-listed manufacturer of intermediate chemical products, pending the outcome of the investigations into the loans and circumstances of the purported unauthorised guarantees, to place in an escrow account the incoming proceeds of 384.6 million yuan from the proposed divestment of a 45 per cent equity interest in a joint venture. The counter was flat at 2.2 Singapore cents when it last traded on Jan 4.

Boustead Singapore: Boustead Singapore has reported S$145.6 million revenue for its third quarter, or a 43 per cent increase year on year. However, its net profit climbed at a slower pace of 12 per cent to S$8.7 million, mainly due to gross margin pressure, higher overhead expenses, share of losses of associated companies and joint ventures and higher income tax expense. The global infrastructure-related engineering services, geo-spatial technology and healthcare group's earnings per share was 1.8 Singapore cents for the quarter ended Dec 31, up from 1.5 Singapore cents in the preceding year. The counter closed at S$0.795 on Wednesday.

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