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Stocks to watch: UOB, OCBC, Sevak, HRnetGroup, Nordic Group

UOB posted a 7 per cent rise in net profit to S$916 million for the fourth quarter from a year ago, on the back of higher net interest income and a growth in loans, the bank announced on Friday morning before markets opened.

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

United Overseas Bank (UOB): UOB posted a 7 per cent rise in net profit to S$916 million for the fourth quarter from a year ago, on the back of higher net interest income and a growth in loans, the bank announced on Friday morning before markets opened. For the three months ended Dec 31, net interest income rose 10 per cent to S$1.61 billion led by an 11 per cent growth in loans. However, net interest margin dipped slightly to 1.8 per cent from 1.81 per cent a year ago. Earnings per share for the quarter stood at 2.15 Singapore cents, up from 1.98 Singapore cents in the year-ago period. Shares in UOB closed flat at S$25.98 on Thursday.

OCBC Bank: OCBC posted an 11 per cent decline in net profit to S$926 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 from 1.03 billion for the year-ago period. The group said results were dragged down by a fall in earnings contribution from Great Eastern Holdings (GEH), OCBC’s insurance arm. The bank has proposed a final dividend of 23 Singapore cents per share, up from 19 Singapore cents a year ago. The estimated total dividend payout will amount to S$1.82 billion, representing a dividend payout ratio of 40 per cent of the group’s core net profit in fiscal 2018. The counter last traded at S$11.57 apiece on Thursday. 

Sevak: IT solutions company Sevak will remain on the Singapore Exchange's (SGX) watch list until at least June 2019 after the market regulator deferred its review of the company's application to exit the list. In the meantime, SGX has granted Sevak a three-month extension on the original March 31, 2019 deadline for Sevak to cure its watch-list status, Sevak said in an announcement on Friday before the market opened. This means that Sevak will not be forced to delist while the review is being deferred. The counter last traded at S$3.71 apiece on Feb 20. 

HRnetGroup: Mainboard-listed recruitment firm HRnetGroup on Friday posted a 16.6 per cent rise in full-year net profit to S$48.2 million from S$41.3 million a year ago, as revenue grew 9.3 per cent to S$428.5 million. This translated to an earnings per share of 4.77 Singapore cents, up from 4.59 cents last year. HRnetGroup added that its revenue growth was partially due to acquisitions completed in the second half of the year. Shares in HRnetGroup closed at 78.5 Singapore cents apiece on Thursday, up 0.64 per cent, or 0.5 cent. 

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Nordic Group: Nordic Group has bagged several contracts totalling about S$12.9 million from new and repeat customers in the marine, oil and gas, petrochemical and infrastructure industries, the precision engineering and systems integration solutions provider said in a regulatory filing. Of the amount, around S$9.2 million were for capital projects from repeat customers, and about S$3.7 million were for maintenance services, of which S$3.4 million and S$0.3 million were from repeat and new customers respectively. Nordic's shares closed flat at S$0.35 on Thursday. 

Secura Group: Security provider Secura Group on Thursday reported a net profit for the 12 months to Dec 31, reversing the previous year's loss, with a lift from the absence of an impairment charge. Earnings came in at S$1.87 million for the period, according to results released on Thursday, compared with a net loss of S$1.78 million the year before. Revenue was steady, dipping 0.8 per cent to S$41.2 million. The counter last traded at S$0.061 apiece on Feb 18. 

Roxy-Pacific Holdings: Property group Roxy-Pacific Holdings on Thursday posted a 27 per cent year-on-year drop in net profit to S$5.93 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31. Meanwhile, revenue declined 29 per cent to S$30.83 million, mainly due to lower revenue from the property development segment owing to the absence of revenue recognition from Trilive following its TOP in June last year, as well as lower revenue from Straits Mansions following its TOP last October. Earnings per share for the quarter clocked 0.45 Singapore cent, a decline from 0.62 cent a year ago. Roxy-Pacific shares closed unchanged at S$0.42 on Thursday.

Hi-P International: Mainboard-listed contract manufacturer Hi-P International plans to diversify its customer base and keep expanding outside of China, as various challenges beset the smartphone industry, which it serves. Q4 net profit fell 24.9 per cent year on year to S$44.8 million for the three months to Dec 31, according to fourth-quarter results released on Thursday. Hi-P, which also has clients in tablets and other consumer electronics, posted revenue of S$441.9 million for the period, down 10.2 per cent on the previous year, attributing the drop to "a decline in market demand from various segments". Hi-P finished up by S$0.055 or 5.53 per cent at S$1.05 before the results were released.

Genting Singapore: Gaming company Genting Singapore on Thursday posted a 12 per cent rise in net profit to S$150.2 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31. This was thanks to "encouraging" performances in both its gaming and non-gaming segments, despite economic uncertainties and intensifying competition, it said. Earnings per share rose to 1.25 Singapore cents for the quarter from 1.1 cents for the corresponding year-ago period. This came on the back of a 15 per cent increase in revenue to S$664.8 million for the fourth quarter. The counter last traded at S$1.11 apiece on Thursday. 

Wilmar International: Wilmar International's net profit for the fourth quarter more than halved to US$200.9 million from a restated US$426.7 million a year ago chiefly due to impairment on sugar-milling operations in Australia on the back of a prolonged slump in sugar prices. The group achieved better operating performance across all core segments, except the palm plantation and sugar-milling businesses which were affected by low palm oil and sugar prices, said Wilmar in its results release after market closed on Thursday. The stock gained four Singapore cents or 1.2 per cent to finish at S$3.39 on Thursday.

Frencken Group: Mainboard-listed technology solutions provider Frencken Group saw earnings almost double for the fourth quarter on a jump in turnover, according to unaudited financial statements released on Thursday. Net profit stood at S$11 million for the three months to Dec 31, up 99.9 per cent on the previous year, while revenue was 40 per cent higher at S$175.7 million. Revenue fell across the board in the integrated manufacturing services unit on lower automotive and tooling sales. Frencken added S$0.02 or 5 per cent to S$0.42 before the results were released.

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