Companies in the news - Utusan, MRCB, Oriental Food, Scomi, Kossan Rubber, Aeon, Alam Maritim, YTL Power, YTL Corp, Puncak Niaga, Perdana Petroleum, PPB, KNM, UEM Sunrise, Petron Malaysia, Econpile and Menang Corp

KUALA LUMPUR (May 21): Based on corporate announcements and newsflow today, stocks in focus tomorrow (Friday, May 22) could include: Utusan, MRCB , Oriental Food, Scomi, Kossan Rubber, Aeon, Alam Maritim, YTL Power, YTL Corp, Puncak Niaga, Perdana Petroleum, PPB, KNM, UEM Sunrise, Petron Malaysia, Econpile and Menang Corp.

Utusan Melayu  Malaysia Bhd — in which UMNO has a 49.77% stake held via RHB Nominees Tempatan Sdn Bhd — continued bleeding losses in its first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15), when net losses widened to RM19.97 million or 18.03 sen per share, from RM19.81 million or 17.89 sen per share in 1QFY14, on lower circulation of its newspapers and magazines.

Revenue in 1QFY15 dropped 11.6% to RM57.85 million, from RM65.42 million a year ago, from lower circulation of its newspapers and magazines. There was also a 1.7% drop in its advertising revenue, its filing to Bursa Malaysia today showed.

Utusan Melayu (fundamental: 0.2; valuation: 0.9) expects to continue facing challenges this year, given the on-going issues affecting consumer sentiments, like the implementation of goods and services tax (GST) and the weakening ringgit against other major currencies.

Property and construction group Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) saw its net profit surged 20 times to RM237.86 million or 13.34 sen per share for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15), from RM11.99 million or 0.72 sen per share a year earlier, following the completion of the sale of Platinum Sentral here.

Its revenue almost doubled to RM404.19 million, from RM204.65 million in 1QFY14, on higher contribution from all of its business units.

On prospects, MRCB (fundamental: 0.6; valuation: 0.8) said it will continue to focus on acquiring strategic and prime land banks that fit its development profile.

Oriental Food Industries Holdings Bhd , whose share price has doubled since March, has proposed a bonus issue of 60 million new shares on the basis of one bonus share for every one existing share to entitled shareholders, at a date to be announced later.

The confectionary and snack food manufacturer announced its results for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2015 (4QFY15), in which its net profit jumped by 141% to RM7.55 million, from RM3.13 million in 4QFY14, on higher revenue that grew 6% to RM58.94 million, from RM55.4 million previously.

For the full year ended March 31, 2015 (FY15), Oriental Food saw its net profit jumped 37% to RM22.19 million, from RM16.17 million in FY14, on higher revenue that climbed 4.5% to RM237.03 million, from RM226.89 million previously.

It declared a 7 sen dividend for 4QFY15, bringing total dividend declared in FY15 to 13 sen.

In addition, Oriental Food (fundamental: 2.8; valuation: 1.1) has also proposed a one-for-two share split, which will be undertaken concurrently with the bonus issue.

Scomi Group Bhd  returned to the black with a net profit of RM22.75 million or 1.46 sen earnings per share for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2015 (4QFY15), compared with a net loss of RM4.16 million or 0.27 loss per share a year ago, due to the turnaround in its transport solutions division.

Revenue for 4QFY15 rose 3.6% to RM436.36 million, from RM421.32 million. For the full year ended March 31, 2015 (FY15), its net profit surged 894.75% to RM49.3 million or 3.17 sen a share, from RM4.96 million or 0.31 sen a share in FY14, driven by the growth of its marine services segment.

In a statement, Scomi said its transport solutions division recovered from a loss of RM37.7 million in FY14, to a net profit of RM400,000 in FY15.

Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd  (fundamental: 2.1; valuation: 0.5) saw its net profit expanded by 23% to RM45.45 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15), from RM36.83 million last year, on higher revenue from its latex glove and clean room divisions.

The glove maker’s earnings before taxation, interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margin expanded to 20.9% from 19.3%, due to overall improvement of operating efficiency and better product mix in the glove segment, according to Kossan’s filing to Bursa Malaysia.

Its latex glove division and clean-room division saw profits before tax increased by 34.48% and 49.74%, respectively. Meanwhile, its technical rubber division registered a decline of pre-tax profit by 67.80%, compared to last year.

Aeon Co (M) Bhd  announced that its net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15) had increased 5.4% to RM49.07 million or 3.52 sen per share, from RM46.87 million or 3.34 sen per share in 1QFY14, driven by contributions from its new shopping centres and overall better performance of existing shopping centres.

Quarterly revenue jumped 17% to RM1.11 billion, from RM945.5 million, partly driven by stronger demand from consumers, before the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).

Aeon expects a challenging year that would be dampened by consumer sentiment, as a result of higher cost of living and the recent implementation of the GST.

Lower average utilisation rate of offshore support vessels (OSV) and lower revenue from the offshore installation & construction (OIC) segment, have dragged Alam Maritim Resources Bhd ’s net profit down by 45% to RM8.59 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15), from RM15.59 million a year ago.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia today, Alam Maritim (fundamental: 1.6; valuation: 1.5) said the profitability of the OSV segment was lower by 34.7%, primarily due to lower average utilisation rate of OSV.

Similarly, its subsea services/OIC segment also registered a 37.2% lower profit before taxation of RM1.38 million in 1QFY15, versus RM2.19 million last year, due to significantly lower revenue registered by OIC segment during the current financial quarter.

Alam Maritim’s 1QFY15 revenue dropped slightly by 6.88% to RM73.71 million, from RM79.15 million last year.

YTL Power International Bhd  registered a net profit of RM222.74 million during the third quarter ended Mar 31, 2015 (3QFY15) — a 12.8% decline from RM255.57 million the same time last year.

Revenue too, recorded a decline of 18.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) during the quarter, falling to RM2.68 billion, from RM3.3 billion, due to lower revenue recorded in the segment of multi utilities business.

YTL Power’s variety of businesses include power generation, multi utilities, water and sewerage, mobile broadband network and investment holding.

YTL Corp Bhd  (fundamental: 1.2; valuation: 1.4) saw a 40% decline in its net profit, falling from RM389.82 million the same period last year to RM233.17 million in the third quarter ended Mar 31, 2015 (3QFY15).

This came on the back of lower revenue of RM4 billion, 12% from RM4.55 billion last year.

For the cumulative nine-month period, the group’s net profit stood at RM770.81 million — a 35% fall from RM1.2 billion achieved last year.

Meanwhile, revenue for the nine-month duration was also lower at RM12.7 million — a decrease of 13.3% from the RM14.66 million.

Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd ’s first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15) net profit leapt 42% to RM65.8 million, from RM46.5 million a year ago, mainly on contribution from Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd (PNSB) and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (SYABAS), which it categorised as “held for sale and as discontinued operations”.

Puncak (fundamental: 1.9; valuation: 2.1) told Bursa Malaysia that as at Mar 31, 2015, PNSB and SYABAS were classified as “held for sale and as discontinued operations”, while it remained hopeful that the proposed disposals will be completed this year.

Perdana Petroleum Bhd 's net profit plunged 60.8% to RM8.64 million or 1.17 sen a share for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15), from RM22.016 million or 3.01 sen a share a year ago, mainly due to lower vessel utilisation resulting from slower work orders/contracts from oil majors which had been affected by the decline in crude oil prices.

Revenue also fell by 20.4% to RM69.51 million, from RM87.27 million in 1QFY14.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Perdana Petroleum said the global economy and prospects of oil and gas operators and service providers, continue to face challenges as the fluctuation in the oil price environment remains uncertain.

PPB Group Bhd ’s first quarter net profit surged 61%, thanks to higher contribution from its Singapore-based associate Wilmar International Ltd.

Its net profit surged 61% to RM232.9 million, from RM144.3 million in the same quarter last year.

Better performance in the grains and agribusiness segment also helped boost profit, PPB (fundamental: 2; valuation: 0.8) told Bursa Malaysia.

The group’s revenue came higher at RM976.99 million, up 10.6% from RM883.19 million previously.

KNM Group Bhd  saw its net profit surge 147.3% to RM35.05 million or 2.17 sen a share for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15), from RM14.17 million or 0.97 sen a share a year earlier, due to the gain arising from disposal of Australia operating units and lower operating cost.

Revenue, however, fell 30.3% to RM344.38 million, from RM493.9 million in 1QFY14.

In a filing with Bursa, KNM attributed the lower revenue to lower job progress recognition during the quarter.

Going forward, KNM said it is optimistic of the group’s performance for the remaining financial year ending Dec 31, 2015 (FY15).

UEM Sunrise Bhd ’s net profit fell 13.6% to RM53.1 million in the first quarter ended Mar 31, 2015 (1QFY15), from RM61.5 million in the previous corresponding quarter, mainly due to higher selling cost at its Aurora Melbourne Central project in Australia.

Lower contribution from associates and joint ventures also dragged down its financials for the quarter, the property developer told Bursa Malaysia in a filing today.

But revenue for the quarter was up 4% to RM417.4 million, from RM401.6 million a year ago, primarily due to higher revenue from construction progress made from the Teega and Arcoris projects, and the completion of its Summer Suites project.

UEM Sunrise (fundamental: 1.5; valuation: 2) said the domestic property market will likely remain “cautious” for the rest of the year.

Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd  has returned to the black with a net profit of RM56.82 million or 21.05 sen per share for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15), compared with a net loss of RM6.72 million or 2.49 sen loss per share a year earlier, on improved margins as crude oil price remained low. It has been reporting quarterly losses since 2QFY13.

Revenue for 1QFY15 fell 37.5% at RM1.84 billion in 1QFY15, from RM2.94 billion in 1QFY14.

Petron (fundamental: 0.2; valuation 1.8) attributed the group’s improved financial performance to pro-active risk management, better operating efficiencies and improved margins.

Piling and building foundation specialist Econpile Holdings Bhd  announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Econpile (M) Sdn Bhd has bagged a piling and substructure contract for a commercial development in Petaling Jaya, worth RM26.7 million.

This is the fourth contract it had won this year, bringing the total contracts secured this year to RM239.5 million.

In a filing with Bursa this evening, Econpile said the contract will be for 62 weeks, which is expected to be completed in July 2016.

Menang Corp (M) Bhd ’s net profit soared 82% to RM20.79 million or 7.78 sen per share for its third quarter ended March 31, 2015, from RM11.39 million or 4.27 sen per share, a year earlier.

This was on the back of a 44% increase in revenue to RM107.78 million, from RM74.54 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.

For the nine months, net profit spiked 143% to RM52.11 million, from RM21.46 million in the year before; while revenue climbed 2% to RM208.04 million, from RM203.89 million.

In its filing with Bursa Malaysia, the increase in its revenue for the cumulative period was attributed to the ongoing Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects, while the improvement in profit was due to contributions from its property segment.

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