Stocks To Watch Maxis, MHB, Hartalega, WCT, Astro, AirAsia X, GUH

Business & Markets 2014
Written by Ho Wah Foon of   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 19:40

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 11): Based on corporate news and announcements up to 7.00 pm today, the stocks to look out for tomorrow may include the following:

Maxis Bhd posted a net profit of RM290 million for the fourth quarter ended December 2013, down 23.3% from RM378 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Revenue for the quarter also decreased to RM2.22 billion, from RM2.31 billion in previous year quarter, due mainly to a decline in the mobile and international gateway segments.

Maxis announced a fourth interim dividend of eight sen per share and proposed a final dividend of eight sen.

For the full year, net profit stood at RM1.77 billion, lower than 2012’s RM1.86 billion. But total revenue rose to RM9.08 billion from RM8.97 billion.

Maxis said revenue for 2013 grew 1.3% to RM9,084 million on the back of positive contributions across all business segments, except the mobile segment.

At market close, Maxis rose 3 sen to RM6.96 per share.

Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Bhd (MHB) reported a 2% rise in fourth quarter net profit from a year earlier despite weaker financials at its core operating units.

MHB, which constructs oil and gas support structures, and repairs marine vessels, said net profit had risen mainly on deferred taxes and lower minority interest.

MHB said net profit rose 2% to RM102.03 million in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2013 (4QFY13) from RM100.36 million. Revenue, however, fell to RM726.31 million from RM857.01 million.

Full-year net profit declined to RM236.47 million from RM242.01 million a year earlier. Revenue was lower at RM2.88 billion versus RM3.33 billion.

MHB plans to pay a dividend of five sen a share for the quarter in review. At market close, its share fell 2 sen to RM3.68.

Hartalega Holdings Bhd’s net profit fell 4% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM57.99 million in the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2013, from RM60.62 million a year earlier, due mainly to reduced profit margin .

However, its revenue rose 3% y-o-y to RM267.82 million from RM259.56 million.

The glove manufacturer declared a second interim dividend of 3.5 sen per share single tier for its financial year ending March 31, 2014.

For the nine-month period, Hartalega’s net profit rose to RM184.33 million versus RM172.63 million in the previous corresponding period, while revenue generated was RM827 million from RM762 million a year ago.

At market close, Hartalega share lost one sen to end at RM7.01.

WCT Holdings Bhd, the contractor for the RM530 million gateway@ klia2 retail building, expects to register revenue of between RM70 million and RM80 million a year and earnings of between RM15 million and RM20 million, from the project.

WCT director Wong Yik Kae, however, said for the first three years, gateway@klia2 was expected to "make some losses, because of depreciation.

"We will start to make profits, hopefully in year three onwards,” Wong told reporters, after WCT's extraordinary general meeting today.

Commenting on the possible delay of klia2, Wong said “There will be impact of course, but it will not harm the business.” he said, adding gateway@klia2 sits next to the terminal and hence passengers have to pass through the retail building before going into the terminal.

According to him, gateway@klia2 has so far achieved 80% tenancy.

Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd and South Korea's GS Home Shopping Inc are setting up a joint-venture (JV), Astro GS Shop Sdn Bhd, to undertake home-shopping operations in Malaysia.

Astro said Astro GS "intends to carry out home-shopping business through various platforms, including but not limited to TV home shopping, Internet shopping and mobile shopping".

"Astro has conducted feasibility studies and concluded home shopping to be commercially viable; and it was determined that the optimal route to enter the business, is with a partner who has a proven track record in the home shopping business," Astro said.

The collaboration will capitalise on Astro's existing customer base of 3.8 million homes in Malaysia. Astro said that its customer base involved some 17 million consumers.

Astro's direct-to-home platform already covers Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei. Hence, the creation of the new revenue stream is not expected to involve further investments for its broadcast infrastructures, Astro said.

At market close, Astro was up 4 sen at RM3.00.

AirAsia X Bhd (AAX), the long-haul, low-fare affiliate of AirAsia Bhd, today confirmed the suspension of its services to Male, Maldives, from March 1, due to “challenging business conditions”.

Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X, said in a press statement: “The decision to withdraw from Male was a difficult one, but was made after taking into account our business imperative to build sustainable and profitable routes.

“Despite our efforts, external factors such as the depreciation of Asian currencies against the US dollar and the chronic lack of hotel room supply in Maldives resulted in cancellation of thousands of bookings by travel operators.”

Share price of AirAsia X ended at 98 sen, down 0.5 sen.

GUH Holdings Bhd said its net profit for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2013, rose 10% to RM8.15 million from RM7.38 million in similar quarter a year earlier.

Investment properties' revaluation gains and lower taxes had supported bottom line growth, according to GUH's statement to Bursa Malaysia.

GUH said revenue rose to RM70.16 million from RM63.14 million. The firm said profit before tax fell to RM9.92 million from RM11.75 million "due to lower contribution from property division".

Full-year net profit fell to RM29.99 million from RM36.11 million a year earlier. Cumulative revenue rose to RM286.57 million from RM280.39 million.

On prospects, GU foresees a positive year in 2014 amid intensified competition and rising operating costs.

Its share price ended at RM1.04, down one sen.