Stocks In Focus [20-09-2017]

(Sep 19): Based on the corporate announcements and news flow today, stocks in focus on Wednesday (Sep 20) may include: E&O, Scientex, EcoFirst, Comfort Gloves, AWC, CCM, MRCB, WCT Holdings, KESM, Teo Guan Lee and Scomi Engineering.

Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) said the damage sustained by its landmark heritage in Georgetown in the wake of the flash floods that hit the Penang island on Thursday is ‘insignificant’.

The area has been identified as the hotel’s Heritage Wing.

E&O managing director Kok Tuck Cheong confirmed today that the 132-year-old heritage hotel was not spared from nature’s wrath, but assured that damages, both in monetary terms and occupancy rates, were inconsequential.

“Insofar as the E&O Hotel in Georgetown is concerned, it was just flooded on the ground floor, more on the promenade of our food and beverage outlets,” Kok told reporters after the group’s annual general meeting.

“The damage was very, very insignificant and did not affect our occupancy rates,” said Kok, adding that the flood had subsided the next morning and that business was as per usual by then.

Scientex Bhd’s net profit jumped 33.24% to RM72.13 million for the fourth financial quarter ended July 31, 2017 (4QFY17), from RM54.14 million a year ago, thanks to the strong performance of its packaging and property development division.

This is the company’s best ever quarterly performance in its corporate history, said the company today.

Revenue jumped 15.15% to RM646.07 million from RM561.06 million in 4QFY16, on the back of a 20.1% increase in export sales of packaging-related products. This was further supported by the good take up rate of its property projects, as well as strong progress billings across its developments projects, particularly in Taman Pulai Mutiara, Johor.

In line with strong annual earnings, Scientex declared a final single-tier dividend of 10 sen per share, bringing total payout for FY17 to 16 sen per share or RM77.4 million. This is equivalent to 30.2% of the net profit chalked in FY17, Scientex said, which is consistent with its policy to pay out at least 30% of the annual net profit to shareholders.

EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd said it has been sued by the Inland Revenue Board, on behalf of the government, over some RM35.47 million in additional tax and penalty.

In a statement to Bursa today, EcoFirst said the IRB had raised additional income tax assessment amounting to RM30.71 million for its wholly-owned unit Pujian Development Sdn Bhd (PDSB) for assessment year 2004.

“Upon consulting its solicitors, PDSB is of the view that there are reasonable grounds to challenge the claims. In this regard, at this juncture, the company is not able to ascertain the financial impact arising from the claims.

“The claims, however, are not expected to have any material operational impact on the EcoFirst Group,” said EcoFirst.

Comfort Gloves Bhd reported a net profit of RM9.07 million or 1.62 sen per share for the second quarter ended July 31, 2017 (2QFY18), which is less than half the RM18.85 million or 3.37 sen per share recorded in 2QFY17.

The glove maker said its earnings in the previous corresponding quarter was lifted by an claim of RM12.14 million as compensation for losses incurred due to a fire in its warehouse in Taiping in March 2016.

Excluding the one-off gain, the group’s core 2QFY18 net profit was up 36.5% from RM6.64 million in 2QFY17, the group said in a filing today.

Quarterly revenue jumped 79% to RM114.6 million, from RM63.9 million previously, thanks to higher sales.

AWC Bhd has secured a RM24.38 million contract to maintain the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, which houses the Federal Court and Court of Appeal.

AWC said the facility management contract, awarded to its wholly-owned unit Ambang Wira Sdn Bhd by the Public Works Department, is valid for five years until September 2022.

The asset and facilities management firm said the contract is an extension of its involvement in the commercial and healthcare segments.

Chemical Company of Malaysia Bhd has proposed to acquire the remaining 20% equity interest in CCM Chemicals Sdn Bhd for RM40 million cash.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, CCM said it will be acquiring a 10% stake each from Lanjut Setia Sdn Bhd and Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) respectively. Upon the completion of the proposed acquisitions, CCM said CCM Chemicals will effectively be its wholly-owned subsidiary.

Currently, CCM Chemicals is 80%-owned by CCM Usaha Kimia (M) Sdn Bhd, which is CCM’s wholly-owned subsidiary. CCM said the proposed acquisitions are expected to contribute positively to the group’s future earnings going forward.

Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) announced it has secured two infrastructure construction jobs for a total contract sum of RM204.7 million.

The first is for the construction and completion of elevated stations and other associated works at the Cyberjaya City Centre and Putrajaya Sentral (Package S210) for MRT Corp Sdn Bhd, for a contract sum of RM145.8 million, MRCB said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

The second, MRCB added, is a RM58.9 million contract to construct Larkin Indoor Stadium in Johor Bahru for Johor Land Bhd. The indoor stadium job is expected to take 18 months from the date of site possession.

WCT Holdings Bhd has been awarded a RM199.5 million contract to build two elevated stations under the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Mass Rapid Transit (MRT2) project.

The contract to build the Kuchai Lama and Taman Naga Emas stations was awarded by Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd.

WCT said the contract followed an earlier contract that it had last November, which entailed the construction of viaduct guideway and related works from South Portal to Kampung Muhibbah, worth RM896.4 million.

The MRT2 line is expected to be fully operational by the second quarter of 2022. It consist of 37 stations, of which 11 are underground.

KESM Industries Bhd closed its ended July 31, 2017 (FY17) with its fourth quarter profit jumping 67% year-on-year to RM13.4 million from RM8.05 million, thanks to higher revenue, which mitigated higher raw material and operating costs in the quarter.

Earnings per share for 4QFY17 improved to 31.2 sen from 18.7 sen a year ago. It proposed a final dividend of six sen for FY17 — double the three sen a share it recommended in the 4QFY16 — bringing its total FY17 payout to 12.5 sen.

Quarterly revenue grew 20% y-o-y to RM89.77 million from RM74.53 million, driven by higher demand for burn-in and test services, said KESM.

Teo Guan Lee Corp Bhd will acquire nine units of properties in the residential project known as Riana South and their hereditaments for RM5.79 million.

The properties are within the residential development project, Riana South, featuring twin condominium blocks offering 536 units of residential suites that are expected to be fully completed by 2021.

The note filed with Bursa said that the properties are currently under construction and will be held as investment properties with the intention to lease out for rental income.

Scomi Engineering Bhd has been disallowed from proceeding with a legal action against Prasarana Malaysia Bhd over their dispute involving the termination of a RM499 million contract.

The action was initiated by Scomi Engineering’s unit, Scomi Transit Projects Sdn Bhd, on June 3. Among others, it sought to restrain Prasarana from appointing a new party to complete the remaining works under the contract pending the disposal of arbitration proceedings between the two parties.

The contract involved, among others, the upgrade of stations and systems of the Kuala Lumpur Monorail and replacement of old trains with 12 new four-car trains, six of which had already been delivered.

Source: The Edge Markets

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