#Stocks To Watch* MMHE, Nestle, Maybank, IOI, Axiata, UEM Land, BHIC, Affin and YTL

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 21): Based on reported corporate results and dividends declared today, some of the stocks that could attract investor attention include MMHE, Nestle, Maybank, IOI, Axiata, UEM Land, BHIC, Affin and YTL.

Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd (MMHE)’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2012, surged 116.5% to RM100.36 million due mainly to higher contribution from its offshore division.

The company said its revenue for the period increased 19.7% to RM857.01 million from RM716.15 million a year ago.

The company proposed a final dividend of 10 sen per share.

But for the financial year ended Dec 31, MMHE’s net profit declined to RM242 million from RM334.24 million a year earlier, despite posting a higher revenue of RM3.33 billion versus RM3.06 billion.

On outlook, MMHE said there are ample opportunities to be pursued as it is one of the main regional fabricators.

Nestle (M) Bhd reported a 32% rise in fourth quarter profit from a year earlier on higher revenue as cheaper raw material and financing, besides lower tax expense boosted the food and beverage manufacturer's bottom line.

Nestle told the exchange that net profit came to RM99.48 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2012, from RM75.27 million previously while revenue added 3% to RM1.1 billion from RM1.07 billion, driven by domestic sales.

For the full-year, net profit rose 18% to RM505.35 million from RM427.13 million a year earlier as revenue was up 7% to RM4.56 billion from RM4.25 billion.

The company is rewarding shareholders with a final tax-free dividend of RM1.55 a share in 4QFY12, bringing total dividends for the year to RM2.10 a share.

Nestle had paid RM1.80 a share in FY11.

Malayan Banking Bhd reported a 16% rise in quarterly profit, bolstered by higher net loans, advances and fee income.

Net profit in its October-December fourth quarter was 1.46 billion ringgit, up from 1.26 billion ringgit a year earlier. Quarterly revenue rose 4.3% year-on-year.

The company announced a dividend of 33 sen per share.

"The group expects its financial performance for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2013 to be better," Maybank said.

For 2012, Maybank's net profit rose 18% to 5.74 billion ringgit, as revenue climbed 16%.

IOI Corp Bhd posted an 8% year-on-year drop in second quarter net profit as lower crude palm oil prices and higher wages dampened performance of its plantation operations.

Net profit stood at RM531 million in the second quarter ended December 31, 2012 (2QFY13) versus RM577.7 million previously as revenue declined 14% to RM3.59 billion from RM4.17 billion.

Cumulative first-half net profit, however, rose 36% to RM1.14 billion from RM835.8 million a year earlier although revenue fell 16% to RM6.96 billion from RM8.31 billion.

IOI said its outlook for the remaining months of FY13 is unlikely to be rosy.

Axiata Group Bhd reported a 5% year-on-year increase in fourth quarter net profit as it registered higher revenue from most of its major global operating units.

Lower foreign exchange (forex) losses had also boosted the group's bottom-line, according to the company.

Axiata said net profit came to RM571.1 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2012 (4QFY12) against RM544.59 million previously.

The firm said higher revenue contribution came from Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. But contribution from Indonesia had dropped due to a stronger ringgit.

Axiata's full-year FY12 net profit rose 7% to RM2.51 billion from RM2.35 billion as revenue advanced 8% to RM17.65 billion from RM16.29 billion.

In a media briefing today, the group’s CEO Datuk Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said Axiata would increase its payout in dividends of 23 sen per share with a one-off special dividend of 12 sen, giving a combined payout of 35 sen per share.

UEM Land Holdings Bhd announced that its net profit rose 43.3% to RM201.3 million in the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2012, due to higher margins in property development and contribution from its Horizon Hills joint project with Gamuda Bhd.

Revenue for the quarter also increased 15.7% to RM691.7 million from RM597.8 million in the corresponding quarter of 2011, the company said in a statement.

For the full year of 2012, UEM Land’s revenue advanced 13.9% to RM1.94 billion while net profit grew 48.6% to RM448.4 million from RM301.7 million.

UEM Land is proposing a first and final single tier dividend of 3.0 sen per share.

Looking ahead, UEM Land said it has targeted to achieve 30% in revenue growth, 20% in net profit growth in 2013.

Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd (BHIC) sank into loss of RM72.84 million for the fourth quarter ended December 2012, compared to a gain of RM3.75 million in similar quarter in 2011.

But revenue for the quarter rose to RM214.11 million, from RM156.67 million.

For the full year of 2012, BHIC registered a 19% rise in revenue to RM646.52 million. Both the manufacturing and chartering segments had contributed to the growth.

Despite higher revenue, BHIC posted a net loss of RM131.61 million in 2012 against prior year’s net profit of RM12.78 million.

This was largely due to commercial shipbuilding costs from Penang yard, coupled with impairment costs from writing down the value of three chemical tankers amid depressed conditions of the global shipping industry.

Looking ahead, BHIC stated that it will continue to be affected by the tough global economic environment.

Affin Holdings Bhd posted net profit of RM160.38 million, a 21% year-on-year increase, for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2012, on revenue of RM756.19 million.

For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2012, the bank posted a record net profit of RM628.94 million, gaining 23.81% compared to RM508 million a year ago.

The bank attributed the increase in net profits to the increase in net interest income, Islamic banking income while enjoying a higher share of profit in associates and a higher loan impairment write-back.

YTL Corporation Bhd’s net profit increased by 10.6% year-on-year to RM262.46 million for its second quarter ended Dec 31, 2012, despite a decline in its revenue.

The revenue for the second quarter stood at RM5.12 billion, a 3.8% fall from RM5.36 billion a year earlier largely due to its lower revenue recognition recorded on the development projects undertaken by offshore units.

The board of directors declared a second interim single tier dividend of 15% or 1.5 sen.

For the six months to December 2012, the group recorded a net profit RM654.4 million, an increase of 33.8% from RM489.2 million in corresponding quarter in previous year.

Its revenue also increased to RM10.19 billion, up 3.3% from RM9.87 billion in the same period.

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