The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), which tracks the performance of the top 30 largest and most liquid companies listed in Singapore, ended November in the positive territory.
For the month, the index added 3.3%, or close to 100 points, to 3,117.61. Of the 30 index components, 17 were in the green, two were unchanged while the remaining 11 were in the red.
The top three best-performers of the Straits Times Index for November were the trio of Jardines – Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd (SGX: C07), Jardine Strategic Holdings Limited (SGX: J37) and Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited (SGX: J36).Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence (Note: stock prices for Jardine Strategic and Jardine Matheson have been converted from US dollars to Singapore dollars)
Jardine Strategic owns 75% of Jardine Cycle and Carriage. The former is a holding company with long-term strategic investments in multinational businesses. Jardine Strategic owns 58% of Jardine Matheson, with Jardine Matheson, in turn, having an 84% stake in Jardine Strategic.
For Jardine Cycle and Carriage’s first nine months of 2018, revenue grew 10% from the previous year to US$14 billion. However, net profit tumbled 38% to US$375 million after considering unrealised fair value losses related to non-current investments. Excluding the non-trading items, underlying net profit would have risen 14% to US$675 million.
The company saw robust growth from Astra, and improved performances from its direct motor interests and other strategic interests. Jardine Cycle and Carriage owns 50.1% of Astra, which is the largest independent automotive group in Southeast Asia.
On the hand, the top three losers of the index were Sembcorp Industries Ltd (SGX: U96), ComfortDelGro Corporation Ltd (SGX: C52) and Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (SGX: E5H).Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence (Note: N/M = not meaningful)
Sembcorp Industries registered a 2018 third-quarter revenue of S$3 billion, up 36% year-on-year. But net profit fell 12% to S$82 million, mainly due to the net loss from its marine business, which continued to face a harsh operating environment. Excluding that business, the bottom line would have increased by 207% to S$100 million.
ComfortDelGro saw a mixed performance for its latest quarter as well. Revenue for the third quarter of 2018 went up by 8.5% to S$967.9 million, but net profit fell by 2% to S$78.5 million. To know more about the land transport giant’s earnings, you can head here.
As for Golden Agri-Resources’ 2018 third-quarter, the top line climbed 3.2% year-on-year to US$1.8 billion, but the company went into a net loss of US$54 million. In the third quarter of 2017, the company posted a net profit of US$43.7 million. Underlying net profit, which does not take into account items such as changes in fair value of biological assets, fell 52.1% for the latest quarter to US$38.0 million.
Looking ahead, the company commented:
“Weather conditions, demand and supply of CPO [crude palm oil] and other competing seed oils, and developments in government policy of the countries we trade with will continue to have an impact on the prices for commodities including CPO. Nonetheless, we expect the demand growth for CPO to remain stable supported by global food and energy demand, particularly the increase in biodiesel consumption in Indonesia. The Group will continue to enhance its integrated operation capabilities to optimise profit opportunities across the value chain, as well as to improve its yield, cost efficiency and sustainability initiatives”
The SPDR STI ETF (SGX: ES3), an exchange-traded fund which can be taken as a proxy for the Straits Times Index, was valued at a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.2 and had a distribution yield of 3.6% on 30 November 2018.
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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned.