IPC Corp jumps after tycoon raises stake
SINGAPORE, Aug 7 — Shares of IPC Corp Ltd surged as much as 18 per cent after Singapore tycoon Oei Hong Leong, who has a reputation as a value investor, raised his stake in the property developer to 25.39 per cent from 23.10 per cent.
"People saw the announcement so they might be jumping in, as they think he sees some potential in the company. Oei himself might be buying further," said a trader.
Oei bought 19.5 million IPC shares in the open market and now holds 216.5 million shares, IPC said in a stock market filing on Monday. IPC derives the majority of its revenue from Japan.
IPC was the top traded stock by value and volume in the Singapore market. The company's shares jumped as high as S$0.165, the strongest level since April 13, on volume of more than 171 million shares, 30 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.
Shares of Singapore materials trading company Intraco Ltd had also jumped in June after Oei bought a large stake in the firm.
IPC stock has surged 77 per cent so far this year versus the 16 per cent gain in the FT ST Small Cap Index. On Monday, IPC reported that its second-quarter net loss narrowed to S$1.2 million ($999,600) from nearly S$3 million a year ago.
Citigroup downgraded Singapore transport operator ComfortDelGro Corp Ltd to 'sell' from 'buy' and lowered its target price to S$1.63 from S$1.64, citing potential earnings pressure in Singapore and slowing business in the United Kingdom and China.
Citi also advised investors to take profit ahead of ComfortDelGro's second-quarter results, slated to be released on Aug 13.
ComfortDelGro shares were down 0.9 per cent at S$1.685 on Tuesday. The stock has risen 19 per cent so far this year versus the nearly 17 per cent gain in the broader Straits Times Index .
Out of 19 analysts covering the stock, 13 have 'buy' or 'strong buy' ratings, four have 'hold' calls, and two have 'sell' or 'strong sell' recommendations, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Singapore's land transport masterplan is under review, including reviewing fare setting, Citi noted. "Rising capex to meet quality standards and to upgrade aging bus fleets and grow the taxi fleet, in our view put heavy burdens on cash flow."
Citi forecast ComfortDelGro to report second-quarter net profit of S$66 million ($53.1 million), up 23 per cent from the previous three months on an expected seasonal lift, a growing Singapore taxi fleet and continued strength from Australian earnings.
OCBC Investment Research upgraded Singapore's Marco Polo Marine Ltd to 'buy' from 'hold' and raised its target price to S$0.53 from S$0.43 after the marine logistics company reported better-than-expected results for its third quarter.
Marco Polo shares rose as much as 4.5 per cent to S$0.35 on Tuesday, the highest in nearly three months. The stock has gained 6 per cent so far this year versus the 16 per cent gain in the FT ST Small Cap Index.
The company saw higher gross margin of 32.0 per cent in the nine months of its 2012 fiscal year versus 25.2 per cent a year earlier, mainly as it generated bigger ship repair and outfitting revenues at higher yields, OCBC noted.
Marco Polo had seen an increase in enquiries for ship repair, outfitting and conversion services, OCBC said, adding that the company expects charter rates for offshore vessels as well as tugs and barges to remain stable.
OCBC said after changing to a new functional currency, Marco's Indonesian associate BBR reversed its earlier losses arising from the movements in the US dollar against the Indonesian rupiah. — Reuters