STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index falls, weighed by Sembcorp Marine

Tue Nov 6, 2012 5:09am GMT

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Singapore shares drifted lower ahead of the U.S. presidential election, dragged by Sembcorp Marine Ltd after the rig builder's third-quarter earnings came below expectation, triggering broker downgrades or cuts in target prices.

The Straits Times Index was down 0.2 percent at 3,024.48 points, while MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.2 percent higher.

Sembcorp shares plunged as much as 7.7 percent to the lowest since June 12. It was the most actively traded stock by value in the Singapore market.

Sembcorp reported a net profit of S$115.5 million ($94.3 million) for its third quarter ended September, down from S$222.5 million a year earlier, mainly due to lower recognition of revenue from its rig building projects.

DMG & Partners Securities said the revenue was sharply lower as the third quarter last year included "lumpy" recognition from its Songa Eclipse rig project. Revenue from only one jack-up rig was recognised in the third quarter of 2012, the broker noted.

DMG downgraded its rating to 'neutral' from 'buy' and cut its target price to S$4.61 from S$5.70, citing lower earnings and rising competition for Sembcorp's shipyard operations.

CIMB Research said it expects a stronger fourth quarter as more projects will reach initial recognition. But it noted Sembcorp's management had lowered its long-term margin target to 10-13 percent from 14-15 percent.

It downgraded Sembcorp stock to 'neutral' and reduced its target price to S$5.01 from S$5.85.

OCBC Investment Research cut its target price to S$5.84 from S$6.09. But it said the company's longer-term outlook remains intact and maintained 'buy' rating.

1251 (0451 GMT)

(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore; Editing by G.Ram Mohan; eveline.danubrata@thomsonreuters.com

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10:32 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Maybank cuts SIA target to S$10.32

Maybank Kim Eng cut its target price on Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIA) to S$10.32 from S$11.15 and maintained its 'hold' rating, after the carrier reported a 54 percent fall in second-quarter net profit and warned of a challenging outlook.

SIA shares were down 0.2 percent at S$10.45. The stock has gained 2.9 percent so far this year, lagging the 14 percent gain in the broader Straits Times Index.

SIA earned a net profit of S$90 million ($73.8 million) in the three months ended September, down from S$194 million a year earlier, as both passenger and cargo yields fell.

For the six months ended September, SIA's cargo business reported a larger operating loss of S$99 million, more than three times the S$31 million loss a year earlier.

Maybank said although SIA's decision to remove one of its 13 freighters from service from January 2013 to May 2014 was a step to stem the bleeding from its cargo segment, the unit was still likely to be a source of weakness in the near term.

The broker added promotional fares to stimulate passenger demand would continue to depress yields and jet fuel prices remained at elevated levels.

1019 (0219 GMT)

(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu; eveline.danubrata@thomsonreuters.com

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09:29 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Sembcorp Marine sinks after sharp Q3 profit fall

Shares of Sembcorp Marine Ltd plunged as much as 7.7 percent after the company reported a 48 percent fall in its third-quarter net profit mainly due to lower revenue recognition for its rig building projects.

Sembcorp reported a net profit of S$115.5 million ($94.3 million) for its third quarter ended September, down from S$222.5 million a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter fell 31.5 percent to S$892.4 million.

Sembcorp shares hit as low as S$4.33 on Tuesday, the weakest level since June 12. Nearly 13 million shares changed hands, 3.4 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.

"Sembcorp Marine is seeing strong market fundamentals and is hoping to add more work to its existing order book by end of the year. However, intense competition from shipyard with excess capacity in Korea and China are putting pressure on margins," DMG & Partners Securities said in a report.

The broker cut its target price to S$4.61 from S$5.70, citing lower earnings and rising competition for Sembcorp's shipyard operations.

0923 (0123 GMT)

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