STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-DBS cuts target price for COSCO Corp

Sun Nov 4, 2012 10:19pm EST

DBS Vickers cut its target price for shipbuilder COSCO Corp (Singapore) Ltd to S$0.80 from S$0.88 and kept its 'fully valued' rating, citing sluggish shipbuilding orders until 2014 and growing competition in the offshore space.

COSCO shares were unchanged at S$0.88 by 0258 GMT. They have gained 0.6 percent since the start of the year, compared with a 23 percent rise in the FTSE ST Industrials Index.

COSCO posted on Friday a 17 percent fall in its third-quarter net profit at S$26.6 million, and said it expects difficult operating conditions for the rest of the year.

DBS trimmed its 2012 net profit estimates for COSCO by 8.7 percent to account for lower income from scrap materials and higher interest expenses. It also cut its 2013 net profit forecast by 24.3 percent to reflect lower order win assumption of $2.5 billion, compared with $3 billion previous.

COSCO faces pressure to replenish its shipbuilding order book as existing orders for 35 vessels will be delivered by the end of 2013, but new orders are few given a bleak outlook in the shipping sector.

1106 (0306 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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10:51 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-StarHub up; Maybank upgrades stock after results

Maybank Kim Eng raised its rating on StarHub Ltd to 'buy' from 'sell,' impressed by the company's 27 percent rise in quarterly profit and said fourth-quarter results could also beat expectations as the negative impact of iPhones on margins could be fading.

The broker said that with third-quarter margins at 33.9 percent versus full-year outlook of 30 percent, Singapore's second-biggest telecom firm has "a good chance of doing better than expected." Maybank raised its target price to S$3.99 from S$3.06.

StarHub's shares were up 0.6 percent at S$3.67 in a weak market and have risen 26 percent so far this year, outpacing a 14 percent rise in the index. The stock has eased after hitting a record high of S$3.88 in early August.

HSBC also raised its rating on StarHub to 'neutral' from 'underweight,' partly helped by the company's better operating margins.

Maybank said StarHub's gearing fell to a record low of 0.46 times in the third quarter following its recent raising of S$220 million in medium-term notes, and this raises confidence in sustained dividend.

Ahead of the results, 13 brokers had a 'hold' rating on StarHub, with nine rating it a 'sell' or 'strong sell,' one had a 'buy' rating and one had a 'strong buy' recommendation.

StarHub earns all its revenue from Singapore. Quarterly net profit at smaller rival M1 Ltd fell 19.5 percent. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd reports results this month.

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