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KGI Securities maintained its 'outperform' rating on hotelier and leisure firm Minor International Pcl, helped by its diversified earnings.
KGI has a target price of 21.90 baht for the stock. At the midsession break, it was up 1.37 percent at 22.20 baht, while the broader benchmark index was down 0.92 percent.
KGI estimated that Minor would report 877 million baht in net profit for the fourth quarter, up 86 percent from the year-earlier period, when Thailand suffered devastating floods that hammered its hotel businesses.
The research house forecast earnings would grow 19 percent this year, driven by its hotels and mixed-use business. The revenue from its mixed-use unit should show growth on higher sales for its new St. Regis condo.
"Currently contracts for 75 percent of St. Regis rooms have been signed with 69 percent sold and recorded as of the third quarter of 2012," it said in a report.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand put tourist arrivals in 2012 at 22.3 million and has a target of 24.5 million for this year, an increase of 10 percent.
"We believe that the target should be met as Asians are seeing an increase in disposable income and boosting demand for hotel accommodation in the region, where Thailand stands out on its cheaper room rates for luxury hotels and superior hospitality," KGI said.
(Reporting by Pairat Temphairojana; Editing by Sunil Nair)
**************************************************************** 12:09 STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-CIMB keeps outperform on Siam Cement
CIMB Securities maintained its 'outperform' rating on Thailand's top industrial conglomerate Siam Cement Pcl, saying its diversified activities should continue to support core earnings.
Siam Cement's fourth-quarter net profit more than doubled as demand for construction materials and petrochemicals surged after devastating floods in late 2011. It posted an October-December net profit of 6.91 billion baht, up from 3.2 billion a year earlier.
The research house said building materials earnings increased to 610 million baht "on rising sales volume of ceramic tiles as Siam Cement acquired multiple assets in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia".
Petrochemical earnings were at 185 million baht, while paper earnings were up by 70 percent year-on-year on the back of growing volume, it said in a report.
"Investment income jumped to 4 billion baht, up 88 percent year-on-year from dividend income from automobile and agriculture machinery," it said.
"We continue to expect earnings improvements in 2013 on the back of growing cement, building materials, and paper businesses and an earnings rebound in the petrochemical business," CIMB said.
Shares in Thailand's fifth-largest company by market value were down 1.77 percent at 444 baht in a generally lower market. 1153 (0453 GMT) (Reporting by Pairat Temphairojana; Editing by Anand Basu)