January 21, 2014 / 4:41 AM / 4 years ago

M1 outperforms market on dividends; Singapore index rebounds

SINGAPORE, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Shares of Singapore telecommunications company M1 Ltd soared on Tuesday after reporting its fourth-quarter earnings on Monday, while Singapore shares rebounded from the previous session.

M1’s net profit after tax rose 9.4 percent year-on-year to S$160.2 million ($125.55 million). It also declared a final dividend of 7.1 cents per share and a special dividend of 7.1 cents per share, taking full-year payout to a total of 21.0 cents per share.

M1 shares jumped as much as 4.3 percent to a nearly 10-week high at S$3.38. More than 1.2 million shares were traded, more than twice its average 30-day full-day volume.

Maybank Kim Eng has a “buy” rating and target price of S$3.86 on the stock, as it expects “free cash flow to remain strong this year and capex to decline next year.”

The benchmark Straits Times Index was up 0.3 percent to 3,139.71 points by 0421 GMT, as Chinese money rates eased after the People’s Bank of China announced a surprise injection of funds. The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.5 percent.

Units of Keppel REIT (real estate investment trust) advanced as much as 1.3 percent to S$1.17, its biggest daily gain in more than nine weeks, after reporting a fourth-quarter net property income of $37.4 million on Monday.

Keppel REIT said it achieved its highest full-year distribution income of $214 million for 2013, with a 10.9 percent year-on-year increase in both property income and net property income.

Despite a positive outlook on Keppel REIT’s full portfolio occupancy and Grade-A office market in Singapore, CIMB said these factors have been factored into the share price. The brokerage maintained its “hold” rating and target price of S$1.25 on the stock while waiting for more meaningful catalysts.

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