AirAsia X, Prestariang, Jaya Tiasa, TIME dotcom, Malakoff, Genting Plantations, UOA Development, Lion Forest, Ta Ann, Icon Offshore, Allianz, AFG, Hunza and Lay Hong

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 25): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies in focus tomorrow (Thursday, May 28) are AirAsia X, Prestariang, Jaya Tiasa, TIME dotcom, Malakoff, Genting Plantations, UOA Development, Lion Forest Industries, Ta Ann, Icon Offshore, Allianz, AFG, Hunza and Lay Hong.

AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) reported its sixth consecutive quarterly loss, after foreign exchange (forex) loss on borrowings tripled to RM89.2 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2015, (1QFY15) on weakening ringgit.

The long-haul low-cost airline also recognised a net tax expense of RM8.6 million in the January-March 2015 period, as compared to a net tax allowance of RM36.8 million a year ago.

These factors led AAX's net loss for 1QFY15 to widen by more than 11-fold to RM125.92 million or 5.3 sen per share, from RM11.28 million or 0.5 sen per share in 1QFY14.

Revenue for 1QFY15 however, rose 3.5% to RM775.37 million, from RM749.48 million a year ago.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, AAX (fundamental: 0.2; valuation: 0.8) said the higher revenue was due to improved average passenger fare, increased charter revenue and aircraft operating lease income.

AAX said scheduled flights, including fuel surcharges, fell 8.6% to RM460.6 million in 1QFY15, from RM503.9 million in 1QFY14, mainly due to lower passengers flown.

Prestariang Bhd’s net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15) fell 37% to RM4.01 million, from RM6.4 million in its previous corresponding quarter, despite a revenue growth of 94% to RM40.03 million, from RM20.59 million a year earlier.

The group blamed the substantial fall on net profit to a lower margin generating segment, which caused a decrease of 38% in profit after tax ('PAT') to RM4 million for the reporting quarter.

Prestariang (fundamental: 1.95; valuation: 0.5) attributed the growth in revenue to higher contribution from software licenses, particularly newly- awarded contracts from the Ministry Education, and Microsoft Master Licensing Agreement 2.0 from the Ministry of Finance.

Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd saw its third quarter ended March 31 plunged 59% on lower fresh fruit bunch (FFB) and crude palm oil (CPO) average selling price and sales volume.

According to its filling on Bursa Malaysia, the group’s net profit plunged to RM19.18 million in 3QFY15, from RM47.11 million the year before. Revenue was marginally higher by 4% at RM793.35 million, from RM762.85 million a year earlier.

Jaya Tiasa (fundamental: 0.30; valuation: 1.40) said its FFB selling price fell 12%, while CPO prices dropped 10%.

Meanwhile, the increase in revenue was contributed by a 12% and 33% rise in log and veneer sales volume respectively, and an 8% increase in average selling price of log.

TIME dotcom Bhd’s net profit jumped 92% on-year to RM56.58 million or 9.86 sen per share in the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15), from RM29.42 million or 5.13 sen per share, on higher global bandwidth sales, foreign exchange (forex) gains and non-recurring contract revenues.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, TIME dotcom (fundamental: 2.4; valuation: 0.8)’s revenue was up 30% to RM171.71 million in 1QFY15, from RM131.88 million in 1QFY14.

The company attributed its better quarterly earnings to higher global bandwidth sales and non-recurring contract revenues, net forex gain of RM9 million (1QFY14: net exchange loss at RM400,000), higher investment income, and lower interest expense.

Higher revenue was due to higher contributions from all major product segments, with the highest growth rates recorded in data and data centre sales of 38% and 15.4% respectively.

Malakoff Corp Bhd’s net profit soared 39 times to RM103.9 million in the first quarter ended Mar 31, 2015, from RM2.6 million in the previous corresponding quarter, driven by higher contribution from its newly-acquired Port Dickson Power (PDP).

The independent power producer generated higher revenue of RM1.35 billion, up 9% from RM1.24 billion in 1QFY14.

The revenue growth was attributed to higher capacity registered by its coal-fired 2,100 megawatt Tanjung Bin Power Plant (TBPP) and the consolidation of PDP.

Malakoff declared a single-tier interim dividend of 3 sen per share for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2015.

Genting Plantations Bhd’s net profit tumbled 48% on-year to RM52.66 million or 6.83 sen per share in the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15), from RM101.06 million or 13.22 sen per share, on lower palm prices and fresh fruit bunches (FFB) yield.
 
Genting Plantations (fundamental: 2.7; valuation: 1.4)’s revenue fell 2.5% to RM324.4 million in 1QFY15, compared with RM322.89 million in 1QFY14, its filing to Bursa showed.

The company attributed its lower earnings to lower palm products selling prices and FFB production, which outweighed increases across all its other segments.

Lower FFB yield, mainly due to a weather-induced drop in crop output at its Sabah estates, had also increased unit cost of production, it added.

UOA Development Bhd’s net profit jump 75.8% to RM78.48 million or 5.48 sen per share for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15), from RM44.65 million or 3.33 sen per share a year ago, on progressive recognition of the group’s on-going development projects.

Revenue also jumped 79.3% to RM313.7 million, against RM174.99 million last year.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, UOA Development (fundamental: 3; valuation: 1.8) said the group’s earnings were mainly derived from the progress of its on-going development projects, namely Desa Green, Vertical Office Suites, Scenaria @ North Kiara Hills, South View Serviced Apartments, Southbank Residence and Desa Sentul.

Lion Forest Industries Bhd dipped into the red for the third quarter ended March 31 (3QFY15), recording a net loss of RM57.81 million, from a net profit of RM16.90 million a year earlier.

Revenue stood lower at RM533.83 million in 3QFY15, compared with RM571.05 million the year before.

The company told Bursa it recognised exceptional losses totalling RM71.1 million, comprising a one-time loss of RM70 million on the full and final settlement of the litigation claim by UNP Plywood Sdn Bhd against Sabah Forest Industries Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary company, and an impairment loss on quoted and unquoted investments of RM1.1 million.

The company attributed it’s decrease in revenue to the steel products division, which saw a decrease of 9% on-year in revenue to RM451.2 million, due to the lower demand for steel-related products from the local steel producers.

Ta Ann Holdings Bhd saw its net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15) declined 5.5% to RM27.08 million or 7.31 sen per share, from RM28.66 million or 7.74 sen in 1QFY14, on weaker crude palm oil (CPO) and fresh fruit bunches (FFB) prices.

Its revenue for the quarter came in at RM222.15 million, 4.9% lower as compared to RM211.82 million in 1QFY14.

Ta Ann (fundamental: 1.9; valuation: 2) also declared a first interim single tier dividend of 10 sen per share, in respect to the financial year ending Dec 31, 2015, payable on Aug 17.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the timber producer said average FFB and CPO prices were lower by 16% and 13% respectively, as compared to the corresponding quarter in 2014.

Ta Ann said its timber sector saw lower sales volume, but better average selling prices for plywood (up 6%) and export logs (up 16%), which generated a higher profit margin and profit for the sector.

Icon Offshore Bhd's Brunei-incorporated subsidiary Icon Bahtera (B) Sdn Bhd has secured another long term time charter contract, valued at approximately RM99 million, with Zell Transportation Sdn Bhd — a company based in Brunei.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Icon Offshore said the contract involves the chartering of the second accommodation workboat within the Icon fleet of vessels, namely Icon Valiant, with Zell.

The time charter contract commenced on April 10, 2015, and shall continue for a period of 2 years from the charter period, with an option for an extension of one year, the company said.

Under the time charter contract, Icon Bahtera is required to provide, amongst others, an offshore support vessel (OSV), including the provision of time charter of the accommodation workboat and crew, to Zell.

Separately, Icon Offshore reported a net profit of RM2.71 million or 0.2 sen per share in its first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15), down 86.1% on-year from RM19.5 million, due to higher payroll costs and foreign exchange losses.

The higher payroll costs was a result of higher headcount to support fleet expansion.

The OSV provider's 1QFY15 revenue was at RM63.59 million, down 20.6% from its 1QFY14's RM80.07 million, due to a lower fleet utilisation rate in 1QFY15.

Earlier today, Icon Offshore’s chief executive officer (CEO) Dr Jamal Yusof withdrew his offer to be re-elected as a director of the offshore service vessel company, “to fully focus on his personal matter".

While Jamal continues to remain his leave of absence as CEO, the group's deputy CEO Captain Hassan Ali will assume leadership of the company.

Note that Jamal and his brother Rahman Yusof, the group's chief operating officer, are on a leave of absence for six months from April 27 this year, to assist in investigations following the duo's remand for three days by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Allianz Malaysia Bhd’s net profit fell 14.59% in its first quarter ended March 31, 2015 (1QFY15) to RM73.64 million, from RM86.22 million in 1QFY14, on lower underwriting profit.

Operating revenue for 1QFY15 however, was up 8.21% to RM1.1 billion, from RM1.02 billion in 1QFY14, of which the group attributed to higher gross earned premiums and investment income, its filing to Bursa Malaysia showed.

Alliance Financial Group Bhd (AFG)’s net profit tumbled 40.97% on-year to RM93.27 million or 6.1 sen per share in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2015 (4QFY15), from RM158.01 million or 10.4 sen, due to margin compression and fall in non-interest income.

In a filing with Bursa, AFG (fundamental: 1.5; valuation: 1.9) said its revenue for the quarter under review, shrunk 10.36% to RM306.05 million, from RM341.41 million in 4QFY14.

AFG proposed a second interim dividend of 6.4 sen, bringing the total dividends declared for FY15 to 15.4 sen, down almost half from the 29.50 sen which it declared for FY14.

Full year earnings (FY15) dipped 5.81% to RM530.78 million or 34.8 sen per share, as compared to RM563.55 million or 37.2 sen per share in FY14; while revenue rose a marginal 2.52% to RM1.383 billion in FY15, from RM1.349 billion in FY14.

Hunza Properties Bhd recorded a huge leap in its net profit for the third quarter ended March 31, 2015 (3QFY15) to RM5.5 million, from RM171,000 during the corresponding period a year ago.

Hunza (fundamental: 1.7; valuation: 1.5) attributed the jump to higher sales from its property development segment, due to stronger take-up rate and higher occupancy rate for its Gurney Paragon Mall and Office Tower this year.

Quarterly revenue for the quarter rose to RM54.81 million, from RM37.69 million, representing a 45.4% improvement year-on-year (y-o-y).

For the nine-month period, Hunza’s net profit grew 89% to RM17.01 million, from RM9.01 million last year, while its revenue expanded 43.3% y-o-y, from RM101.99 million to RM146.22 million.

Poultry farmer Lay Hong Bhd registered a 26% decline in net profit to RM3.72 million year-on-year (y-o-y) in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2015 (4QFY15), compared with RM5.04 million last year.

However, Lay Hong (fundamental: 0.75; valuation: 0.8) reported that its pre-tax profit was higher by 24% during the quarter, after it rose to RM5.7 million, from RM4.59 million a year ago, due to higher productivity and higher poultry product prices, and stable raw material prices.

Revenue for the quarter stood at RM171.53 million, 15.8% higher than the RM148.07 million achieved in same period last year.

For the full financial year, Lay Hong’s net profit more than doubled to RM17.87 million, from RM7.16 million recorded last year. This came on the back of 16% improvement in revenue in FY15, from RM579.22 million last year to RM671.7 million.

(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company’s profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)