Trades Initiated in the past week


Singapore stocks slipped 0.1 per cent or 2.36 points to 3,133.78 on Thursday (Mar 7) amid cautious sentiment ahead of the US nonfarm payroll statistics. Across the broader market, losers beat gainers 280 to 242, with 1.39 billion securities worth S$1 billion changing hands. Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 1.2 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.3 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index climbed 0.2 per cent.

Stocks on Wall Street closed higher, with both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq finishing at new records amid a midweek bounce fueled by tech stocks including Nvidia. Remarks by Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell in Washington spurred hopes of a start to interest rate cuts, as he signaled the economy was on the right track. The broad-based S&P 500 closed up 1.0 per cent to hit a new record of 5,157.36, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq soared by 1.5 per cent to a fresh high of 16,273.38.

Top gainers & losers


Events Of The Week



Hotelier Mandarin Oriental International posted an underlying profit of US$81 million for FY2023, up from US$8 million a year ago. This translates to a full-year underlying profit growth of 966 per cent. The group’s revenue increased 23 per cent to US$558.1 million, buoyed by the return of Chinese tourists. The group saw a net loss, however, for FY2023 of US$365.4 million, up from US$49.5 million the year before. Loss per share was 28.91 US cents, compared with 3.92 US cents the year before. A dividend of five US cents per share was declared. No dividend was declared the previous year. The group’s underlying Ebitda, which includes that of its subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures, in 2023 was US$177.6 million, compared to US$111.4 million a year ago. The group said that its non-trading losses of US$446 million primarily comprised a non-cash revaluation of the Causeway Bay site in Hong Kong under development, resulting in a loss attributable to shareholders of US$365 million.

Singapore-based self-storage operator StorHub is moving in on the Australian market, with the launch of StorHub Australia, backed by a US$300 million equity commitment. StorHub said its platform in Australia is seeded with five assets in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, with a combined gross floor area (GFA) of 56,210 square metres. With the acquisitions, StorHub said it is accelerating its pan-Asia growth strategy and adding 655,000 sq m into its portfolio across seven markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

Jardine Matheson Holdings on Thursday (Mar 7) posted an underlying net profit of US$1.66 billion for the financial year 2023, up 5 per cent from underlying earnings of US$1.58 billion in 2022. The company also noted in a bourse filing that its financials for FY2022 have been restated due to changes in its accounting policies. Executive chairman Ben Keswick said that the group saw its underlying profit rise to “a new high” in 2023 as many of its businesses benefited from the reopening of markets following the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.

DFI Retail Group posted underlying earnings of US$154.7 million for the fiscal year ended Dec 31, 2023, up 437 per cent from earnings of US$28.8 million in FY2022. The group’s net profit for the year stood at US$32.2 million, versus a loss of US$114.6 million in the prior year. Underlying earnings distinguishes between the group’s ongoing business performance and non-trading items, DFI said in its financial results posted on the bourse on Thursday (Mar 7).

Property developer Hongkong Land fell into the red for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2023, posting a full-year loss of US$582.3 million, from a US$202.7 million profit the year before. Its underlying profit slid by 5 per cent to US$734.2 million, from US$776.1 million the previous year. The group said that profits from its investment properties grew, mainly due to an improved performance by its luxury retail and Singapore office portfolios, offsetting the reduced contributions from its Hong Kong office portfolio.


The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits was unchanged last week as the labour market continued to gradually ease. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits held at a seasonally adjusted 217,000 for the week ended March 2, the US Labor Department said on Thursday (Mar 7). Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims unchanged at 215,000 in the latest week. The labour market is steadily loosening up, with 1.45 job openings per every unemployed person in January, government data showed on Wednesday. This ratio has dropped from 1.82 a year ago, but remains well above the average of 1.2 during the year before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Oil prices were little changed on Thursday as markets weighed new economic data from China against increasing supply from the Western Hemisphere. Brent crude futures settled flat at US$82.96 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures ended 20 cents lower at US$78.93. China’s import and export growth beat estimates, suggesting global trade is turning a corner in a positive signal for policymakers as they try to shore up economic recovery.

Costco on Thursday missed Wall Street’s revenue expectations for its holiday quarter, despite reporting year-over-year sales growth and strong e-commerce gains. In the three-month period that ended Feb. 18, Costco’s net income rose to $1.74 billion, or $3.92 per share, compared to $1.47 billion, or $3.30 per share, a year earlier. Costco’s revenue for the quarter increased from $55.27 billion in the year-ago period. Comparable sales for the company increased 5.6% year over year and 4.3% in the U.S. Excluding changes in gas prices and foreign currency, the metric increased 5.8% overall and 4.8% in the U.S.

Tech conglomerate Broadcom, beat market estimates for first-quarter revenue on Thursday, as cloud providers continue to upgrade data centers to support AI, helping drive demand for its advanced networking chips. The company reported quarterly net revenue of $11.96 billion, below analysts’ average estimate of $11.72 billion, according to LSEG data. Broadcom reported adjusted first-quarter net income of $5.25 billion, compared with analysts’ estimates of $5.01 billion. Adjusted for stock compensation, among other things, earnings were $10.99 a share, compared with estimates of $10.30 a share.

Source: SGX Masnet, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia, Reuters, CNBC, WSJ, The Business Times, PSR


Salesforce Inc – Further margin expansion

Recommendation: ACCUMULATE (Maintained); TP: US$323.00

Analyst: Ambrish Shah

– FY24 revenue/adj. PATMI met our expectations at 100% of our forecasts. 4Q24 adj. PATMI jumped 36% YoY to US$2.3bn driven by higher operating leverage.

– For FY25e, Salesforce expects revenue to grow 9% YoY to US$37.9bn driven by strong momentum in its MuleSoft and Tableau offerings. Adj. EPS expected to grow 18% YoY to US$9.7 led by cost-containment efforts. Salesforce declared its first-ever quarterly dividend of US$0.40 per share and increased its share buyback program by US$10bn.

– We maintain ACCUMULATE with a raised DCF target price of US$323.00 (prev. US$270.00) as we roll over an additional year of valuations. Our WACC/g assumptions remain unchanged at 7%/4%, respectively. We nudge lower our FY25e revenue estimates by 1% to account for FX headwinds and declining professional services revenue, while we increase our adj. PATMI by 3% due to lower expenses. Catalysts include continued margin expansion, focus on maximising shareholder returns, and resilient demand for its Customer 360 cloud offerings as companies look to form a more holistic view of their customer data to provide better customer experiences.



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