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Top Performing SGX Stocks – YTD April 2023: Food Empire; PropNex; Samudera Shipping

A real estate agency, shipping company and F&B business with exposure to Russia have been among some of the best-performing stocks on the SGX thus far in 2023.

As of the end of April 2023, the Straits Times Index (STI), Singapore’s stock market benchmark, has generated a 2.1% year-to-date (YTD) return. In comparison, the FTSE All-World Index has generated a return of 8.5% while the FTSE Asia Pacific and FTSE ASEAN All-Share Index have generated a return of 3.3% and 0.8% respectively.

On the Singapore Exchange (SGX), there have been some good performing stocks that have seen double-digit returns since the start of the year. In this week’s edition of 4 Stocks This Week, we take a look at some of the notable top-performing stocks on the SGX, and what were the catalysts for their strong performance thus far in 2023.

Note: Some information for this article has been extracted from the SGX Market Update report published on 2 May 2023.

Food Empire (SGX: F03): YTD Return 59.1%

A global manufacturing company in the F&B sector, Food Empire (SGX: F03) is one of a handful of SGX-listed companies that have direct exposure to both Ukraine and Russia.

In spite of the geopolitical tension arising from the Ukraine-Russia war that has dominated much of the world’s headlines in 2022, Food Empire announced in its FY2022 Annual Report that it has achieved record revenue and net profit for FY2022.

In Russia, where 37% of the revenue in 2022 was derived, the company saw its revenue increase 29.1% year-on-year to US$148.4 million for FY2022, mainly due to higher consumer demand coupled with the appreciation of the Russian Ruble and higher average selling price. Net profit for the year was at $60 million, up from $19.3 million in 2021.

Since the start of the year, Food Empire’s share price has gone up about 52%, from $0.65 on 3 January to $0.99 as of 5 May. Its market capitalisation is currently at about $538 million.

PropNex (SGX: OYY): YTD Return 68.6%

A familiar name in Singapore’s real estate market, PropNex (SGX: OYY) is Singapore’s largest listed homegrown real estate agency with over 10,000 sales professionals under it.

In its FY2022 Annual Report published on 4 April, we see that group revenue for 2022 was at $1.03 billion. Part of this growth can be attributed to the higher commission income generated from its agency services, which grew by 23.4% from $519.2 million in FY2021, to $640.6 million for FY2022. Net profit after tax for FY2022 was at $65.3 million.

Since the start of the year, PropNex share price has gone up about 40%. It has also recently executed a one-for-one bonus issue for its shares. Currently, the market capitalisaton of PropNex is at around $925 million.

Samudera Shipping (SGX: S56): YTD Return 58.3%

Samudera Shipping (SGX: S56) is primarily engaged in the transportation of containerized and non-containerized cargo through its Container Shipping and Bulk & Tanker business segments. The Group’s vessels and services currently ply trade routes connecting various ports in Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, the Far East, and the Middle East.

As a result of higher worldwide demand for shipping in 2022, freight rates have gone up. As both prices and demand have increased, this has bode well for Samudera. In its FY2022 annual report, the company reported a revenue increase of 88.0% to USD 990.6 million for FY2022. Net profit also went up by 150.5% to USD 322.0 million for FY2022.

The strong earnings have allowed the company to propose a special tax-exempt dividend of 24.25 Singapore cents and a final tax-exempt dividend of 0.75 Singapore cents for FY2022. Together with the interim dividend of 7 Singapore cents paid out in August 2022, the total dividend for FY2022 amounts to 32 Singapore cents.

Unsurprisingly, the good results have seen Samudera’s share price go up by about 34% for the year. With its share price at $1.14, its market capitalisation is currently at about $717 million.

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4 Stocks This Week is not a recommendation from us to buy or sell any of these stocks. For investors who are keen to find out more, you should continue researching about them before making your investment decisions.