Poh Huat, PBA, Paramount, Eco World, ECM Libra, Tanjung Offshore, DRB-HICOM and Pentamaster

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 19): Based on corporate announcements and newsflow today, stocks in focus tomorrow (Friday, March 20) could include: Poh Huat Resources Holdings Bhd, PBA Holdings Bhd, Paramount Corp Bhd, Eco World Development Group Bhd, ECM Libra Financial Group Bhd, Tanjung Offshore Bhd, DRB-HICOM Bhd and Pentamaster.

Poh Huat Resources Holdings Bhd is expecting an increase in furniture shipments from its Malaysian and Vietnamese factories, given the positive outlook amongst furniture importers and retailers in the US and Canada.

"With the pickup in the US economy, we expect demand from the North America market to be sustained," said the company in a Bursa Malaysia filing this evening.

For its first quarter ended Jan 31, 2015, Poh Huat (fundamental: 2.1; valuation: 2.4) posted a 29.5% increase in its net profit to RM8.2 million, from RM6.3 million a year ago, in line with the higher turnover recorded during the quarter.

Revenue increased 10% to RM105.1 million, from RM95.5 million previously, with Malaysian operations recording strong shipments of office furniture to the Canadian market, while the Vietnamese operations focused on shipment of home furniture to the US market.

PBA Holdings Bhd announced the Penang water tariff review announced last year will be implemented on April 1, 2015, which will see an average 16.7% increase for domestic users, and an 18.8% hike for commercial users.

In a statement today, the company said the review is in line with the Penang state government's and Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang (PBAPP)’s goal to reduce water consumption, and as a proactive measure to avoid water rationing.

“We need Penang water consumers to develop the habit of saving water to avoid rationing in this age of climate change,” said the Penang water operator.

It noted water usage has increased to 298 litres per capita per day (l/c/d) over the January/February 2015 cycle, as compared to the average consumption of 293 l/c/d in 2014. The usage is also higher than the national average of 210 l/c/d in 2013.

Property developer and education group Paramount Corp Bhd is expecting a double-digit growth in its topline and bottomline in the next five years, supported by strong property projects in its pipeline with a gross development value (GDV) of RM9.1 billion, and growing recurring income from its education business.

At a media briefing today, group chief executive officer Jeffrey Chew said the RM9.1 billion worth of property projects will be delivered over the next 10 years.

"Over the last 10 years, our profit after tax CAGR is about 10%; we hope to achieve double-digit growth in the next five years, hopefully a high-end double-digit growth."

Its projects will maintain focus on landed townships and most of its landbank located in Selangor and Penang, he said.

Eco World Development Group Bhd has posted net profit of RM3.06 million or 0.6 sen per share and revenue of RM158.03 million, for its first quarter ended Jan 31, 2015.

There was no preceding quarter for comparison, as the group changed its financial year end to Oct 31, from Sept 30.

Looking ahead, the group said it intends to launch four new projects in the upcoming months of its current financial year — Eco Sanctuary in Shah Alam, Eco Terraces in Penang, Eco Tropics and Eco Business Park III in Iskandar Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, currently a director in Eco World, has been redesignated as the non-executive chairman on the board, effective tomorrow.

ECM Libra Financial Group Bhd saw its full year net profit surged 129.76% to RM28.23 million in its financial year ended Jan 31, 2015 (FY15), from RM12.29 million a year ago, largely due to a gain on disposal of securities in a fund managed by its subsidiary.

This translated into a higher earnings per share (EPS) of 10.52 sen, compared to 3.97 sen in FY14. Revenue rose 69.84% to RM47.57 million, from RM28.01 million a year ago.

Meanwhile, for the fourth quarter ended Jan 31, 2015 (4QFY15), ECM Libra recorded a net profit of RM2.14 million or 0.8 sen per share, up 38.14% from RM1.55 million or 0.58 sen per share in the previous year.

The improvement was primarily due to higher revenue which came in at RM10.82 million, up 40.63% from RM7.69 million in 4QFY14.

Tanjung Offshore Bhd has filed an injunction application in court to prevent its non-independent, non-executive director Tan Sri Tan Kean Soon from requisitioning an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

According to a press release issued by Tanjung Offshore (fundamental: 1.85; valuation: 0.6), the company contends the special notice and the circular sent to the shareholders were in bad faith and therefore invalid.

“The notices and the circular reflect the intention of the requisitioners to wrest control of the board and take over control of Tanjung Offshore. If this occurs, the investigations and the company’s civil suit against them, is likely to be derailed, it said.

To recap, Tan, Datuk Nik Norzul Thani bin N. Hassan Thani and Datin Norhafizah binti Mohd Nordin had requisitioned an EGM to remove three independent directors with immediate effect. They are George William Warren, Datuk Ab Wahab Ibrahim and Sharizal Hisham Abdul Halim, in an EGM which was scheduled for March 27, 2015.

The requisitioners are also proposing to appoint five new directors, as well as remove Rahmandin @ Rahmanuddin bin Md Shamsudin, who was appointed director and chief executive officer on Feb 12, 2015.

DRB-HICOM Bhd’s unit CTRM Aero Composites Sdn Bhd has exchanged a letter of intent with UTC Aerospace Systems, for the extension of CTRM’s supply of three existing work packages.

In a filing with the exchange today, DRB-HICOM (fundamental: 1.5; valuation: 1.8) said the discussions between the two parties are ongoing, during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA).

The group anticipates the tenure of the contracts — which was awarded in 2003 with a contract value of approximately RM4.2 billion — to be extended up to seven years, with an average annual value of RM350 million.

The contracts entail the supply of major composite structures, including fan cowls, inlet cowl panels and thrust reversers.

Manufacturer of automated and semi-automated machinery and equipment, Pentamaster Corp Bhd, has purchased a piece of land in Seberang Perai, to host a new factory, in order to cater for increase in production activities.

Based on a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Pentamaster’s (fundamental: 1.8; valuation: 1.8) wholly-owned subsidiary Pentamaster Technology (M) Sdn Bhd has purchased the 3.23 acre leasehold land from the Penang Development Corp (PDC) for RM5.02 million.

“The proposed acquisition is to cater for increase in production activities, which require a bigger space for assembly and testing activities,” said the company.

The acquisition will be funded by a combination of internally-generated funds and bank borrowings.

(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.)