Sime Darby, AMMB, CIMB, AirAsia X, BAT, Petron, Pharmaniaga and Allianz

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 21): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, stocks in focus for Friday (Feb 22) may include: Sime Darby Bhd, AMMB Holdings Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Pharmaniaga Bhd and Allianz Malaysia Bhd.

Sime Darby Bhd grew its net profit in the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 by 3.9% to RM317 million, driven by better performance in its industrial and motors division.

Earnings per share rose to 4.7 sen from 4.5 sen previously. The group declared a dividend of 2 sen per share, payable on May 8.

For the first half year, Sime Darby saw net profit fall 66.6% to RM542 million from RM1.62 billion a year ago.

AMMB Holdings Bhd's net profit for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 rose 59.8% to RM349.88 million from RM218.98 million a year ago, mainly from interest on fixed income securities and customer lending.

Revenue for the quarter rose 6.5% to RM2.3 billion from RM2.16 billion.

Cumulative nine-month net profit rose 19% y-o-y to RM1.05 billion from RM878.72 million on the back of a 6.6% increase in revenue to RM6.79 billion from RM6.37 billion.

CIMB Group Holdings Bhd has appointed Jefferi M. Hashim to replace Datuk Kong Sooi Lin as the chief executive officer of CIMB Investment Bank Bhd with effect from March 1.

Kong has decided to retire after serving CIMB group in various capacities for over 25 years.  

Jefferi is currently the Deputy Head of Senior Bankers Group and Deputy CEO of CIMB Investment Bank.

AirAsia X Bhd (AAX), whose co-founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes expects 2019 to be its best-ever year, posted a net loss of RM99.27 million or 2.4 sen per share for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018, a contrast to net profit of RM84.42 million or two sen per share in the previous corresponding quarter.

Quarterly revenue dropped 5.93% to RM1.15 billion from RM1.22 billion previously.

For the full year, AAX posted a net loss of RM312.7 million or 7.5 sen a share, against a net profit of RM98.89 million or 2.4 sen a share last year.

Annual revenue was almost flat at RM4.54 billion, from RM4.56 billion in the previous year.

This is AAX’s first loss-making year since 2015.

British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd’s (BAT) net profit rose 43.59% to RM116.37 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 from RM81.04 million last year as revenue climbed 12.52%.

Revenue grew to RM770.62 million from RM684.86 million. Earnings per share climbed to 40.8 sen from 28.4 sen previously.

The group declared a fourth interim dividend of 47 sen per share or a total of RM134.2 million, payable on March 19.

Despite the stronger 4Q results, its full-year net profit fell 4.89% to RM468.53 million from RM492.64 million in the previous year, as revenue slid 3.2% to RM2.83 billion from RM2.92 billion.

Thinner profit margins pushed Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd into a RM25.55 million loss in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018), versus a net profit of RM99.57 million in the previous year. This is its first quarterly net loss since 2014.

Quarterly revenue grew a marginal 2.2% to RM2.894 billion from RM2.831 billion previously.

The group explained that the overall volume sold in the fourth quarter shrank to 8.6 million barrels against 9.1 million barrels sold over the same period in 2017, owing to lower exports.

For the full financial year, Petron's net profit dropped 44.6% to RM224.54 million from RM405.17 million, despite a 16.2% growth in revenue to RM12.05 billion from RM10.36 billion.

Pharmaniaga Bhd's fourth quarter net profit plunged 80% to RM4.44 million, from RM21.7 million a year ago, mainly due to lower demand coupled with higher finance costs.

Revenue was also lower by 3% at RM596.64 million compared with RM613.2 million a year ago.

The group declared a fourth interim dividend of two sen per share, lower than the six sen declared in the previous year. It will be paid on April 10, 2019.

Full-year net profit also came in lower as a result, falling 21% to RM42.47 million from RM53.82 million in the previous year, though revenue rose slightly by 3% to RM2.38 billion from RM2.32 billion.

Allianz Malaysia Bhd’s net profit rose 15% to RM100.04 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018, from RM86.78 million a year ago, mainly owing to an increase in general insurance profit before tax.

Operating revenue rose 8% to RM1.3 billion from RM1.21 billion on higher gross earned premiums and investment income.

The group declared an interim dividend of 40 sen per share, compared with 12 sen in the same period last year. It had also declared an interim dividend of 48 sen per irredeemable convertible preference share.

For the full year, net profit rose 31% to RM377.02 million from RM287.96 million previously, while operating revenue was 8% higher at RM5.18 billion compared with RM4.8 billion a year ago.