Stock With Momentum: Astral Asia

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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 28, 2016.


Astral Asia Bhd (-ve)

Shares in Astral Asia (Fundamental: 1.35/3, Valuation: 0.9/3) continued to rise yesterday, surging 16.67% to close at a one-year high of RM1.75, valuing it at RM204 million.

The stock saw a surge in investor interest after Jan 18, and has risen a cumulative 71.6% since then. Previously, the stock was barely traded, and was range bound between RM1 and RM1.13.

On Tuesday, Astral Asia had proposed a 9-for-2 bonus issue of shares, with entitlement dates to be determined later. The exercise is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2016.

Astral Asia derives most of its revenue from the operation of oil palm estates, with the segment contributing 97.7% of revenue in 2014. It is also involved in property development and construction.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2015 (9MFY15), Astral Asia posted a net loss of RM4.19 million compared with a net profit of RM2.7 million a year ago, while revenue declined 19.9% to RM18.71 million from RM23.36 million in 9MFY14, due to lower fresh fruit bunch production and lower crude palm oil prices.