Maybank Kim Eng downgraded Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH)
to "hold" from "buy" and cut its target price to
S$4.50 from S$4.52, saying the media and property company's core
business has continued to weaken.
SPH shares were down 1.15 percent at S$4.28 on Tuesday,
while the benchmark Straits Times Index was up 0.4
percent. The stock has risen about 6 percent so far this year
versus a more than 2 percent gain in the index.
SPH reported on Monday evening an 81 percent jump in
third-quarter net profit to S$187.5 million ($148.2 million),
lifted by S$111.4 million fair value gain on investment
properties resulting from a change in accounting policy.
Excluding the fair value gain on investment properties and
an impairment loss of S$15.6 million on an overseas magazine
subsidiary, SPH's core net profit of S$91.7 million was down 12
percent from a year earlier, Maybank noted.
The broker also said SPH's advertising revenue has been
heavily hit for the last two quarters since Singapore launched
cooling measures on the property and car sectors.
"The most immediate catalyst, REIT spin-off, is largely in
price already while the core media business could continue to be
under pressure for more quarters," Maybank said, adding that the
current 5.5 percent dividend yield would be less attractive as
government bond yields rise.