4 Singapore Blue-Chip Stocks at 52-Week Lows: Can Their Share Prices Recover?

Lady Tapping on Mobile Phone
Lady Tapping on Mobile Phone

It can be worrying when the share prices of your stocks slide downward.

One of the reasons could be falling revenue and profits that cause investors to feel downbeat about the business’s prospects.

Another reason may be general bearish sentiment because of worries over inflation, a slowing economy or high interest rates.

Whatever the reason, investors must review and analyse the business to determine if it can continue to do well.

Blue-chip stocks are well-known for their resilience and stability but even they may succumb to pessimism from time to time.

Here are four blue-chip stocks that have fallen to their 52-week lows.

Wilmar International Limited (SGX: F34)

Wilmar is a leading agribusiness group with over 500 manufacturing plants and an extensive distribution network spanning China, India, Indonesia and 50 countries and regions.

The group’s share price has skidded by nearly 13% year-to-date (YTD) and closed just above its 52-week low of S$3.46.

The agribusiness giant released a downbeat set of earnings for its fiscal 2023’s first half (1H 2023).

Revenue dipped by 10% year on year to US$32.5 billion while net profit plunged by 52.7% year on year to US$550.9 million.

The poorer performance was attributed to weak results in the Food Products and Sugar Milling divisions but was offset somewhat by the Sugar Merchandising and Shipping segments.

Higher sales volume in 1H 2023 was offset by lower commodity prices.

Core net profit, which excludes one-off items, halved from US$1.16 billion a year ago to US$577.2 million.

Despite the lower profit, Wilmar kept its interim dividend constant at S$0.06 per share.

The business also generated a positive free cash flow of US$2.1 billion, a reversal from the free cash outflow in 1H 2022.

The group is making good progress on new businesses such as condiments, food park and central kitchen projects and believes that 2H 2023 will be better than 1H 2023.

Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust (SGX: N2IU)

Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust, or MPACT, is a retail and commercial REIT with a portfolio of 18 properties in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan, and South Korea.

These properties were valued at around S$16.6 billion as of 31 March 2023.

MPACT’s unit price has skidded to a 52-week low of S$1.50 and is down 9% YTD.

The REIT reported a tough quarter for its fiscal 2024’s first quarter (1Q FY2024) ending 30 June 2023.

Although gross revenue and net property income shot up 75.6% and 68% year-on-year, respectively, the REIT’s distribution per unit (DPU) fell by 12.8% year on year to S$0.0218.

The decline was because of higher finance costs along with depreciation in the REIT’s rental income against the strong Singapore Dollar.

MPACT’s portfolio committed occupancy stood high at 95.7% with a positive rental reversion of 2.4%.

Both the REIT’s key malls, VivoCity in Singapore and Festival Walk in Hong Kong, have reported higher year-on-year tenant sales and shopper traffic for 1Q FY2024.

Singtel (SGX: Z74)

Singtel is Singapore’s largest telecommunication company and provides services such as mobile, broadband, and cable TV.

The share price of the telco has fallen by 8.2% YTD and has touched a 52-week low of S$2.31.

Singtel released its 1Q FY2024 business update recently where it reported a 2.7% year-on-year dip in operating revenue.

Operating profit fell by 8.5% year on year to S$300 million and net profit plunged 23.1% year on year to S$483 million.

However, the telco’s underlying net profit rose 15% year on year to S$571 million because of lower finance costs and better contributions from its associates in India and Thailand.

Looking ahead, Singtel’s Australia unit Optus believes it will enjoy integration benefits and better results from cost initiatives in the second half of FY2024.

At the same time, its mobile division should benefit from the travel recovery and higher demand for home broadband connectivity.

The group will accelerate 5G adoption and also work on integrating its consumer and enterprise businesses to achieve cost savings.

Hongkong Land Holdings (SGX: H78)

Hongkong Land Holdings, or HKL, is a property development, investment and management group with more than 850,000 square metres of prime office and luxury retail assets in cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Jakarta.

HKL’s share price has fallen to a 52-week low of US$3.46 and is down 25.4% YTD.

The group released a weak set of earnings for 1H 2023 with revenue down 24.7% year on year to US$670.3 million.

HKL reported a net loss of US$333 million but after adjusting for exceptional and one-off items, underlying net profit dipped just 1% year on year to US$422 million.

An interim dividend of US$0.06 was declared, similar to a year ago.

Sentiment remains weak as China’s property downturn seems to be spreading even to trophy office buildings as vacancies rise in Beijing and Shanghai.

Tenants are also asking for lower rents, a factor that may negatively impact HKL’s rental income.

Management plans to open 10 retail developments across seven cities in China within the next five years to bring the total number of commercial projects in the country to 17.

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Disclosure: Royston Yang does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.

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