IN THE recent sharp market downturn, a number of companies and major shareholders have done what they deem to be rational -- buy their stock at bargain prices.

We highlight Technics Oil & Gas, a regular accumulator, and two first-time buyers: GMG Global and the chairman of Otto Marine.

Executive chairman Robin Ting (left) showing guests around the new Technics jetty at its yard in Loyang. Photo by Leong Chan Teik

Technics Oil & Gas has proven to be a consistent buyer of its shares. Its chairman Robin Ting and executive director David Tay also have been buying.

In the latest episode, the company bought back 1.023 m shares, bringing its total treasury shares to 7.763 million.

This is a significant accumulation, considering that the shares were acquired at the 80 cent-$1.00 range.

Apart from putting down cash for its stock, Technics has been paying significant dividends to shareholders. In the recent 3Q result announcement, it said it would pay 3 cents a share.

This, on top of a 3-cent and 6-cent dividend payout paid after the 2Q and 1Q results, respectively.

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After tumbling from about 30 cents six months ago, GMG Global has bought back its own shares for the first time since the stock was listed in November 2008.

GMG bought 2.45 million shares on Aug 11 at between 19.8 cents and 21 cents each.

In 2Q, the rubber plantation operator's revenue surged 257.3% Y-o-Y to S$288.4m.

Net profit grew to S$18.0m from S$9.5m in 2Q10. The Group said its balance sheet is healthy with cash balance of S$103.5m


Yaw Chee Siew, chairman of Otto Marine. Photo by Sim Kih

Otto Marine has faced many challenges in the past year or so, and its stock price has fallen hard.

So hard that it has appeared to be a bargain to its chairman, Yaw Chee Siew, who stepped up last week to buy the company’s shares for the first time.

He bought 453,000 shares in his own name, the only shares in his own name.

He has a deemed interest in another 1.2 billion shares, or 63.38% of the company.

Otto Marine has just reported a $40.9 million loss in 2Q compared to a $17.3 million net profit in the previous corresponding quarter.

The 1H was a loss of $36.8 million, primarily due to:

(1) shipbuilding segment – lower revenue recognition ($68 million) and reversal of profit due to termination of the sales contracts for two large AHTS vessels ($21 million);

(2) geophysical segment – lower utilisation of seismic vessels ($13 million) resulting from increased mobilization time; and

(3) other income/expenses – mainly increased losses arising from fair value changes of foreign exchange forward contracts ($9 million).

The above were partially offset by a decrease in foreign exchange losses ($31 million) as well as a decrease in reversal of profit for vessels sold to associates ($4 million).

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#1 Jacintha 2011-09-11 16:33
Technics gave out 6+3+3 cents a share in dividend in 1Q, 2Q & 3Q respectively of FY 11 (ending Sept 2011). It's a v high payout but they have said nothing will be given for 4Q (July-Sept). Technics used to pay between 1 cent and 2.75 cents in FY07,08, and 09. Back then, the profits were smaller -- then came FY10 and the profit shot up from S$6 m to S$21 m and then payout went up to 10.5 cents dividend. The stock went from 40-cent level to 80-$1.00, until recent months when it dropped to 88 cents. It's apparent to me the dividends will be maintained if the profits can grow. In FY 12, how? Only time will tell. Don't always assume dividends can be the same high every year.

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