It has been a roller-coaster ride for investors thus far this year.
With the second wave of infections hitting countries such as Japan, South Korea and the US, already weakened economies are at risk of suffering another major hit.
Back in Singapore, our Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) has declined by around 16.6% year to date.
Many industries have been badly hit by the virus and are still struggling to pick up the pieces.
However, amidst the carnage, there have been bright spots.
Some companies have not only weathered the storm but have also done significantly better during this tough period.
Here are four companies that managed to outperform the STI this year.
AEM Holdings Ltd (SGX: AWX)
AEM offers application-specific intelligent system test and handling solutions for electronic and semiconductor companies that serve the computing, 5G and artificial intelligence sectors.
Shares in the group have soared 58.4% year to date and closed at an all-time high of S$3.31 recently.
In a business update for the first quarter of 2020, AEM reported a sparkling set of results.
Revenue almost tripled from S$52.7 million to S$146.8 million.
Net profit after tax soared more than five-fold from S$6.6 million to S$36.1 million.
Net profit margin increased sharply, from just 12.5% in the first quarter of 2019 to 24.6% in the current quarter.
The stellar growth was driven by increased orders from its key customers for tools, consumables and services.
Prospects look bright for the group as it works on several new technologies with various potential customers.
COVID-19 has had minimal impact on the group as its operations are deemed essential and, therefore, are allowed to continue to operate.
iFAST Corporation Ltd (SGX: AIY)
iFAST is a financial technology company that owns a wealth management platform, with assets under administration (AUA) of S$9.54 billion as of 31 March 2020.
The group is present in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and India.
Year to date, iFAST’s shares have risen 35.6%.
The group reported a record quarterly net profit of S$3.64 million in the first quarter of 2020, up 126% year on year.
The result was achieved on the back of a 25% year on year increase in net revenue, and despite the sharp volatility experienced in financial markets.
Although AUA fell briefly below the S$10 billion mark, as of April 22, iFAST had regained the S$10 billion AUA level.
The group also recently announced that it had qualified for the next round of screening for Singapore’s first batch of digital wholesale banks.
Sheng Siong Group Ltd (SGX: OV8)
Sheng Siong is one of the largest supermarket chains in Singapore.
The group operates a chain of 61 grocery outlets across the island, selling a wide assortment of live produce as well as general merchandise.
Sheng Siong’s share price has risen by 30.2% this year.
For the first quarter of 2020, revenue increased by 30.7% year on year, while net profit jumped by 50% year on year.
As food and groceries are considered essential services, Sheng Siong was allowed to operate normally during Singapore’s circuit breaker period.
The group saw a surge in buying during the first three months as many people stocked up on essential items due to an irrational fear of stocks running out.
Moving forward, the group has secured two new HDB leases and will proceed to fit out the new stores.
Riverstone Holdings Limited (SGX: AP4)
Riverstone is a manufacturer of nitrile and natural rubber gloves for both the cleanroom and healthcare industries.
The group has six manufacturing facilities located in Malaysia, China and Thailand, with a total glove production capacity of nine billion pieces per annum as of 31 March 2020.
Year to date, Riverstone’s share price has been on a tear, more than tripling from S$0.94 to S$2.93.
In a business update released for the first quarter of 2020, the group reported that revenue increased by 16.2% year on year, while net profit jumped by 54.3% year on year to RM 46.6 million.
The pandemic has led to a surge in demand for healthcare gloves, significantly boosting the group’s order book.
For the remainder of 2020, Riverstone is on track to increase its capacity to a total of 10.4 billion gloves per annum, which should help to alleviate pressure on supply.
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Disclaimer: Royston Yang owns shares in iFAST Corporation Limited.
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