We feature three Singapore stocks that delivered an impressive share price performance for 2023.
Earlier, we shared 3 blue chip Singapore stocks that performed well in 2023.
This led some investors to ask whether there are smaller-sized companies that generated returns that exceeded the Singapore market last year
After all, we saw limited gains in the Straits Times Index (STI) once again.
For investors who have the ability to identify hidden gems in the Singapore market, an investment into the following stocks would have generated a decent return in 2023.
Let us find out what are some of the smaller-sized companies that delivered an impressive share price performance last year.
Three of the top-performing Singapore stocks for 2023
#1 – Delfi Limited (SGX: P34)
Delfi manufactures and distributes branded food and beverage products that are sold in 17 countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia.
The group owns established brands such as SilverQueen, Delfi and Ceres which are household names in Indonesia, as well as distributes agency brands in the region.
Delfi’s shares gained 41% in 2023 to reach S$1.10.
The group posted an admirable financial performance when it released its third quarter 2023 (3Q 2023) business update.
For the first nine months of 2023 (9M 2023), revenue rose 15.2% year on year to US$358.3 million, driven by higher sales in both Indonesia and regional markets.
Gross profit margin also expanded 0.4 percentage points from 29.5% to 29.9% while net profit climbed 22.1% year on year to US$32.8 million.
As of 30 September 2023, the chocolate manufacturer had US$61.9 million of cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet along with US$18.3 million of debt.
For 9M 2023, the group’s free cash flow surged from US$14 million in the prior year to US$22.9 million.
Delfi expects to end 2023 on a positive note as the company continues to benefit from robust economic growth and consumer spending in Indonesia.
Indonesian President Jokowi has projected that the Indonesian economy could grow at 5.2% in 2024, accelerating from growth of 4.8% in 2023.
At the same time, inflation has eased to 2.6% in December 2023 from close to 6% in late 2022.
However, management has warned that increased investments in brand-building initiatives may temper overall profit growth.
#2 – iFAST Corporation Limited (SGX: AIY)
iFAST is a financial technology (fintech) company that operates a platform (Fundsupermart) for the buying and selling of financial products such as unit trusts, equities, and bonds.
Shares of the fintech rose by 41% in 2023 after a big surge that occurred in December.
iFAST posted an impressive set of results for its 3Q 2023 earnings release.
Operating profit more than doubled year on year to S$20.3 million on the back of an 18.1% year-on-year increase in net revenue to S$104.5 million.
Net profit nearly tripled year on year to S$15.1 million.
The group’s assets under administration (AUA) also hit a record high of S$19.12 billion as of 30 September 2023 with net inflows of S$1.62 billion for 9M 2023.
The better showing was because of an initial one-month contribution from iFAST’s Hong Kong ePension division.
The fintech not only expects 2023’s net profit to be substantially higher than 2022 but is confident that 2024’s revenue and net profit will display “robust growth” compared with 2023.
A third interim dividend of S$0.013 was paid out, unchanged from last year.
To learn more about iFAST, read our earlier analysis on what is driving its strong share price perofrmance.
CEO Lim Chung Chun has communicated that there is room for an increase in dividends in 2024 with profits expected to rise.
We spoke to the management team at iFAST to understand more about the company's prospects in the coming year.
Watch the video below to find out more!
#3 – Digital Core REIT (SGX: DCRU)
Digital Core REIT is a data centre REIT with a portfolio of 11 data centres located in the US, Canada, and Germany.
The portfolio enjoys a high occupancy of 97% as of 30 September 2023 and has assets under management of US$1.59 billion.
Digital Core REIT’s share price rose by 18% in 2023 to reach US$0.65.
Digital Core REIT had proposed a series of transactions in early November that addressed a customer’s bankruptcy and improved the credit quality of the portfolio.
The resolution of the customer insolvency involved the sale of two assets at book value to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and the amendment of a lease on a data centre in Los Angeles.
With the proceeds from the divestment, the manager will recycle the capital to purchase an additional 20% stake in its Frankfurt data centre.
At the same time, Digital Core REIT will also acquire a 10% interest in a data centre in Osaka, Japan, from Mitsubishi Corporation.
This series of transactions will help to improve the proportion of investment-grade tenants from 77% to 85%.
Its number of tenants will also jump from 26 at present to more than 40, providing it with better rental income diversification.
Digital Core REIT offers a forward dividend yield of 5.8%, even as its distribution per unit is expected to decline in 2023.
With the announced transactions, Digital Core REIT's aggregate leverage is expected to stay fairly constant at 34.1%.
What would Beansprout do?
The performance of the Singapore market lagged the US stock market in 2023.
However, selected stocks still have the potential to perform better than the broader market.
Delfi, iFast and Digital Core REIT generated a good return for investors in 2023, supported by their improved operating performance.
However, we would need to spend time to perform due diligence and discover these gems in the market.
If you prefer blue chip stocks with good dividend payout, check out our guide to 3 Singapore blue-chip stocks paying out consistent dividends.
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