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Genting Net Triples on One-Time Gain After Power Plant Sale

Genting Bhd., Southeast Asia’s biggest casinos group by sales, said fourth-quarter profit more than tripled after booking gains from the sale of a power plant.

Net income surged to 2.48 billion ringgit ($802 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31, or 67.01 sen per share, from 772.9 million ringgit, or 20.94 sen, a year earlier, the company said in a filing to the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange yesterday. Revenue dropped 7 percent to 4.49 billion ringgit.

Genting, which has businesses as diversified as plantations and energy, booked a gain of 1.89 billion ringgit after selling a 720-megawatt plant at Kuala Langat in Malaysia’s Selangor state. The higher profit came after three previous quarters of earnings decline on reduced contributions from its core gaming business and lower palm oil prices.

“The global economic outlook appears more positive this year,” Genting said in its exchange filing.

Genting jumped as much as 1.7 percent to 9.65 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur, the biggest intraday gain since Jan. 7, before paring gains to 9.63 ringgit as of 9.47 a.m. The stock has fallen 7.8 percent over the past 12 months, underperforming a 4.1 percent gain in the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index.

Profit at its Singapore operations halved last quarter after the industry’s regulator stifled efforts by casino operators to lure gamblers with discounts and giveaways including free concert tickets. Genting Singapore Plc, which runs one of the island-state’s two gaming resorts, plans to open new attractions to boost sales after opening a marine park.

‘Value Play’

The Singapore subsidiary will achieve a “more steady-state profit margin” as major capital expenditure for the resort tails off in the second half this year, Genting said.

The group also reported lower pretax profits at its Malaysian and U.K. casino operations.

Genting “remains a value play,” Lucius Chong, an analyst at CIMB Group Holdings Bhd., wrote in a report today. “We see Genting as a cheaper proxy to all the key listed units of the group because it currently only factors in the value of its listed units.”

CIMB maintained an outperform rating on the stock, an equivalent of buy, with price target of 10.90 ringgit.

Genting’s plantation division saw profit contributions drop 22 percent to 96.2 million ringgit, the filing showed. Palm oil prices fell 23 percent last year after stockpiles reached record levels in Malaysia as the European debt crisis and slower growth in China curbed demand.

Pretax profit from power generation gained 77 percent to 92 million ringgit, Genting said.

Full-year earnings climbed 39 percent 3.98 billion ringgit, beating a mean estimate of 2.78 billion ringgit of 24 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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