Tales of cheer and woes in market
By GARETH HEWETT
IN usual style, the past year threw up an interesting flotsam and jetsam of stocks in the list of top 30 performers of the year.
Takeovers were behind most of the top five, with interesting property deals and a fair sprinkling of new listings making up the rest.
In the bottom 30, there are numerous tales of woe and investment stories that seem to have had a sorry ending.
The performances of Public International and Tung Wing Steel are linked to takeovers by mainland Chinese enterprises with Mr Li Ka-shing, to secure what are effectively ''back-door'' listings.
Mansion House, Chia Tai and Sing Tao have seen good financial results or are planning to make inroads to China.
Among the more mainstream companies putting in returns in excess of 60 per cent were new listings Giordano, Goldlion, Fairwood and Wo Kee Hong, providing long-term investors with satisfactory returns.
They are generally regarded as well-run operations in the buoyant retail markets for clothes, fast food and air-conditioners in China.
Other retail-orientated top 30 performers include fast food chain Cafe de Coral, jewellery maker Tse Sui Luen, lingerie manufacturer Topform and bathroom accessories maker Acme Landis.
The textile industry and associated firms have been buoyed by expectations of strong demand for goods in China and the United States. These include YGM Trading, YGM International, Laws International and Island Dyeing.
Many of the worst performers of the year were in consumer electronics and original equipment manufacturing (OEM), many of which were linked to Japanese buyers putting pressure on margins to cut costs as Japan slid into recession.
Kin Son is one such OEM story that turned bad.
Other stocks in manufacturing of one sort or another include Process Automation, Swilynn, Teletech and Yanion.
Playmates continues to under-perform as brokers await its annual results to see how far the company can go as Ninja Turtle sales fall.
Construction firm International Tak Cheung has seen net profit growth but earnings per share dilution, but it is not the only construction firm suffering, as seen in Daido Concrete, Chee Shing and Sung Foo Kee.
Joyce Boutique has been hit hard recently after announcing poor interims, down 37.2 per cent to $10.2 million.