Dataprep leads gainers as value tops RM1b

The company now has a market valuation that is bigger than Boustead, Pharmaniaga and Berjaya Corp


THE top 30 gainers on Bursa Malaysia have added more than RM6.4 billion to their market value so far this year, with Dataprep Holdings Bhd coming out as the biggest gainer after its share price hit another record high to close at RM2.14 last Friday.

Dataprep shares have soared over 1,158% since January, hitting its upper trading limit on multiple occasions, which pushed the counter to reap nearly RM1.2 billion in market value in the last two months.

The company now has a market valuation that is bigger than Boustead Holdings Bhd (RM1.2 billion), Pharmaniaga Bhd (RM960.46 million) and Berjaya Corp Bhd (RM900.36 million), among others.

Other top gainers on the exchange include MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd which is up by 90 sen or 158% year-to-date to RM1.47, Media Prima Bhd (up 39 sen or 134% to 68 sen) and Dagang NeXchange Bhd (DNeX) (up 41 sen or 186% to 63 sen).

Among the top 30 gainers, at least six counters have received an unusual market activity (UMA) query from Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd on the sharp rise of their share price and volume, bourse filings showed.

The companies are Dataprep, Xian Leng Holdings Bhd, Genetec Technology Bhd, Artroniq Bhd, BSL Corp Bhd and Paragon Union Bhd.

With the exception of Artroniq, which received its UMA notice last Friday, all responded by saying they were unaware of any development that had not been previously announced that may account for the activity.

Dataprep’s share price rally began in mid-February after the company announced plans to acquire a 51% stake in RIDAA Associates Sdn Bhd, aimed at expanding the group’s multimedia and communication revenue stream.

The group, in its third-quarter ended June 30, 2020 (3Q20), stated that the acquisition will allow the group to pursue opportunities to build, instal, operate, maintain and manage telecommunication tower assets in Malaysia.

Its venture into the telecommunication towers project is aligned with the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan for the foundation of the country’s digital infrastructure transition to 5G technology.

In addition to its takeover plan, Dataprep’s share price has also been boosted by developments linked to Widad Business Group Sdn Bhd (WBG). WBG is owned by Tan Sri Muhammad Ikmal Opat Abdullah, who is also a substantial holder of Dataprep.

Muhammad Ikmal sold 11.11 million Dataprep shares on Feb 16 in an off-market deal before acquiring 200,000 shares via open market on March 1, which took his stake to 54.21%. He has also been actively trading his shares in Widad Group Bhd with the acquisition of some 366.96 million shares and disposal of 420.16 million shares.

MSM’s share price has nearly tri- pled after the company returned to black in the 4Q with a net profit of RM56.24 million, narrowing its net loss for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2020 (FY20), to RM71.23 million from RM299.77 million the previous year.

The sugar refiner attributed the improved performance to a higher overall margin and lower finance cost.

MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd has since upgraded its call on the stock to ‘Buy’ with a target price (TP) of RM1.96 on expectations the group’s financial performance would continue to improve gradually in FY21 on the back of improved production cost, higher volume and a higher premium.

Media Prima shares have doubled this year as investors look forward to the group’s turnaround. The media group posted a net profit of RM12.43 million in its 3Q20, from net losses of RM20.1 million in the previous quarter and RM24.16 million the year prior, on improved revenue and lower operating expenses.

The improved financial results prompted research houses to upgrade their calls, with Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd strengthening its call to ‘Buy’ (TP of 26 sen) and CGS-CIMB Research Pte Ltd maintaining its ‘Add’ call (TP of 61 sen).

DNeX continues to be one of the most actively traded stocks on the exchange, trading at an average 52-week volume of 230.31 million shares. Its share price climbed to a near two-decade high of 77 sen on Feb 18 before declining to 63.5 sen last Friday.

Its share price rally came after it entered into a conditional share sale and purchase agreement for the proposed acquisition of an additional 60% stake in Bermuda-incorporated Ping Petroleum Ltd in January.

DNeX’s shares rallied further after Khazanah Nasional Bhd accepted its bid as part of a consortium to acquire the entire stake of SilTerra Malaysia Sdn Bhd, for an undisclosed price.

Read our previous report here

Dataprep unaware of reasons for fluctuating share price