Welcome to the top twenty something index issues of the PSEi that have big market capitalization, plus some banks and financial big caps as well
Yes, I could. Ah..but am not there yet TA-wise, yamada san. As a Fundamentally Addicted (FA) long-termer, I'm still learning how to enter and exit based on the charting graphs. As mentioned earlier in my DRIP thread, I have been watching PHI since 1998. No exchange of bloody fluids, este bloody cash todate.
On my MSN WATCH Portfolio Manager, I bought 1000 shares (March 2005) of PHI @$25/sh and so far I have received two cash dividends this year. Hence, my (unscientific) purely FA remark to HOLD.
Trust me, I really want to learn TA! Am right now on page one of Steve Nison's Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques book where the quote says, "The beginning is most important!"
Oh..on page 15, it says, "Through inquiring of the old we learn the new!"
PLDT says eyeing purchase of Dream Satellite TV operator
Posted: 10:18 AM | Aug. 30, 2005
PHILIPPINE Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) has confirmed that it was negotiating for the purchase of Philippine Multi-Media Systems Inc., operator of Dream Satellite TV, from former PLDT chairman Antonio Cojuangco.
The move is in line with its plan to offer a direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television service in the country, it said.
"Discussions between the PLDT group and certain DTH satellite television service franchise holders, including Philippine Multi-Media Systems Inc., are ongoing," PLDT told the stock exchange in a disclosure.
On Monday, the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper reported that PLDT has been trying to convince Cojuangco to sell Dream Satellite TV.
It quoted unidentified sources as saying that Cojuangco had been asking for 56 million dollars for the satellite TV company, which is more than double PLDT's offer of 25 million dollars.
From Russia, With Ringtone
By Stephen D. Simpson, CFA
August 30, 2005
If you look at a chart of Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE: MBT), whose stock has wavered between $30 and $40 for some time now, you might assume it's a stable operator in a stable environment. You'd be wrong. Russia and its former republics are far from stable, and Mobile TeleSystems is far from joining the sluggish growth ranks of American operators like Verizon (NYSE: VZ) or Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick SBC Communications (NYSE: SBC).
For the second quarter, the company reported that sales climbed 35% and earnings rose roughly 14%. Both figures exceeded analyst expectations. Although free cash flow (FCF) production has declined from last year due to higher capital expenditures, the company is still free-cash-flow positive.
Despite worries of saturation in the core Russian market, the company managed to nearly double last year's subscriber base, posting sequential growth of roughly 14%. By quarter's end, the company led market shares in Russia (35%), Ukraine (49%), Uzbekistan (57%), and Belarus (51%).
Looking at other operational figures, ARPU (average revenue per user) was $9.30 in Russia and $10.80 in Ukraine. These figures fall below the previous year's quarter, though they're up a bit sequentially. Churn rates (the percentage of customers who left) also remain quite high at 6.8% and 5.7%, respectively. With all of the competition for subscribers from Vimpel Communications (NYSE: VIP) and others, and the resulting promotions, these numbers will probably stay volatile for some time to come. That said, the company continues to roll out more marketing initiatives and product options with an eye toward building loyalty and increasing usage of higher-priced services.
There are valid reasons to be nervous about jumping into former Soviet republics. Organized crime, political corruption, and ethnic rivalries have all created problems before and likely will again. But while caution is absolutely warranted, don't forget that you're talking about a sizable, well-educated population that generally wants to be more prosperous in the future.
I'm a sucker for good emerging-market telco stories (see prior Takes on Philippine Long Distance (NYSE: PHI) or China Mobile (NYSE: CHL)) and Mobile TeleSystems is high on my watch list. Were I not pretty much fully invested in the space already, I might think about nibbling at these shares. Investors can choose from literally a global menu of stocks, but I do think this Russian might be worth a little love.
HONG KONG - Hong Kong conglomerate First Pacific posted an 18 percent rise in half-year net profit, thanks to a stronger performance from its Philippines telecoms holdings, and declared a small dividend -- its first since 2001.
The company, which has telecoms and property interests in the Philippines and owns 51 percent of Indonesian instant noodle maker Indofood, on Wednesday posted a net profit of US$60.8 million for the six months to June.
That compared with restated earnings of US$51.5 million in the same period last year. Few analysts forecast interim results for the company, but CSFB had predicted an underlying net profit of $79.4 million and JP Morgan expected net profit of $40.7 million, citing poor earnings and high interest costs at Indofood.
The company, which was battered by the Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s, proposed what it described as a "modest" interim dividend of 0.13 US cents per share. Its last dividend payout was in May 2001.
"It is our intention to increase the dividend as cash flows at headquarters further strengthen as a result of the projected substantial and continuing dividend streams from PLDT," Chief Executive Manuel Pangilinan said in a statement.
First Pacific owns about 25 percent of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), the country's largest telecoms firm.
Recurring profit rose by 8.5 percent to US$53.9 million, from $49.7 million a year earlier.
Turnover fell by 5.9 percent to US$942.5 million due to the declining value of Indonesia's rupiah currency in the first half, the company said.
First Pacific shares had fallen nearly 10 percent in the last month, largely because of worries about the economy in Indonesia, where the firm has a quarter of its assets and earnings exposure.
However, the stock was up 6.93 percent at HK$2.70 in early afternoon dealings on Wednesday.
CSFB analysts have twice downgraded First Pacific's share rating in the past month because of concerns over poor growth prospects at Indofood, Indonesia's general economic performance and expectations of more depreciation of the rupiah currency.
But other analysts say the share price is attractive now, and other interests including PLDT and Philippine property and shipping firm Metro Pacific are faring well.
JP Morgan and CLSA both have "buy" recommendations on the stock.
PLDT reported a nine percent jump in quarterly profit at the beginning of August and raised its core earnings estimate for this year by 7.4 percent to P29 billion.
Indofood is targeting a 600 billion rupiah net profit this year, up from 378 billion in 2004, even though first-half profit plunged 88 percent to 14.5 billion on charges for staff lay-offs, currency hedging and rising raw materials costs.
S&P affirms foreign currency rating on PLDT at "BB-"
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Thursday affirmed its "BB-" foreign currency rating on Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), the leading telecommunications operator in the country. The outlook is negative.
The rating on PLDT's existing series III preferred stock was raised to "B+" from "B".
"The rating on PLDT benefits from the company's dominant market position and its improving financial profile, although these strengths are offset by slowing domestic subscriber growth, heightened competition and the risk of peso depreciation," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Yasmin Wirjawan.
Wirjawan added: "The negative outlook reflects that of the sovereign ratings on the Philippines."
PLDT had a wireless subscriber base of about 20.8 million, representing a market share of 57 percent, compared with 38 percent for its main competitor, Globe Telecom Inc. (foreign currency BB-/Negative/--, local currency BB+/Negative/--).
In the fixed line market, PLDT is the market leader with 60 percent share, or 2.1 million lines in service.
Following the company's deleveraging program, PLDT's annualized funds from operations (FFO) to total debt improved to 41 percent as of June 30, 2005, compared with its three-year (2002-2004) average of 17 percent.
At end June, the company's cash of P36 billion (US$643 million) was more than enough to cover P30 billion of debt due in one year.
"Nevertheless, PLDT is exposed to the risk of peso weakness, as about 98 percent of its US$2.5 billion debt is denominated in foreign currency," said Wirjawan.
About half of the company's total debt is covered by hedges and US dollar cash balance (equivalent to US$351 million as of end June).
THE Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. announced Thursday a strategic partnership with IBM Philippines to provide affordable Internet access to the Filipino mobile workforce.
PLDT said its WeRoam Unleashed bundling program offers a cost-effective means for corporations to avail of fast and efficient Internet connectivity for their mobile workers using market-leading IBM ThinkPad notebook computers and the Philippines’ foremost wireless Internet service.
The partnership between IBM and PLDT will allow corporations to dramatically increase employee productivity by making it more affordable to telecommute.
Instead of buying the ThinkPad, a company can pay for it as part of its monthly PLDT WeRoam service fee, making the cost as an operational, not capital expense.
PLDT said companies need not release a huge capital outlay for the laptop, and that employees can get their ThinkPads and add to their productivity immediately without the massive investment of paying outright for a fleet of laptops.
Telecommuting is now viewed by more and more managers as a tool used to gain competitive advantage.
By allowing employees to work from wherever they are, companies have seen an increased level of productivity from their mobile workers as it allows employees to strike the right work/life balance.
Not only does the partnership take advantage of the widest network coverage in the country and the top corporate notebook in the world, it likewise relies on IBM’s huge network of value partners and service centers around the Philippines.
“In an increasingly fast-paced and mobile world, companies see mobile computing as a means to get more productivity from their employees without having to leave the comfort of their homes,” said Joaquin E. Quintos IV, IBM Philippines president and general manager.
Quintos said the company sees the WeRoam-ThinkPad bundle as a strategic solution that will greatly benefit Philippine enterprises and their mobile workforce. The PLDT WeRoam bundle can get you connected to your business anytime, anywhere, in style.
“The PLDT WeRoam Unleashed program takes full advantage of the largest IP backbone, wireless GPRS/EDGE network, and Wi-Fi coverage in the country through PLDT and its subsidiaries, as well as one of the leading corporate laptop brands in the world today, ThinkPad,” Ernesto R. Alberto, PLDT senior vice president and head for corporate business group.
Alberto said in these times when companies struggle to keep their competitive advantage, this program is seen as one of the most compelling solutions that provides leading-edge technologies and connectivity infrastructure with an affordable pricing scheme.
He said the monthly-payment scheme is aimed at helping companies manage the costs associated with the acquisition of new hardware or systems.
This will make mobile workforces more affordable even to small and medium enterprises.
Through the PLDT WeRoam program, companies can enjoy the widest network coverage and connectivity through PLDT and its subsidiaries. Customers can connect to the Internet via GPRS/EDGE using Smart’s unmatched wireless coverage, or via the more than 180 Wi-Fi hotspots provided by Airborne Access, all complemented by PLDT’s extensive broadband IP network.
--Paul Anthony A. Isla
Sept. 04, 2005
Clarissa S. Batino
Inquirer News Service
LOCAL telecom giants are bringing the price war to a higher level-their overseas call rates.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. said it would offer an international long distance rate of as low as 10 US cents a minute to all its DSL subscribers starting Sept. 15. This would be equivalent to about P5.60 a minute at current exchange rates.
But Globe Telecom Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary Innove Communications Inc. said they could bring down their IDD rates to as low as 5 US cents a minute after they secured the approval of the National Telecommunications Commission last week.
The standard IDD rate is 40 US cents a minute. Globe had cut its overseas call rate to 20 US cents a minute starting on the fifth minute under its ongoing promo. Sun Cellular is offering a similar 20 US cents-a-minute deal.
Butch Jimenez, head of PLDT's retail division, said the public should expect more price and product innovations from PLDT. "We intend to remain the leading player in the telecom industry by offering innovative service packages whenever new technology arises."
Not to be outdone, Globe assistant vice president Froilan Castelo said the recent NTC approval would allow his company to charge an even lower rate than what the competitors were offering.
"The NTC now allows us to charge as low as 5 US cents a minute on IDD. This will benefit our customers as we intend to give them more value for their money," Castelo said.
"We want to give our DSL subscribers better value for their money by offering attractive IDD rates," Jimenez said. Short for Digital Subscriber Line, DSL is PLDT's brand for its high-speed Internet product, which is now being used by about 70,000 customers.
Dubbed as PLDT ID-DSL, the new deal allows all DSL subscribers to avail themselves of IDD rates for as low as 10 US cents a minute.
Subscribers, however, have to pay a service fee of P50 a month. Starting Sept. 12, PLDT will also start charging P20 a month for those who would avail themselves of the P10 per local call promo.
DSL subscribers with Plans 2500 and up will enjoy a rate of 10 US cents a minute while subscribers with Plans 1995 and below will enjoy a rate of 15 US cents a minute.
Jimenez said the rates would be 62 to 75 percent cheaper against the 40 US cents a minute.
To offset any negative impact on its overseas revenues, Jimenez said PLDT would aggressively pursue DSL connections and upgrades.
"These new IDD rates bundled with our DSL subscriptions will drive more people to hook up to our broadband service. Also, we see some of those in Plan 1995 and below upgrading their plan to 2500 and above," he said.
DSL subscribers who want an even lower rate than 10 US cents can get PLDT's VoicePad service. This is a PC-to-phone service where DSL subscribers just need to log on to the PLDT myPad website and use the soft dialer from that site to call overseas for as low as 8 US cents a minute.
Tough competition had been bringing down telecom prices, according to NTC Chair Ronald Solis, saying these innovative deals were benefiting consumers.
Sun Cellular, which set off a price war in October 2004 when it launched its unlimited, within-network 24/7 pricing, started offering its Daylite Call and Text Unlimited.
With the new deal, Sun Cellular will charge a peso for every minute of within-network calls from 6 p.m. to a minute before midnight. But from midnight to a minute before 6 a.m., calls within Sun Cellular network will remain unlimited. Within-network text messaging will remain free all day long. Sun's 24/7 promo remains in effect even with these new offerings.
Globe is offering a new Celebrate promo that charges only P10 for every three-minute call and P15 for unlimited texting for 24 hours. Globe's nonstop, within-network text promo is also available for P25 for two days and P50 for five days.
PLDT had confined its P10-a-call promo strictly within the PLDT fixed-line network of 2.1 million subscribers.
PLDT is probably thinking that there are still a lot of naive PC users who haven't heard of Skype, YM w/ voice or even Google Talk. These 3 programs are gonna eat into their bottomline if everyone used these to call people abroad instead of the usual way.
There is no doubt these services will change phone service as we know it. However, there are still some quality issues to be worked out. My experience has been that Skype has some delays and sound breakages. For this reason, people calling abroad on business will probably still opt for conventional service - for a while longer at least.
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