Tuesday, July 10, 2001

July 10, 2001

A New Face

Hi! It's been a while since I actually updated the site in terms of aesthetics. I haven't taken a fresh look so to speak, nor have I even said a few words to thank the sponsors. What sponsors?! Anyway, I would like to greet my friend Patti a belated happy birthday. She's such a dear and remains BF-less as of this point. Hmmm...I believe I made a similar plug for my friend Jojo. Hmmm...a dating site in the works. Interesting.

And for your information, I don't just write boring stock market stuff. I also have an occasional urge to write short stories. Check out my most recent one.

I also had a stint as a fashion model (hehehe) which my mother refers to as my Abu Sayyaf pose. Heavens, I hope they all get gunned down.

I'm now using a different guestbook because my old one folded up. Eek. Shows you the extent of the dotcom crash doesn't it. Anyway, I'm using Dreambook now. So, if you've been aching to curse me for all my comments, I have a working guestbook once more. Hooray.


I'm currently doing a write-up for ABS-CBN. If you're interested in the stock, you may want to read through my short report. It's not yet finished. But then again, it won't be so for a couple of weeks. In fact, I haven't included my opinions yet. Nonetheless, it could be useful if you've been out of touch with the company in the recent months.

The company is planning to institute a share buy-back program. The purchased shares will be partly used for the company's stock option plan. The company's authorized buy-back numbers to 10mn common shares or 1.3% of the company's outstanding stock.

The move has fueled speculations that ABS will bail out its debt-saddled mother company, Benpres Holdings by buying back its own shares to prevent BPC's dilution. BPC earlier announced that it will sell up to 8% of its almost 60% stake in ABS to raise funds of about P2bn-P2.5bn. BPC's two units - Bayan Telecommunications Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc are plagued with mostly dollar-denominated debts amounting to around $1.3bn. That's when ABS clarified that the share buy-back will only constitute 10mn shares.

ABS is likewise keen on expanding overseas via the purchase of television stations, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. However, the company is still in the process of determing the viability of such investments. This comes however, with an admission from the company that the growth prospects for the domestic market are already relatively limited.

Furthermore, the company believes that it will be limiting if Filipino programs only target the 70mn Filipinos, compared to the Spanish soap opera shows that cater to half a billion Latin Americans. ABS believes that it can produce programs of similar quality.

Thus, the company's core belief is that future growth will be propelled by new markets in terms of both region and content platforms (such as television, publishing, cable and Internet). In fact, ABS-CBN International, which accounted for 12% of the company's revenues for 2000 will contribute about 15%-16% this year.

The company announced that its first quarter income grew by less than a percent to P420.169mn from P418.657mn last year. Revenues were up 17.43% to P2.115bn, despite the declines by radio and sports revenues. TV-VHF growth was at 15%, and accounts for 90% of airtime revenues. The company also garnered a 44% market share in Metro Manila. The revenue growth was also partially attributable to the consolidation of Studio 23. Nonetheless, the topline growth was overshadowed by the 26.3% spike in operating expenses to P1.652bn from P1.308bn.

The company has planned capital expenditures worth P3.5bn for 2001, of which P2.3bn will be sourced from the company retained earnings. The rest will be funded through internall generated cash and new borrowings. Of the P3.5bn, P1.5 will be used for normal maintenance while P1.0bn will be used to complete three new digital studios being built behind its present complex. Another P500mn will be used for "digitalisation" of content, while the remaining P500mn will be used to fund the company's expansion to the Middle East. Next year, the company will push through with its plans to build a theme park.


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