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Earnings data, long-term deals in Australia lift ACEN’s shares

ACEN Corp.’s shares rose last week, thanks to bullish market sentiment after its first-quarter earnings results and its unit in Australia securing long-term contracts for its solar projects.

Data from the Philippine Stock Exchange showed a total of 78.37-million shares worth P473.43 million being traded from May 2 to 5. Local financial markets were closed on May 1 in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

Shares in the Ayala-led renewable energy platform increased by 2.7% week on week, finishing at P6.17 apiece on Friday from their P6.01 closing on April 28. The rise is a welcome development as the stock has fallen by 19% since the beginning of the year.

“The company’s disclosure on securing long-term service agreements for two of its solar projects in Australia plus the net consolidated income reaching 5x year-on-year growth as of first quarter of 2023 has made it one of the most active stocks this week,” Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said in a Viber message.

“As of now, we can expect growth to be sustained with the commissioning of its new power plants. As newly commissioned plants are to be added to their current capacity, we may expect growth to continue but still await its stable operation,” added Mr. Pangan.

As analysts await the stability of ACEN’s newly commissioned power plants, revenue estimates were not provided, Mr. Pangan said.

Mercantile Securities Corp. Head Trader Jeff Radley C. See said ACEN’s overall market sentiment “has been bullish since it has been growing its portfolio of energy companies.”

“The stock is trading near the low end of the range coming from a high of P8.30 from the start of 2023,” he said in a Viber message.

The company reported an attributable net income of P2.44 billion in the first quarter, more than threefold the increase from P752.45 million in the same period last year, driven by higher net generation on better wind resources.

In the same period, ACEN also recorded a 23.5% increase in its consolidated revenues to P9.14 billion from P7.40 billion amid brisk electricity sales.

In a stock exchange disclosure, ACEN said its unit in Australia had secured 20-year service contracts for its solar projects at a price that protects it from low wholesale electricity prices.

The energy service agreements are for ACEN Australia’s 720-megawatt (or 936-MW direct current [MWdc]) New England solar project and 400-MW (520 MWdc) Stubbo solar project. The contracts were secured through the New South Wales (NSW) government trustee’s inaugural tender for renewable generation and long-duration storage.

The New England and Stubbo solar projects can supply power to about 435,000 households once fully operational, helping the NSW government in reaching its target of a 50% remissions reduction by 2030.

The listed energy platform of the Ayala group has about 4,200 MW of attributable capacity spread across the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Australia. The firm said that its renewable share of capacity stood at 98%, among the highest in the region.

ACEN eyes to be the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia, aiming to achieve 20 gigawatts in attributable renewable energy capacity by 2030. The company is also committed to the transition of its generation portfolio to 100% renewable energy by 2025 and to become a net zero greenhouse gas emissions company by 2050.

Mr. Pangan pegged the company’s major stock support this week at P5.80 per share while its initial major resistance at P6.55 per share.

Mr. Pangan pegged the company’s major stock support at P5.80 per share while an initial major resistance at P 6.55 per share.

“We can expect investors’ interest on the company going through this week,” he said.

Mr. See said investors are buying the stock “as the selling pressure is slowly subsiding.” He placed the stock support level at P5.88 per share, while resistance levels are P6.50 and P7.00 per share. — Lourdes O. Pilar

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