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Profit taking drags PLDT share price

PLDT, Inc. was the ninth most actively traded stock last week as investors took profit after news came out that the telecommunications company is selling more towers.

A total of P775.72 million worth of 501.36 million shares exchange hands at the local bourse from Nov.  7 to 11, data from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) show.

The company’s shares finished at P1,530 apiece on Friday, down by 0.7% week on week. Year to date, the stock’s price decreased by 15.6%.

Jeff Radley C. See, an analyst at Mercantile Securities Corp., said in a Viber message that PLDT continues to sell more towers and focuses on the improvement of its connection.

“This shows bullish sentiment to investors as they are focusing on infrastructure,” he said, adding that this is “essential in offering efficient service to their clients.”

In a press briefing last week, EdgePoint Infrastructure, a telecommunications infrastructure company, said that it was keen on buying more towers from PLDT.

In April, EdgePoint’s local subsidiary, Comworks Infratech Corp., completed a P35-billion sale and leaseback deal with PLDT for 2,934 towers. It will take over these assets by the middle of 2023.

Rastine Mackie D. Mercado, China Bank Securities Corp. research director, said in an e-mail that PLDT’s movement last week was largely driven by continued profit-taking after its 17% rally over the past month.

Mr. Mercado also pointed to continued foreign interest in the stock despite the selling pressure.

PLDT saw net foreign buying in three out of the four trading sessions last week. Net foreign buying of PLDT shares amounted to P73.89 million from Nov. 7 to 11, PSE market data show.

In the third quarter, PLDT’s attributable net income climbed by 79.6% to P10.64 billion after revenues rose 6.8% to P51.53 billion. Its nine-month profit reached P27.38 billion, up 45.3% from a year ago, as revenues rose 6.3% to P152.92 billion.

It said that the company is reviewing its consolidated capital expenditure for 2022, which could exceed the initial guidance of P85 billion.

“We currently don’t have a revenue forecast for PLDT, but we think revenues will continue to be driven by sustained demand for data and the continued recovery of its legacy call and text business, especially in light of better mobility conditions,” added Mr. Mercado.

For next week, Mr. Mercado sees continued selling pressure on PLDT, though losses may be more modest. He placed the stock’s support level at P1,480 and its resistance level at P1,625.

For Mercantile Securities’ Mr. See, the stock might move sideways for now between P1,500 and P1,550. He put PLDT’s support levels at P1,500 and P1,450, and its resistance levels at P1,580 and P1,650.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Lourdes O. Pilar

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