EconomyEditor's PickPLDT director acquires more shares in telco

January 5, 2023

ANOTHER director at PLDT Inc. acquired 15,000 indirect shares of the telecommunications company at P1,312.80 apiece amounting to P19.7 million on Dec. 28, 2022.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, PLDT said that James L. Go acquired 15,000 common shares, bringing the board member’s total direct shares in the firm to 885,724 and his indirect shares to 65,000.

The share acquisition followed those of Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT chairman, and Alfredo S. Panlilio, president and chief executive officer, at 3,000 PLDT shares each on Dec. 19.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said one of the reasons for the acquisition is the shares’ lower price.

“The company’s share price already reached a near-term bottom and already sharply up from the intraday low of P1,130 posted on Dec. 20, 2022,” Mr. Ricafort said.

Luis A. Limlingan, head of sales at Regina Capital Development Corp., said that “perhaps the directors believe that PLDT is trading at a deep discount.”

“They think that the market’s not seeing the true value of the company despite the budget overruns,” he added.

“Of course, in the end, we can only speculate their real motives,” Mr. Limlingan said.

Last month, PLDT said that it had found an estimated budget overrun of no more than P48 billion, which represents 12.7% of the company’s total capital spending in four years.

Mr. Ricafort said the share acquisitions followed PLDT’s disclosures that were aimed to clarify issues to the Philippine Stock Exchange as well as to investors.

“[These may also be connected to] the relatively larger profits or net income that is seen to make up for the reported overruns and the recent gains on the sale of telecommunications towers,” he added.

In the company’s latest public ownership report, PLDT disclosed that its directors now hold 1.28 million direct shares and 249,726 indirect shares of PLDT.

The latest public ownership report on Dec. 29, 2022, does not reflect yet the acquisition of Mr. Go for the 15,000 indirect shares.

On the stock market on Thursday, shares in PLDT closed P24 or 1.66% lower to 1,424.00 each. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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