PHL shares rise further on firms’ strong Q1 results

SHARES rose further on Wednesday amid strong corporate earnings and ahead of the release of April US consumer inflation data.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 35.98 points or 0.54% to close at 6,658.59 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index went up by 13.77 points or 0.39% to 3,546.10.

“The local bourse extended its gains, up by 35.98 points (0.54%) to 6,658.59, thanks to the first quarter earnings results,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

Ms. Alviar said trading volume was weak as investors awaited the release of the US consumer price index (CPI) report overnight and first-quarter Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) data on Thursday.

“The local shares continued to rebound… as investors digest more first quarter earnings reports,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

“Meanwhile, in the US, market players ponder on the April inflation readout which will be released later,” Mr. Limlingan added.

Two of the biggest local conglomerates reported their financial results on Wednesday, with both reporting double-digit profit growth in the first quarter (Q1).

Ayala Corp.’s attributable net income rose by 30.86% to P10.22 billion in the first quarter as most of its key businesses reported higher earnings.

Its shares went up by 0.76% or P5 to end at P666.50 apiece.

For its part, SM Investments Corp. booked a consolidated net income of P17.3 billion in the first quarter, up 33% year on year.

Its shares closed at P943 each on Wednesday, rising by 0.86% or P8.

Meanwhile, the US CPI climbed 0.1% in March after advancing 0.4% in February. In the 12 months through March, the CPI increased 5%, down from 6% in February.

On the other hand, a BusinessWorld poll of 23 economists conducted last week yielded a median estimate of 6.1% for first-quarter GDP growth. This would be slower than the revised 7.1% growth in the fourth quarter of 2022, and the 8% expansion recorded in the same period last year.

The government targets 6-7% GDP growth for this year.

The majority of sectoral indices closed higher on Wednesday, except for mining and oil, which fell by 81.67 points or 0.77% to 10,529.84.

Meanwhile, holding firms rose by 77.76 points or 1.19% to 6,613.42; services gained 6.86 points or 0.43% to end at 1,577.31; financials went up by 7.09 points or 0.38% to 1,868.19; property climbed by 5.55 points or 0.2% to 2,746.21; and industrials added 7.27 points or 0.07% to end at 9,583.29.

Value turnover increased to P4.64 billion on Wednesday with 721.31 million shares changing hands from the P4.18 billion with 325.79 million issues traded on Tuesday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 105 versus 73, while 57 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign buying fell to P64.86 million on Wednesday from P110.95 million on Tuesday. — AHH