Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Combined profits of listed firms up 79.6%

By JAMES A. LOYOLA
Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/261111/combined-profits-listed-firms-796

The combined net earnings of firms listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) surged by 79.6 percent to P357.84 billion in 2009 from P199.24 billion in 2008, with the improvement in the financial performances of nearly all sectors.

“The remarkable growth in net profits was driven by huge one-time gains from asset sales by some listed companies, better performances by nearly all sectors, and a low-base effect when profits declined in 2008,” PSE chairman Hans Sicat said.

He added that the asset sales reinforced the view that valuations were too low to ignore and that stocks were worth picking up after the market hit bottom.

The PSE index (PSEi) ended 2009 with a spectacular gain of 63 percent to finished at 3,052.68 points, a jump not seen in 15 years. Prior to this, the benchmark index hit bottom at 1,759.33 points on March 17.

To date, the PSEi has gained a total of 7.3 percent or 221.58 points to 3,274.26.

“The surge in combined corporate earnings moved in the opposite direction of the macro-economy in 2009. This is a reflection of investor optimism that discounted signals from the real economy in 2008 which was quite a challenging year,” Sicat said.

The Philippine economy slowed to a growth of 0.9 percent in 2009, compared with 3.8 percent in the previous year. During the first quarter, gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.3 percent.

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