Casinos, gaming firms post decline in share prices in 2015

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Share prices of casinos and gaming companies were down in 2015, while conglomerates were among the biggest gainers last year, according to a report by Philstocks Financial Inc.

“All companies/stocks, except one, grouped under the casinos and gaming sub-sector posted declines in share prices averaging 35 percent. Only Pacific Online Systems Inc. managed to stay in the green, albeit by a mere 3.82 percent to P18.46 from P17.78 at the close of 2014,” Philstocks said.

At the same time, the report said at least two companies belonging to the sub-sector saw their profits expand.

These are Berjaya Philippines Inc., which leases online lottery equipment and Leisure and Resorts World Corp., which has interests in gaming and property.

Berjaya is engaged in the manufacture, sale and distribution of food and beverages, as well as licensing and operations of restaurant-related businesses through its 30 percent equity interest in Berjaya Pizza Philippines Inc.

Berjaya is also engaged in automobile sales, which Philstocks said, boosted the company’s strong revenue in 2015.

“It was the latter (automobile sales), particularly the acquisition of HR Owen Plc that delivered strong revenue for the period. Vehicle sales accounted for 93 percent of Berjaya’s revenue pie,” the brokerage company said.

Leisure and Resorts World has interests in retail, casino and online gaming through its subsidiaries – AB Leisure Exponent Inc., Total Gamezone Xtreme Inc., Prime Investment Korea Inc. and Blue Chip Gaming and Leisure Corp.

It also has investments in the property sector.

Of the different businesses, bingo operations contributed the most to Leisure and Resorts World’s revenue with all three “variants” – traditional, electronic and rapid – making positive contributions.

“The first two grew its year-on-year contributions by 41 percent and 43 percent in the first nine months, respectively but sales from the last declined four percent,” Philstocks said.

Meanwhile, holding firms were among the top performers of the year.

Among the top five gainers are Prime Orion Philippines Inc. (POPI) which saw its share prices rise 170 percent to P1.86, boosted by a 101 percent increase in June when it rose from P1.02 to P2.05.

This development came after property giant Ayala Land Inc. said it was in talks with POPI to acquire a stake in the company.

Another holding company that saw its share price go up is George-Ty led GT Capital.

Another gainer among the holding companies was Double Dragon Properties Corp., the property company owned by Mang Inasal founder Edgar ‘Injap’ Sia II and Jollibee Foods Corp. owner Tony Tan Caktiong.

“There is a lot of potential for the issue but it hinges on its ability to deliver on its CityMall plans. We expect the stock to remain a “favorite” for short- to medium-term players while we keep the stock on the radars of our long-term proposition,” the report said.

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