INVESTORS piled into International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) last week as the company continues to grow its operations both locally and internationally.

According to data from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), 8.57 million shares worth P1.28 billion changed hands between June 7 and 11, making it the third most frequently traded stock last week.

On Friday, the share price of the port operator managed by Enrique K. Razon, Jr. concluded at P151.00 a share, up 2% from the previous week. Since the beginning of the year, the stock has climbed by about a fifth.

According to Philippine National Bank Senior Equity Research Analyst Jonathan J. Latuja, news of ICTSI Rio Brasil’s addition of rail logistics to its operations helped the port operator become one of the most active stocks last week.

“We anticipate the new service to be offered at the port subsidiary will enhance volumes and yield even further,” Mr. Latuja said.

According to ICTSI, the Brazilian unit’s newly established firm, IRB Logistica, would take over the terminal’s operations from Multitex Logistica on July 1.

It will provide freight handling, transportation, and storage services to Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and So Paulo’s development hubs.

“Despite the pandemic, the firm continues to grow its operations as it purchased further stakes in Africa via its subsidiary ICTSI Africa and purchased 100% of Manila Harbour Center Port Services, Inc.,” Mercantile Securities Corp. Analyst Jeff Radley C. See said through Viber.

ICTSI and its linked party, Prime Strategic Holdings, Inc., entered into a P2.45 billion share purchase agreement earlier this month to acquire 100 percent of the shares of Manila Harbour Center Port Services, Inc. (MHCPSI).

At the Port of Manila, MHCPSI is a 10-hectare international breakbulk and bulkport facility.

The facilities will be transferred to ICTSI by mid-2021, assuming all conditions antecedent and regulatory permissions have been met.

The purchase is expected to result in synergies and value-added benefits for ICTSI shareholders.

Meanwhile, in May, ICTSI stated that its subsidiary, ICTSI Africa B.V., had completed the purchase of an additional 10% ownership in International Container Terminal Services, Inc.–DR Congo (IDRC).

This boosted ICTSI Africa’s holding in IDRC to 62% from 52% before.

Mr. Latuja anticipates a 12% year-on-year increase in ICTSI income this year.

In the first three months of the year, ICTSI’s gross revenues from port operations increased by 15.9 percent to $435.59 million.

In the same time, its attributable net income increased by 51.1 percent to $90.07 million, up from $59.60 million the previous year.

In the first quarter, it handled 2.71 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), an increase of 8% over the 2.51 million TEUs handled in the same time the previous year.

Mr. Latuja anticipates that near-term selling pressure may restrict the stock’s potential gain this week.

“Last week, the ICTSI surpassed its all-time high of P148.90,” Mr. See remarked.

“The stock may approach resistance levels of P172.60, P185.00, and P202.70 next, but be careful since the stock is trading at overbought levels,” he warned.

He estimated the stock support levels to be between P145.00 and P147.00.


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