Telephone Companies in the Philippines (2015)

Judging it by face value, ‘new technology’ brought by a foreigner (Telstra) add in a local partner (San Miguel Cor.) will give an assumption that it should deliver.

Interestingly, I just wanted to just write a short review about the financial performance of telephone companies in the Philippines and try to compare their performance overseas (the United States). Since I’m living in the U.S., I am eager to see which among the apples and oranges will give an enticing value. I ended up with this blog. Probably will work on those publicly listed companies soon.

Let’s start.

Surprisingly, there are numerous telephone companies in the Philippines besides the ‘big two’.

*I tried to give brief information about them at the same time; info gathered from Wikipedia, annual reports, and companies’ website*

Here they are (not in any order):

Express Telecommunication Co.

  • Founded in 1988
  • ~40% owned by Bayan Tel

Liberty Telecoms Holdings Inc.

  • founded in 1958
  • based in Makati, the Philippines
  • San Miguel Cor. to buy 51% stake in the company
  • offers postpaid and prepaid WIMAX broadband subscription, and 4G Internet services for the consumer and corporate markets
  • owns wi-tribe Telecoms, Inc. (WI-TRIBE), a duly licensed public telecommunications company in the Philippines,
  • owns Skyphone Logistics, Inc. (SKYPHONE), a marketing and trading company.

Now, Inc.

  • Founded in 1996
  • Stock ticker: NOW
  • Formerly known as Next Mobile Inc., Information Capital Technology Ventures Inc., Cashrounds, Inc., and MF Schroder & Co., Inc. —-Yes, somehow the same company.
  • Well, it was initially in the brokerage business then transitioned into a somewhat diversified ‘hybrid’ telecom platform company from 1996 to present. See this link for more details (http://www.now-corp.com/about-now-corporation/quick-facts/)

Bayan Telecommunications Inc.

  • Founded in 1961
  • Slogan: “Gaganda Pa Ang Buhay”
  • Now being bought by Globe Telecom from Lopez Group
  • Has over 25 million Filipino (landline) subscribers—that is ~33% of the Philippine population)

Eastern Communications

  • Founded in 1878
  • a 130-year-old company with eight service areas located in Makati, Ortigas, Manila, Caloocan, Cebu, Baguio, and the industrial areas of Laguna and Cavite.
  • OLDEST (I think) among the group.

Cruz Telephone Company

  • Founded in 1973
  • A 42-year-old, 100% Filipino-owned corporation
  • Has 19 branches nationwide

Sun Cellular

  • Established in 2001
  • Business name is Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc.
  • Had 16% market share of the Philippines’ mobile market as of 2011
  • Owned by Digital Telecommunications Philippines

Digital Telecommunications Philippines

  • Established in 1987
  • Formerly owned by JG Summit Holdings
  • Bought by PLDT in 2011

ClarkTel

  • Provides basic and enhanced telecommunications services within the Clark Special Economic Zone, or CSEZ, in Clark Field, Pampanga
  • Bought by PLDT in 1999

Maratel

  • A franchised operator of telecommunications services in the province of Lanao del Norte and the cities of Iligan and Marawi
  • 20% owned by PLDT

SubicTel

  • Operating a state-of-the-art telecommunications system at the Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone
  • Further improvements done after PLDT acquisition on 2001

Innove Communications

  • Founded in 1990
  • Formerly known as Isla Communications Co., Inc.
  • Changed its name into Innove Communications in 2003
  • Provides fixed line telecommunications and broadband services, networks for enterprise clients, services for internal applications, internet protocol-based solutions and multimedia content delivery
  • Provides business customers high-speed data services over a nationwide broadband network
  • Acquired by Globe Telecom in 2001
  • Integration of Isla Com subscribers into Globe’s Touch Mobile (TM) “Republika ng TM” soon followed

BCC

  • incorporated primarily to operate and provide communication infrastructure and to provide related services within the Fort Bonifacio Global City and Villamor Air Base
  • PLDT owns 75% as of 2003

Philcom

  • Founded in 1924
  • Originally known as Radio Corporation of America (RCA)
  • A company of First..
  • First to open a direct radio telegraph circuit between Manila and the USA in 1927
  • First to establish direct telephone circuits between the Philippines-USA and Philippines-Japan in 1933
  • First to provide international fax services in 1978
  • First to develop the use of computers for telex and data transmission in 1987
  • First to offer Prepaid Internet Cards via WebQuest in 1996
  • First to offer dedicated internet access via DSL in 1999
  • Also, a Mindanao Telecom provider
  • Bought by PLDT on 2009
  • See their website (http://www.philcom.com/about/default.aspx?name=company%20profile) for more details
Philippine Telephone Companies (logos)

Philippine Telephone Companies (logos)

The BIG TWO:

Philippine Long Distance Company (also known as PLDT)

  • an 86-year-old telecom company
  • Slogan, “We’re Changing Lives”
  • Stock ticker: TEL
  • Has  68,897,106 Philippine mobile subscribers
  • Traces back its history with General Telephone & Electric Corporation (GTE), now known as Verizon (U.S.)
  • The Company’s ownership is divided among the public by ~86%
  • Manny Pangilinan, PLDT Chairman, owns 0.11% or 244,450 TEL shares.
  • PLDT has a HUGE 67% market share in mobile market in the Philippines as of 2013
  • As of 1/15/2015, these are the substantial shareholders of TEL:
Substantial shareholders of TEL (Source: PLDT 2013-2014 annual report)

Substantial shareholders of TEL (Source: TEL 2014 annual report)

Globe Telecom (also known as GLOBE)

  • An 87-year-old telecom company
  • Slogan, “Creating a Wonderful World”
  • Stock ticker: GLO
  • Has  42,717,758 Philippine mobile subscribers
  • The Company’s ownership is divided among the public by ~25%
  • Has 32% market share of the Philippines’ mobile market as of 2011
  • As of July 14, 2015, these are the substantial shareholders of GLO:
Substantial shareholders of GLO (source: Globe Telecom 2014 annual report)

Substantial shareholders of GLO (source: Globe Telecom 2014 annual report)

So with this extensive history of acquisitions done by TEL and also maybe GLO (recent acquisition of Bayan Tel), will Telstra-San Miguel Telecom partnership (not real name btw) be able to take a bite from the ‘duopoly’ and earn a profit (sooner or later)?

Anyone can speculate, but these last few paragraphs from The Sydney Morning Herald article I believe summarizes that Telstra is indeed eager to come into the Philippine market:

“What Telstra is telling you is it doesn’t know how the competitive environment is going to play out,” he said.

“But competitors should be under no illusions that it will remain competitive. Telstra won’t be sacrificing share to maintain margins – it will price its products competitively.”

Disclosure: I do not have shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article and don’t plan to initiate purchase within the next 24 hours. I would not receive any compensation for doing this article. I am not a professional financial analyst. This is just a hobby. Lastly, my work is not error-free, but I strive for it to be. Do not consider as a buy or sell advice. Invest at your own risk.

If you are interested in this similar approach to investing and would seek updates, I wish to invite you to this Facebook group SEEKING VALUE (https://www.facebook.com/groups/SeekingValue/?ref=bookmarks)

Happy investing.

Mark Y.

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