Panasonic earnings flow back into operations

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EMETERIO SD. PEREZ

EMETERIO SD. PEREZ

THE road to the manufacturing plant of Panasonic Manufacturing Philippines Corp. in Taytay, Rizal was heavily flooded. The Japanese executives had reason to get worried because the workers might not be able to report for work due to the strong typhoon.

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Because of the flood, the streets were not passable to public transport, and Panasonic’s manufacturing plant was several kilometers away. The workers had to walk several kilometers to report for work.

Without the workers, the managers feared they could not deliver clients’ orders. For the first time in so many years, they could not fulfil their commitments.

Then to their surprise, the workers came. Their arrival did not only make the Japanese happy but also left them teary eyed because of each worker’s apology: Sirs, “sorry I am late.”

I learned about the story of the loyalty of Panasonic workers many years ago when I was still a reporter covering the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Lawyer Mamerto Z. Mondragon told me the story, which is worth retelling for its lesson about employees’ loyalty.

According to a company filing, Mondragon, at 72, is still the corporate secretary of Panasonic Philippines as he has been since 1975. That’s a total of 41 years of loyal service.

Panasonic Philippines employs 555 workers, who are all regular, according to a company posting. What a way to take care of workers!

Annual meeting
The following profile of Panasonic Philippines is reproduced here for the information of its public stockholders ahead of the company’s annual meeting next month.

Panasonic Philippines, a subsidiary of Japanese-owned Panasonic Corp. (PC), will hold its annual stockholders’ meeting on June 17. Expected to attend are the holders of 422.727 million outstanding shares as of Dec. 31, 2015, the same outstanding capital it had as of March 31, 2011.

Panasonic of Japan owns 337.995 million Class B shares, equivalent to 79.96 percent of the subsidiary’s outstanding shares.

The ownership profile of Panasonic Philippines shows PC’s holding in it has not changed over the years because the company did not need any capital additional infusion to continue operating. The local unit Panasonic Philippines did not see the need to increase its capital. While much of its profit flows back into its operations, it is able to declare annual dividends of 10 percent.

Panasonic Philippines is probably the only listed company that expresses its dividend in percent. It distributes an annual dividend of 10 percent of P1 par value or P0.10 per share.

Retained earnings
Because Panasonic Philippines has been making money over the years, it does not need any additional capital infusion from Panasonic of Japan. What it does is appropriate accumulated retained earnings for operations and retain some to meet payments of dividends.

As of Dec. 31, 2015, Panasonic Philippines reported retained earnings of P3.643 billion, of which P3.017 is appropriated for operations, leaving P625.15 billion to pay yearly 10 percent dividends equivalent to P42.272 million due holders of 422.718 million shares.

Panasonic Philippines has an authorized capital stock of 747 million shares, divided into 169.4 million Class A shares, which are reserved for Filipinos, and 677.6 million Class B shares, which are open to both Filipinos and foreigners. Both classes of shares carry a par value of P1.

Only the outstanding Class A shares of the capital stock of Panasonic Philippines are listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange. The 337.995 million Class B shares owned by Panasonic of Japan are not listed.

Pays and perks
Like other listed companies, Panasonic Philippines classifies the compensation it pays the members of its management team as salary, which it details as compensation; bonuses and “others.” Duediligencer is reporting only the totals.

Panasonic Philippines listed in a compensation filing the chief executive officer and four others as the highest paid executives, who are all Japanese. As a group, they received P43.731 million in 2014; and P50.37 million in 2015. The company projected their pays and perks this year at P48.694 million, which is a low estimate.

Including the members of a nine-person board, Panasonic said total compensation totaled P46.304 million in 2014; and P72.389 million in 2015. This year their pays and perks are estimated at P73.496 million.

Panasonic Philippines did not provide details of the executive compensation of directors. Instead, it lumped together the pays and perks of the nine members of the board with the compensation of the five top executives, who are also among the directors.

esdperez@gmail.com.

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