Stock overview: URC, Golden Haven

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Universal Robina Corp. (URC) on Thursday was the most actively traded issue in the aftermath of news that it bought Consolidated Snacks Pty. Ltd. (CSPL) for A$600 million or about P21.379 billion.

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The transaction is expected to boost URC’s foothold in the Oceania region, with CSPL as the leading Australian snack food maker under Snackbrands Australia.

As of the market recess on Thursday, URC shares were up by 3.15 percent to P190 per share. URC increased by 3.15 percent or 5.80 points to P190 per share.

In a market note, however, online brokerage COL Financial said it was reviewing its earnings forecast and FV estimate on URC “for a potential downgrade in light of its weaker than expected nine-month results for fiscal year 2016, and subdued earnings growth outlook given the numerous challenges facing the company.”

For his part, Summit Securities Inc. President Harry Liu said he expects “positive long- term prospects” for URC stocks given its aggressive expansion program along with the “chain of economic uptrend” not only for the Philippines, but also for other potential markets.

A unit of JG Summit Holdings Inc., URC operates and distributes its products in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, Korea, Middle East, Southeast Asia, and West Africa.

Golden Haven, an over-performing rookie
Golden Haven Memorial Park Inc. (HVN) has shown strong upward direction, banking on the bright prospects of the death care industry.

At the noon break on Thursday, HVN rose by 1.80 percent or 18 centavos to P16.88 per share but closed unchanged at P16.70 due to last-minute profit-taking.

As the first company to hold an initial public offering in the stock market this year, Golden Haven hit the ceiling price of plus 50 percent on its listing date. It closed at P15.74 per share or 49.90 percent up from its offer price of P10.50.

HVN is also the first company in the death care and memorial services industry to list on the Philippine Stock Exchange.

On Wednesday, the company reported a 23-percent growth in its first half net income at P84 million on the back of a healthy business.

Summit Securities Inc. President Harry Liu said he is optimistic about HVN because of the “natural demand” in the death care industry.

“It is expected. People will die, and companies in this business will expand only if they are doing land banking initiatives in their expansion areas,” Liu said.

“The direction is upward in the long-term for this industry, but you need more properties to create places to bury the dead. There is an underlying economic factor and involvement here,” Liu noted.

Golden Haven plans to develop 30 hectares of land into memorial parks. It intends to present in key locations where affiliate Vista Land has projects as well as in other strategic areas.

As one of the largest memorial park developers in the country, Golden Haven has so far developed more than 55 hectares of land in eight locations nationwide.

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