Gus Cosio says so

Ideas on the Philippine Stock Market

Time to enlarge your cap

9:25 am Thursday  28 October 2010

Two things were noteworthy in yesterday’s market run – the spike of MBT to 79.40 and and the surge of SMC to 92.  Of course, MBT had the stronger close (up 4.62 but very close to the high) while SMC had the bigger gain (12.36 but the close was 3.80 lower).  When a price action of this magnitude, there must be something going on.  With MBT, the price was driven down because of a surprise rights offering.  What the move yesterday tells me is that investors are looking beyond the disclosed earnings estimates.  It could also be that 3Q2010 earnings have exceeded expectations and/or the rights offering will be priced higher than expected.  Nevertheless, it all points out to a potential re-rating of MBT.

The move of SMC comes as a very big surprise because over the past few years, SMC had been a neglected stock because investors could not understand what the core business of SMC was given all the re-structuring it had done and its entry into the power, infrastructure and even the telecom businesses.  Quite ominously, about a month ago, an analyst friend of mine named Eric had told me that he was accumulating SMC.  He did not give me any reason except that he thought that compared to the rest of the large cap universe, SMC was becoming undervalued.

What would am I trying to say?  Both SMC and MBT are among the most largely capitalized stocks in the market.  It is very difficult to move these stocks unless big money is flowing into them.  They may have skewed the index a bit yesterday but the signal that I am seeing is that there will be further surges into the large cap in the coming days.

The stocks to watch therefore would be AC, TEL, ALI, AEV, JGS, BDO, BPI, SM, MER, SMPH, EDC and URC.  These are largest caps in the index and there should be some repositioning going on from among the institutional funds.  There will also be a realigning of the index which was recomposed yesterday.  GMA7 is out while DMC is in.  We should keep an eye on DMC as well because this is probably the most promising stock in the market.  SECB is out replaced by JGS.  I have been watching JGS throughout the Cebu Pacific IPO saga, it has performed wonders but has recently been sold down.  I think together CEB, JGS will soar to new heights in the next few days.

Then, of course, there is PX which reported excellent  3Q2010 income of Php 1.1 billion, surpassing the Php 983.9 million for the entire first half of 2010.  For technicians, PX looks to be ready to fly in the charts.

There was a comment from a reader that mining could be the next bubble.  I think everybody is entitled to his own opinion, but an opinion that is based on pure guess-work is not as reliable as analysis based on present and reasonably assumed future figures.  Perhaps metals prices may not continue to move higher.  Take note, however, that production costs of mining companies in the Philippines (Lepanto excluded) are way below spot and futures prices.  For as long as this margin does not close up, I think that if there is indeed a bubble, it is not has not yet been inflated.


October 28, 2010 - Posted by | Financial markets in Asia


  1. Hi sir, would you think I should worry about the dip in AGI? I havn’t heard any negative news so im guessing its just the normal ups and downs. My cores are AGI DMC and JGS so just small flucs would really be noticeable..


    Comment by Migo | October 28, 2010 | Reply

  2. sir gus, please comment on this. i dont know if my interpretation and information that ive gotten on the things that are happening now are true…

    …presently, their is an on going currency war between china and US. china no longer use dollar as its reserve. instead, they are buying precious metals. US had monopolized and controlled currency by making the world peg its currency to the dollar.But now, china is retaliating by going back to the basics.instead of dollars, china is now hoarding precious metals which is far more valuable than dollar. metals could be used for industrial and technological purposes while dollar is just a paper printed every now and then by US. expect mining to be high for years. As long as china keeps on improving and advancing, precious metals will always be on demand.

    Comment by jonathan | October 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Speaking of currency, I would be needing EUR by march next year. Would it be ok to buy today or should i wait for it to go below 60?

      Comment by Ryan | October 28, 2010 | Reply

  3. Well, I love the market this year. It’s a bullish time. We’re going above the expectation. I think the coming days are mostly in green. Thanks for the 3Q2010 reports.

    Comment by joppy gwapo | October 28, 2010 | Reply

  4. I have both ORE & AT, though i think mining stocks are still in GOOD performance, i am planning to retain only one of them..Hope you could give me guidance on this two. while i am planning to either EDC or MPI what do you think better?

    Thanks & More Power!

    Comment by Blogspot | October 28, 2010 | Reply

    • both are good stocks i think.. but i already have .09cents today on mpi, i just bought it

      Comment by joppy gwapo | October 28, 2010 | Reply

  5. Sir Gus what do you mean that SECB is out and JGS is in, are you referring to a re-balancing of the index?

    Comment by warren | October 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Warren,

      I believe sir gus is referring to the changes made in the composition of the PSEi. Every 6 mos. PSE evaluates and then makes necessary changes to the index based on 5 criteria. If you notice today, after the announcement yesterday afternoon, the stocks coming in have moved up so it does pay to do your homework.


      Comment by marts | October 28, 2010 | Reply

  6. Sir,
    2011 is just 2 months. What will be your bets start of Jan’11 – sectors and specific issues. Do you advise positioning as early as Dec or you would rather do it Jan or mid-Q1.

    Comment by Mark Anthony | October 28, 2010 | Reply

  7. The spike in SMC is very interesting. Should we buy into this? Ceb droped back to IPO price 125 this morning. So it’s a good opportunity to accumulate.

    My opinion is there bubble. But we are at the early stages… The trick is exit before it burst.

    Comment by Nivla | October 28, 2010 | Reply

  8. The third quarter results are too slow. Its a month now already..

    Regarding VLL: Its still below book value, is a very large company, and is actively traded. Is looking to double my position here if I can actually. Not that I have any funds left, but still..

    Comment by jasper | October 28, 2010 | Reply

  9. Sir Gus your blog is indeed a very interesting and sometimes profitable read. I just learned recently from a friend that you visited UP-NIP last month or two. Too bad I missed it.

    What do you think of the rise of JGS today? Is this simply a reaction to it being included in the index, a technical play or is there something else worth noting? I’ve been looking at the chart of JGS ( and technically it should indeed be time to go up.

    Comment by Kent | October 28, 2010 | Reply

  10. Add some PX today….planning to buy again next week…

    Comment by Sophia | October 28, 2010 | Reply

  11. Sir Gus,

    I have a friend who asked why JGS is being sold down and have small daily market turnover. He is wondering why if a unit of this company(CEB) can raise billions of pesos in an IPO, is the parent company not worth investing into? I may have saw part of the answers in your write up today, thanks.

    Comment by alex | October 28, 2010 | Reply

    • JGS’ 52-week high was 27, mainly because investors/traders anticipated the CebuPac IPO. As mentioned by sir Gus, CebuPac’s IPO was already discounted to JGS price ahead of the IPO date.

      You will notice that from the past 3-4 weeks, JGS has been sold down (probably due to top slicing / profit taking, as the price move was very significant).

      However, if we analyze quotation report from PSE, foreigners are most of the time net buyers. In fact from Sep 20 to Oct 28, there were only 3 trading days from which they are net sellers (Sep 21 – 6M, Sep 23 – 2M, Oct 13 -4M). Today, they are 135M net buyer.

      What does this mean? Local traders (specially momentum traders) are locking gains while the foreigners are accumulating JGS.

      Technically speaking, price may reach at 35 if you analyze the price channel range.

      Fundamentally (im just starting to learn this, so those who are expert in this area may correct me), at 15x PE using the 2.28 EPS forecast, price may reach 34.2 (at today’s closing price).

      If you were able to accumulate at 24.5 that will be 39% for 34.2 price target.

      Next to watch out is DGTL…imagine if JGS announces that they will use CebuPac’s IPO money to enhance DGTL balance sheet 🙂

      Comment by Raymond | October 28, 2010 | Reply

      • Thank you Raymond, gentlemen.

        Comment by alex | October 29, 2010

      • What’s the formula you used in getting 34.2 price for JGS. I’m new in stocks but I think that piece of info will help me a lot. thanks

        Comment by Cris | November 21, 2010

    • I remember someone suggesting to my inner peter lynch to buy JGS when JGS was still at 18p. Who was that again? Can’t remember..

      Comment by jasper | October 28, 2010 | Reply

      • Guilty. 🙂

        Comment by Aika | October 29, 2010

      • Jasper,
        I do not think it is too late to get in on JGS. I think it is still cheap and I see it as a long term buy.

        Comment by Gus Cosio | October 29, 2010

  12. Regarding CBE, I’m warming up to it particularly when I read the prospectus. Yeah, the ipo is past but I think if a company has value, its never too late.

    The only thing that I’ve been asking myself is if CBE has a durable competitive advantage. They are the dominant domestic airline now, but is it enough?

    Well, err.. I’m going to buy some tomorrow I guess. I just don’t know where to get the funds from.. hehe.. I might have to sell some of my banks 😦

    Comment by jasper | October 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Jasper, I’d wait for the final word on the open skies policy debate that’s going on. It’s not getting much media mileage but its been brought up a number of times. They should be trying to protect the Phil airline industry instead of opening it up to more competition. The fares are already very affordable so I don’t see why there is a need for increased competition given that PAL has been faltering for a while already. Maybe they can have temporary open skies only during the holiday season?

      Comment by gp | October 28, 2010 | Reply

      • hi gp..

        actually, i might not be able to buy after all just because I don’t have cash. the only way I can buy some is if I sell some of my banks, and I really really like my banks. just contemplating selling them is giving me headache.

        but what I’m gonna do is top-slice some for the nickel ipo. i don’t usually do ipos but i think compared with px which has a very high pe and ore which has yet to turn a profit, nickel with its earnings and an ipo priced in the pe range of 12-15x is quite tempting.

        i guess mining is one of those things that’s as close to being a monopoly as you can get without being one. I mean competitors just can’t suddenly mine somewhere right? mines of rare metals don’t just exists anywhere.

        Comment by jasper | October 28, 2010

    • On Ceb, noticed that JP Morgan as stabilizing agent, is also selling although not in big volumes. What would that seem to indicate? thanks

      Comment by alex | October 31, 2010 | Reply

  13. The sums of the investments (SMB, MER, GSMI, PCOR, Purefoods) of SMC is greater the current market value plus it has cash of 119B as of 6/30 compared to the market value of 195B.

    Comment by alexis | October 28, 2010 | Reply

    • I think what is making SMC a laggard is that as a company diversifying, people don’t know anymore if its still a consumer play or a power or mining play – hence the hesitance.

      Comment by Kent | October 28, 2010 | Reply

    • SMC is in the same situation way back when the “boss” took over from the Soriano’s. But after a year, it moved tremendously 😉

      But come of think of it, SMC is too big to fail. Check its acquisitions from the past few months and you will see the synergy.

      I remember in one interview, RSA was asked why SMC is diversifying from foods to other industry. And his simple reply…while they are very much strong in the area of Food and Beverage, their ROE is just single digit. He is just basically steering the company to another dimension where, the ROE will be double-digit. They are not giving up the F&B industry….they are just repositioning their assets to where it would grow more.

      Its just like what we do, when property stock is weak, we transfer to mining stocks where money is moving.

      Comment by Raymond | October 29, 2010 | Reply

  14. Should I wait for VLL to shine or should i sell it at a loss and place it in more active ones? Maybe AGI DMC or JGS?

    Comment by Nico | October 29, 2010 | Reply

    • Nico,
      I would suggest that when managing your portfolio, try to imagine what professional managers would do. Normally, there are stocks that are cheap and you would want to see a larger than usual return. These stocks may take longer to reach your target so they are considered long term buys. The spectrum of decisions are as follows: long term buy, outperform, buy, trading buy, hold, trading sell, sell, under perform. This is my range of classifying my portfolio. Others may view thing differently. You should have some kind of framework in your portfolio. Not all stocks are created equal. Certainly, dynamics of each stock have lives of their own.
      I would suggest that you not trade as if you had a crystal ball. Trade on fundamental information on the stock and its price dynamics. Likewise, define your outlook on each stock for both value and time horizon.

      Comment by Gus Cosio | October 29, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi, if that’s the only stock where you put your money and its going down. For me, I would cut my loses and buy other good or better stocks. If you have many stocks and that’s the only stock that went down and your volume in VLL is not so big compare to your other stock, for me I will hold. 🙂

      Comment by marketbeginner | October 29, 2010 | Reply

      • Good point guys. The long weekend should give me enough time to classify my stocks 🙂 thanks!

        Comment by Nico | October 29, 2010

    • Property sector is weak since last month (they were the first sector to perform during the bull run).

      Unfortunately, VLL is under the property sector, thus the reason why it is weak.

      But looking at the fundamentals, VLL is a good long-term buy. Another good property stock is MEG (but I am still analyzing the foreign money coming in and out for me to decide to acquire).

      Comment by Raymond | October 29, 2010 | Reply

  15. MPI is making s move. Perhaps what gus said in his post is happening to MPI too?

    VLL is on a diff sector than AGI, DMC or JGS. well there are some overlaps, but basically VLL is a pure real-estate company. If you want some exposure to real-estate VLL is as good as any. But for me, i have vll and some of the other stocks. a little diversification sometimes is prudent.

    Comment by jasper | October 29, 2010 | Reply

  16. sir.
    what are your thought on mpi. A certain professional in one of its affiliates told me this is the stock of the future. Since last year i had this mindset that eventually this stock will follow stock value trend like – tel when it was below 1k, ap and dmc.

    Comment by mark anthony | October 29, 2010 | Reply

  17. I’ve been thinking a lot lately of what Gus said about the spectrum of decisions.

    Right now, there is only one mode for me. That is of long-term hold. I buy stocks thinking they will go up next year, or two years from now and when they go up immediately I become suspicious.

    However, it seems we are under extraordinary circumstances. Perhaps I should devote a part of my funds to targeting short-term movements? Sounds suspiciously like day trading eh? But its kinda like Gus’s core-holding/trade-holding strategy.

    But I dunno, I don’t feel I’m that good to be catching stocks that move.

    Comment by jasper | October 29, 2010 | Reply

    • That is nice Jasper. Everyone is entitled to have his/her own way of trading. My instance I have my core shares a mixture of 3-4 companies about 60% of my portfolio and the rest I use them for speculative plays. So that I can protect myself also while seeing and acting based on what is going on in the market.

      Comment by Foreign Investor | October 29, 2010 | Reply

    • There’s a lot of ways jasper. if you want long term go with growth stock like warren buffet way. If you want short term stock you could buy undervalued stocks like benjamin graham way. If you want short term and you dont want to look on the value of stocks you could read jesse livermore way for technical analysis. I made a tweak every time I saw the reaction of the market but jesse way is one of the riskiest way.

      Comment by marketbeginner | October 29, 2010 | Reply

    • If you want to learn trading using technical analysis, I suggest you read the book “Come into my Trading Room” by Alexander Elder. This was the last technical analysis book that I read (it actually suggests trading strategy, which I am using with a tweak 😉

      If you want I can send it to you (it’s 5MB).

      But I guess, trading strategy in stock market will depend on your objective. If your objective is to grow your money to a certain % and your time horizon is long (say 10-20 years, like for retirement). I guess buying a fundamentally sound stock and hold it for a year or so (and of course making repositioning from time to time) is a good strategy.

      In my case, I want to grow my fund at 30% per year. To do that, I do a core position / trading position strategy.

      My investment/core position is 100% of my fund (and I normally acquire only blue chips stocks when they are severely battered).

      I use margin account for my trading position, this is where I used technical analysis and I have a strict cut-loss rule. In technical analysis, when stock moves,it will move for certain period of time (regardless of the fundamentals). When I am right, I ride the wave.

      When Im wrong, I go out quickly. The most important thing to do when I am “trading” is to fight another day. I guess, when at one time, you were burned 85% 😦 of your equity you really have to value the use of cut-loss strategy.

      Comment by Raymond | October 29, 2010 | Reply

      • I’m new to stocks, I would appreciate it very much if you could include me on your e-mail list of the book “Come into my trading room”. Thanks.

        Comment by Dan | October 29, 2010

      • @Dan
        Please post your email address 😉 I will send the eBook.

        Comment by Raymond | October 30, 2010

      • Hi Raymund,

        Would also appreciate the “come into..” book. Thanks!

        Comment by James T. | October 30, 2010

      • My strategy is also to earn at least 30% a year and then every start of a new year, I add a fixed amount sort of like a savings contribution.

        I was already able to earn 65% which got me thinking. I know that this year is also the “golden era” for us so technically, historic returns won’t apply today because we are in a special situation. Thinking about it, should my goals of earning 30% or more still be applicable to maybe 2-3 years down the road? I’m just warry because bulls don’t last forever.

        I also have very optimistic friends who would want to enter the market this November due to all the news of our gains but all I have said so far is that people gained so much due to the start of the bull. I can’t say if it would still be that strong when they enter. Sorry if I sound pessimistic but since they are first timers, I’m also worried that they might not be satisfied or even lose some when they start.

        What do you think guys?

        Comment by Ria | October 30, 2010

      • Kindly send to Thanks.

        Comment by Dan | October 30, 2010

      • 30% per year? wow, thats quite a lot 🙂

        My investment in GLO is being felt even now. My return is at 25%.. quite low when compare to you guys. But imagine If I have reversed the ratio and placed what I placed in GLO into SECB and vice-versa.. that would have been something :/

        Comment by jasper | October 30, 2010

      • good pm Raymond. Please excuse me. I know I am already asking to much – but I want also to learn. I will appreciate if you can also email me come into my trading room at God bless you roberth

        Comment by roberth | October 30, 2010

    • To Dan & Roberth,

      File has been sent to your email address. Enjoy reading 🙂

      Comment by Raymond | October 30, 2010 | Reply

      • Raymond, many thanks 🙂

        Comment by roberth | February 20, 2011

    • @Ria,

      I believe 30% / year is achievable. Although, that the same figure is annualized return of George Soro’s hedge fund (Quantum Fund if Im not mistaken).

      But come to think of it, 30% a year is just 2.5% per month net gain (using simple interest rate calculation).

      As Graham mentioned in “Intelligent Investor” book, one can create an investment policy (for technician we can relate it to trading plan), the hardest part is to stick with it and conquer our emotion. Our emotion is the greatest obstacle to any investment plan.

      As to the market, there’s no way to tell how it will perform next year. That is where in my opinion, fundamental analysis should come into the picture. Im still in the process of learning fundamental analysis, but from my limited knowledge (3 months to be exact, courtesy of this blog), it does gives me strong conviction of the probable price support/target level for which I can accumulate/top slice to establish my position.

      Comment by Raymond | October 30, 2010 | Reply

      • 30% per year beats a lot of the old time masters. If you can do that for 10 years you’ll be a multi-millionaire.

        For comparison – 15% is the yearly return of Benjamin Graham, and Peter Lynch. Even Buffett only has a 20% ave return.

        But bear in mind that this is the average over a long time. 15 years in case of Lynch, and over 20 for graham and buffett. A lot of people outperform the market for a few years. Then they get wiped out.

        I’mm be happy to get anywhere from 10-20% per year, provided that I can do that consistently from now till the day I die. 🙂

        Comment by jasper | October 30, 2010

    • @Jasper,

      I agree that 30% is too much aggresive and it put doubts as if this can be sustained for long period of time. Even normal business organization with sound business operation suggests that 30% annualized is too much.

      In my case, at the start of the year, I operate on a target of 2x the 10year T-Bill rate. Once I attained that, that’s the time time I set my sight to 30%.

      Anyway, each and every person has acceptable risk/reward tolerance. Im still on the learning stage (coming from 85% wipeout during the financial crisis) and I am willing to change my strategy when market condition changes. That is why I am putting a lot of effort understanding fundamental analysis (thanks for the books you mentioned, Intelligent Investor / Security Analysis).


      Comment by Raymond | November 1, 2010 | Reply

  18. Hello Sir Gus,

    What books could you suggest for your followers to read, especially those who are just starting to trade/invest?

    Comment by C | October 29, 2010 | Reply

    • i recommend at least two – ‘the intelligent investor’ by ben graham(Be prepared for the old english though) and ‘one up on wall street’ by peter lynch

      Comment by jasper | October 29, 2010 | Reply

  19. Sir Gus…. any updates on DGTL… it seems not to be moving away from the 1.57 to 1.61 range…

    Comment by tatels | October 29, 2010 | Reply

  20. @ Jasper Try also “Winning on Wall St.” by Martin Zwieg…Very nice Book..More on Momentum trading..right now i like GOLD….QE2=Dollar weakness=Gold rally

    Comment by Sophia | October 30, 2010 | Reply

    • hi sophia, can i have a copy of martin zweig. he’s one of my favorite because he also tweak the worked of jesse livermore. here’s my email.. thanks!

      Comment by marketbeginner | October 30, 2010 | Reply

  21. Sorry Joppy I bought a hardbound Book…

    Comment by Sophia | October 30, 2010 | Reply

    • really!? sayang naman. thought it was soft copy. I got manny books about investing, nice to trade but it’s ok. i could find the soft copy of it. just that i didn’t saw it in 4shared the last time i checked.

      Comment by marketbeginner | October 30, 2010 | Reply

  22. sir gus,

    check out what the forums are saying about CEB

    some of them do make some good points..but i still think people are too quick to panic..

    Comment by cliffhanger | October 30, 2010 | Reply

  23. Actually, apart from books, I’m watching the way Gus evaluates companies. I felt as if I’ve learned a lot this past few months.

    I mean, why does Gus like CEB, whats the reason? How about ORE, and even DGTL before? Reading the reasons and seeing the market in real time, makes for a far deeper learning that just reading books.

    Someone who knows what he’s doing is sharing his thoughts. I am tuning to it. — although I suspect gus and I have very different holdings.

    Comment by jasper | October 31, 2010 | Reply

    • Jasper,
      I will be very transparent here. My present holdings are ALI, CEB, DMC, DGTL, JGS, ORE, PX, SLI and SPH. ALI is a legacy holding which I simply choose to keep. CEB is the most recent because I like the fundamentals of the company being a low cost high margin producer; the budget air travel story regionally and globally; and the prospects of being the dominant carrier in the Philippines. DGTL to mind is the only growing telco in the country and it has been clawing market share from globe; it has also reversed it loss position and is looking toward a larger bottom line next year. JGS because I am a contrarian in as far as the Gokongwei market perception is; I think that with Lance, there has been a changing of the guards although I am still filled with admiration for the old man no matter how scrooge-like his image is to the public. ORE, I like because the owners know what they are doing and are making a gargantuan effort to make this know to fund managers. SLI, I think has a good business and their up and coming follow on offering could be pitched way above the present price. SPH, which I am not recommending to anyone, is a personal vote on a personal friend, Dr. Hortaleza. He continues to share his vision with me and owning shares in his company is my personal vote on his vision.
      By the way, I am a long-term follower of TEL. I recently sold it at 2734. I am waiting for it to come below 2600. I reckon if I just buy at the low of the range and sell at the high and get the dividend, I will yield 25 to 30% a year on the stock which is not bad on a big blue stock.

      Comment by Gus Cosio | November 1, 2010 | Reply

      • Hello Sir Gus,
        May we have your thoughts on their up and coming follow on offering? And when will this take place since their isn’t anything circulating regarding this matter?

        Thank you

        Comment by Foreign Investor | November 1, 2010

    • hi gus, thanks for the reply. As expected, the only thing we have in common is DMC and DGTL..

      Although the thing with PLDT i might emulate. I’ll set aside an ‘opportunistic’ fund just for that and then buy PLDT too during dips..

      I’ll probably start with something as mundane as that so I can learn the ropes of buying low-selling high.

      But its just gonna be a small fund only though. 80% my funds are still gonna be long-term holdings since this is supposed to be for my retirement..

      Comment by jasper | November 1, 2010 | Reply

  24. Fgen and Edc are forming lower high and lower lows..i think Edc might go back to 5.50 while Fgen to 12/sh..Good to BUY Sph,Food & Iremit right now Longterm hold….

    Comment by Tony | November 1, 2010 | Reply

  25. Sir Gus, thanks a lot for your sharing. TEL is now at 2450, whats your thoughts on it? Is it time to buy back or still wait for it to find the bottom?

    Comment by alex_ay | November 5, 2010 | Reply

    • Alex,
      Perhaps it is time to do a monthly peso cost averaging on TEL over the next 12 months.

      Comment by Gus Cosio | November 7, 2010 | Reply

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