PLDT Inc.’s earnings growth for this year is expected to be modest, likely in the low single-digit percentage, according to credit analyst CreditSights.

This aligns with the company’s full-year expectations, CreditSights said in its outlook report for PDLT e-mailed to reporters on Tuesday.

“[This is] led by our expectations of resilient [albeit slowing] broadband growth, robust enterprise data growth and cost efficiencies that offset a challenging mobile operating environment,” the credit analyst said.

For the second quarter, PLDT’s net income attributable to equity holders stood at P9.44 billion, representing a 22.4% increase from P7.7 billion in the same period last year.

From April to June, the company’s consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) hit an all-time high of P26.1 billion, a 4.4% jump from the P25 billion recorded in 2022.

Meanwhile, PLDT’s attributable net income for the first half of the year reached P18.45 billion, climbing 9.9% from P16.79 billion in the same period last year.

Its first-half consolidated EBITDA was P52.1 billion, which is 3.2% higher than what the company booked last year, that is P50.5 billion.

The company’s full-year guidance for EBITDA growth is in the low-single digits, which it said will be supported by top-line growth and aggressive cost management.

“We also anticipate lower second half capital expenditure (capex) in line with management guidance, with liquidity aided by a residual P28.8 billion of tower sales proceeds that we expect to be closed through the second half,” CreditSights said.

PLDT’s capex reached P40.8 billion in the first half, which is 11.3% lower than what the company spent in the first six months of last year, which was P46 billion.

The company has set a capex guidance of P80 billion to P85 billion for 2023, which is lower than the P96.8 billion it spent last year.

“We maintain our market performance recommendation on PLDT; we believe spreads rightly reflect its resilient credit profile aided by its leading broadband market position and tower sales, which outweigh its high capex, versus historical levels, arising from a P33 billion budget overrun,” CreditSights said.

In a disclosure on Tuesday, PLDT announced that it is in advanced talks with US-based Radisys Corp. to build and launch digital solutions.

“As part of PLDT’s purpose to inspire innovation and our mission to deliver meaningful connections for all our customers, we look forward to closely working with Radisys to help us usher in more immersive and exciting digital experiences for tech-savvy Filipinos as we look into the future,” said PLDT President and Chief Executive Officer Alfredo S. Panlilio.

Radisys is a subsidiary of Jio Platforms Ltd., which designs, industrializes, and deploys a range of networking, communications, devices, and digital engagement platforms in India and globally.

“Radisys is thrilled at the prospect of a collaborative partnership with PLDT, tapping into the broad range of solutions available across Jio Platforms,” said Arun Bhikshesvaran, president and chief executive officer at Radisys. 

“We are eager to leverage our past experience in successfully launching similar innovations in India as we embark on this strategic alliance with PLDT,” he added..

First Metro Investment Corp. Head of Research Cristina S. Ulang said in a Viber message that the partnership will push the expansion of the 5G network.

“This partnership heralds the gathering momentum of the push for 5G and the greater network and digital technology capabilities required of the country’s growing digital economy,” Ms. Ulang said.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Justine Irish D. Tabile