RAZON-LED International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) was the most actively traded stock last week as its share price increased following news of its port expansion in Melbourne and its operations in the South Pacific International Container Terminal (SPICT) managing its largest ship.

Data from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) showed the port operator had the most actively traded stock last week in terms of value turnover with P2.32-billion worth of 10.55 million shares exchanging hands from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1.

ICTSI shares closed at P219.80 apiece on Friday, inching up by 0.6% from its P218.40 close on Nov. 24.

Year to date, the stock has climbed by 9.9%.

The main reason for the port operator’s price movement last week was its announcement that it handled the largest international vessel to call Papua New Guinea, Luis A. Limlingan, head of sales at Regina Capital Development Corp., said.

The listed operator’s subsidiary at the SPICT in Lae and the Motukea International Terminal “logged a record” as they welcomed the largest boxship to ever dock in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands region,

Mr. Limlingan said in an e-mail. “Such feat was viewed positively by the market, as evidenced by the stock’s price last Nov. 24.”

The 2,754-TEU or twenty-foot equivalent units ship Kota Gabung made its first call in Lae on Nov. 12 and in Motukea, adjacent to Port Moresby, on Nov. 17, ICTSI said last month.

Meanwhile, ICTSI last week said the expansion of its unit in Australia, Victoria International Container Terminal, is expected to be completed by yearend.

Phase 3A of VICT in Melbourne is projected to be finished by this month, ICTSI said, adding that this would allow VICT to service larger vessels.

The project, which is valued at 235 million Australian dollars, is divided into two phases, the listed port operator said, noting that phase 3A will increase the terminal’s capacity by 30% to 1.25 million TEUs or twenty-foot equivalent units.

The listed company said VICT’s expansion includes three additional storage blocks, six auto container carriers, and six auto stacking cranes, which it said is part of the phase 3A expansion.

Meanwhile, phase 3B of the project is expected to be completed by 2025, which includes the acquisition of automated ship-to-shore cranes and construction of two additional storage blocks.

“I think [these] developments are positive as these would help the firm to expand its operating capacity and widen its reach,” Mr. Limlingan said. 

These could also help the port operator sustain its profit growth, he added.

“Investors may want to take a piece of [ICTSI] as it is one of the best performers, ranking 8th amongst the index members,” Mr. Limlingan said.

“Immediate support is P215, but should this get broken, the next support is at P208.20. Meanwhile, its resistance can be found at P224.20 — its 52-week high,” he said.

ICTSI’s attributable net income inched up by 0.05% to reach $170.74 from $170.66 million in the third quarter, while consolidated revenues grew by 3.2% to $594.88 million. 

In the January to September period, earnings increased by 4.2% to $484.54 million, while consolidated revenues grew by 7.3% to $1.76 billion. — A.M.P. Yraola