SY-LED SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) bounced back last week as the stock market stabilized after the lockdown-induced panic selling.

Data from the Philippine Stock Exchange showed a total of 880,800 SMIC shares worth P838.42 million were traded from Aug. 2 to 6, making the listed firm the seventh most actively traded stock last week.

Shares of the Sy family’s holding firm grew by 5.8% to P963 apiece last Friday from its July 30 finish of P910.50. The stock has dipped by 9.2% since the start of the year.

Analysts said the week-on-week recovery came after SMIC and other blue-chip issues bounced back from the panic selling brought by the reimposition of strict lockdown in Metro Manila as well as nearby provinces to contain the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

“SMIC basically recovered all of its losses from the week before as share prices began to stabilize from the extreme panic selling that we saw due to the reimposition of tighter restrictions,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Head of Research Christopher John A. Mangun said in an e-mail interview.

In a Viber message, Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading Darren Blaine T. Pangan shared the same view, adding that “positive sentiment influenced the local bourse this week, amid the string of positive corporate earnings reports released over the past few days.”

For the third time, the government has placed the capital region in a two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until Aug. 20 in its bid to contain the spread of the more transmissible Delta strain of the coronavirus.

Surrounding provinces have also been put in various degrees of lockdown.

The Health department has detected 331 Delta variant cases in the country.

The holding company disclosed to the local bourse on Wednesday that it hiked its stake in Goldilocks Bakeshop, Inc. to approximately 74%, from 34.1% as of end-2020, making Goldilocks a subsidiary of SMIC.

Mr. Mangun said the Goldilocks acquisition is a “good addition” to SMIC’s retail food portfolio.  

“This is a small company in the large scheme of SM’s business portfolio although the Goldilocks brand will definitely benefit from SM’s management and expansion strategies and may come back stronger once the economy recovers,” he said.

SMIC’s first-semester bottom line ballooned nearly three times to P20.1 billion this year from P7.1 billion a year ago.

Its banking unit accounted for almost three-fifths of its net earnings in the first half, followed by property and retail at 28% and 14%, respectively.

Mr. Pangan did not provide his net income forecast for SMIC but said he would watch out for the impact of the new movement restrictions on the company’s business segments.

“Given the uncertainty brought about by the spread of the Delta variant and the strict quarantine measures that were implemented to contain it, we’ll observe in the coming months if its businesses in banking, property, and retail will continue to perform well,” Mr. Pangan said.

Mr. Mangun, meanwhile, penciled in a second-half bottom line of between P25 billion and P30 billion, topping the P23.39-billion attributable net income SMIC booked last year.

“The July-December period is always the most important for mall operators and retailers. It’s going to come down to the vaccination progress,” Mr. Mangun said.

“If the government can meet its target of having 60% of the population fully vaccinated before the end of the year, then we may have a wonderful Christmas season which will be good for SM,” he added.

For this week, Mr. Mangun placed SMIC’s support level at P910 and its resistance at P1,020.

Likewise, Mr. Pangan put the stock’s immediate support level at P910, with P1,019 as the closest resistance area to monitor. — Abigail Marie P. Yraola