Yehey! sizzles in debutBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Shares of Yehey! Corp. surged by 170 percent on the Internet solution firm’s stock trading debut Thursday, lifted by rosy prospects for digital marketing and the upbeat global markets.
Within the next five years, Yehey! can hit the P100-million sales mark as a growing number of companies allot a bigger chunk of their advertising budget to the digital space, Edmundo Bunyi Jr., president of parent firm Vantage Equities, said in a briefing.
In 2011, sales amounted to P34 million, which the company targets to exceed by 8 percent this year.
Although it listed by way of introduction, or without an initial public offering, 33 percent of Yehey! is now owned by the public.
Yehey! listed 278 million common shares on the second board of the Philippine Stock Exchange at an initial price of P1 per share, the same as the par value. Shares sizzled on the firm’s listing day, hitting as high as P4.50 in intra-day trade before closing at P2.70 per share. About P58.7 million worth of Yehey! shares changed hands on the local bourse.
“Yehey! investors are establishing what they think is a fair price,” said PNB Securities deputy chief Manny Lisbona. “It also helps that overseas news is positive—such as China’s gross domestic product growth falling within forecasts and positive US housing data.”
“We see a good future for the business, especially coming from zero. There’s a bright future for it,” said Wilson Sy, a director at Vantage.
Internet penetration rate in the Philippines is estimated at about 33 percent, up from only 10-17 percent in 2004.
Sy, a stock market veteran, said Yehey!’s strong debut could also be attributed to the bullish market sentiment globally. With the global monetary easing bandwagon, he said “there’s so much money going around.”
The local Internet firm is also debuting at a time that the technology sector was making a strong comeback in the global markets, long after the bursting of the dotcom bubble in early 2000s. Among the world’s most valuable companies now are technology firms such as Apple and Microsoft.
Asked whether Vantage was keeping Yehey! for the long haul or eventually getting a new investor, Sy said: “We’re open to synergies. Digital marketing is just a small component of the big advertising industry. We’re open to JVs (joint ventures) with big marketing/advertising companies in the world.”
Of the P100-billion total marketing budget spent on media, only 0.2 percent goes to digital marketing at present, suggesting a huge room for growth, especially as some big regional companies now set aside as much as 30 percent of their advertising budget for the digital space.
About 80 percent of Yehey!’s business comes from digital marketing while the rest comes from other media and advertising services. For instance, Yehey! and SM have a tie-up in “proximity” marketing that blasts brand campaigns to mall-goers over SM’s free WiFi in its shopping malls.
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