Stocks to Watch: ABS-CBN, GMA earnings

Ralf Rivas
Stocks to Watch: ABS-CBN, GMA earnings
Are you a Kapamilya or a Kapuso? We look into their financials to check which company has earned and grown more over the years.

MANILA, Philippines – Which network is better and watched by more Filipinos, ABS-CBN or GMA?

The two networks have been fighting it out for decades to nab the No. 1 spot, offering a hodgepodge of drama, action, and comedy.

In this week’s Stocks to Watch, we look into the networks’ financials to see how they have grown over the years, as well as how they are positioning themselves in the digital age.


It’s a tight race for the two networks in the 1st half of 2019. ABS-CBN earned P1.47 billion, a massive 98% jump from the P741 million a year ago. Meanwhile, GMA saw a 10% increase in its net income to P1.34 billion from P1.2 billion.

Historically, the Kapamilya network earns more than the Kapuso network, except in 2018 where GMA earned P2.27 billion while ABS-CBN had P1.91 billion.

In terms of size, ABS-CBN is much bigger than GMA.

In the 1st half of 2019, total revenues of ABS-CBN stood at P20.8 billion, while GMA had P7.9 billion.

Advertisers also poured more cash into ABS-CBN at P11.3 billion, while GMA got P7.3 billion. 

This means that GMA’s main source of cash is advertising, at over 90% of the total revenues.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN has much more revenue sources, like amusement park Kidzania, as well as its studio tours.

Political advertisements also boosted the two networks’ revenues during the period.

ABS-CBN also boasts its digital platforms like iWant. The network said it was able to attract an average of 1.5 million active monthly users on iWant in the 1st half of the year.

ABS-CBN also saw a rise in sales of its TVPlus boxes, selling over 1.21 million units in just 6 months. Meanwhile, GMA has not reported numbers on its TV boxes, despite chairman and chief executive officer Felipe Gozon announcing in 2018 that they would roll out a similar and cheaper device.

Based on the production cost and amount paid to talents, it can be concluded that ABS-CBN employs a lot more workers than the rival network.

As of June 30, ABS-CBN’s total assets stood at P90.38 billion, while GMA’s was at P16.26 billion.

As of Friday, August 16, ABS-CBN’s stock price was at P18.34, with a 1-year return of a disappointing -23.2%. Analysts attribute this weak performance to jitters over the network’s franchise renewal.

GMA’s stock price as of last close was at P5.35, with a 1-year return of 5.9%.

Some investors have preferred GMA over ABS-CBN due to its higher dividends. This year, the network offered to give shareholders P0.45 per share, which is around a tenth of the current share price. –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.