Pinoys Still “At Home Sa Jollibee”

Jollibee (PSE: JFC) recently reported strong net income and improved profit margins for the fourth quarter and for the whole of 2010. For someone as inexpert in the technicalities and financial complexities of the stock market as I, there is just one “layman’s” explanation for this: Pinoys are still at home with Jollibee… really.

Let me make myself as an example. When I was young, I always look forward to the weekends. On Friday nights, my cousins and I are especially ecstatic because:

“Isang tulog na lang, Jollibee na naman…

Ang araw lulubog, bukas mabubusog…

Sa Chickenjoy manok, at Yum-burger bilog!

I love you Sabado, pati na rin Linggo!

Hintay ka lang Jollibee ‘andiyan na ako.

Panlasang Pilipino, at home sa Jollibee!”

When I was in high school, Jollibee is where we buy our snack for the cinemas. (Good thing SM allows outside food in their cinemas – until now – unlike here in Singapore wherein you have to buy the mediocre selection at their cinema snack kiosks.)

During college, Jollibee is there to help me save my allowance during dates. And for someone not earning any salaries yet, Jollibee is one fine hangout spot with friends.

Now that I am working as an OFW, Jollibee is a part of my itinerary every time I go home for a short vacation, and before I go back to Singapore. I definitely have to have a meal in Jollibee. I don’t know why, but I feel my vacation isn’t complete without the taste of something I’ve grown up with. If I am to put it in an analogy, it will go like this: your visit to Singapore is not complete without a photo at the statue of Merlion and the Esplanade; your visit to San Francisco is not complete without a photo of you with the Golden Gate Bridge at the background; your visit to Hong Kong isn’t complete without a photo of you standing beside the giant Buddha or at the entrance of HK Disneyland; and so on and so forth. I trust you get my drift.

In fact, when I went to California last time, I ate twice at the Jollibee store in Great Mall, Milpitas.

The last time I was in San Francisco, I saw another Jollibee branch in 4th Street (I think this branch has closed now). But the thing is, had I been not in a hurry back then, I would have tried to have a taste of Pinoy goodness in that city.

Anyway, to sum it all up, perhaps I’ve touched on the very core reason why Jollibee continues to perform well over the past years. It has captured the taste of every Filipino. It embodies the Pinoy—the cool as Halo-halo, the sweet as Peach-Mango Pie, every kid in us with the Spaghetti Special. I am pretty sure that this will continue even long after my grandchildren’s grandchildren have had a taste of it. Jollibee is not just food. It is tradition. It is culture. It is Filipino.

Now, to add some technical, stock-market discussion in this blog post, I think Jollibee, which ended Tuesday up 0.63% to PhP79.50, will continue to grow its stock price in the next few months. This will partly be driven by the company’s recent acquisition of Mang Inasal (which contributed 5% points to the company’s worldwide sales growth in 2010), which is expected to further increase its revenue contribution. Also, JFC has started the construction of Jollibee Foods Processing Commissary in Anhui Province, China, last year. JFC also entered into a joint venture agreement that will enable it to acquire early this year about 55% of San Pin Wang, a fast food chain with 34 stores in Guangxi Province in South China. These, I think, are some key indicators for further growth up ahead for JFC.

I have not tried investing in the stock market though, so don’t take my word for it (In fact, I also mentioned in my Disclaimer page, that “The contents of should not be taken as an offer of, or giving of, advice to buy or sell securities.”). But then again, as novice as I am in this world of stocks and securities and equities, there’s a reason why I put up this website, and why I have been posting these news and information and so-far-rudimentary-analyses-via-real-life-experiences during the past two months now. I believe I will get better in time (My background, actually, is really far from finance; but that story is for another post.). For the meantime, I will be focusing on some strategies to be able to post gains in the upcoming Online Stock Market Challenge.

– Richard

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