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Rockwell Climbs to 12-Week High on Profit Forecast: Manila Mover

Aug. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Rockwell Land Corp. advanced to a 12-week high in Manila trading after the Philippine builder’s President Nestor Padilla said profit may double in two years.

Rockwell climbed 31 percent to 4.05 pesos as of 1:53 p.m., headed for the highest close since May 14, while the Philippine Stock Exchange Composite Index declined 0.1 percent.

“Investors are buying the stock because they are excited with the company’s prospects and valuation moving forward,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at Manila-based investment company First Grade Finance Inc. “The company is strong in the upper-middle and high-end market for homes.”

Profit may climb to 2.2 billion pesos ($53 million) by 2014 from an estimated 1.1 billion pesos this year, Padilla said at a briefing in Manila today.

The company’s so-called sales take-up, or the combined value of homes for which it has received initial payment, increased 70 percent in the first half to 4.1 billion pesos, Padilla said. Manila-based Rockwell will spend 7 billion pesos to 8 billion pesos this year on capital expenditure, he said.

The developer plans to raise between 5 billion pesos and 7 billion pesos through debt and equity to help fund expansion, the executive said, declining to specify a timeframe. Rockwell currently has 90,000 square meters of space for lease, and expects the area to double by 2014 and triple by 2016, he said.

Before today, Rockwell had declined 37 percent since the stock began trading on May 11, trailing a 6.9 percent advance for the Philippine Stock Exchange Property Index.

Investors had been uncertain about Rockwell’s prospects, causing the stock to lag behind the gain for the property index, del Castillo said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Sayson in Manila at isayson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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