Banco Bradesco: Zacks’ Bear of the Day Play

There’s nowhere to hide for Banco Bradesco S.A. (BBDSnapshot Report) as Brazil’s economy weakens. As one of Brazil’s largest banks, this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) just had its rating lowered by Standard & Poor’s.

Banco Bradesco was founded in 1943 and with a market cap of $29 billion, is one of Brazil’s largest privately-owned banks. As of June 2015, it had assets of R$1.03 trillion with 26.5 million active checking accounts and 50,000 express units.

Rating Lowered by Standard & Poor’s

On Sep 10, Standard & Poor’s cut Banco Bradesco’s global scale rating to speculative grade with a negative outlook after it downgraded Brazil’s credit to junk.

Brazil is in its worst recession in the last quarter of a century with inflation at 12-year highs. The Real has dropped to 13-year lows, sliding 32% this year alone.

Apparently, the Brazilian government has delayed August tax data, putting fuel to the fire that the economy is worse than it appears.

The Brazilian Congress has also recently started discussions to impeach President Dilma Rousseff.

All of these events continue to pressure the Real.

Estimates Cut for 2015

The analysts were already negative on Banco Bradesco even before Standard & Poor’s cut their rating.

2 estimates were lowered in the last 60 days, pushing the Zacks Consensus down to $1.05 from $1.11. This is an earnings decline of about 10% from last year.

Are the Shares Dirt Cheap?

Shares have plunged 56% in the last year. Looking at the chart, I know you’re wondering, “hey, maybe these are dirt cheap now?”

Banco Bradesco trades with a forward P/E of just 6.1 and a price-to-book of 1.1. While these are low, given all the economic problems in Brazil, there’s no guarantee the shares won’t get even cheaper.

And what do you get for your troubles and your patience?

Banco Bradesco doesn’t pay a large dividend. Right now, it’s yielding only 1.3%. There are plenty of other companies without the risk yielding at least as much, if not more.

These shares are no deal.

If you must buy an international bank right now, it would be wise to avoid those in the emerging markets given the commodities weakness. But why not check out some of the European banks?

Deutsche Bank (DBAnalyst Report) is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). It is also pretty cheap, with a forward P/E of 7.1 but it pays a more attractive dividend, which is currently yielding 2.7%.

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Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor of the Insider Trader and Value Investor services. You can follow her on twitter at @TraceyRyniec.

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