Monday, July 16, 2007

Puerto Rico Stocks: 'The Fifty First State'

Some facts about Puerto Rico:
1. It is considered a high income country by the World Bank.
2. Its industries include petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and technology.
3. The country receives approximately 5 million tourists per year.
4. One third of the tourists are cruise ship passengers.
5. The UN Development Program put it in the top 15 countries for the Human Development Index.
6. If it were a country, it would rank in the top 70 of all countries in terms of Purchasing Power Parity.
7. If it were a country, it would rank in the top 60 of all countries in terms of GDP per capita.
8. It was claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1493 following Columbus' second voyage to the Americas.
9. According to the CIA Factbook, it has the potential for onshore and offshore oil.
10. Tourism has benefited from the new U.S. passport law which has cut down on visitors to other non-U.S. Caribbean islands.

The following is a list of Puerto Rican stocks, many of which are traded on the New York Stock Exchange and pay dividends. However, some of these are low cap, so they should be considered very speculative:

Doral Financial Corp. (DRL), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, is involved in the business of mortgage banking, banking, institutional securities, and insurance. Earnings have been negative, and the price to sales ratio is 1.19.

Equus Gaming Co. (EQUUS.PK) is in the thoroughbred racing and off track betting business. In 2004, three affiliates of the company filed for bankruptcy.

First BanCorp (FBP) is a bank holding company. Revenues were up 18.5% for the latest reported year and earnings were up by about 13.5%. The yield is 2.6% and it pays dividends quarterly.

Margo Caribe Inc. (MRGO.PK) produces and sells tropical plants and trees. Earnings have been negative and the P/S ratio is 1.42.

Oriental Financial Group Inc. (OFG), which trades on the NYSE, is a bank holding company which owns Oriental Bank and Trust. The stock has a forward P/E of 10.96 and a P/S of 4.24. The stock has a dividend rate of 5.2% and pays quarterly.

Popular Inc. (BPOP), which trades on NASDAQ, is a financial holding company which owns Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, and provides banking, leasing, and insurance services. The P/E is 13.05, the PEG is 2.01, and the yield is 4%. It pays dividends quarterly.

R&G Financial Corporation (RGFC.PK) is in the banking and mortgage business. On July 13, 2007, R&G announced that its subsidiary R&G Mortgage Corporation has received notice from GNMA declaring it in default under the guaranty agreements.

Santander Bancorp (SBP), which trades on the NYSE, is the bank holding company for Banco Santander Puerto Rico, which provides banking, asset management, and insurance services. The P/E is 15.2, the PEG is 1.2, and it yields 4.5%, with dividends paid quarterly.

W Holding Co. Inc. (WHI), which trades on the NYSE, is the bank holding company for Westernbank Puerto Rico, which provides banking and insurance services. The P/E is 7.94, the PEG is 0.84, and the yield is 6.7% with the dividends paid monthly. In June, the stock sank when the company reported that one of its major loans is impaired.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Fred Fuld at


Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

You're take on PR as the 51st state is quite something. I personally think you've had too much PR Rum. The economy of PR is in the pits. I do own one of the PR stocks listed, but am holding because I've lost so much money I can't afford to sell it. The PR government had to shut down because they could not agree on a spending bill. And most folks live below the poverty line, you didn't put that in your article. I lived there for 7 years and loved it, but it will never, never become a state, no matter how much they may want to, or rather not want to. There's too many hurdles to overcome politically both on the island and the US for that to happen. So they will remain a territory for how long, probably forever, unless the Democrats can convince the Republicans it's a good idea to allow them to become a state, and that my friend will never happen.

50centsaday said...

hell no, Puerto Rico!

Sagar said...

buying real estate in Puerto Rico is easy and many real estate investors find the ongoing phase as the most opportune moment for buying Puerto Rico condos. ot only, the country boasts of year round near perfect weather, the property laws and buying procedures are mostly based on US property laws and procedures. This makes it easier for the American buyers to acquire property in Puerto Rico and most of these properties are used as vacation homes.