Why Petrobras (PBR) Stock Continues to Fall Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Petrobras (PBR) continued to decline 4.08% to $16.91 on Friday amid an investigation into allegations that the Brazilian state-owned energy company had bribed government officials, according to Bloomberg.

Sao Paulo-based Veja Magazine reported earlier this week that several politicians, including some in Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's Worker's Party, received bribes linked to Petrobras' contracts. Paulo Roberto Costa, the former head of refining at Petrobras, disclosed the names of those allegedly involved with the bribes when he testified before the federal public prosecutor.

Three Brazilian construction companies have also been cited in a money-laundering probe as primary contributors to Rousseff's re-election campaign, Bloomberg said.

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Rousseff's Secretary General Gilberto Carvalho said Costa's accusations are meant "to try, somewhat desperately, to change the course of the campaign" for the October presidential election.

Bloomberg reported late Monday that Petrobras had requested access to Costa's testimony.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PETROBRAS-PETROLEO BRASILIER as a "hold" with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PETROBRAS-PETROLEO BRASILIER (PBR) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins."

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