One Reason Petrobras (PBR.A) Stock is Falling

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras (PBR.A) are down by 4.76% to $8.10 in mid-day trading on Thursday afternoon, as Bloomberg reports the Brazilian oil giant is in a New York City courtroom today fighting to get lawsuits brought against it by investors tossed out.

The suits were brought against the state-run company in the aftermath of the investigation into the alleged multi-billion dollar bribery scandal.

Petrobras is asking a judge to dismiss the investor case, saying it was swindled by disloyal employees that were trading construction contracts for payoffs, Bloomberg noted.

Petrobras' request comes one week after police detained the CEOs of two of Brazil's largest builders.

Eight suits have been filed on behalf of stock and bond investors have been bundled before a U.S. district judge for preliminary matters, Bloomberg noted.

"Petrobras might find it difficult to convince [the judge] that all the misconduct it alleges it is a victim of is likely to have happened without it at least questioning the goings on," Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor told Bloomberg.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PETROLEO BRASILEIRO SA- PETR as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PETROLEO BRASILEIRO SA- PETR (PBR.A) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, generally high debt management risk, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share."

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