Assured Guaranty (AGO) Stock Tanks on Puerto Rico Debt Concerns

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Assured Guaranty (AGO) shares are down 11.09% to $24.38 in morning trading on Monday due to the fallout of Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla telling the New York Times that the U.S. territory's $72 billion debt was unpayable.

Combined with MBIA (MBI), Assured is liable for up to $9.4 billion of the island's debt.

The exact amount of each companies liability is still being measured, according to Bloomberg.

Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla's admission to the New York Times that the country had no means to pay off its debt makes both insurer's stock unbuyable, BTIG analyst Mark Palmer said today, according to Bloomberg.

Palmer lowered his rating for both companies to "neutral" from "buy".

As of March 31 MBIA had about $4.5 billion of par exposure while Assured Guaranty had $4.9 billion of par exposure to Puerto Rico.

MBIA shares are down 15.87% to $7 today.

TheStreet Ratings team rates ASSURED GUARANTY LTD as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ASSURED GUARANTY LTD (AGO) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • AGO's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 9.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 96.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although AGO's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market, ASSURED GUARANTY LTD's return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ASSURED GUARANTY LTD is currently very high, coming in at 79.58%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 52.61% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AGO Ratings Report

More from Markets

Inside Carnival's Mind Blowing New Horizon Cruise Ship (Video)

Inside Carnival's Mind Blowing New Horizon Cruise Ship (Video)

Jim Cramer: The 10-Year Yield Could Go to 2.75%

Jim Cramer: The 10-Year Yield Could Go to 2.75%

Oil Slumps, Gas Spikes Ahead of Holiday Weekend; Assessing the Chipmakers--ICYMI

Oil Slumps, Gas Spikes Ahead of Holiday Weekend; Assessing the Chipmakers--ICYMI

Week Ahead: Wall Street Looks to Jobs Report as North Korea Meeting Less Certain

Week Ahead: Wall Street Looks to Jobs Report as North Korea Meeting Less Certain

Dow and S&P 500 Decline, Energy Shares Fall as U.S. Crude Oil Slides 4%

Dow and S&P 500 Decline, Energy Shares Fall as U.S. Crude Oil Slides 4%