NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Popular Inc. (BPOP), a financial holding company, were falling 8.9% to $30.01 on heavy trading volume Monday, after Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla's comments that the commonwealth cannot pay its debts.
The commonwealth currently has about $72 billion in debt, according to The New York Times. The governor and member of his staff said the commonwealth would likely seek significant concessions from its creditors which could include deferring debt payments for as many as five years or extending the repayment timetable.
"The debt is not payable," García Padilla told the Times. "There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics, this is math."
The governor's comments brought down shares of Puerto Rican banks such as Popular.
About 1.5 million shares of Popular were traded by 10:46 a.m. Monday, above the company's average trading volume of about 824,000 shares a day.
TheStreet Ratings team rates POPULAR INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate POPULAR INC (BPOP) 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 expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself."