NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of First Bancorp (FBP) were falling 14.5% to $4.78 on heavy trading volume Tuesday, continuing losses from Monday following 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 members 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 First Bancorp.
About 1.9 million shares of First Bancorp were traded by 10:52 a.m. Tuesday, above the company's average trading volume of about 880,000 shares a day.
TheStreet Ratings team rates FIRST BANCORP P R as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate FIRST BANCORP P R (FBP) 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 solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's earnings per share has not been good."