Right now, Brazil is perfect for business, Cramer said during Tuesday’s Mad Money. He realized this while listening to the “woeful Whirlpool call.” Apparently, as tough a time as the company is having right now, that Latin American country is saving Whirlpool from being washed out.
Brazil’s economy has strong fundamentals, low inflation and declining consumer interest rates, CEO Jeff Fettig said on the call. Debt is also trending downward, while gross domestic product and consumer real income growth rise. Cramer likened it to a utopia for business.
If the U.S. catches a cold, Cramer said, then Latin America dies of leprosy. But the opposite is also true. So if the U.S. Federal Reserve cuts rates this week, the situation should only get better for Brazil.
And Brazilian banks in particular, especially considering the falling consumer interest rates and increased income. Lower rates lead to more loans, and a bump in income means more money in the bank. Banco Bradesco and Banco Itau should do nicely, Cramer said.
But he’s banking with Banco Bradesco. BBD is the largest bank in Brazil, and it has fewer bad loans on its books than Banco Itau does. BBD is also the market leader in asset management, insurance and pension planning, which is a good space to be in as a middle class forms in Brazil. BBD also has more exposure than Itau to the more prosperous northern Brazil.
It wouldn’t be a Cramer company critique without a look at multiples, so here goes: BBD, trading at 4.2 times its book value, is cheaper than Banco Itau, which trades at 4.5. This is the metric investors want to use to value banks, Cramer said. As for the price-to-earnings ratio, BBD trades at 14.6 times next year’s earnings, while Banco Itau goes for 16.3. If BBD got that multiple, the stock would go to $40 from $33.
Brazil may be a utopia for business, but it could be for investors, too, if they bank with BBD.
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