Goldman Sachs lowers Credicorp 2011 earnings projections on soft Q4

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) has lowered its earnings projections for Peru's Credicorp (NYSE: BAP) following a mediocre Q4 and lower guidance from management.

The investment bank lowered its 2011 earnings growth projection by 280 basis points, to 19.5%, "at the top of informal guidance provided by management in the 4Q10 earnings call," it said in a note to investors.

Goldman pointed to higher expenses and a softening net interest margin, as well as an uncertain regulatory environment, in which Peruvian central bank BCRP might choose to raise reserve requirements further.

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"Results showed that strong loan growth may not translate directly to strong bottom line," the note said.

As did other investment banks responding to Credicorp's weak 4Q10, Goldman left its rating on the stock - neutral - unchanged, though it did lower its 12-month price target on its ADR by 6.5%, to US$116.00.

Following a four-month rally in which its stock rose more than 50% to above US$127 per share in October, Credicorp has declined by about 22%, to under US$100 per share.