But is it now a good time to invest in Americanas shares (AMER3) after the release of the balance sheet? According to analysts, the moment still calls for caution.
Since the beginning of the year until now, the company’s shares have fallen by more than 90%. The shares, which cost around R$12 at the beginning of 2023, are now priced at less than R$1. For some market agents, this sudden drop could mean potential gains. Today (16) at the beginning of trading, the shares rose almost 9%, quoted at R$0.87. But, for analysts interviewed by Valor Investe, the moment is still delicate and requires care.
José Eduardo Daronco, analyst at Suno Research, states that the company’s loss, which ended the year with a negative net worth of R$26 billion, is “very high”. For him, the big problem is that the company’s recovery will be even more complex than expected by the market. A company in a situation like this can represent a major risk for its investors.
“Americanas revised the previous balance sheet numbers, recording not only a billion-dollar loss, but also a negative net worth. It seems that the company’s recovery will be much more difficult than imagined. The leak is very high. The company will need a significant contribution from its controllers or it will face the same sad end as several Brazilian retailers: extinction”, says the analyst.
João Lucas Tonello, analyst at Benndorf Research, highlighted another important point of the balance sheet: negative EBITDA. For those who don’t know, the indicator measures a company’s profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Therefore, if the indicator is negative, it means that the company has not generated enough revenue to offset its operating costs and expenses, which causes additional fear.
“This is a bit scary for investors to buy. I would be more fearful, cautious,” he says. For him, people should only invest in the company’s shares when it returns to generating profits, which should happen in a longer period than projected by the company itself, which is in 2025.
The company’s projection, according to Tonello, is optimistic. “I think they are looking at it with very good eyes, with optimism in the analysis. I think they will continue in negative territory in 2025, because I don’t see the company being able to free itself from such a huge debt, with such high costs and still function in positive territory”, states.
Although Selic is on a downward trend (which tends to benefit the sector, which has lower interest rates to pay on debts), Americanas is not the most suitable option, according to Tonello. He states that, among the companies that benefit from the drop in interest rates, he prefers the logistics and sanitation company Simpar. If you needed to expose yourself to retail, however, the choice would be Magazine Luiza. “Even with this specific problem, it has a higher sales volume than the Casas Bahia Group and Americans. If we had to choose in Brazil, it would be her,” he says.
Julia Monteiro, an analyst at MyCap, also considers it risky to invest in Americanas at this time. She highlights that, during the conference call held by the company, it was not clear whether the negotiation proposals with creditors and suppliers have already been authorized by the courts and whether they can now be put into practice.
“There are still many doubts. It is not clear whether, legally, what the company wants is authorized, whether it will be accepted. The cost-benefit of investing in the company, considering the risk that exists, is not good”, he states.
She also highlights that there are other options for retail companies, which tend to benefit from the falling Selic rate, which are being traded at a lower price than what would be considered fair and, therefore, have upside potential. . An example, according to the expert, is the Group Somaowner of brands such as Farm, Maria Filó and Foxton.
Regis Chinchila, analyst at Terra Investimentos, agrees that the investment is risky. Despite the increase in today’s trading session (16), he believes that there are still uncertainties that do not allow us to “predict” how (and whether) the company will recover.
“We see that this appreciation is the result of market expectations with the restructuring plan. Some investors may be seeing potential in the company, considering its current price level and thus decide to enter into this risky investment. Our assessment of Americanas is that There are still many uncertainties to project any recovery for the company and, even at the current level at which the asset is traded, we see an investment in the company as risky”, he states.
First, it is necessary to understand that the balance sheet is one of the fundamental pieces not only for understanding the company’s real situation but also for Americanas itself, its managers and even investors to outline their next steps. This is because the numbers show how damaging the fraud was and, from them, it is possible to understand where the solutions are, in order to understand what the company’s revenues are so that it can negotiate its debts in a sustainable way and know where and what you can invest in.
One of the main points of the balance sheets released now is the company’s leverage (i.e., the degree of indebtedness), especially because accounting fraud also occurred in risk-drawn operations, in which banks advance payments to the company’s suppliers.
For those who don’t remember, the report released in January stated that Americanas’ financial statements were being defrauded by the company’s former management, who served until the end of 2022. According to the document, the company used a series of tricks to modify its numbers .
One of the instruments used were fictitious sales bonus contracts. To reduce costs, retailers usually promote advertising activities for their suppliers’ products which, in return, give a discount to the company to purchase them if the sales target established in the agreement is reached thanks to the action. In the case of Americanas, however, some of these numbers were fraudulent.
Another fraud used by the company was through withdrawn risk operations, precisely to cover up other fraudulent operations.
To compensate for this non-existent revenue in the company’s cash flow, Americanas began to sign risk contracts with banks, when a company hires a financial institution to advance receivables to the supplier.
As Americanas did not correctly disclose these operations in its balance sheets, the market did not know the real size of the company’s debt, which is now known through the balance sheet.
The post first appeared on valorinveste.globo.com