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Petrobras: UBS optimistic, expects payment of extraordinary retained dividends

Published 05/29/2024, 04:54 PM
© Reuters
- – While investors continue to question whether state oil company Petrobras (BVMF: PETR4) should distribute the retained extraordinary dividends, UBS believes this is the most likely case. With financial resilience and projections of billion-dollar dividends to come, the bank continues to have a favorable view of the stock and reinforces its buy recommendation, with a target price of R$43 in the base scenario. From a more optimistic perspective, the target price could reach R$56, depending on the variation in the price of Brent and other factors.

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Analyst Luiz Carvalho estimates that the company could pay US$25 billion in dividends in 2024. “This would leave, on our estimates, Petrobras at the end of 2024 with a cash position of US$10bn, and gross debt of US$60bn, meaning, we do see financial resilience for the company to distribute the remaining reserves this year.”

Considering this year's profits, the bank estimates the potential to pay up to US$5 billion in extraordinary dividends. “To reconcile, if Petrobras announces US$5bn in extraordinaries based on 2024 results, that would bring the dividend yield for the year (45% of FCF + US$5bn) to ~20%, from our base case of 14% considering only the policy - this would be the upper limit of distribution in our view, based on 2024 earnings.”

Furthermore, the bank does not believe that the company will disburse the full amount of the guidance for investments. “Petrobras has historically under-delivered its capex, given efficiency gains and supply chain constraints, but also by structurally overestimating figures to absorb potential unexpected inflation,” believes UBS, which estimates execution of 80% of its investment guidance.

Thus, the understanding is that the stock continues to have a positive outlook, despite concerns about the distribution of dividends and the increase in non-essential investments, which undermine the thesis.

“For the moment, we see upside to the stock vs. what the market is pricing in,” points out UBS.

On Wednesday, preferred shares fell 0.13%, to R$37.75.

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