Today Im looking at the share price prospects of two London laggards.
Revenues on the rack
It comes as little surprise that emerging market-focused Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) exited January as one of the FTSE 100s major casualties, the stock having conceded 16% of its value during the course of the month.
Chinese stock exchangesput in their worst monthly performance for eight years in January, forcing regulators to step in and halt trading on occasions as volatility reigned. Exchanges across Asia also suffered significant losses as Beijings economic rebalancing measures continued to splutter.
Of course, this makes for worrying reading for the likes of Standard Chartered. Sustained upheaval in its far-flung territories has long weighed on the business, resulting in quarter-after-quarter of revenues dips and more recently, an alarming drop in customer loans in the July to September period.
On top of this, Standard Chartered is facing the prospect of further currency pressures on the top line, while weak commodity markets and difficulties on the ground in Asia should keep impairments rolling in.
The City expects Standard Chartered to have punched a 61% earnings decline in 2015, although a 28% bounceback is currently predicted for 2016. However, I believe this projection is in danger of significant downgrades if, as expected, China and the surrounding regions continue to cool.
A prospective P/E rating of 10.9 times is hardly shocking, but when weighed up against corresponding figures of 8.6 times and 9.6 times for Barclays and Lloyds respectively firms with much less risk and more robust growth drivers than their banking peer I believe theres still plenty of room for StanCharts share price to fall.
Stuck in a hole
Like Standard Chartered, the fortunes of mining giant Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) are also closely tied to those of China. And while data from the commodities glutton continues to worsen, I see little reason for the stock to stage a recovery any time soon Antofagasta saw its shares rattle 19% lower in January alone.
Just today, latest Chinese manufacturing PMI numbers disappointed again. A reading of 49.4 for January represents the lowest for three years and the sixth straight month below the expansionary/contractionary mark of 50.
China is responsible for half of the worlds total copper consumption, making the prospect of worsening conditions on the countrys factory floor a terrifying prospect for the likes of Antofagasta.
Indeed, copper prices slumped back towards the $4,500-per-tonne marker on Monday following the disappointing data. I expect prices to revisit the seven-year troughs around $4,325 punched last month on expectation of fresh waves of bearish Asian data.
Although Antofagastas top line is also being battered by increased mining capacity, the number crunchers expect the firm to rebound from a predicted 61% earnings fall last year with a 55% rise in the current period.
Im not so bullish however, given that the market imbalance is likely to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. And with Antofagasta dealing on a P/E rating of 25.6 times, I believe shares still fail to reflect the massive long-term risks facing the copper market.
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