Tiny currency fluctuations continue to have an outsized effect on the fortunes of Argentine bank Grupo Financiero Galicia S.A. (NASDAQ: GGAL). On Monday, for example, a mere 1% rise in the value of the Argentine peso ignited a significant stock rally for Grupo Financiero Galicia, sending its shares up 10.4% by the closing bell.
On Sunday, one U.S. dollar bought 39.96 Argentine pesos. By Monday's close, that same dollar was worth only 39.54 pesos -- a 1.1% appreciation in the value of Argentina's currency.
When you consider that the Argentine peso has lost more than half its value over the course of the past 12 months, a 1.1% wobble in the exchange rate is a pretty small change (pun intended) in the grand scheme of things. It does, however, give a clue as to what investors may be thinking about this stock.
At just 8.5 times trailing earnings, with a respectable 1.8% dividend yield and a projected earnings growth rate in excess of 16% over the next five years, Grupo Financiero Galicia stock would look awfully cheap to most value investors. At least, it would look that way in any ordinary economic environment.
Today's stock rally may be less a bet on the value of the Argentine peso continuing to rise, therefore, and more an expression of Wall Street's hope that things will just simply get back to "normal" in Argentina soon. At that point, investors may finally begin to realize that Grupo Financiero Galicia stock is really, really cheap.
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