Eight Ways to Invest in the Thriving Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

by: Stockerblog

Puerto Rico is considered a high income country by the World Bank. Its industries include petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and technology. The country receives approximately 5 million tourists per year, with one-third of the tourists being cruise ship passengers. Tourism has benefited from the new U.S. passport law which has cut down on the number of visitors to other non-U.S. Caribbean islands.

Here are some more facts about the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico:

  • The UN Development Program put it in the top 15 countries for the Human Development Index.
  • If it were a country, it would rank in the top 70 of all countries in terms of Purchasing Power Parity.
  • If it were a country, it would rank in the top 60 of all countries in terms of GDP per capita.
  • It was claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1493 following Columbus' second voyage to the Americas.
  • According to the CIA Factbook, it has the potential for both onshore, and offshore oil.
  • The following is a list of Puerto Rican stocks, many of which are traded on the New York Stock Exchange and pay dividends. However, some of these are low cap, so they should be considered very speculative:

    Doral Financial Corp. (NYSE:DRL), trades on the New York Stock Exchange. It is involved in the business of mortgage banking, banking, institutional securities, and insurance. Its earnings have been negative, and it has a P/S of 1.19.

    Equus Gaming Co. [EQUUS.PK], is in the thoroughbred racing, and off-track betting business. In 2004, three affiliates of the company filed for bankruptcy.

    First BanCorp (NYSE:FBP) is a bank holding company. Its revenues were up 18.5% for the latest reported year, and earnings were up by about 13.5%. Its yield is 2.6%, and it pays dividends quarterly.

    Margo Caribe Inc. (OTCPK:MRGO), produces and sells tropical plants, and trees. Its earnings have been negative, and its P/S ratio is 1.42.

    Oriental Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:OFG), which trades on the NYSE, is a bank holding company which owns Oriental Bank and Trust. It has a forward P/E of 10.96, and a P/S of 4.24. The stock has a dividend rate of 5.2%, and pays quarterly.

    Popular Inc. (NASDAQ:BPOP), which trades on NASDAQ, is a financial holding company which owns Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, and provides banking, leasing, and insurance services. It has a P/E of 13.05, a PEG of 2.01, and a yield of 4%. It pays dividends quarterly.

    R&G Financial Corporation (OTC:RGFC), is in the banking and mortgage business. On July 13, 2007, R&G announced that its subsidiary R&G Mortgage Corporation had received notice from GNMA declaring it in default under the guaranty agreements.

    Santander Bancorp (SBP), trades on the NYSE. It is the bank holding company for Banco Santander Puerto Rico, which provides banking, asset management, and insurance services. It has a P/E of 15.2, a PEG of 1.2. It has a yield of 4.5%, and pays dividends quarterly.

    W Holding Co. Inc. (WHI), trades on the NYSE. It is the bank holding company for Western Bank Puerto Rico, which provides banking and insurance services. The P/E is 7.94, the PEG is 0.84, and the yield is 6.7% with the dividends paid monthly. In June, the stock sank when the company reported that one of its major loans is impaired.

    Disclosure: The author does not own any of the above.