Sell ​​or trust a potential 25%?

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The countdown to the integration of Liberbank in Unicaja faces its final stretch. The investors of the Cajastur heir bank have four days to decide whether divest its shares at market prices or accept the exchange that will turn them into shareholders of the Andalusian entity, to which analysts give a consensus potential of 25%.

The merger of both entities is scheduled for this Friday, so time is short for Liberbank shareholders to take a final resolution. If they hold their positions until this weekly close, on Monday they will dawn as Unicaja shareholders by virtue of an exchange equation that was already established in December of last year.

Then, the boards of directors of both entities approved the delivery of one newly issued Unicaja share for every 2,7705 Liberbank shares. That relationship yielded a discount close to 5% in the valuation of the Cajastur heir, since it came to indicate a price of 0.256 euros per share compared to 0.27 per share at which the last trading session closed prior to the establishment of the exchange numbers.

Seven months later

Half a year after that prices have been adjusting and the equation now yields an almost par valuation, as is often the case in transactions of this type. What’s more, the swap offers a small premium of 2% to those who decide to become shareholders of a new Unicaja that will be the fifth largest bank in Spain by assets.

This premium is explained by the fact that Liberbank shares closed one of their last sessions on the stock market on Monday at a price of 0.29 euros. Meanwhile, the exchange equation gave a valuation of 0.296 euros Based on the 0.82 per share to the Unicaja, the session closed in which it confirmed the granting of the public deed to proceed with the operation.

Invertia analyst Eduardo Bolinches points out that after half a year with the fixed equation, “The evolution of the shares has been united for better and for worse” and, of course, it warns that “this correlation will not change between now and next Friday.” With this premise, it considers that the reasons for staying or selling must go through the confidence that one has in the new merged entity.

From a technical point of view, the expert points out that “while Unicaja does not lose the 0.77 euros there’s no reason to jump off the boat”. A level that remains 6% below its current price and that, moreover, seems more distant at a time when the large central banks are already beginning to debate about a certain modulation of monetary stimuli.

Dividend at sight

And not only that, but the European Central Bank (ECB) has just lifted the veto on dividend distributions and share buybacks in the Eurozone. And do not forget that Unicaja has already approved the distribution of 5.36 million euros that can be made effective as soon as the end of the prohibition takes effect and the merger has been consummated.

Only in the event that that, for now, distant level is pierced, Bolinches would consider the option of disengaging from the entity, since “it would imply the loss of the pattern of increasing lows in weekly charts from its floor in May 2020 ”. A criterion that, in one way or another, seems shared by the bulk of the investment community.

Absolute buyer majority

Of the 16 analysts who most closely monitor the evolution of the business and the price of Unicaja, only one opts for the sale of their shares. On the contrary, according to data extracted from Refinitiv, up to 13 of them currently advise the purchase of securities that accumulate a 45% revaluation in the last six months.

A rebound that could gain substantial weight if the forecasts of these analysis houses are met. And is that Unicaja’s consensus target price is 1.02 euros per share, which implies a potential upside of 23.9% from its current price. A field for the comeback that, in addition, is higher than the one that the experts had been granting to Liberbank, by 22%.

Among the most generous analysts with the entity that Until now, Ángel Rodríguez was captained as CEO, those of Banco Sabadell. From the Vallesano, who shares many business keys with Unicaja, they consider that the Andalusian has sufficient fundamentals to justify a valuation of 1.21 euros per share.

The president of Unicaja Banco, Manuel Azuaga, and the CEO of Liberbank, Manuel Menéndez.

The Income 4 bank analyst, Nuria Álvarez, emphasizes that “Liberbank is in price” according to its exchange equation. And, in the face of the entry of possible opportunists, he does dare to advise that “it would be better to wait until the operation has been carried out without ruling out that we can see higher negative impacts”.

In this field could be found the current corrective phase you are currently in the Unicaja graph, as Diego Morín, an IG analyst, points out. However, he is convinced that the entity “is cheap”, since it calculates an intrinsic value of 1.07 euros per share. What’s more, consider that as long as the support of 0.80 euros is maintained, its graph has a margin to raid the 1.15 euros.

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