April 25, 2018 / 6:35 PM / a year ago

Santander Brasil shares fall 2 pct even as results beat forecasts

SAO PAULO, April 25 (Reuters) - Shares in Banco Santander Brasil SA slumped around 2 percent in early afternoon trading in São Paulo on Wednesday, the day after results beat forecasts, as analysts said its current valuation was still too high.

On Tuesday after the market closed, the Brazilian unit of Spain’s Banco Santander SA recorded recurring net income of 2.859 billion reais ($815.88 million) in the first quarter, topping Thomson Reuters analysts consensus by nearly 9 percent.

In a note to clients, Goldman Sachs analysts said the bank topped their estimates, but questioned current Santander Brasil valuation. “Multiples are still at a premium to peers,” the note said.

Even with Wednesday´s drop to 38.55 reais, shares were up 25 percent so far this year.

Other analysts such as Banco BTG Pactual SA’s agreed the multiples are high, but still believe the bank could further surprise the market positively.

Chief Executive Officer Sergio Rial said in a news conference that the bank plans to maintain the same double-digit growth in consumer loans it had in 2017.

Rial plans to strengthen Santander Brasil’s consumer arm, to raise the average net interest margin, that has already risen 1 percentage point from a year earlier to 10 percent in the first quarter.

Chief Financial Officer Angel Santodomingo said in a conference call with analysts there is room for improvement on return on equity, even after the bank reached 19.1 percent in the quarter, 3.2 percentage points up in a year.

$1 = 3.5042 reais Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by David Gregorio

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