Bank gets bashed
Investors have been piling back into embattled Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) in recent months, the stock adding 16% in value during the past three months as faith in its turnaround plan has gathered pace.
But I believe this ascent leaves StanChart looking dangerously overbought. A forward P/E rating of 42.7 times not only sails above the corresponding readings of most of the banking sector, but the financial giant could struggle to move back into the black as emerging markets cool.
Standard Chartered saw Q1 income slump almost a quarter during January-March, to $3.35bn, a result that drove pre-tax profit 59% lower to $589m. And the bank has cautioned that its performance in 2016 will remain "subdued" due to "ongoing challenging market conditions."
The bank has a long way to go to get revenues in Asia firing again, not to mention put behind it the problem of colossal impairments -- Standard Chartered clocked up $471m worth of bad loans during the quarter.
With the firm's restructuring plan also in its fledgling stages, I reckon it's far too early to call the 'bottom' on StanChart's troubles.
Sure, Brent prices may be robust around the $50-per-barrel milestone at present. But many market commentators don't expect crude values to remain around this level as ample global production keeps inventories at record levels.
Indeed, recent oil price strength could lead to many US producers restarting their idled rigs, putting a cap on any further upside.
BP certainly doesn't believe the worst is over -- the fossil fuel giant's organic capex budget for 2016 stands at $17bn versus last year's $18.7bn bill. And this could even topple as low as $15bn in 2017, the business advised in April.
These cutbacks are hardly doing the firm's long-term growth outlook any favours either, particularly when you also factor-in the billions of dollars worth of asset sales planned for the next few years.
I believe BP is a highly unattractive growth pick at present, particularly as the company currently deals on a massive prospective P/E rating of 27.5 times.
Stuck in a hole
Like BP, I believe that Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO) is also set to toil owing to the heaving oversupply across commodity markets.
The mining giant -- like many of its peers -- is attempting to mitigate low raw material values by hiking capacity across major sectors. Rio Tinto is ploughing $367m into expanding production at its Pilbara assets in Western Australia, for example, while it's also increasing output across its copper and aluminium divisions.
But such measures are likely to keep markets swamped in excess material for some time to come, particularly if China's economic 'hard landing' materialises. As such, low commodity prices could be set to reign for much, much longer.
Given Rio Tinto's murky long-term growth prospects, I reckon a forward P/E rating of 16.7 times is far too expensive.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended BP and Rio Tinto. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.