Thomson ReutersNEW YORK (Reuters) – Buying shares of Volkswagen AG before the potential toll of the German carmaker’s diesel emissions scandal becomes clear is a dangerous move for investors, according to a report on Sunday in Barron’s financial newspaper.
According to Barron’s, Volkswagen’s shares trade for 5.1 times estimated 2016 earnings, and 0.6 times book value, though analysts’ earnings forecasts are failing to account for potential charges.
The world’s biggest carmaker by sales has admitted to U.S. regulators that it programmed its cars to detect when they were being tested and alter the running of their diesel engines to conceal their true emissions.
The company could be fined about $18 billion in the United States alone, and it could face billions of dollars in fines in Germany and other countries that find that tests have been rigged, the report said. The potential costs of the diesel problem present a massive challenge to Volkswagen’s new chief executive, Matthias Muller, the head of Porsche who is replacing Martin Winterkorn, who resigned on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Anjali Athavaley; Editing by Eric Walsh)