With U.S. stocks faltering, this may not seem like the time for investors to consider an emerging market that often takes its cues from the world’s largest economy. However, Mexico’s economic growth is expected to continue accelerating into next year.
The iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWW) is off 5.5% over the past month, performance that trumps those of the iShares Latin American 40 ETF (NYSEArca: ILF) and the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ) over the same period. With earnings season here, EWW may be worth a look for investors mulling Latin America exposure. [Mexico ETF Looks for Support]
“The consensus calls for 8% growth in Mexico equity earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, up from 5% in the second quarter and 2% in the first quarter. Net income is expected to jump 27% year over year in the third quarter,” reports Dimitra DeFotis for Barron’s.
Citing Citi Research, Barron’s reports that the consumer staples, industrial and materials are expected to show better-than-average third-quarter EBITDA.
That could prove to be good news for EWW. The lone Mexico ETF allocates almost 21% of its weight to the consumer staples sector while the materials and industrial sectors combine for another 28%. However, Citi is forecasting slack EBITDA growth for the telecom and financial services sectors in Mexico, two groups that combine for over 38% of EWW’s weight. The ETF’s largest holding is Carlos Slim’s America Movil (NYSE: AMX) at 17.7% of the fund’s weight, more than double EWW’s allocation to any of its other 58 holdings. [Rate Cut Helps Mexico ETF]
While EWW’s large allocations to defensive sectors such as staples and telecom would appear to be a source of allure, there is no free lunch with this ETF. That defensive posturing comes at a price. Literally. Mexico’s benchmark Bolsa IPC Index trades at more than 24 times earnings, more than double the P/E ratio on the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.