Down 27%: What’s happened to the BT Investment Management Ltd share price?

Credit: Lif

It has certainly been a turbulent first quarter of 2016 which has left the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) nursing a loss of almost 7%.

But scarily this decline is nothing compared to what shareholders of some companies faced so far this year. Some shares have endured such horrific starts to the year that they could now be classed as bargains.

The BT Investment Management Ltd (ASX: BTT) share price has taken an almighty beating this year, so I have decided to see if there’s a potential buying opportunity for bargain hunters.

BTIM has lost 27% of its value so far in 2016 and I feel the current price could make the shares good value now at 17x estimated FY 2016 earnings.

The drop could be related to the strengthening of the Australian dollar against the British pound. It has gone from being worth 43 British pence in September, all the way up to over 53 British pence today.

This is not great news for BTIM’s shareholders. The company derives around two-thirds of its revenue from its UK operations thanks to the strong performance of its JO Hambro Capital Management business.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. If the RBA does in fact lower interest rates this year, then I would expect the Australian dollar to weaken against all major currencies. This could prove to be a huge boost to the top line of BTIM.

However it isn’t all plain sailing at the moment. One risk that investors should be aware of is the possible ramifications of Britain voting to exit the European Union. The latest word from the UK is that the public are in favour of leaving the EU.

Should this happen many economists believe the British pound could weaken even further. It is very difficult to say how the June 23 vote will go. But I do expect that if the UK votes to remain in the EU, the British pound will strengthen dramatically.

This could be the catalyst to take the share price higher and reach the price target set by Bell Potter. The broker is very bullish on BTIM and placed a buy rating on the shares with a price target of $14.50 recently. This implies upside of over 50% from the current trading price.

I think BTIM is definitely worth keeping a close eye on and is a tempting buy. But like fellow financial shares such as Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), it is not without its risks.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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