Volkswagen Shares Stuck in Neutral a Year After ‘Dieselgate’

U.S. Government Orders Volkswagen To Recall 500,000 Vehicles Over Emissions Software
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 18: Volkswagen Beetles are offered for sale at a dealership on September 18, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has accused Volkswagen of installing software on nearly 500,000 diesel cars in the U.S. to evade federal emission regulations. The cars in question are 2009-14 Jetta, Beetle, and Golf, the 2014-15 Passat and the 2009-15 Audi A3. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/ Getty Images/ File

Volkswagen shares remain mired well below levels seen before its “dieselgate” emissions scandal broke 12 months ago, and past crises at other blue-chip companies suggest it may take years before prices recover.

The German automaker’s shares are still down about 25% from levels before its emissions-test cheating scandal became public as the persistent flow of headlines on fines, costs and legal action has cut short any rallies.

In the latest development, the German states of Hesse and Baden-Wuerttemberg said on Friday they would sue Volkswagen (VLKAY) for damages.

Volkswagen shares fell 2.2%.

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A year after it admitted using illegal software to rig diesel emissions tests, Volkswagen has still to publish the results of an investigation into who was responsible.

The company’s balance sheet has weakened, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote in a note to clients, adding costs related to the emissions scandal could well escalate beyond the 17.8 billion euros ($19.9 billion) that the broker currently estimates.

For more on the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, watch:

There are also risks in China, according to the analysts, who said the benefit of a government tax cut on autos will fade in the second half of the year, putting renewed pressure on Volkswagen’s largest profit center.

Annual revenue for the company is expected to fall for the first time since 2009, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, and then remain flat the next year.

The shares are down 10 percent this year, compared with a 4 percent decline in Germany’s DAX.

Volkswagen shares have closely followed the path BP shares took in the year following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. BP shares have yet to recover those losses and are down 37 percent from levels before the incident.

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