Shares in Prudential (LON:PRU) have advanced in London in today’s session, ahead of the group’s full-year results tomorrow. The blue-chip insurer is expected to post a rise in earnings, having benefitted from growth in the US and Asia.
As of 14:21 GMT, Prudential’s share price had added 1.27 percent to 1,664.37p, outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.38 percent higher at 7,370.91 points. The group’s shares have gained more than 22 percent over the past year, and are up by some two percent in the year-to-date.
The Pru is scheduled to update investors on its full-year performance tomorrow and Proactive Investors reports that analysts at Barclays expect the company to have increased its full-year earnings by two percent to £4.1 billion, with growth in Asia and the US having offset lower earnings from the UK and its M&G asset management business. They also forecast that the Pru’s business profits will come in flat year-on-year at £2.6 billion.
Deutsche Bank analysts meanwhile noted that last year was one to forget for the UK life insurance sector, although improving bond yields had boosted solvency ratios.
“We believe nonetheless that the results offer a chance for management to rebut some of the perceived headwinds and showcase a better outlook for 2017,” the bank pointed out, as quoted by Sharecast, with the Pru being Deutsche’s top pick and offering the potential to surprise positively both on the dividend front and in its UK annuity book.
The 18 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Prudential for the Financial Times have a median target of 1,775.00p, with a high estimate of 1,959.00p and a low estimate of 1,450.00p. As of March 11, the consensus forecast amongst 19 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market.