Analysts have flagged a rise in Aviva’s (LON:AV) dividends ahead of the group’s full-year results this Thursday, City A.M. has reported. The update comes after last month, Deutsche Bank reiterated its bullish stance on the shares, noting that the blue-chip insurer’s annual results could also yield news on a share buyback.
Aviva’s share price has been steady in London this Monday, having added 0.33 percent to 499.13p as of 13:20 GMT. The advance is largely in line with gains in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.26 percent higher at 7,087.97 points. The group’s shares have lost two percent of their value over the past year, as compared with a near four-percent fall in the Footsie.
Aviva results preview
Aviva is scheduled to post results on Thursday and City A.M. reports that the analysts’ consensus is that the insurer’s dividend is likely to grow 13 percent on the previous year’s figure to hit 26.4p per share. The company’s operating profit meanwhile is expected to top £3 billion, while operating earnings per share are forecast to come in at 53p.
The results will come after at the end of November, Aviva pledged to spend as much as £3 billion of excess cash in the next two years, with £2 billion to be deployed in 2018.
Analyst ratings update
The 18 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Aviva for the Financial Times have a median target of 582.50p on the shares, with a high estimate of 648.00p and a low estimate of 456.00p. As of March 3, the consensus forecast amongst 20 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip insurer has it that the company will outperform the market.