A meeting with Standard Life Aberdeen’s (LON:SLA) co-chief executive Martin Gilbert has reinforced Jefferies’ belief that the stock is a ‘value play,’ Citywire reports. The comments come after the analysts reiterated their ‘buy’ rating on the stock last month.
Standard Life Aberdeen’s share price jumped in the previous session, adding 3.17 percent to close at 377.00p, outperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index ending the session little changed, pegged back by geopolitical worries. The blue-chip group’s shares have lost about 0.2 percent of their value over the past year.
Jefferies upbeat on group
Jefferies reiterated its ‘buy’ rating on Standard Life Aberdeen yesterday, with a price target of 469p on the shares, following a meeting with Gilbert to discuss the sale of its insurance arm to Phoenix, the integration of the group’s fund businesses and the ‘long-term shape of SLA’. Citywire quoted the broker’s analyst Phil Dobbin as commenting that should the Phoenix deal proceed, SLA would be left with £4.3 billion of cash, which could be distributed to shareholders.
“We see SLA as a value play in the sector,” the analyst pointed out, adding that a buyback could provide a catalyst for the shares.
“We think the simplest way to make the Phoenix deal earnings accretive is a share buyback of £1 billion to £2 billion,” Dobbin noted.
Other analysts on SLA
The 15 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Standard Life Aberdeen for the Financial Times have a median target of 460.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 520.00p and a low estimate of 376.00p. As of April 6, the consensus forecast amongst 17 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market.