Hargreaves Lansdown sees Standard Chartered’s (LON:STAN) return to growth as an important turning point for the bank, Citywire reports. The comments came after the Asia-focused lender updated investors on its first-quarter performance yesterday.
The group’s results, however, failed to inspire investors, sending Standard Chartered’s share price 1.03 percent lower to 761.40p. The stock underperformed the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index closing in positive territory. Despite yesterday’s decline, StanChart’s shares remain more than seven percent up over the past year.
HL weighs in on results
Citywire quoted Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Nicholas Hyett as commenting yesterday that had been worried the recovery at StanChart ‘was being driven by cost savings rather than income growth’. The Asia-focused lender reported that its underlying profit before tax had climbed 20 percent to $1.3 billion in the three months to March 31, reflecting focus on improving returns.
“That’s not an accusation you can level this time round. Income growth is right at the top end of target, and all the cost discipline over recent years means it’s dropping straight through to profits,” the analyst pointed out, adding that the fact that the Asia-focused lender had “reported double-digit income growth in the first few weeks of the quarter might leave some disappointed by these numbers, but we still feel they mark an important turning point”.
Other analysts on lender
Shore Capital meanwhile reiterated its ‘buy’ rating on StanChart in the wake of the group’s results, valuing the shares at 769p. According to MarketBeat, the Asia-focused lender currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 769.38p.
FTSE 100 peer HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) is due to post results tomorrow, concluding the FTSE 100 banking reporting season.