BNP Paribas posts 14% drop in 4th-quarter net income, still beats analyst expectations

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France’s BNP Paribas on Friday reported a 13.9% drop in fourth-quarter net income as the lender set aside more charges for loans that may turn sour due to the COVID-19 pandemic rattling economies worldwide.

The eurozone’s biggest listed lender struck a more upbeat note for 2021, however, saying it expected its cost of risk, which reflects provisions for bad loans, to drop compared to 2020, as economic activity gradually picks up in the second half.

BNP Paribas’ cost of risk rose by 65.5% to 1.59 billion euros in the final three months of 2020 versus a year earlier.

Net income fell to 1.59 billion euros – though this was higher than the average profit forecast by a poll of four analysts – while revenue fell by 4.5% to 10.83 billion euros, broadly in line with expectations.

The lender also expects costs to be flat this year while revenue should slightly increase. (Reporting by Matthieu Protard and Marc Angrand; Editing by Sarah White)

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Spain’s Santander’s 4th-quarter profit plunges 90% as the bank sets aside higher provisions to weather the pandemic

A woman walks past a Banco Santander branch in downtown Rio de Janeiro August 19, 2014.   REUTERS/Pilar Olivares/File Photo
  • Santander’s fourth-quarter profit plunged 90% to 277 million euros ($333.5 million) on Wednesday. 
  • It posted a record annual loss of 8.77 billion euros ($10.5 billion) after setting aside higher loan-loss reserves.
  • The bank still intends to pay the maximum cash dividend allowed in accordance with the ECB.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Spanish lender Santander posted a sharp drop in fourth-quarter profit Wednesday on higher restructuring costs and provisions to weather the impact of the pandemic.

The bank’s quarterly profit fell 90% to 277 million euros ($333.5 million) compared to the same period a year ago, missing the $411 million euros ($494.7 million) estimate of analysts polled by Reuters. However, estimates varied between 102 million euros to 616 million euros.

The bank posted its first ever annual loss of 8.77 billion euros ($10.5 billion) after setting aside one-off charges worth 12.6 billion euros, taking hits on job losses and branch closures. 

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Here are the key numbers:

  • EPS: €0.008 versus €0.069 estimated
  • Quarterly profit: €277 million versus €411 million
  • Full year net loss: €8.77 billion versus estimated loss of €8.5 billion 

Net interest income rose to 8.02 billion euros ($9.6 billion), beating estimates, and the bank said it expects a rebound in profitability in 2021. The Latin American and North American divisions were the key performance drivers for overall strength, offsetting weakness in Spain and the UK.

Based on the European Central Bank’s recommendation on December 15, Santander said it would pay shareholders a cash dividend of 0.0275 euros ($0.033) per share.

Santander’s stock rose 2.7% in early European trading, as investors looked past the bank’s losses.

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