Metro Bank [LSE: MTRO]
Full year numbers from challenger bank Metro are out this morning and there’s something worth cheering here – the company has posted its first annual statutory profit. Clearly Metro is currently in the halcyon growth phase of what looks to be a successful business. They’re disrupting the status quo, but the risk is maintaining that growth trajectory. Forecasts for the next five years seem appropriate, but there’s some expectation that the bank will be able to pick up part of RBS which needs to be sold off as a result of the state aid it received a decade ago. Coming up short here could leave investors disappointed in the longer term.
Lloyds Banking Group [LSE: LLOY]
Lloyds is another bank reporting its full year profits this morning and the numbers seem to have the potential to impress. Earnings per share have come in comfortably above the consensus estimates of analysts, paving the way for a dividend increase. The bank has however posted an increase in its PPI provision to £1.7 billion for the year, although with the August 2019 claims deadline looming, this issue will soon be consigned to history. The company’s successful capital generation is also initiating a share buyback scheme, so as long as the increase in PPI costs doesn’t prove too distracting, today’s numbers ought to impress.
Barratt Developments [LSE: BDEV]
Half year results from the housebuilder Barratt are out this morning, showing steady growth and ongoing confidence in the housing market, despite the fact that interest rates are tipped to keep rising in the months ahead. However, the company is committing to a notable increase in the dividend – up 18% – despite the pre-tax profit only rising by around 7%. Operating margins are also showing very little growth – is this a realisation that investors remain wary over the potential for government intervention in the sector?