It was very hard to get an accurate read from the market yesterday on what seemed to be a small downgrade to Macquarie Group’s (MQG) first half guidance.
The disrupted trading session on the ASX yesterday because of intermittent technical problems saw Macquarie shares lose just 0.2% to $81.23.
That was after the bank’s finance chief said in a statement to the ASX that group earnings for the six months to September 30, would be in-line with the previous six month period.
In a presentation to be delivered at a Hong Kong investor conference, Mr Upfold said profits for the six months ended September 30 are expected to be “broadly in line" with the financial services group’s second half.
That looks a tiny bit less exuberant than the previous statement at Macquarie’s annual general meeting in July when investors were told profits in the three months to June were up on the previous three months.
Mr Upfold stuck with Macquarie’s full-year earnings guidance for 2016-17 profits flat on those for the March 31 2016 year.
That hinges on period end reviews across Macquarie’s six operating divisions and the completion of pending transactions.
Macquarie posted a 7% rise in second-half net profit to $993 million. If earnings are in line with that, they will be down slightly from the $1.070 billion earned in the six months to September 30, 2015 (that was up 58% from the prior first half figure).
At the AGM, chief executive Nicholas Moore said that 2017 profit would be “broadly in line” with this year’s $2.06 billion record.
“We continue to expect the group’s result for FY17 to be broadly in line with FY16 [with the] first-half result expected to be broadly in line with the fiscal 2016 second half result, subject to the conduct of period end reviews and the completion rate of transactions,” Macquarie said in yesterday’s statement to the ASX.
The group said the short-term outlook remained subject to currency fluctuations, a change in market conditions and tax and regulatory “uncertainties”.
“Over the medium term, Macquarie remains well positioned to deliver superior performance,” the bank added.
“We are seeing the ongoing benefits of continued cost initiatives, our balance sheet is strong and conservative, and we have a proven risk management framework and culture.”