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INTESA SANPAOLO S.P.A.

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Intesa plans $4 billion shareholder payout as it lifts profit goal

08/04/2021 | 01:11pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: File photo of the Intesa Sanpaolo logo seen in Milan

MILAN (Reuters) -Italy's top bank Intesa Sanpaolo raised its full-year profit estimate after stronger-than-forecast second-quarter earnings, and said it planned to return 3.3 billion euros ($3.9 billion) to shareholders later this year.

Intesa, which last year secured a fifth of Italy's banking market by taking over rival UBI, has along with other lenders across Europe reported shrinking charges against loan losses and rebounding net fees as the coronavirus crisis eases.

With COVID-related payout curbs due to end on Sept. 30, Intesa said it would distribute cash reserves of 1.9 billion euros from 2020 results, after paying 694 million euros in dividends in May.

The bank, which has committed to a strong payout policy, also plans, for the first time, to pay an interim dividend of 1.4 billion euros in November on 2021 earnings, subject to discussions with regulators.

Analysts calculated that the fourth quarter's earnings distribution, among "the highest in the sector" according to Citi, implies a yield of more than 7%.

NEW BUSINESS PLAN

Intesa revised its full-year profit guidance to at least 4 billion euros from well above 3.5 billion euros.

CEO Carlo Messina said Intesa was working to accelerate profit growth under a new business plan due in February, with a "minimum" 5 billion euro net income goal for 2022.

In the three months through June net profit stood at 1.5 billion euros, above a 903 million euro average analyst forecast.

The bank booked a 460 million euro one-off gain in the quarter linked to a fiscal effect on intangible assets.

Messina told analysts part of that money was used to provision against losses on specific impaired loans, and that the bank could speed up bad loan disposals during the rest of the year.

Total revenue of 5.2 billion euros in the period beat a Reuters consensus estimate of 4.94 billion euros, up from a year earlier though below the first-quarter due to a boost from trading at the start of the year.

"Overall, sound numbers, with no obvious area of concern, and with earnings risks leaning to the upside," UBS analysts said.

Net fees rose 18% from the second quarter of 2020, the worst affected by Italy's coronavirus crisis.

Funds borrowed at negative rates from the European Central Bank drove the net interest margin, or income from banks' core lending business, higher in the period versus the previous three months after five consecutive quarters of decline.

Messina said the interest margin would improve further in the second half, adding credit demand was beginning to pick up as companies looked to resume investing.

Loan writedowns stood at 599 million euros, less than half the year ago figure, with gross impaired loans falling to 4.1% of total lending from 4.4% at the end of March.

($1 = 0.8417 euros)

(Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

By Valentina Za


ę Reuters 2021
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Financials
Sales 2021 20 606 M 24 146 M 24 146 M
Net income 2021 4 367 M 5 117 M 5 117 M
Net Debt 2021 - - -
P/E ratio 2021 10,8x
Yield 2021 9,81%
Capitalization 46 959 M 54 987 M 55 026 M
Capi. / Sales 2021 2,28x
Capi. / Sales 2022 2,25x
Nbr of Employees 99 112
Free-Float 95,3%
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Technical analysis trends INTESA SANPAOLO S.P.A.
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 25
Last Close Price 2,42 €
Average target price 2,75 €
Spread / Average Target 13,5%
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Managers and Directors
Carlo Messina Chief Executive Officer, MD & Director
Stefano del Punta Chief Financial Officer
Gian Maria Gros-Pietro Chairman
Massimo Proverbio Chief IT, Digital & Innovation Officer
Paola Angeletti Chief Operating Officer
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