October 11th, 2021 | 11:30 CEST
Allianz, wallstreet:online, Commerzbank - Quo vadis stock markets?
Table of contents:
Allianz - Claim for damages still weighs heavily
Allianz is Europe's largest insurance group, which currently has precisely one problem: the liquidation of two funds of its subsidiary Allianz Global Investors. A lawsuit for damages of about USD 6 billion is pending against this. It is unclear how long the legal dispute will last, but the Group has set aside a provision for the worst-case scenario. A conviction would eat up a large part of the annual profit. That is arguably the main reason the share price hit a new low for the year in September.
Yet Allianz's business is doing well. Revenue grew 10.9% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2021. Quarterly net income per shareholder even climbed by 45.7%. On September 30, Allianz Swiss sold a life insurance package to Resolution RE in Switzerland. Allianz Direct is being launched in Spain, and motor vehicle insurance is to be sold there. Allianz Direct takes over the existing contracts of Fenix Directo. With the direct insurance business, the Company wants to become the fastest and most efficient insurance company.
If you look at the share, it currently offers a dividend yield of just under 5%. It is rare to find an industry leader at a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just over 10. The price-to-book ratio of about 1 is also very favorably valued. Management has also hinted at share buybacks. The business is growing, as already pointed out. One should wait for the verdict in the damages case to make an investment decision. If the judgment is favorable, the stock has potential.
wallstreet:online - Smartbroker grows and gets an app
wallstreet:online has long stood for the website of a large financial community. It also includes other financial portals such as finanznachrichten.de, boersennews.de and ariva.de. But the seasonal advertising business was not enough for the Company, and so it added Smartbroker, a neobroker. This business unit is expected to overtake the old advertising business in the long term. The Group now owns 95% of wallstreet:online capital AG, the operator of Smartbroker.
The half-year figures speak for themselves. Sales increased by 57% to EUR 23.8 million year-on-year. Thus in the first half-year, 69,000 new Smartbroker customers were won. There are now a total of 142,000 customers with assets of EUR 6.8 billion. Page impressions of the web portals also increased in the first half of the year by 37% to around 2.3 billion page impressions. Only EBITDA declined to EUR 0.6 million due to special costs and customer acquisitions. However, these are only one-off effects.
The Company applied for a securities institution license in July. If the license is granted, the Company will drive forward the dovetailing of broker and financial portals even more effectively. To this end, Stefan Fischer, Dietmar Gabor and Christian Wendrock-Prechtl have been brought on board. A smartphone app is to be available at the beginning of 2022. In contrast to the competition, the share has held up quite well and is currently trading at EUR 23.50. In June, the institutions had still bought shares at EUR 26. The analysts at GBC arrive at a price target of EUR 37.70.
Commerzbank - Possible positive signals
Rumors are swirling around Commerzbank about the exit of the German government. According to media reports, the majority shareholder Cerberus has offered the German government a takeover of the share package. The federal government currently holds around 15% of Commerzbank. As the FDP has been arguing for a federal exit for some time and is now most likely to be part of a government, things could move quickly. Cerberus would benefit because the federal government's stake acts as a brake. Moreover, the timing would be optimal, as interest rates in America are expected to rise. Commerzbank is seen as one of the primary beneficiaries in this case, should the interest rate turnaround also spill over into Europe.
While the stock has underperformed the market, rising interest rates would mean a boost for the bank. In addition to the interest rate factor and privatization, the bank's transformation could bring other positives. As an interested investor, one should note November 4, as the figures for the third quarter will be presented then, and there may be further information on the corporate transformation.
What is currently certain is the discontinuation of the insurance platform, which was operated in cooperation with JDC. In the future, Commerzbank intends to offer only Allianz insurance policies. The share successfully defended the EUR 5 mark on September 20 and rose from there to currently EUR 6.25. The investment bank analysts at Kepler Cheuvreux have raised the price target from EUR 6.90 to EUR 7.50. According to the study, a doubling of the price is even possible.
The current market trend is difficult to assess. There is hardly any alternative to investing in shares, especially since one can go bargain hunting here. The dividend yield speaks for Allianz. Currently, the claim for damages is a burden, but parts of it are already priced into the share. wallsteet:online has exponential growth, and the boards have already bought at higher prices. So they clearly believe in their Company. At Commerzbank, there are still many unanswered questions that the Company cannot directly influence. Are interest rates rising? Here, one should wait until something is ready to be announced.
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