February 18th, 2022 | 12:47 CET
Commerzbank, wallstreet:online, Bayer - Positive signals!
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The native Rhineland-Palatinate has been a passionate market participant for more than 25 years. After studying business administration in Mannheim, he worked as a journalist, in equity sales and many years in equity research.
wallstreet:online - Positive news flow
In the outbreak year of the Corona pandemic in 2020, the general conditions were certainly better for online brokers. The lockdowns and the increased time spent in front of a PC or smartphone, especially by the younger generation, resulted in a real stock boom. Compared to 2019, around 2.7 million more people invested in shares, equity funds or equity-based ETFs. Younger customers under the age of 30, in particular, grew disproportionately, with 600,000 new shareholders, which equated to a YOY increase of almost 70%, according to the Deutsches Aktieninstitut. Rising customer and transaction numbers helped online brokers achieve record levels of sales and profits. In 2021, however, the euphoria subsided so that many online brokers, especially neobrokers, had to contend with declines in trading activity and falling customer deposits.
The wallstreet:online Group is defying this negative trend in the industry. In contrast to its competitors, Smartbroker, in whose operating Company the wallstreet:online Group now holds a 100% stake due to a squeeze-out, continues to grow. More than 120,000 new securities accounts were opened last year, doubling the previous year's figure to 240,000 customer portfolios. With EUR 8.8 billion in assets under custody, the Smartbroker is thus by far the largest neo broker in Germany.
The goals for the first six months of the current fiscal year are tightly defined. The further integration of the community with the brokerage business is to be ensured, among other things, with the launch of a smartphone app. In addition, the Berlin-based company is waiting for positive signs from BaFin so that it can expand its business model by extending its KWG license. The share price of wallstreet:online could not escape the overall negative market of the past weeks and is currently quoted at EUR 18.50. The market capitalization amounts to EUR 280 million.
Commerzbank - Forecasts beaten
After the Frankfurt-based financial institution posted its biggest loss since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 in the pandemic year 2020, it was able to break even again last year. Despite the burdens resulting from the restructuring measures initiated and problems at the Polish subsidiary mBank, the MDAX-listed Company posted a profit of EUR 430 million in the past fiscal year, compared with a loss of EUR 2.9 billion in the same period of the previous year. Operating profit was EUR 1.18 billion after Commerzbank reported a loss of EUR 233 million in the previous year. Analysts' forecasts were for an operating profit of EUR 980 million.
Meanwhile, the Group's restructuring, which is expected to eliminate around 10,000 jobs and almost half of the branch network, will continue until 2024. Already this year, management is targeting a profit in the billions. "2022 will be a decisive year in the implementation of our strategy," emphasized CEO Manfred Knof recently. "We want to build on last year's successful customer business and increase consolidated profit to more than EUR 1 billion. We are thus aiming to pay a dividend for the 2022 financial year," the Company leader continued. With a plus of around 6%, the Commerzbank share surpassed the resistance that has existed since 2018 and posted a new 4-year high. This would clear the way to the EUR 13 zone.
Bayer - Huge potential
The chart picture of the pharmaceutical and agricultural giant Bayer is not yet quite as positive. Nevertheless, a fresh buy signal would be generated with the breakthrough of the resistance at EUR 55.02. The Leverkusen-based Company has come under increasing pressure in recent years due to the controversial Monsanto takeover and pending legal proceedings due to claims for damages. The glyphosate dispute is likely to continue for some time, but the agricultural division shows enormous potential.
Bayer puts the sales potential of all agricultural products under development at up to EUR 30 billion over the next two decades or so. That is the estimated maximum peak sales for all possible products being developed by Bayer in the areas of plant breeding, biotechnology, crop protection and the environment, including revenues from new business models and new value-added areas, according to a presentation by the new head of the Crop Science division, Rodrigo Santos. Bayer estimates that about 40% of this potential could be realized by 2031.
With the end of the ultra-loose monetary policy and several possible interest rate hikes, bank stocks, in particular, are benefiting. Commerzbank is making progress with its restructuring and aims to profit in the billions this year. wallstreet:online continues to grow and is performing significantly better than its competitors. Bayer sees great potential and billions in sales in its agricultural business.
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