April 29th, 2022 | 10:07 CEST
wallstreet:online, Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank - Which financial stocks belong in the portfolio?
Table of contents:
wallstreet:online - Smartbroker 2.0 in the starting blocks
Inflation will accompany us for a while because even if an interest rate hike should be decided by the European Central Bank, the increase will be moderate. Those who want to protect their money from inflation must therefore invest it. One option is stocks, and here, wallstreet:online (w:o) offers a good start with its full-service neobroker Smartbroker in combination with the largest publisher-independent financial portals in the DACH region. In terms of assets under management, Smartbroker is already the leader in Germany. On April 27, the Company announced that the squeeze-out, which was already decided in January, was completed on April 26. w:o now holds 100% of the Smartbroker operating company.
Smartbroker's rapid growth gave the Group a record year in 2021, with revenues climbing 82% to EUR 51.4 million. Preliminary EBITDA is EUR 18.5 million. Deducting the costs for customer acquisition leaves EUR 4.4 million. For 2022, revenue is expected to be between EUR 62 and 67 million, representing an increase of 25%. Smartbroker now has more than 200,000 customers, and in the first two months of this year alone, more than 13,000 new securities accounts were opened. In order to keep the growth high, the launch of Smartbroker 2.0 is planned for the second half of the year. The new cloud platform is expected to integrate many new features. Cryptocurrencies will also be traded via the new app in the future. In addition, closer integration between broker and exchange portals is planned and the development of a content and data platform.
For a more detailed analysis of the Company, visit researchanalyst.com. Even though the signs point to growth, the share came under pressure in June last year. From EUR 29.70, it went down to EUR 14.30 at the beginning of March. The stock rebounded to EUR 18.20 and has since been in a sideways phase between EUR 16.32 and EUR 18.20. The analysts at GBC expect increased growth and greater earnings power due to the Smartbroker Cloud platform. The rating was set at Buy with a price target of EUR 38.60.
Deutsche Bank - Good figures, but Ukraine crisis causes uncertainty
Rising interest rates are good for banks. We have already seen this after the interest rate hike in the USA when the shares of the major German banks rose. From the low at the beginning of March, they went up by 48% at the peak. In addition, interest rates on real estate loans are climbing without the ECB's intervention, and the curve for government bonds is also pointing upward. So the environment for Deutsche Bank is slowly brightening up after years of looking rather bleak. The Company has now largely completed its transformation. Branches have been closed, jobs have been cut, and costs have been reduced in order to better position the Company for the future.
Looking at the figures for the first quarter, which the Group presented on April 27, the turnaround seems to be sustainable. It was the best quarter in recent years, and analysts' expectations for net profit and earnings were exceeded. While revenues were up 1% to around EUR 7.3 billion, there was an 18% increase in profits to around EUR 1.2 billion. CFO James von Moltke expressed his satisfaction: "In a challenging environment, we grew in all core business areas, both in revenues and profits." What did not go down so well with investors were the higher-than-expected costs and risks from Russia-related deals.
The stock exited Xetra trading in deep red at EUR 9.44. The stock thus gave back a large part of the gains from the March rally. The share is currently trading at EUR 9.84. With a profit of EUR 0.55 per share in the first quarter, the Frankfurt-based Company has made a good start. If it remains constant in the next 3 quarters, the price-earnings ratio of about 5 is considered very favorable. If inflation remains, the ECB will be forced to raise interest rates at some point, which will positively impact Deutsche Bank's business.
Commerzbank - Sensitive to interest rates
Commerzbank is very sensitive to interest rates, as lending is a large part of its core business. If interest rates rise by 1%, that makes a plus of about EUR 625 million. As soon as interest rates rise in the euro area, one should look at Commerzbank. As mentioned above, Deutsche Bank presented its figures on April 27, while Commerzbank published good preliminary figures the evening before, thereby trumping its rival. Commerzbank was also able to surprise analysts positively with its figures, but the share also took a dive here.
Revenues climbed 12% to just over EUR 2.7 billion compared with the first quarter of 2021. The operating result of EUR 544 million was well above analysts' estimates of EUR 282 million and EUR 6 million higher year-on-year. Risks in Russia and Russia-related totaled EUR 1.9 billion. As a result, risk provisioning was three times higher than last year at EUR 464 million. Group CEO Manfred Knof classified the figures as follows: "We have made a good start to the new fiscal year. Thanks to strong customer business, we increased our operating profit, although the economic consequences of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine weighed on our risk result."
The final figures will be available on May 12, and one can only hope that the Ukraine crisis calms down. The share exited Xetra trading on April 27 at EUR 5.948. Currently, the share is trading at EUR 6.142. Commerzbank must first break the developed downward trend and then wait for the catalysts of an interest rate hike or the calming of the Ukraine conflict. In both cases, the Group will benefit. Commerzbank will not pay a dividend this year.
The major banks in Germany are reporting good figures, but the risks associated with the Russian business are weighing on the shares. If the Ukraine conflict is resolved or there is an interest rate hike by the ECB, this will give the banks a boost. wallstreet:online already has a boost because inflation is forcing people to invest their money. Shares are the easiest way to do this. The 13,000 securities accounts recently opened show that there is a need. With Smartbroker 2.0, growth could pick up speed once again and thus boost the share price.
Conflict of interest
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