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從大銀行業績看經濟形勢

Erik Sherman 2019年07月21日

銀行股是大家眼中的晴雨表,對季報的詳細分析則可以讓人們一窺整體經濟走勢。

一位女士從花旗銀行芝加哥分行門前走過,2017年8月7日,伊利諾伊州。圖片來源:Christopher Dilts—Bloomberg/Getty Images

弗洛伊德說,有時候一支雪茄就是一支雪茄。但銀行業績公告牽涉到的絕不僅僅是它們的股價。

正因為如此,華爾街才會焦急地等待花旗集團在本周一上午披露業績。盡管利潤和收入都超過了預期,但當天中午花旗的股價還是下降了0.4%左右。

銀行股是大家眼中的晴雨表,對季報的詳細分析則可以讓人們一窺整體經濟走勢。資產管理公司DCM Advisors的首席執行官馬克·拉帕伯特說:“我們花了大量時間來評估銀行板塊的健康水平,因為這是推斷經濟狀況的一條途徑。”

銀行通過貸款和收取手續費來賺取利潤。利潤越多,它們能夠放貸的資金就越多,無論是借給要擴大規模的企業,還是要購物的消費者。這兩種借貸的結果都有助于經濟增長。反之亦然。

拉帕伯特說道:“我們看到貸款增長了嗎?能夠通過這些數據了解到借款人承受的壓力嗎?或者說犯罪現象增多了嗎?違約率穩定嗎?這是一個需要關注的重要行業,它在標普500指數中排名第二,僅次于科技行業,和醫療保健板塊基本相當。而且是備受關注的羅素1000價值基金[Vanguard的ETF]中權重最高的行業。”

花旗的業績喜憂參半。投資管理公司Bell Rock Capital的董事總經理杰奎琳·里維斯指出:“乍看上去花旗的業績很出色,但[這是因為]Tradeweb Markets規模相當大的IPO帶來了3.5億美元收入。” Tradeweb Markets是一家交易平臺公司,今年年初首發上市,融資11億美元。花旗集團是牽頭承銷商之一。

里維斯說,“不包括這項收入,花旗的業績仍好于預期,但有些基本收入項目有點偏少,”包括股票和固定收益交易。這可能表明投資者正在撤離。

Regency Wealth Management的合伙人安德魯·阿倫認為:“值得注意的是,花旗的業績表明信用卡犯罪呈升級態勢,這可能意味著消費者的財務狀況稍有惡化,但也可能是花旗幾年前大肆發行信用卡的結果。”換句話說,要么是花旗的信用卡業務發展到了風險較高的人群中,要么就是老百姓可能要遇上麻煩了。

此外,會計師事務所EisnerAmper的合伙人、該事務所個人財富顧問集團聯席負責人蒂莫西·斯皮斯說:“2017年稅法降低了公司稅率,所以好多銀行的業績都因為有效稅率下降而得到了提升。”投資者可能得給這些利潤打個折扣,因為它們是立法的結果,而不是源于經營或經濟狀況的改善。

本周一只是銀行披露業績的開始。摩根大通、高盛和嘉信理財周二發布的財報更重要。里維斯說:“明天的信息將會更多,我們可以了解到它們的業績,甚至能聽到高管們的評價。”

這一點毋庸置疑。(財富中文網)

譯者:Charlie

審校:夏林

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, according to Freud. But bank earnings announcements are always about more than their stocks alone.

That’s why Wall Street anxiously watched Citigroup’s earnings report Monday morning. Even though profits and revenue beat estimates, shares were down about 0.4% as of midday.

Bank stocks are considered bellweathers, and parsing the details contained within quarterly earnings reports can provide clues about where the broader economy is heading. “We spend a lot of time evaluating the health of bank stocks,” said Marc Rappaport, CEO of DCM Advisors, “as it’s one way to take the temperature of the economy.”

Banks make profits when they lend money and charge fees. The higher their profits, the more they have available to lend, whether to companies borrowing to expand their business or consumers to finance purchases. Either way, the result helps grow the economy. The opposite is true as well.

“Are we seeing loan growth?” Rappaport said. “Do the numbers give insight as to the stress on borrowers—are delinquencies rising? Are default rates holding steady? It’s a big sector to watch, about tied with health care as the second-biggest sector in the S&P 500 after technology and the top sector weight in the closely watched Russell 1000 Value [ETF from Vanguard].”

Citigroup’s results were mixed. “Initially it looked like Citi crushed it, but [that was due to] that pretty sizable Tradeweb Markets IPO for $350 million in revenue,” said Jacqueline Reeves, managing director at Bell Rock Capital. Tradeweb is a trading platform vendor that had a $1.1 billion IPO earlier in 2019 and Citigroup helped lead the offering.

“Excluding that, they still exceeded expectations but some of their underlying revenue items were a little light,” including equity and fixed income trading, Reeves said. That could be an indicator of investors pulling back.

“Notably, they showed an escalation of credit card delinquencies that could signal marginal degradation in consumer’s fortunes but could also reflect Citi’s aggressive credit card solicitations a few years ago,” said Andrew Aran, a partner with Regency Wealth Management. In other words, either Citi tried to expand its credit card activity to riskier profiles, or there may be trouble brewing up and down Main Street.

In addition, “corporate tax rates have decreased because of the 2017 tax act, so a lot of these banks are seeing pickup because of the lower effective tax rates,” said Timothy Speiss, a partner and co-lead of the personal wealth advisor’s group at EisnerAmper. Investors may be discounting some of the profits as the result of the legislation and not improved business or economic conditions.

Monday was only the beginning of bank earnings. More important will be Tuesday with earnings announcements from J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Charles Schwab. “Tomorrow will be a bigger information day into what we can read from their earnings and even their commentaries from senior management,” Reeves said.

And you can take that to the bank.

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