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Westpac Shares Fall Amid Flat First-Half Profits

Westpac Shares Fall Amid Flat First-Half Profits
May 04, 2015 By Imran Valibhoy

Australian banking giant Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) released its 2015 Interim Financial Results Announcement on Monday. Statutory net profit came in at $3,609m and cash earnings came in at $3,778m, in line with the previous corresponding period. The company reported cash earnings per share of 121.3c, also in line with the previous corresponding period. The interim fully franked dividend increased by 3 per cent to 93c per share. Cash return on equity was down 67 basis points to 15.8 per cent. Margins (ex-Treasury and Markets) were unchanged at 2.01 per cent. The results came in lower than expected. Analysts had projected a $3.88bn cash profit for the interim results. IG market strategist Evan Lucas said the results were weaker than most forecasts. “It’s one of the poorest Westpac results I’ve seen in four or five years,” he said.

 Net profit was slightly down compared to last year, coming in at $3.609bn compared to the $3.622bn from the previous corresponding period. The institutional bank of Westpac saw earnings fall by 17 per cent. The company’s net interest income was up 4 per cent to $6.39bn following a seven per cent increase in Australian housing lending. Chief Executive Officer Brian Hartzer believes that the housing market will boost slower parts of the economy. “Areas like housing, infrastructure, and agriculture will do relatively well, while other areas such as mining and resource-driven regions and adjacent service providers will find it tough. Shares of WBC are down $1.33, or 3.62 per cent, at $35.40 around 1:58pm on Monday. WBC has risen by 1.58 per cent in the last 12 months and 6.82 per cent so far this year.

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Imran Valibhoy Author: Imran Valibhoy May 04, 2015

Since Joining the firm in 2006, Imran has worked on a range of M&A and Capital Market transactions in the natural resources, mining as well as projects in the renewable energy sector. Prior to joining Wise-owl, Imran worked at Euroz Securities in Perth, aiding in the advisory and valuation of companies in the mining and industrial sectors in Australia. Imran has a Masters in Banking & Finance from City University's Class Business School in London and a Bacheloor degree in Commerce from UWA.

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