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从大银行业绩看经济形势

Erik Sherman 2019年07月21日

银行股是大家眼中的晴雨表,对季报的详细分析则可以让人们一窥整体经济走势。

一位女士从花旗银行芝加哥分行门前走过,2017年8月7日,伊利诺伊州。图片来源:Christopher Dilts—Bloomberg/Getty Images

弗洛伊德说,有时候一支雪茄就是一支雪茄。但银行业绩公告牵涉到的绝不仅仅是它们的股价。

正因为如此,华尔街才会焦急地等待花旗集团在本周一上午披露业绩。尽管利润和收入都超过了预期,但当天中午花旗的股价还是下降了0.4%左右。

银行股是大家眼中的晴雨表,对季报的详细分析则可以让人们一窥整体经济走势。资产管理公司DCM Advisors的首席执行官马克·拉帕伯特说:“我们花了大量时间来评估银行板块的健康水平,因为这是推断经济状况的一条途径。”

银行通过贷款和收取手续费来赚取利润。利润越多,它们能够放贷的资金就越多,无论是借给要扩大规模的企业,还是要购物的消费者。这两种借贷的结果都有助于经济增长。反之亦然。

拉帕伯特说道:“我们看到贷款增长了吗?能够通过这些数据了解到借款人承受的压力吗?或者说犯罪现象增多了吗?违约率稳定吗?这是一个需要关注的重要行业,它在标普500指数中排名第二,仅次于科技行业,和医疗保健板块基本相当。而且是备受关注的罗素1000价值基金[Vanguard的ETF]中权重最高的行业。”

花旗的业绩喜忧参半。投资管理公司Bell Rock Capital的董事总经理杰奎琳·里维斯指出:“乍看上去花旗的业绩很出色,但[这是因为]Tradeweb Markets规模相当大的IPO带来了3.5亿美元收入。” Tradeweb Markets是一家交易平台公司,今年年初首发上市,融资11亿美元。花旗集团是牵头承销商之一。

里维斯说,“不包括这项收入,花旗的业绩仍好于预期,但有些基本收入项目有点偏少,”包括股票和固定收益交易。这可能表明投资者正在撤离。

Regency Wealth Management的合伙人安德鲁·阿伦认为:“值得注意的是,花旗的业绩表明信用卡犯罪呈升级态势,这可能意味着消费者的财务状况稍有恶化,但也可能是花旗几年前大肆发行信用卡的结果。”换句话说,要么是花旗的信用卡业务发展到了风险较高的人群中,要么就是老百姓可能要遇上麻烦了。

此外,会计师事务所EisnerAmper的合伙人、该事务所个人财富顾问集团联席负责人蒂莫西·斯皮斯说:“2017年税法降低了公司税率,所以好多银行的业绩都因为有效税率下降而得到了提升。”投资者可能得给这些利润打个折扣,因为它们是立法的结果,而不是源于经营或经济状况的改善。

本周一只是银行披露业绩的开始。摩根大通、高盛和嘉信理财周二发布的财报更重要。里维斯说:“明天的信息将会更多,我们可以了解到它们的业绩,甚至能听到高管们的评价。”

这一点毋庸置疑。(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校: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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