UBS shares rise 3% as market focuses on strong underlying profit
A logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen in Zurich, Switzerland March 29, 2023.
Denis Balibouse | Reuters
UBS shares climbed on Tuesday morning after the Swiss banking giant resoundingly beat expectations for underlying profit.
The bank recorded an underlying operating profit before tax of $844 million, well ahead of consensus expectations. UBS shares were up 3.2% by mid-afternoon in Europe.
Factoring in $2 billion in expenses related to the integration of fallen rival Credit Suisse, UBS posted a bigger-than-expected third-quarter net loss attributable to shareholders of $785 million. Analysts polled by Reuters had anticipated a quarterly net loss of $444 million in a company-compiled poll.
Here are some other highlights:
- Total group revenues were $11.7 billion, up 23% from $9.54 billion in the second quarter.
- CET1 capital ratio, a measure of bank liquidity, was 14.4%, unchanged from the previous quarter.
- Credit Suisse Wealth Management generated positive net new money inflows for the first time since the first quarter of 2022, contributing to inflows of $22 billion for UBS Global Wealth Management.
“You could see that, sequentially, we improved the underlying performance across Wealth Management, Asset Management and our Personal and Corporate banking in Switzerland. They both grew on a quarter-on-quarter basis,” UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti told CNBC on Tuesday.
“The IB [investment bank] has been facing more challenging market conditions, particularly when you look at our business model and the fact that we have been onboarding resources from Credit Suisse. But it was a very solid quarter, and we made very good progress in our integration plans, and at the same time we saw very strong inflows from clients.”
A ‘good set of results’
Analysts at Citi highlighted on Tuesday that the $844 million underlying profit before tax figure was “notably ahead of prior company guidance (of break-even), treble consensus expectations and 6% ahead of our above-consensus forecast.”
“As we expected the beat is driven by better opex [operating expense], 7% below consensus, with revenues also 1% ahead. This is then slightly offset by heavier provisions,” they noted, adding that the acceleration of Wealth Management net new money inflows in September was also “encouraging.”
UBS is also in the process of fully integrating Credit Suisse’s Swiss banking unit — a key profit center — and is expected to cut a hefty proportion of the legacy bank’s workforce.
UBS reported net new deposits of $33 billion across its Global Wealth Management and Personal and Corporate Banking (P&C) divisions, with $22 billion coming from Credit Suisse clients and positive deposit inflows for P&C in September, the month after UBS announced the decision to integrate the domestic bank.
The bank also announced earlier this year that it is targeting gross cost savings of at least $10 billion by 2026, when it hopes to have completed the integration all of Credit Suisse Group’s businesses.