By Swissquote Analysts
Swiss Re reports a net income of USD 472 million for 2022
Topic of the day
Thanks to a final spurt towards the end of the year, Swiss Re reached the profit zone last year. After nine months, there had still been a loss due to major claims, inflation, and the turmoil of the financial markets. For the year as a whole, a net profit of 472 million US dollars remained after a plus of 1.44 billion in 2021, as Swiss Re announced on Friday. The group thus exceeded analysts' forecasts. In the months of January to September, the result was still negative by 0.3 billion. Property and casualty reinsurance (P&C) suffered particularly from major catastrophes such as hurricane "Ian", which hit the Florida coast at the end of September causing severe damage at wind speeds of up to 240 km per hour. Swiss Re fared better in the life business, where a profit of USD 416 million was achieved. Despite the decline in Group profit, the Board of Directors will propose to the General Meeting of Shareholders in mid-April the payment of a dividend increased by 50 centimes to 6.40 francs per share. The basis for the increased dividend is the robust capitalisation of the company. According to Swiss Re, the Swiss Solvency Test (SST) ratio was above the target range of 200 to 250 percent at the beginning of 2023. In the new year, Swiss Re aims to significantly improve profitability. The group is targeting a profit of over 3 billion dollars.
On Thursday, the SMI lost 0.7 per cent to 11,195 points - also weighed down by heavyweight Nestle. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were eleven price losers and nine price gainers. 49.36 (previously: 35.96) million shares were traded. Similar to the overall market, Credit Suisse (+0.2%) slipped from the day's highs in the afternoon. Citigroup had spoken negatively and downgraded the share. With a view to the current year, there were serious questions about future profit development. Investors gave advance praise to Sika (+1.4%), the construction chemicals manufacturer will publish business figures on Friday. Building materials supplier Holcim (-0.1%) is acquiring FDT Flachdach Technologie GmbH, banking on additional sales. Among small caps, Newron rose 18.8 percent following positive research. Schweiter fell 2.3 per cent due to a downgrade by Stifel. Meyer Burger (+4.3 per cent) received certification for high-performance solar modules in the UK. Aluflexpack added 3.2 per cent, Phoenix Mecano 0.9 per cent.
European stocks continued to rally on Thursday as investors cheered some strong corporate earnings. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.2% to 465.24 points. The DAX 40 in Frankfurt rose 0.2 percent. In Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.9% to 7,366.16 points. In London, the FTSE 100 closed above 8,000 points for the first time in its history, at 8,012.53 points. Atos (+14.6%) announced that it had received an indicative offer from the aerospace and defence group Airbus to acquire a 29.9% stake in Evidian, the entity that merges Atos' digital transformation and Big Data and Security (BDS) businesses. ADP Group fell by 5.3% after analysts published a financial outlook that was deemed disappointing. Pernod Ricard (+3.4%) posted "strengthened" confidence in its outlook for the 2022-2023 financial year, and announced a rise in turnover in the first half of the year thanks in particular to price increases. Ipsos lost 5.7%. The survey-based research group provided a cautious outlook for 2023, against a backdrop of persistent macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainties. Orange (+6.5%) unveiled its "Lead the future" plan, which forecasts "slight growth" in its adjusted gross operating surplus (Ebitdaal) at an average annual rate over the period from 2022 to 2025. Automotive supplier Faurecia (+5.8%) has entered into exclusive negotiations with US rival Cummins to sell part of its exhaust after-treatment business for commercial vehicles in Europe and the US. Commerzbank soared 11.6% in Frankfurt following a better-than-expected fourth-quarter net profit. The German bank also unveiled a dividend payment, the first in three years, and plans to launch a 122 million euro share buyback programme.
Stocks fell Thursday after inflation and jobs data came in stronger than expected, increasing concerns that the end of the Federal Reserve’s tightening campaign is nowhere near. The S&P 500 dropped 57.19 points, or 1.4%, to 4090.41. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 431.20 points, or 1.3%, to 33696.85 while the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite lost 214.76 points, or 1.8%, to 11855.83. Supplier prices rose 0.7% in January from the prior month, the Labor Department said Thursday, the biggest gain since last summer. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.4% increase. Meanwhile, jobless–claims data showed little sign of a cooling in the labor market. While the health of the economy remains squarely in focus, investors continue to parse companies’ fourth-quarter earnings. Shares of streaming company Roku surged $7.08, or 11%, to $70.57 after saying it saw signs of improvement in the advertising market. Cisco Systems stock rose $2.54, or 5.2%, to $50.99, its highest close since last May. The networking-equipment company improved its future guidance and beat Wall Street estimates. The reception of Shopify’s outlook wasn’t as positive. Shares of the e-commerce company fell $8.48, or 16%, to $44.91 after posting earnings. Elsewhere in markets, bitcoin saw a return of buyers Thursday after a new Securities and Exchange Commission proposal for the cryptocurrency sector wasn’t as harsh as some investors had expected. The digital currency touched its highest level in at least six months on Thursday, trading at $24,520.47 as of 5 p.m. ET.
Stocks in Asia mostly fell, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 down 0.7% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong equally down 0.7%. China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.1%. In Hong Kong, the shares of the investment bank China Renaissance crashed by 27 per cent. This was triggered by the fact that the head of the bank, billionaire Bao Fan, was missing. In Seoul, LG Chem slipped 2.7 per cent. The company announced it would acquire 5.7 per cent of US miner Piedmont Lithium for $75 million. In Tokyo, Bridgestone gained 4.2 per cent following the tyre maker reporting surprisingly strong fourth-quarter results. Zensho Holdings added 4 percent, supported by the planned purchase of Lotte Holdings' quick service restaurant chain Lotteria. Lotte edged 1 per cent higher in Seoul with South Korea’s Kospi declining by 0.8%.
Long-dated U.S. government debt yields jumped to their highest levels of the year on Thursday after a surprisingly strong wholesale-prices report reaffirmed expectations for continued Federal Reserve rate hikes through June. The 10-year Treasury note continued to rise, gaining 5 basis points to 3.858%. The 2-year Treasury note also added 5 basis points to 4.670%.
CS raises Implenia target to CHF 40 (36) - Neutral
Citi cuts Credit Suisse to Neutral (Buy) - Target CHF 3.10 (3.70)
UBS reduces Zurich Insurance target to CHF 544 (574) - Buy
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