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Lloyds' Share Price: Dividend Resumed As Osorio Bids Adieu

By CMC Markets (Michael Hewson)Stock MarketsFeb 24, 2021 09:34
Lloyds' Share Price: Dividend Resumed As Osorio Bids Adieu
By CMC Markets (Michael Hewson)   |  Feb 24, 2021 09:34
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Lloyds (LON:LLOY)' share price is currently trading at its highest levels this year, at over 40p per share. Today’s full-year numbers have shown that statutory profits for Q4 came in at £792m, well above expectations of £471m, and taking statutory full-year profits after tax to £1.39bn.

Despite beating expectations, this still represents a decline of 54% from last year.

Horta-Osorio leaves with Lloyds share price at a high

Lloyds' full-year numbers are a decent final legacy of outgoing CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio’s tenure, as he gets set to depart after ten years as head of the bank.

When he took over in January 2011, three years after Lloyds received a £20.5bn bailout from the UK government, the bank was in a parlous state, despite the Lloyds share price being higher then than it is now.

Over the last ten years the bank has returned to profitability, as well as private ownership and while it hasn’t been an easy ride, by 2017 the bank managed to post a statutory profit of £5.3bn, as well as paying out the largest dividend ever to its shareholders of £2.3bn.

Lloyds share price hit by pandemic

The last twelve months have been a big test Lloyds, let alone other UK banks and the UK economy, however at no time were there any questions as to whether the bank would be able to deal with the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

When Lloyds reported back in Q3 the bank was able to show a return to profitability after posting a H1 loss of £602m. The bank increased its loan loss provisions by £300m to £4.1bn for the first nine months of the year.

This was lower than expected, and more encouragingly the bank was able to report a statutory Q3 pre-tax profit of just over £1bn, while also revising its estimate for full year loan losses to the lower end of a £4.5bn to £5.5bn range.

Loan loss provisions increased

There was a concern that the recent lockdown and various restrictions that have been in place since November might impact the loan loss provision for Q4, especially given the bank revised its loan loss provision lower in Q3. These concerns proved to be wide of the mark with Q4 provisions increased by £128m, taking the total set aside for 2020 to £4.2bn.

Net interest margin for Q4 did improve slightly from Q3’s 2.4% rising to 2.46%, but still well below last year’s levels of 2.88%. It would appear that the recent steepening in UK yields has offset some of the weakness seen in Q3, however over the year they have still come down to an annualised 2.52%.

In its Q3 numbers the bank outlined how many payment holidays were granted as a result of the first lockdown, with loans totalling £68 3bn undergoing some form of forbearance over the last 12 months. Of that number only £1.7bn still has the first payment holiday in force.

Of the remaining payment holidays that were granted 89% of those have recommenced payments, with £5.8bn outstanding as at 16 February 2021. This was lower than the £6.4bn that was outstanding at the end of last year.

On mortgages the number came in at 489,000, equating to customer balances of £61.9bn, up from 477,000 in Q3, and 338,000 on credit card balances, accounting for £1.7bn.

Lloyds reinstates the divided

More importantly from a shareholder point of view the bank announced a dividend of 0.57p a share.

The outlook continues to look highly uncertain given that a lot more of its customers are likely to find themselves in financial difficulty in the months ahead, however the bank said it expects to see a stabilisation in 2021, and that net interest margins should remain above 240 basis points over the next 12 months.

All in all, today’s numbers, and the boost to the Lloyds share price, appear to mark a nice postscript for outgoing CEO Antonio Horta Osorio, with the dividend resumed, and barring any mishaps a bank that looks well set to take advantage of a summer recovery in the UK economy.

"DISCLAIMER: CMC Markets is an execution only provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed.

No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. "

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Lloyds' Share Price: Dividend Resumed As Osorio Bids Adieu

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Lloyds' Share Price: Dividend Resumed As Osorio Bids Adieu

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