Edited by Sarah Thompson and Anthony Macdonald AFR 08 Mar 2012
In contrast to most analysts, CLSA’s Jan van der Schalk has downgraded Suncorp to an “underperform” recommendation. The broker cited Suncorp’s performance since the start of the calendar year, noting: “After two months (in the second half of 2012) Suncorp has exceeded its natural peril provision by $49 million and will likely not meet guidance.”
“Line it up against IAG and both the result and outlook contextualised: the Christmas Melbourne storm will see Suncorp miss long-term fiscal 2012 margin targets of 12-13 per cent whilst IAG has been able to absorb the loss and maintain guidance.”
IAG shares have jumped since it reported last month and management upgraded premium revenue expectations for the full year.
While Suncorp remains the market darling of the sector for its strong capital position, some investors caution about the increased risk in its non-core bank – which holds its risky commercial exposures – given the deteriorating economic backdrop.
The Australian Financial Review