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Own CBA shares? Here’s what to expect when the bank reports next week

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Shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) have gyrated in recent months, trading mostly sideways in that time after a spike in March.

However, scaling back to the start of 2022, the bank has only managed to clip a 1% gain at the time of writing, in line with the S&P/ASX 200 Financials Index (ASX: XFJ).

In fact, stripping all other ASX financials companies out of the equation and focusing solely on the banks, via the Vaneck Australian Banks ETF (ASX: MVB), the basket has secured a 2% rise on the year. This means CBA is trailing the segment.

Sentiment is mixed on what the bank might report in its upcoming earnings report, with viewpoints ranging from a large pullback in profits to a substantial jump in after-tax income.

Analysts Matt Ingram and Jack Baxter of Bloomberg Intelligence reckon that CBA could beat estimates by 15% “on the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)’s rate hike”.

“CBA’s 2023 profit could beat market estimates by 15% if consensus’ forecast for a 165 basis point (bps) RBA cash-rate rise is realised, which we think is more likely after the central bank hiked by 25 bps to 35 bps and telegraphed more increases,” the duo wrote in a recent note.

“CBA’s beat may be less than ANZ and NAB due to its higher reliance on term deposits, but also due to more bullish sell-side estimates, which already forecast a 5-bp jump in margin,” they added.

Meanwhile, analysts at Citi weren’t as constructive in their criticism of the bank’s expected earnings in their review.

The broker estimates third quarter cash earnings to increase by 3%, offset by an anticipated 3% rise in operating costs, “generating 5% lower pre-provision profit growth”.

Finally, if forward ratings from analysts are anything to go by, it appears the experts don’t expect much juice from CBA’s next earnings squeeze.

Almost 70% of coverage has it as a sell right now, whereas just 1 broker – Jefferies – has it as a buy with a $116 valuation, per Bloomberg data.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the scale, Morgans values it at $77 per share.

The consensus price target is $94.84 from this group, suggesting there’s more downside potential to come if this average number is right.

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