The Bendigo Bank share price just hit a new 52-week low. What’s going on?


The Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN) share price reached a new 52-week low today of $8.35.

Shares of the regional bank currently trade for $8.37 each, 1.88% lower than yesterday’s closing price.

It takes the bank’s losses for the past year to 9.36%, well below the 5.6% drop in the S&P/ASX 200 Banks Index (ASX: XBK) over the same period.

BendigoBank is also underperforming three of the big four ASX banking shares over the last 12 months, with:

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) down 5.03%National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) up 10.15%Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) down 1.01%

Only the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ASX: ANZ) has performed worse with a 12.4% loss in the past year.

But there have been some important developments for Bendigo in the recent past. Let’s recap the highlights.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank received a buy rating from Citi analysts just last week. The consensus price target for the bank is $9.40 per share, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. That’s a considerable 12% upside at the time of writing.

Meantime, Macquarie is bullish on the ASX banking sector in the short term amid rising interest rates. My Fool colleague Zach notes that banks’ net interest income increases as the Reserve Bank of Australia lifts rates in a bid to dampen inflation.

Macquarie analysts said:

In the short term, banks continue to benefit from highly lucrative retail deposit pricing, which will likely provide margin upside in the next six months.

However, the analysts likened the recent run of interest rate increases to “a sugar hit”, warning:

If we are heading into an environment where credit growth is going to be slow for a long period of time, it does have a substantial impact on the earnings outlook and the valuation of banks.

Last month, Bendigo Bank reported its full-year earnings for FY22. Statutory net profit after tax (NPAT) dipped 6.9% to $488.1 million during the period.

Although the Bendigo Bank share price is down almost 10% year to date, it’s still outperforming the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO). It’s down 11.7% over the same period.

The bank’s current market capitalisation is $4.73 billion.

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