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Credit Suisse (CS) Posts Q1 Loss Amid Tough Backdrop

Credit Suisse Group AG CS reported dismal first-quarter 2016 results. Net loss attributable to shareholders came in at CHF 302 million ($304 million), which is a significant deterioration from net income recorded in the year-ago quarter.

Lower revenues and increase in provisions largely led to the disappointing results. However, effective cost control measures helped to lower the operating expenses and acted as a tailwind.

Performance in Detail

Net revenues came in at CHF 4.6 billion ($4.63 billion), down 30% from the prior-year quarter.

Total operating expenses declined 3% year over year to CHF 5 billion ($5.03 billion), driven by the company’s accelerated cost savings program.

Provision for credit losses came in at CHF 150 million ($151 million), up 400% from the prior-year quarter.

Capital and Funding

As of Mar 31, 2016, Credit Suisse’s Look-through Basel III common equity tier 1 (CET 1) ratio was 11.4% and in the targeted range of 11—12% for the year.

As of Mar 31, 2016, the Look-Through Swiss leverage ratio was 5.1%. The Basel III CET1 ratio was 13.6%, down from 14.3% in the prior quarter.

Look-through risk-weighted assets declined 3% on a sequential basis to CHF 280.4 billion ($290.56 billion) at the end of the quarter.

Updates on Cost Saving Plan

Credit Suisse remains on track to achieve its cost saving targets. In the reported quarter, the company achieved CHF 1.4 billion of net cost savings, which is more than 50% of the gross cost savings target of CHF 1.7 billion to be reached by 2016-end. Hence, the company is well positioned to lower its operating cost base to CHF 19.8 billion by 2016, and below CHF 18.0 billion by end-2018.

As of May 10, 2016, Credit Suisse has reduced its head count by 3,500 or 58% of the  total target of 6,000 for 2016.

Our Viewpoint

Prudent business model changes can improve Credit Suisse’s efficiency and bolster its competitive edge. The company’s focus on capital generation and restructuring initiatives are encouraging. However, given the challenging macroeconomic environment, we expect Credit Suisse’s earnings to remain under pressure going forward.

Currently, Credit Suisse carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Competitive Landscape

HDFC Bank Ltd. HDB reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 (ended Mar 31) net profit of INR33.74 billion ($0.50 billion), up 20.2% year over year. Quarterly results continued to reflect top-line growth with improvement in both net interest income and non-interest revenues. However, elevated operating expenses as well as provisions marginally weighed on the results.

Deutsche Bank AG DB reported net income of €236 million ($260.3 million) in the first quarter of 2016, down 57.8% year over year. The quarterly results were affected by lower revenues and higher provisions. However, the reduction in non-interest expenses was a positive factor.

Barclays PLC’s BCS first-quarter 2016 pre-tax earnings of £793 million ($1.14 billion) declined 25% year over year. A challenging industry backdrop had adverse impact on the company’s investment banking income and trading revenue. Further, a rise in credit impairment charges was an undermining factor. However, decline in operating expenses and a stable net interest income acted as tailwinds.

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CREDIT SUISSE (CS): Free Stock Analysis Report
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DEUTSCHE BK AG (DB): Free Stock Analysis Report
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