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Reporting Season 15th February 2023

Australia’s biggest bank beats expectations | Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA)

Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) released first half results today that beat analysts’ expectations but have disappointed investors today so far with shares in CBA currently down more than 6%, possibly due to the anticipated headwinds the big bank is set to face amid in this rising interest rate environment.

For the half CBA reported statutory NPAT up 10% on the prior corresponding period at $5.216 billion, cash NPAT up 9% on the PCP to $5.153 billion, which was in line with consensus expectations, operating performance up 18% on the PCP at $7.82 billion and announced an interim dividend per share up 35 cents per share to $2.10 for the half. The company’s Net Interest Margin rose 18 basis points to 2.1% however CBA’s loan impairment expense increased 77.1% to $75 million.

Troublesome and impaired assets declined to $6.3 billion over the half but the bank has slightly decreased its allocation to provision for doubtful debts to $5.5 billion from $5.9 billion in the PCP.

Investors may also be selling out of CBA today amid fears the bank’s net interest margin may have peaked in mid FY23, with Goldman Sachs today saying, ‘disclosure by CBA suggests that its monthly Net interest margin peaked around the middle of the first half, which likely implies that their 1H24 peak half-year forecast is optimistic’. RBA governor Philip Lowe also made comments today about understanding the pain felt from rising interest rates but said he doesn’t think we are at the peak yet but how far rates need to rise is still uncertain.