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The CBA share price is jumping – is it a buy?

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Australia’s largest bank reported steady profit following its earnings report update on Tuesday, but there are concerns.

  • The CBA saw an uptick in its share price of up to 0.70% following better than expected earnings result
  • Cash net profit after tax (NPAT) increased to $2.5 billion after the bank’s quarterly report went live
  • The banking sector faces a number of headwinds, including cyber security and high inflation

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) jumped as high as $102.60 during the morning session, an increase of 0.85% in the past 24 hours.

It comes on the heels of CBA's first-quarter update, released for the quarter ending September 2023, amidst a period marked by economic uncertainty and fluctuating bank shares.

As investors and market analysts pour over the details, one key question remains: Does this uptick signal a timely investment opportunity?

CBA’s price on a rise: Assessing the resilience

CBA's first quarter was a story of steady performance amid challenging conditions.

CommBank reported a 1% rise in cash net profit after tax, reaching $2.5 billion.

Notably, home lending margins were reported to have stabilised, despite the competitive pressures in deposit markets.

This marginal increase, albeit modest, signals a degree of resilience in a tough economic environment.

CEO Matt Comyn pointed to the bank's strong balance sheet and commitment to customer support: "Our financial strength enables us to support our customers through these challenging economic times," Comyn stated.

Further boosting investor confidence is the improvement in CBA's CET1 ratio, now at 11.8%, up by 46 basis points, indicating a robust capital position.

The CET1 ratio stands for "Common Equity Tier 1", a key measure of a bank's financial strength. It indicates the bank's core equity capital compared to its total risk-weighted assets.

When CBA's CET1 ratio increased to 11.8%, up by 46 basis points, it showed that the bank had strengthened its core financial base, potentially making it more secure and reliable.

Concerns around CBA’s performance

However, it's not all smooth sailing.

Operating expenses were shown to have risen by 3% compared to the average for the second half of 2023 quarter, driven largely by wage inflation. This increase in expenses could be a point of concern for investors, reflecting the broader economic challenges.

Meanwhile, potential risks associated with the current economic environment, such as rising interest rates and the cooling property market, call for a cautious approach. These factors could impact the bank's profitability and loan growth in the upcoming quarters.

Understanding the risks circulating banks in Australia

In the backdrop of CBA's financial performance, the Australian banking sector, is navigating an era of unprecedented challenges, according to Reserve Bank of Australia assistant governor Brad Jones

The industry faces emerging risks unique to the current inflationary climate. The health and stability of the banking sector is a particular concern, exacerbated by the 2023 collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Geopolitical tensions add additional pressures to banks. Cybersecurity has become a critical issue with the shift to cloud-based services, where outages could severely impact banking operations.

The sector is also grappling with the impacts of climate change, which could lead to regulatory shifts and affect asset values, especially in emissions-intensive industries. This evolving landscape underscores the need for adaptive regulatory frameworks and robust risk management practices in the banking industry.

Is now the time for investors to grab?

Investing in CBA shares requires a careful analysis of these mixed signals. The bank's resilience and strong financial position are encouraging, but potential economic headwinds and operational challenges need to be weighed.

Investors should consider their individual investment strategies and risk tolerance before making decisions.

Recent 2023 analyses by experts have seen varied price targets for CBA, reflecting bearish perspectives on the bank's future financial performance.

For instance, despite some optimism around CBA, Morgan Stanley's analyst Richard Wiles expressed caution, pointing to downside risks and high trading multiples, maintaining an underweight rating on CBA shares.

Overall, CommBank shares have shown growth, posting an impressive 48% hike over the last 5 years.

Interested in investing in CBA stocks?

For those considering an investment in shares of CBA or any other banks, one of the easiest ways to buy shares is through an online share trading platform.

It's important to note, however, that not all trading platforms provide the same range of stocks. For instance, some platforms primarily offer stocks listed in the US.

Therefore, ensure you opt for a platform that includes ASX-listed stocks in its offerings. Australian investors have a wide array of platforms to choose from, each with its own unique set of features and fee structures.

It's beneficial to thoroughly compare these platforms to find the one that best suits your investment needs.

Looking for a low-cost online broker to invest in the stock market? Compare share trading platforms to start investing in stocks and ETFs.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involve substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances and obtain your own advice before making any trades.

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