Santander 4Q Net Profit Beat Expectations Despite One-Offs -- Earnings Review

By Pietro LombardiFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Banco Santander SA (SAN.MC) released fourth-quarter results on Wednesday morning. Here are some highlights:

PROFIT: Santander reported fourth-quarter net profit of 1.54 billion euros ($1.91 billion), beating analysts' expectations of EUR1.48 billion, according to a consensus forecast provided by FactSet. Last year's quarterly figure was about EUR1.6 billion. The bank's full-year net profit of EUR6.62 billion--up from EUR6.2 billion--also came in above expectations, which were for EUR6.59 billion, according to FactSet.

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GROSS INCOME: Santander's gross income also surpassed expectations, with the Spanish bank reporting EUR12.06 billion in gross income for the quarter and EUR48.39 billion for the year. These figures compare with consensus forecasts of EUR11.9 billion and EUR48.17 billion respectively.


EXCEPTIONAL ITEMS: One-off items weighed on Santander's operating performance and hit profit, as analysts had expected.

"The group took a further EUR752 million charge in the fourth quarter relating primarily to the impairment of goodwill for the group's investment in Santander Consumer USA," Santander said.

The sale of a stake in Allfunds Bank and a small gain related to U.S. tax reform partially offset these charges. Overall, Santander reported a EUR382 million net charge for the quarter, in line with Deutsche Bank's estimate of roughly EUR360 million.

BANCO POPULAR: Banco Popular SA generated a loss of EUR37 million in 2017, partly due to a EUR300 million charge for planned integration costs in the third quarter, Santander said.

"Santander continues to expect the acquisition to generate a return on investment of 13%-14% in 2020," it said.

Societe Generale has said it sees significant restructuring opportunities and that Santander "has already discussed...that it may be able to 'beat' its EUR0.5 billion cost-synergies target."

REGIONS: Santander's performance in Brazil is one of the main positives in the fourth-quarter results, UBS said. Core revenue grew 5% on-quarter, driving an overall performance that the Swiss bank said beat its estimates by 15%. However, "Mexico's operating income came 8% below expectations," UBS said, citing the country as one of Santander's negatives. The U.K., another major market for the Spanish bank, recorded a weak performance.

"[The] UK posted a poor quarter across the board," UBS said. "Though we have conservative assumptions into 18-19E, UK remains the biggest area of uncertainty."

Write to Pietro Lombardi at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 31, 2018 07:53 ET (12:53 GMT)