Swiss banking giant UBS on Tuesday narrowly beat fourth-quarter earnings expectations and announced that it would recommence share buybacks worth up to $1 billion in the second half of the year.
The group posted a net loss attributable to shareholders of $279 million for the quarter. Analysts polled by LSEG had expected a net loss attributable to shareholders of $372 million.
In the third quarter, UBS had posted a bigger-than-expected net loss attributable to shareholders of $785 million — which factored in $2 billion in expenses related to the integration of fallen rival Credit Suisse.
After that third quarter report, the market chose to focus on the bank’s strong underlying operating profit before tax, which was well ahead of expectations. For the fourth quarter, that came in at $592 million.
UBS has also reported a quicker than expected return of client inflows to Credit Suisse’s wealth management business since the takeover, which it completed in June 2023.
The integration of its stricken rival continues, with UBS embarking on a process of cutting around 3,000 Credit Suisse jobs as part of the wider restructure. UBS announced on Tuesday that it had completed the first phase of the strategic integration.
UBS shares have made an indifferent start to 2024, closing Monday’s trade down 1.5% since the turn of the year.
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