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Access Bank Share Price Gains 70% on Sustained High Demand

Goddy Egene

Expectations of improved financial performance and high returns to shareholders have made investors to increase their demand for the shares of Access Bank Plc at the stock market. Consequently, the share price of the bank has gained 70.7 per cent since the beginning of the year to close at last Friday.

Access Bank share price, which opened the year at N5.87, closed at N10.02 on Friday. Market analysts said with its focus on its strategic objective of improving profitability to shareholders, more investors are taking position ahead of the announcement of improved earnings and declaration of high dividend.

The bank recorded a profit after tax of N71.4 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016, up from N65.9 billion and paid a total dividend of N18.8 billion to shareholders.

An analysis of the bank’s performance showed that its net income for the last five years showed a steady growth. It stood at N38.40billion in 2012, N36.30billion in 2013, N42.98billion in 2014, N65.87billion in 2015 and N71.44billion in 2016.

Additionally when measured on a five year annualised basis, both dividend per share and earnings per share growth ranked in-line with the industry average relative to its peers.

While the half year results are being expected, Access Bank Plc had ended the first quarter ended March 31, 2017, with a PAT of N26 billion, which was 34 per cent higher than the N19.4 billion recorded in 2016.

Speaking on the Q1 results, Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe said: “2017 marks the end of our third five-year transformation journey and in the coming months, we will focus our priorities on the delivery of our strategic objectives.”

“We will continue to improve on profitability and shareholder value by maintaining our capital and liquidity positions, assiduously implementing our cost management strategy, and exploiting retail business opportunities using our digital platforms and deepening market share of the wholesale business.”

Wigwe had last March, assured stakeholders that the bank was now stronger and well positioned to deliver long-term value to its stakeholders.

According to him, although the macro-economic conditions and corresponding implications on the banking industry remain uncertain, the bank’s diversified banking model, robust balance sheet and solid management team give it the strength and resilience that will keep the financial institution in good stead.

“By diligently executing our strategy, we will continue to maintain improved profitability and create the capacity to continue to invest in our key areas of strength. As we come to the end of our third five-year transformation journey, our top priority in the coming year will be to cement our position as a dominant corporate bank and establish ourselves as a formidable retail player, leverage digital technology and innovation to create value for our customers whilst unlocking new revenue streams and deliver seamless and superior customer experience across all our service touch points,” he said.