I’m sure you’re happy with the 5.80% forward dividend yield on ING (ING). That dividend is why the stock is a member of my Dividend Portfolio.
I’m also sure that you’re not happy with the loss in the stock’s price–down 13.64% year to date as of today’s close at $12.59. And down 13.78% since I added them to my Dividend Portfolio on March 7, 2017.
But it looks like the shares bottomed on December 24 and are on the mend in the last month. Over the last month they have gained 5.36%.
The earnings report on February 6 shows that this is a healthy bank–especially now that a big part of its legal problem is behind it. Net profit pf 4.7 billion euros was down 4.7% in the fourth quarter year over year. A good part of that was due to the 775 million euro penalty paid to Dutch regulators to settle charges of money laundering. Looking past that huge fine, ING shows a solid foundation in an 11.2% return on equity and a common equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 14.5% versus a required 11.8%. For the full 2018 year the retail customer base grew to 38.4 million by the end of the fourth quarter. Net core lending increased by 3.2 billion euros in the fourth quarter and net deposit inflow was 7.7 billion. The growth in customers and net deposits are very important indicators for ING–I own the bank in my Dividend Portfolio because ING’s digital banking model–and especially in mobile banking–hoovers up deposits and customers. (The Dutch seem especially comfortable with digital banking on the numbers and ING is now the largest bank in the Netherlands with 19% of the mortgage market and 10% of consumer lending.) It’s also critical to look at the quality of those customers–loan loss provisions of 656 million euros remain low in the historical context and for this stage in the banking cycle.
The problem for ING–and the reason its stock performance has lagged is that the bank’s core market is the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. The German economy has been slowing and it’s likely that the Dutch economy will take a significant hit from Brexit since the United Kingdom is a major trading partner. In the retail banking segment, 45% of the firm’s pretax income is generated in the Netherlands, 16% in Belgium, and 17% in Germany.
With that as context, I’d only be willing to hold these shares if my holding period can extend beyond 2019 and if I’m willing to trade cash flow from a safe current dividend for share price weakness. The 200-day average for these shares sits at $13.27 and I’d expect resistance at that level.