Negative earnings "surprises" are like the Energizer Bunny. They run on, and on, and on. Yet, somehow economists and analysis are surprised by the obvious. Here is a prime case in point: HSBC Posts Surprise Fourth-Quarter Pretax Loss of $858 Million.
HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe's largest bank, reported a surprise fourth-quarter pretax loss of $858 million.
The loss, announced by the London-based bank in a Hong Kong exchange statement on Monday, compared with the $1.95 billion profit forecast by the average of five analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Operating costs in the period amounted to $11.5 billion.
HSBC Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver, 56, has been accelerating plans to scale back the lender's vast global footprint, seeking to boost profitability and reverse a share slump this year. In June, the CEO unveiled a new strategy to boost investment in Asia, exit unprofitable countries and cut as many as 25,000 jobs to help save as much as $5 billion by the end of 2017.
HSBC Weekly Chart
Fancy that. It seems the stock market expected this surprise was coming long ago.
The market is expecting lots more banking surprises. Here is one of them.
Deutsche Bank Weekly
Expect more surprise so you won't be surprised when the analysts are.