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HSBC’s pre-tax profit for 2019 fell 33% to $13.35 billion, missing expectations

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Via CNBC

HSBC logo is displayed outside a branch of in the United Kingdom.

Matt Cardy | Getty Images

HSBC on Tuesday reported a 32.9% fall in pre-tax profit for 2019 to $13.35 billion — missing expectations by analysts. 

The bank, Europe’s largest by assets, said it took a goodwill impairment of $7.3 billion, mainly relating to its investment banking and commercial banking businesses in Europe. 

HSBC also said it will “continue to monitor the recent coronavirus outbreak, which is causing economic disruption in Hong Kong and mainland China and may impact performance in 2020.”

Here are other financial metrics that the bank reported:

  • Revenue for 2019 was $56.1 billion
  • Earnings per share was $0.30

Prior to the latest earnings release, analysts had expected HSBC’s report card for last year to largely match that of 2018, when reported pre-tax profits were $19.89 billion and revenue was $53.78 billion. Here’s what analysts were expecting from the results, according to Refinitiv:

  • Revenue: $54.93 billion
  • Pre-tax profit: $19.83 billion

Investors were also watching out for the bank’s outlook and upcoming business strategy, which would be outlined by interim chief executive Noel Quinn.

“HSBC has faced significant difficulties not only in Hong Kong,” Dickie Wong, executive director at brokerage Kingston Securities, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday ahead of the release.

The London-headquartered bank is a heavyweight component of the Hang Seng Index. The bank derived almost half of its revenue and nearly 90% of its profits from Asia in 2018, with much of that coming from Hong Kong.

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In Hong Kong, pro-democracy protests and the ongoing spread of the new coronavirus — now named COVID-19 — will likely hit the bank’s operations, said Wong. HSBC would also face challenges growing outside the city given the continued uncertainties in the global economy, he added.

Such a dimmed outlook means that HSBC shares in Hong Kong could fall following its earnings release, said Wong. The bank’s shares traded 0.84% lower on Tuesday morning.


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