Hardman Research: Big special dividend, accelerated investment
Big special dividend, accelerated investment: In its recent trading statement Arbuthnot Banking Group (ABG) advised it would make a special dividend of 300p per share (cost £45m) in Q416 against our forecast 150p. Additionally, it has accelerated its expansion into commercial banking and expects to hire six additional experienced staff early in 2017 as well as opening a Manchester office. It also advised that Q316 drawdowns had been a little slower than expected. The overall effect is to see a reduction in 2016/2017 earnings estimates, primarily from higher investment costs, while 2018 is broadly unchanged with the new staff starting to deliver greater business growth.
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