HSBC reports fourth-quarter, full-year 2019 earnings

HSBC reports fourth-quarter, full-year 2019 earnings

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

Matt Cardy | Getty Images

HSBC is scheduled to report its earnings for the full year of 2019 this afternoon — and investors are expecting the largest bank in Europe to warn of challenging times ahead.

Analysts have 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 are expecting from the results, according to Refinitiv:

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

In addition to the earnings release, investors are 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.

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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