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Hargreaves Lansdown (full year results 15 August)
The fund supermarket has had a strong few years as the popularity of online investing has soared and it benefited from high profile new stocks listings like Royal Mail. Revenue and profit have been roaring higher. This time round, Hargreaves Lansdown has already announced most of its key numbers ahead of the full results. Pretax profit was up 21% to between £256 million and £266 million, and net assets under administration rose 28% to £79.2 billion. It released the numbers early because it wanted to show investors that it was performing strongly at the same time as it had to cancel a special dividend because it needs to retain a further £50 million in its capital base. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) told Hargreaves it had to bolster its cash buffer due to its strong growth and increased complexity. That came just weeks after the regulator said it will launch a study into whether online fund platforms are providing good value for money for investors. The future focus seems to be on the impact of regulatory scrutiny.
Taking a look at the chart, it is clear that we have seen an ascending channel in play over the past year, with the price rallying back into the middle of that ascending range this week. We need to see a break above £13.87 to solidify the expectations of a move back into the £14.50 region. Until then, the weakness we have seen this week could point towards a retracement before we turn higher once more. A break below £12.58 would bring about a bearish outlook.