Why are so many investors shorting the Metro Bank share price?
The challenger bank recorded a £2.2 million loss in its third quarter, with analysts mixed about its share price trajectory amid a challenging environment for British lenders.
Metro Bank recorded a £2.2 million in its third quarter (Q3), reflecting a challenging nine months for lender that saw an accounting error at the beginning of the year rock investor confidence and send its share price tumbling more than 85%.
However, despite the bank wrestling with a myriad of headwinds, the bank has made progress in reducing costs, strengthening its balance sheet and bringing in more customers, helping to send its shares higher in the wake of its Q3 results.
Metro Bank sees influx of new customers
In its Q3, Metro Bank opened 106,000 new accounts – bringing its total to 1.9 million – helping total deposits to rise from £528 million to £14.2 billion over in the three months to 30 September.
‘Despite considerable headwinds, we have made strong progress in reducing costs, increasing fee income and further strengthening our capital and liquidity position whilst also retaining our top position for overall quality of service for personal current account holders,’ Metro Bank chief executive officer (CEO) Craig Donaldson said.
Fund managers increase short positions against Metro Bank
Over the last four weeks, ENA Investment Capital and Marshall Wace have raised their short positions against Metro Bank by 0.10% to 2.62% and 0.11% to 2.04% respectively.
Odey Asset Management holds the largest short position against the challenger bank at 3.65%, with five fund managers holding a combined short holding of 10.22%.
Analysts mixed about Metro Bank’s share price
RBC reiterated its ‘sector performer’ rating for the stock in October and issued a price target of 370p a share – the most upbeat forecast the bank received.
Barclays Capital, meanwhile, reiterated its ‘underweight’ rating and issued a price target of 150p – the lowest estimate provided by the five investment banks covering the stock.
Based on Metro Bank closing at 221p on Tuesday, analysts believe the lender has potential downside of 32% and a possible upside of 67%.
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