Banking group Nedbank saw its share price hit a 52-week high on Thursday, to close at R188.40 a share, following an even more bullish trading update that was published after markets closed a day earlier.
The stock closed 9.33% up on the JSE, buoying the banking sector with the “big four” banks all up on Thursday.
Nedbank surged the most, followed by Absa which was up 8.28%, while FirstRand was up 4.55% and Standard Bank 4.19%.
The banking sector was the top performer on the day, up 4.55%. However, the JSE All Share Index was down 0.76% at 68 371.
Almost 11 500 share trades in the Nedbank stock took place on Thursday, valued at over R826 million.
FirstRand also hit a 52-week high, closing at R57.50 a share.
The market’s reaction came after Nedbank said in its brief trading update it now has “reasonable certainty” that its headline earnings per share (Heps) for the six-month period ended June 30 2021 is expected to increase by between 145% and 150%, compared to the prior comparative period.
This would result in an Heps range of between 1 073 cents and 1 095 cents.
Nedbank added that basic earnings per share (EPS) for the interim period is now expected to increase by between 297% and 302%, compared to the prior comparative period (ending June 2020).
The EPS surge would result in a range of between 1 072 cents and 1 085 cents per share for the period.
Heps is the key profit measure in corporate South Africa.
Nedbank’s latest update follows a pre-close update issued on June 23 in which the bank announced that it expected Heps and basic EPS for the half-year to increase by more than 100% when compared to the prior comparative period.
“We are currently in our closed period and will release our results for the six months ended 30 June 2021 on the JSE Stock Exchange News Service on Wednesday, 11 August 2021,” the bank noted in its latest trading update.