Are Synchrony Financial’s Q4 Results Good Enough?

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Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF) reported its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Friday. The company posted $0.70 in earnings per share (EPS) and $4.35 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $0.63 in EPS on revenue of $3.96 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.70 and $3.63 billion in revenue.

During this quarter, the new tax law resulted in $160 million of additional tax expense, primarily due to the law’s reduction in the corporate tax rate that resulted in a remeasurement of net deferred tax asset.

In the quarter, loan receivables grew 7%, or $6 billion, from the same period of last year to $82 billion. Purchase volume also increased 3% from the fourth quarter of 2016 to $37 billion. Deposits grew about 9% to $4 billion in the same time.

Net charge-offs as a percentage of total average loan receivables were 5.78%, compared to 4.65% in the same period last year.

In terms of its sales platform the company reported:

  • Retail Card interest and fees on loans increased 8%, driven primarily by period-end loan receivables growth of 7%. Purchase volume and average active account growth was 3%. Loan receivables growth was broad-based across partner programs.
  • Payment Solutions interest and fees on loans increased 10%, driven primarily by period-end loan receivables growth of 8%. Purchase volume growth was 9%, adjusted to exclude the impact from the hhgregg bankruptcy, and average active account growth was 7%. Loan receivables growth was led by home furnishing and automotive.
  • CareCredit interest and fees on loans increased 8%, driven primarily by period-end loan receivables growth of 10%. Purchase volume and average active account growth was 8%. Loan receivables growth was led by dental and veterinary.

Margaret Keane, president and CEO of Synchrony Financial, commented:

Substantial progress was made on our strategic priorities not only in the fourth quarter, but throughout 2017. Our business continues to deliver organic growth, leveraging innovative marketing, promotions, and value propositions. We are making investments in our robust data, analytics and digital capabilities, further enhancing the experience of our partners and cardholders. And we are supporting our business with continued growth in our direct deposit platform. We accomplished all of this while maintaining a strong balance sheet and returning capital to shareholders through growth and the execution of our capital plan. Synchrony Financial continues to be well positioned for long-term growth and we look forward to driving further value for our partners, cardholders, and shareholders in 2018.

Shares of Synchrony traded up fractionally early Friday at $37.47, with a consensus analyst price target of $44.96 and a 52-week range of $26.01 to $40.17.