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Plus500 hikes dividend on trading surge

However, the spread-betting specialist expects a return to normal later this year
Plus500 hikes dividend on trading surge

An extraordinary level of market volatility during the second quarter meant Plus500 (PLUS) joined peers in reporting a surge in trading activity during the first six months of the year. A more than five-fold increase in net profit led to a sharp rise in the half-year dividend and the spread-betting specialist has committed to buy back a further $67.3m (£51m) in shares.

IC TIP: Hold at 1351p

However, while income since the end of June remains above the same time last year, management expects that to normalise throughout the remainder of the year. That is unsurprising given the heightened level of customer churn during the second quarter, equivalent to a rate of 23 per cent, as new customers attempted to take advantage of extreme market movements. The sharp increase in new customer numbers, which more than trebled over the first half, also helped bring down the average user acquisition cost by 41 per cent, although that is expected to rise as the year progresses.

Consensus forecast earnings per share for 2020 stand at 241p, falling to 133p next year.

PLUS500 (PLUS)    
ORD PRICE:1,351pMARKET VALUE:£ 1.43bn
TOUCH:1,349-1,351p12-MONTH HIGH:1,470pLOW: 571p
DIVIDEND YIELD:7.2%PE RATIO:5
NET ASSET VALUE:495cNET CASH:£585m
Half-year to 30 JunTurnover ($m)Pre-tax profit ($m)Earnings per share (c)Dividend per share (c)
201914863.94527.34
202056436329895.31
% change+281+468+562+249
Ex-div:20 Aug   
Payment:11 Nov   
£1=$1.33