1058 GMT - UniCredit is among the most mentioned companies across news items over the past 12 hours, according to Factiva data, after the Italian bank said it plans to distribute EUR5.25 billion to shareholders in the coming months following a swing to profit in the fourth quarter. The distribution will consist of a EUR1.91 billion cash dividend and a share buyback of EUR3.34 billion, the company said. The cash dividend as well as the buyback are above U.S. bank Citi's forecasts of EUR1.7 billion and EUR2.1 billion respectively, analyst Azurra Guelfi says in a note to clients. The better-than-expected shareholder returns are due to a return to profitability that also beat consensus forecasts, as net interest income got a boost from higher interest rates and the bank's efforts to rein in costs. UniCredit said net profit came in at EUR2.46 billion for the quarter compared with a loss of EUR883 million in the year-earlier period, and against FactSet-provided consensus expectations of EUR1.16 billion. Dow Jones & Co. owns Factiva. (christian.moess@wsj.com)

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 31, 2023 06:13 ET (11:13 GMT)

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