Where Will Royal Bank of Canada Stock Be in 5 Years?

Royal Bank’s continued focus on a strong capital position plus its acquisition of HSBC will likely ensure prosperous times ahead.

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Over the years, Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY) has shown us why it’s one of Canada’s leading banks. But the current macro environment is fraught with risks, leaving us to question things, even this top bank. So, let’s try to determine where Royal Bank of Canada stock will be in five years.

It’s not an easy task, but here are some of the things for us to consider in our analysis.

A review of 2023

The past year has been a challenging one. A macro environment that was hit with negative trends with respect to employment, growth, inflation, and interest rates sure took a toll on banks like Royal Bank. This showed up as rising provisions for capital losses ($2.5 billion, up 23 basis points), a 6% decrease in net income, and liquidity issues in the U.S. regional bank industry.

This brought Royal Bank of Canada’s stock down 10% from its 2022 highs, and it has left the market feeling shaky and uncertain.

But the year was not without its strengths. One of these strengths was Royal Bank’s capital position, which remained robust. In fact, its common equity tier-one (CET1) ratio came in at 14.5%, up 190 basis points versus 2022.

Uncertainty remains as banks face challenges

While the first quarter of 2024 brought us data that points to a stronger macro environment looking ahead, it remains uncertain. For instance, interest rates have been higher for longer than most market observers expected. This has brought problems to the Canadian consumer, and as mortgages are repriced over the next few years, this will result in lower disposable income. Actually, this has already started.

The good news is that unemployment remains at historically high levels. An unemployment rate of 6% in Canada and 2% in the U.S. is helping the economy and the consumer remain pretty resilient. But this is now, and I think that we can all agree that the longer rates stay high, the greater the likelihood that we will start to see real cracks in the consumer and the economy.

It is a delicate balance between interest and inflation that the Feds are trying to manoeuvre within. If they reduce interest rates too quickly, inflation will come roaring back. In contrast, if they wait too long to reduce rates, the economy will be thrown into a recession.

Royal Bank’s purchase of HSBC

When we think about where Royal Bank of Canada stock will be in five years, we have to consider the bank’s acquisition of HSBC. It’s an acquisition that holds a lot of strategic and operational synergies. It holds the promise of significant value creation in the form of revenue and cost synergies.

The $13.5 billion purchase of HSBC’s domestic operations is expected to close this month. As per Royal Bank’s chief executive officer, this acquisition is expected to bring significant cost synergies to the tune of $740 million. This will be accompanied by a multitude of revenue synergies. For example, Royal Bank will bring HSBC customers better cash management products, a better suite of investment products, and a better selection of credit cards.

This transaction alone is a game changer for Royal Bank of Canada stock. In five years, I think we’ll see tremendous value added.

The bottom line

Royal Bank of Canada, like all banks, will likely feel pressure in the short to medium term as the economy works its way through higher rates and inflation. But as we have seen in the past, Royal Bank is maintaining its strong financial position. This means it will likely come out of this turmoil the healthy bank it always was. This, along with the new growth possibilities from the HSBC acquisition, positions Royal Bank of Canada stock very well. I think that in five years, Royal Bank of Canada stock will be looking good.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Karen Thomas has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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