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Are AMP Limited shares headed higher?

The financial year ending June 2016 hasn’t been a complete disaster for shareholders in diversified wealth company AMP Limited (ASX: AMP), however it certainly hasn’t been great.

While the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is set to finish the 2016 financial year (FY) down around 4%, AMP’s shareholders are looking at a decline of approximately 14%.

So what caused AMP’s share price to fall over the past 12 months?

While there is no single factor that is easily identifiable, there are two periods which account for much of the decline in AMP’s share price.

The first period was in August 2015 around the time of the group’s interim results. While the half yearly profit result showed year-on-year growth, the market appeared to be unenthusiastic about the group’s outlook for the full year (AMP operates on a calendar year basis).

The second period of share price weakness occurred in early May 2016 when AMP released its first quarter numbers. The announcement noted that the Australian wealth protection business was continuing to be impacted by “claims experience losses” coupled with a significant softening in net cashflows in its Australian wealth management business.

With AMP not releasing its full year results until early 2017, expectations surrounding AMP’s full year profit results will remain the focus through the rest of calendar year 2016.

According to analyst consensus data provided by CommSec, the group is forecast to earn 39.5 cents per share in the current year. With the share price trading at $5.16 – which is near its 52-week low of $4.89 – the implied price-to-earnings (PE) ratio is just 13 times.

This multiple is below AMP’s long-term PE average and could suggest that the next six months may see some upside for AMP shareholders.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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