Although the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) hit its most recent all-time high just last week, this week has brought the ASX’s flagship index back to earth. Since reaching the current high watermark of 7,632.8 points last week, the ASX 200 has since given up more than 2%. It is currently sitting at 7,462 points, having lost 0.53% this Thursday so far. But with the Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) share price, we have a rather different story today.
Macquarie has today hit a new all-time high. This ASX bank started the trading day at $162.97 a share, but rose all the way up to $165.35 by afternoon trading – the company’s new all-time high. As it stands at the time of writing, Macquarie has retreated slightly, going for $165.08, up 0.88% for the day.
So with the ASX 200 going backwards today, what’s pushing Macquarie higher?
How are the other ASX banks looking today?
Well, it’s not a sector-wide move in ASX bank shares, that’s for sure. In contrast to Macquarie, the big four major banks are all either flat or down today. As it stands presently, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) is currently trading for $99.55 a share, down 0.22%. The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is flat at $25.81. National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) is down 0.5% to $27.49 a share. And Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ASX: ANZ) has lost 0.14% to $28.43.
Yet the Macquarie share price is up. What’s going on?
Well, it’s not immediately clear. There’s not even a recent earnings report we can point to. Unlike the vast majority of ASX 200 shares, Macquarie reported its FY21 earnings back in May. Its next appointment with investors is in October. However, there could be another factor at play here. Last week was an especially strong week for ASX bank shares. This was sparked by CBA releasing its own FY21 earnings report on Wednesday.
Whilst announcing a big surge in earnings and profits, CBA also announced a large dividend increase, as well as a $6 billion share buyback program. This resulted in ASX bank shares exploding, with CBA rising to a new all-time high of $109.03 soon after. All four of the major banks, as well as Macquarie, had robust weeks last week. And while the majors have since experienced share price pullbacks this week, Macquarie has been left out in the… heat (for want of a better expression).
Brokers choose Macquarie shares over CBA
CBA has lost more than 6% over the past 5 trading days, yet Macquarie shares have gained 0.71%. It is worth noting the CBA went ex-dividend on Tuesday, but even so, the share price loss over this period extends beyond the value of this dividend.
This may be the result of a more favourable position from brokers on Macquarie than on CBA and some of the other major banks. As my Fool colleague James covered earlier this month, broker Morgans has Macquarie as an ‘add’, with a 12-month share price target of $172.30 a share. That implies a potential upside of around 4.5% on current pricing. In contrast, CBA shares have been recently rated as a ‘sell’ by fellow broker Credit Suisse.