2 ASX 200 bank shares smashing new multi-year highs today

Here we go again…

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Two ASX 200 bank shares have skyrocketed to multi-year high prices today amid an otherwise lacklustre day on the Australian share market.

National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) shares reached a nine-year high of $36.42 earlier today.

The Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN) share price also soared to its highest level in almost five years at $11.39.

Meantime, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is up 0.084% to 7,763.2 points at the time of writing.

There is no official news relating to either of these ASX 200 bank shares today. However, resetting price thresholds has been an ongoing trend among bank stocks in recent months.

All of the Big Four bank shares, along with Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) and Bendigo Bank, have hit multi-year peaks in 2024. The Bank of Queensland Ltd (ASX: BOQ) is the only underperformer.

Australia's biggest bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), reset its all-time high once again this week, reaching $127.99 per share on Tuesday.

All these price breakthroughs follow an extraordinary run of growth for ASX 200 bank shares that began in November 2023. That's when the market began talking about the prospect of interest rate cuts in 2024.

The chart below shows what's happened with ASX 200 bank shares since 1 November 2023.

Such a strong run of share price growth is quite unusual for ASX 200 bank shares.

Historically, bank stocks have been seen as better income investments than growth investments, with the exception of CBA and Macquarie. Check out how bank dividends have offset poor capital growth.

What do the brokers think of ASX 200 bank shares today?

Many experts think the ASX 200 bank shares have now overshot.

Goldman Sachs says some investors should consider locking in capital gains now. In a recent note, the broker said: " … we now think a more negative view on the banks is appropriate …".

The only Big Four ASX 200 bank share Goldman rates a buy is Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ), but it's already trading above the broker's 12-month price target of $28.15.

Dylan Evans from Catapult Wealth says ANZ shares are a hold for him, but says they're the "best value of the major banks" because they're trading on a more attractive price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio.

Let's compare P/Es as they stand now.

According to CommSec data:

  • Bank of Queensland shares have a P/E ratio of 10.74x
  • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank shares have a P/E ratio of 11.62x
  • ANZ shares have a P/E ratio of 12.62x
  • Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares have a P/E ratio of 13.74x
  • NAB shares have a P/E ratio of 15.4x
  • CBA shares have a P/E ratio of 21.83x
  • Macquarie shares have a P/E ratio of 25.04x

Curious about the outlook for the Westpac share price in FY25? Check out our article here.

Motley Fool contributor Bronwyn Allen has positions in Anz Group, Commonwealth Bank Of Australia, and Macquarie Group. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Goldman Sachs Group and Macquarie Group. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Bendigo And Adelaide Bank and Macquarie Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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