Are Lloyds shares still a buy despite falling profits?

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The next few weeks are set to see businesses update investors with their latest results. And with the way 2022 has played out, it’s no surprise some firms have been posting sub-par results. With this in mind, I’m keeping an eye on Lloyds (LSE: LLOY) shares.

It’s been a tough year for the business. The grim economic outlook has seen its share price fall by 14% in 2022. Across the last 12 months, it’s down a slightly more respectable 12%.

However, with the stock currently trading for around 43p, I think now would be a good time to add it to my portfolio. Here’s why.

Lloyds profits slide

It hasn’t been the smoothest ride for long-term Lloyds shareholders. And yesterday this continued as the bank announced that its pre-tax profits for Q3 fell by over 25% to £1.5bn.

The fall was largely pinned to provisions for bad debts and loan losses. And with these jumping to £668m, this indicates that Lloyds is protecting itself against customers who may default on payments in the future.

The release saw the Lloyds share price slip in the early hours of the morning. That said, it recovered to finish yesterday slightly up.

Silver lining

The large drop in profits clearly isn’t what Lloyds shareholders wanted to hear. But it’s not all bad news. One major positive was the 13% rise in net income due to rising interest rates. With rates in the UK currently sat at 2.25%, this has allowed the firm to charge customers more when they borrow from the bank. With this, Lloyds was also able to increase its net interest margins.

As inflation continues to soar and show no signs of slowing down as we head into 2023, there have also been predictions that rates could be hiked to as high as 4% in the months and years ahead. Going forward, this will continue to provide a boost for Lloyds.

What I also like about Lloyds is the passive income stream I can create by buying the stock. With a FTSE 100 average-beating 5% dividend yield, the stock seems like a smart play in current times. Its low price-to-earnings ratio of seven is also an attractive factor.

Housing market slowdown

Lloyds also gave a bleak prediction for the future state of the UK housing market. And as of one the largest mortgage lenders, this may spell trouble for the business. It predicted that UK house prices will fall by 8% next year, followed by a long period of stagnation.

However, this could be offset by its new rental venture, Citra Living, and it has predicted that demand is set to increase across the next five years.

Why I’d buy

There’s no doubt in my mind that Lloyds shares will be a slow burner. However, as a Fool, a long-term approach to investing doesn’t faze me. The short term may be volatile for the business as the UK braces itself for a tough year ahead. However, with the bank set to benefit from rising interest rates, along with its substantial dividend yield, I think the stock is a smart buy. While I don’t have any spare cash right now, if I did, I’d happily buy Lloyds shares at their current price.

The post Are Lloyds shares still a buy despite falling profits? appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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Charlie Keough has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Lloyds Banking Group. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.