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AJ Bell was only supposed to blow the bloody doors off


Proactive Investors – AJ Bell PLC (LON:AJBA)’s interim results were “so far ahead of estimates that we made a moment of thinking that we were looking at the wrong company”, said gushing analysts at Panmure Gordon.

With revenues soaring 27% and assets under administration pumping up 13% to £85.8 billion, the trading and investment platform’s doors were “properly blown off”, analysts remarked, paraphrasing the fine words of Charlie Croker.

They continued: “The company continues to do all the right things, but some commentators prefer to argue about (interest) income, which is a bit odd.

“The approach to Hargreaves confirms our views of the value in the sector, and AJ Bell continues to offer that.”

Competitor Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HRGV) today received a low-ball takeover bid from a consortium that placed a paltry premium on the shares.

Hargreaves summarily dismissed the bid, but it nonetheless suggests a degree of headroom among investing platform share prices.

AJ Bell is currently trading at an 18.6 times forward price-to-earnings (PE) ratio under Panmure’s earnings projections for the 2025 financial year. Hargreaves is slightly cheaper at 16.2 times PE.

It doesn’t sound particularly cheap, particularly given these PE ratios following double-digit share price gains on both stocks.

That hasn’t stopped Panmure from slapping a buy rating on AJ Bell stock with a 488p price target.

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