00:56 GMT [Dow Jones] Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA.AU) share price is likely to respond well given market concerns in the run up to its second-half results, despite relatively weak underlying trends, Macquarie says. In early trade, the stock is up 0.3% at A$78.66 (US$60.48). The brokerage notes the second-half cash profit of A$4.65 billion was slightly below its forecast for A$4.7 billion, while its final dividend of A$2.22/share was in line with the consensus expectation. The bank’s cost growth was controlled and capotal generation was positive, while the bad-debt expense, while higher on-year, was better than anticipated, Macquarie said. It maintains an underperform call on the stock and a preference for Westpac (WBC.AU) and National Australia Bank (NAB.AU). (robb.stewart[a]wsj.com; Twitter: [a]RobbMStewart)
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