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3 financial firecrackers? Lloyds Banking Group plc, Legal & General Group plc and Jupiter Fund Management plc

Today I’m running the rule over three of the Footsie’s financial giants.

Bank bothers

Concerns over what Brexit Britain will look like has naturally weighed heavily on banks like Lloyds (LSE: LLOY) in recent days.

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The boffins at UBS recently described the banking sector as one of the most vulnerable equity sectors in the post-EU world, with the likes of Lloyds likely to be “hit by lower growth, consumer confidence [and] exposure to commercial and residential real-estate.” The latter area is likely to struggle as company headquarters switch location and immigration flows slow.

I’ve previously been bullish on Lloyds, the firm’s vast exposure to the robust UK retail sector — allied with its low exposure to weak commodity markets and shaking emerging territories — making it a preferred pick compared to many of its London-quoted rivals.

But Britain’s decision to jettison itself from the EU has changed the game, and I believe Lloyds may be set for prolonged earnings troubles.

An ultra-low forward P/E rating of 7.5 times may be tempting for many, as will a chunky 7.7% dividend yield. But for time being, I reckon risk-averse stock pickers should resist piling-into Lloyds.

Financial fears

Life insurance giant Legal & General (LSE: LGEN) also faces an uncertain future following last week’s referendum results.

Naturally, Legal & General’s vast exposure to the UK could create massive problems as Britain’s separation from the continent intensifies. In particular, Legal & General’s huge asset management operations could come under pressure should Brexit concerns prompt fund outflows to accelerate.

But for many, Legal & General’s rising global footprint makes it better protected than many of its peers. Indeed, the company is the world’s 15th largest asset manager, and is steadily expanding around the manufacturing hubs of the US and Asia, as well as at home.

Like Lloyds, Legal & General offers decent value on paper, the business dealing on a prospective earnings multiple of 9.3 times, and offering a vast 7.6% payout yield. But a bumpy outlook across the business could see many investors elect to sit on the sidelines.

Out of this world?

Like Legal & General, Jupiter Fund Management (LSE: JUP) faces the same problem of evaporating investor confidence on business flows in the weeks and months ahead.

Jupiter’s emerging market focus may leave it better protected than many of its industry rivals, the expectation of explosive GDP growth rates in the coming years allowing it to traverse the worst of the wide-scale risk-aversion denting the asset management segment.

But the potential impact of Brexit on the entire global economy — allied with existing fears over cooling Asian economies — could still put extreme pressure on Jupiter in the near term and beyond.

A forward P/E rating of 13.3 times may be a tad toppy given the firm’s high risk profile, although a dividend yield of 6.2% isn’t too shabby on paper. Regardless, I reckon investors should adopt a wait-and-see approach rather than piling-into Jupiter just yet.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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