It is all a bit half speed today with the UK (and European markets) closed but there were a couple of stories that caught my attention. A couple of weeks ago I told Edward Bramson - who has taken an activist position towards Barclays (BARC) via his Sherborne Investors vehicle, to take a chill pill.
I have been a medium-term supporter of Barclays (BARC) shares, noting a couple of months ago that I thought the stock - with all the necessary caveats about the banking space - was cheap at around x0.6 tangible book and that the route to a higher share price may be if it 'pays a bit of respect to the activist on its shareholder books who is talking an interesting game about value creation'. It is the activist angle - and not another Barclays story (a judge discharging the jury in the trial of four former executives over the 2008 controversial global financial crisis Qatari fundraising) - that I turn back to today…
Despite a series of strong earnings announcements, it’s been a disappointing few months for holders of London-listed bank shares. Tip activity spiked in the banking sector this week, spurred on by third quarter results announced by Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) and Barclays (BARC) in recent days. This week, we take a look at recent tip activity in the sector, and see how tipster sentiment towards banking firms currently differs from brokers.
A year ago, I wrote a piece comparing and contrasting Lloyds Bank (LLOY) and the challenger financial Metro Bank (MTRO). Well that worked out well from a long-short perspective: Lloyds - with dividends - lost a touch whilst Metro Bank has absolutely bombed, down over £10 to under £25. I was thinking about Metro Bank again today as it came out with another set of numbers which showed more deposits, more lending, more profit...but still the shares are down 10% odd today. Why such further pain?
Hello Share Swingers. Barclays (BARC) has been a miserable share to hold. What progress there has been in recent years has been slow. And set-backs along the way have made things worse. I sold mine about two years ago and, as it's turned out, the money raised has been put to much more profitable use. The latest results do not raise my hopes much higher.
Not much has got me fired up so far this week looking at the various regulatory disclosures but I did notice an article in the newspaper that purports to be America's leading financial journal yesterday with the worrisome headline of 'Barclays Mulls U.S. Push as Activist Looms...Executives debate whether greater exposure to the U.S. retail market could both generate revenues and fund its U.S. operations more efficiently'…
I am being a bit disingenuous with the above title. Any investor with more than a decade's experience is well-primed to tell you various war stories about the evolving value of financial sector stocks particularly in times of strife. Banks are geared to the business and property cycle and any recent efforts to paper over this reality with yet another layer of compliance/regulation will not ultimately work.
Hello Share Ticklers. It’s been some time that I’ve suggested you look again at a British bank. But that doesn’t mean my general enthusiasm for the sector has gone away. In fact, it’s grown stronger - for two reasons.
Old Lawson may still be pursuing a ridiculous claim against me for libel, he noted this week that he had another meeting with his lawyers, but credit where credit is due, the old fool has nailed the shambles last week at Barclays (BARC) stockbrokers perfectly. And in a posting on the ShareSoc blog he gives advice on what to do if you have been jerked around. This is an example of the good work he can do when he is not distracted by falling in love with companies such as Globo. Over to Lawson:
For reasons that we do not need to go into a payment was made into my account which was actually monies belonging to FIML. As such I called my bank to transfer the five figure sum. I bank with Barclays Private Clients International Ltd, a truly premium service. For premium read shite!
Having had the run around from my Barclays team in Douglas, Isle of Man as I described on bearcast yesterday, I was advised to go to a Barclays branch in Bristol with two forms of ID to change its records of whom I worked for. As I had a dental appointment in town I walked to the main Barclays branch in central Bristol, at Broadmead, where the bastards then wasted another forty five minutes of my life with sheer incompetence.
Hello Share Pushers. Barclays Bank is one of those shares I’ve held for years and years and rather wish I didn’t. No sooner do I top up then another bombshell, usually to do with world economics, hits - and down the shares come again. Were it not for the divi, I might have gone round and lambasted a director or two.
Hello Share Scrummers. In my humble opinion, British banks are among the biggest bargains in Shareland at the mo. Though I was in two minds about foisting this opinion on you, as banks have a marvellous talent for letting us down. They’ve been doing that steadily since the big crashes of 2007 and 8. But I really do think the shares have been oversold since the result of the Brexit vote. They fell a heck of a lot. Without their failure, the Footsie which eventually rocketed on the decision to leave the EU, would have been near the elusive 7000 level by now.
Hello Share Trundlers. The real reason why Barclay’s (BARC) share price fell so sharply on its results is that the dividend was cut by more than a half. This whammy was compounded by the company’s forecast that this state of affairs would continue for a year or two.
I am meant to have a Premier account with Barclays (BARC) in the Isle of Man. Fear not I declare my net interest ( bugger all) each year as I keep sod all in the account. But this Premier service is dire and has tormented me for 24 hours.
This morning, Barclays (BARC) sacked its Chief Executive Antony Jenkins. In a ruthless move, spearheaded by Deputy Chairman Sir Michael Rake, it seems that Jenkins’ vision for the bank did not match the ambitions of the rest of the board. Jenkins wanted to scale back the company’s global investment banking arm, while the board wants to grow this arm aggressively in the pursuit of “profit improvement”. Barclays shares are up 3%, as of writing, at 259p. The market welcomes this move, but should investors follow suit?
Hello Share Stalkers. You may have gathered that I favour investing in the big British banks. My main reason is that they were great once, with yummy share values - and that even if we get half way back to the days of glory, our purchases now will be quids in later on.
Evidence started to emerge four weeks ago of a major problem with the nominee service used by clients of Barclays Stockbrokers, Barclayshare Nominees. There is now a strong suggestion that Barclayshare Nominees and Barclays Stockbrokers have disposed of clients’ physical stock without their permission. This is a shocking turn of events in the New World Oil & Gas (NEW) forward selling fiasco and points to an even graver flaw in the mechanics of the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market. Something like this should just not be possible, but the numbers appear telling.
Nominally I have a premium account with Barclays Wealth International in the Isle of Man. Given how most of its customers are multi-millionaire tax dodgers my tiny account (balance on Monday 90p because Darren forgot to pay me in full last month) must be a bit of an anomaly but still I am meant to get a premium service. If that is the case God help the rest of you with a “standard service”
Hello share twisters. The government is interfering with our banks again. They've launched yet another threat to the very fragile share prices of these very necessary institutions.
Writing on bank shares is a little like swimming with jelly fish; visibility is poor and you never know when you might get the next shock. In regard to that and Barclays (BARC), there is plenty of supporting evidence in the results for the nine months to 30 September 2014 in the shape of litigation fees, fines and so called one off provisions which often seem more serial than singular.
Barclays (BARC) revealed third quarter profits above forecasts today, at £1.59 billion, up 14% from the £1.39 billion last year. It wasn’t all good news however, as a Saudi businessman is suing the company for $10 billion in damages, and a £670 million pounds provision was made for rigging forex and PPI mis-selling.
Barclays (BARC) shares are trading at 224.95p on a PE which is hard to determine and a yield of 2.89%. Buy, sell or hold?
A week ago I published a review of the status of some of my tips I originally made a few months ago (here ). So how about some of the more recent names I have mentioned? I am happy to say that on balance I am, well ahead!
Bank results always come as a great compendium of numbers and statistics: too much for the everyday average brain to comprehend in any easily coherent way. They must even provide a great challenge for banking analysts who, poor devils specialise in this sort of copious material which floods out like the contents of Pandora’s famous box into a world of trouble. It is even worse now that readers are asked to consider three different versions of Barclays Bank (BARC); the one called “core”; the one called “non core” and an amalgam of the two. It is mind bending stuff.
These British banks are a bummer, aren’t they? Why can’t they do something positive for shareholders like us? The price just won’t rise. Even though they seemed to be out of the mire now. The trouble is nobody trusts them. So, though their price to earnings ratios are very low now, the big buyers are staying away.
Today, Barclays (BARC) announced plans to cut 19,000 jobs over three years. The stock was sharply higher this morning as investors bought the latest dip. The news has been well received, the question, however, is why has the stock been lagging the market since February 2013?
I have an unofficial rule that if an investment theme or a specific company appears three times in quick succession on the front page of the self-styled ‘World Business Newspaper’ (clue: its pages are pink) then whatever issue is being discussed is ‘in the market price’. It feels as if Barclays (BARC) has been on the front pages a lot recently following controversies on pay, management credibility, the future of its commodity unit, various fines and ‘discussions’ with different global regulatory authorities.
Hello Share Twiddlers: With your permission, gang, I'm going to look at banks again.
During the past five years, it has been difficult to feel any sympathy for the leading UK banks. This is even before we knew all the scandals such as Libor, or even had to swallow the implications of moral hazard in terms of the bailouts, or the unfettered immorality of awarding seven figure bonuses to the individuals working at loss-making entities.
Banking giant Barclays (BARC) today reported pretax profit of £2.85bn in the nine months to 30 September. Provisions for PPI and and impairment charges fell more than expected, at 11am the stock was up 3.1%. Today’s announcement will re-assure investors who must have been as depressed as the share price in recent months.
Hello Share Mates: As you probably know, Barclay's Bank (BARC) has launched a massive rights issue. They need loads of cash in reserve, just in case the whole credit crunch thingy happens again.
‘Helloo Balloo’ - to misquote Edward Lear I think - we have landed back in the future! It is Beethoven’s Ode to Joy combined with The Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and George Formby. An old normality and market convention has been restored to us in Barclay’s Bank (BARC) rights issue; that is to say institutional shareholders providing banking capital again - something that was scarcely thinkable a year ago!
Two seasons have arrived simultaneously: Spring, and the reporting season for Banks. The bank’s first quarter figures have been delivered along with some cheerful late arrived sunshine. In the real world of long delayed warmth and sun, things suddenly seem wonderfully natural and uncomplicated to the average, well adjusted, individual feeding his mossy lawn. Daffodils are daffodils and cherry blossom is cherry blossom. “Oh to be in England…etc.”
There are not many who would deny that it has been a decent price ride for Barclays (BARC) shares since last summer – ironically since we were treated to the Libor scandal that people already seem to have forgotten about.
Because the yield is too low for a bank (in historic terms), Barclays Bank (BARC)shares are clearly viewed by the market as a ‘momentum’ stock; the elementary investment principle being, that because the shares are going up, buy some more?
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