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Premier Oil PLC vs Tullow Oil plc: Which Best Complements BP plc & Royal Dutch Shell Plc?

oil rig

Its been an encouraging year-to-date for Premier Oil (LSE: PMO) with the oil producer seeing its share price rise by 9% since the turn of the year. This easily beats the flat performance of the FTSE 100 and is well ahead of the 16% decline in Tullow Oils (LSE: TLW) share price. However, does this mean that Tullow Oil is now a better value play than Premier Oil, or is Premier Oil still the best stock to complement Shell (LSE: RDSB) and BP (LSE: BP) in your portfolio?

Mixed Results

Todays results from Premier Oil were a mixed bag. While the company experienced a strong six months in terms of production levels, the bottom line was severely hit by impairment charges. These resulted from a review into the longer-term assumptions that the company uses when forecasting operating, maintenance and decommissioning costs. Their overall impact on costs was significant, with Premier Oils cost of sales increasing by 37%.

However, there was also a positive one-off item; namely a tax credit that, when taken together with the previously mentioned impairments, meant that the companys earnings per share (EPS) rose by 7.5%. The key message from the release, though, is that Premier Oils output is strong and the company has maintained its full year guidance.

Growth Potential

Looking ahead, Premier Oil appears to have huge potential. For instance, EPS is forecast to increase by a huge 27% this year, and by a highly impressive 12% next year. Both of these numbers are strong, but are dwarfed by Tullow Oils growth potential, with it due to deliver EPS growth of 52% in the current year and 59% next year.


Where Premier Oil offers more upside, though, is in terms of its current valuation. Shares in the company currently trade on a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of just 10.2, which highlights that there is significant scope for an upwards rating revision. Indeed, Tullow Oils P/E is a much higher 42.1, which shows that although it has a higher growth rate, Tullow Oils future potential could already be priced in.

Of course, when the growth rates and valuations are combined, both Premier Oil and Tullow Oil appear attractive. Their respective price to earnings growth (PEG) ratios are just 0.4 and 0.8. However, even on this metric, Premier Oil looks the more attractive of the two and seems to offer a highly potent mix of great value and strong growth prospects.

The Oil Majors

Clearly, the two oil majors Shell and BP also have huge potential as investments. They both offer top notch yields of 4.8% (BP) and 4.5% (Shell). Furthermore, they offer a diversity that neither Premier Oil or Tullow Oil are able to provide their investors, since BP and Shells balance sheet contain a wide range of high quality assets across the globe. So, while earnings growth may be higher at Premier Oil and Tullow Oil than it is at BP or Shell, the two majors still appear to offer investors a great deal moving forward.

In addition, both Shell and BP are attractively priced and trade on P/E ratios of just 11 and 10.1 respectively. As a result, both companies could be worth buying, with Premier Oil appearing to be the perfect complementary growth play for one or both of the oil majors.

Of course, there are other stocks and other sectors that could have bright futures. That’s why we’ve put together a free and without obligation guide to where we think the smart money is headed.

You can put the guide to use right away on your own portfolio. It could help you unearth a diamond in the dirt and find sectors and stocks that you wouldn’t normally have come across. As such, it could make a positive impact on your finances in 2014 and beyond.

Click here to access your copy – it’s completely free and comes without any further obligation.

Peter Stephens owns shares of BP and Royal Dutch Shell B. The Motley Fool UK has recommended shares in Tullow Oil.We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Can You Trust Wm. Morrison Supermarkets plc’s Management?

Morrisons(LSE: MRW) is facing acrisis as customers turn their back on the retailer in record numbers.

At times like this, shareholders look to management to provide a killer and drastic turnaround plan. However, Morrisons management has not come up with a plan to rescue the retailer.

As management continues to ignore the severity of the situation, tensions between investors and the company are rising.


Tensions between shareholders and management have been brewing for some time but came to a head earlier this year at the companys AGM. At the AGM, One of the companys largest shareholders,former chairman, and now Life President of the company, Sir Ken Morrison, blasted the companys current management.

The former chairman told the current board that the groups losses were disastrous and the company had failed to run its core supermarkets properly:

I personally thought they[the results]were disastrous. I warned in 2009 and 2012 that changes being implemented by directors would seriously damage the business [my comments] were absolutely right and today we have seen the consequences.

Out of touch

Its easy to see why Sir Ken is frustrated. Morrisons current management seems to be out of touch with the UKs changing retail landscape.

For example, the Bradford-based retailer has recently announced that it will extend opening hours to 6am to 11pm at 230 of its 490 shops. Morrisons claims that it is making this changeto meet the demands of modern life. However, the companys peers have all offered extended opening hours for years.Many Tesco and Asda supermarkets are open for 24 hours.

Whats more, Morrisons lags in the convenience store market.Tesco has more than 10 times as many convenience stores as Morrisons all of Tescos convenience stores offer extended opening hours and can open longer on Sundays.

Some progress

Nevertheless, management has made some progress recently. The company has cut prices andrebased its profit margin within the past few months. Still, analysts say that it could take six to 12 months before these lower prices boost trading.

Unfortunately, with profits falling and no turnaround in sight any time soon, Morrisons hefty dividend yield looks to be under threat. Indeed, a dividend yield of around 7.4% suggests to me that themarket does not think the payout is sustainable.

Further, the figures also suggest to me that the companys payout is set for the chop. Specifically, current City forecasts only expect Morrisons to report earnings per share of 12.1p for 2015, while the company is expecting to payout a dividend of 13.5p per share. These figures imply that Morrisons could be forced to either cut its payout or borrow to fund the dividend.

Cant be trusted

Its obvious that Morrisons management can no longer be trusted after making so many mistakes. So, perhaps its time for investors to hunt out better returns elsewhere.

Indeed, Morrisons’ dividend payout on the chopping block income investors will want to get out ahead of a possibly payout cut.

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Rupert Hargreaves owns shares of Morrisons and Tesco. The Motley Fool UK own shares of Tesco. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

4 Stocks That Offer Growth At A Great Price: ARM Holdings plc, Prudential plc, easyJet plc & Sports Direct International Plc


With the FTSE 100 recovering somewhat from its summer blues, it feels as though investors are in a more risk-on mood. Indeed, even the Bank of England is apparently starting to think that the UK economy is back on-track, with two of their committee voting in favour of interest rate rises this week.

Of course, growth stocks are out there, but they often come with a hefty price tag that means most (if not all) of their strong prospects are priced in. However, having scoured the FTSE 100, here are four top-quality growth prospects that dont cost a fortune.


The last month has seen shares in ARM (LSE: ARM) rise by 12%, which is hugely impressive. It still means, though, that they are down 14% year-to-date, but the company seems to be on the right track following an upbeat update. Indeed, ARM is forecast to post earnings per share (EPS) growth of 10% this year and 23% next year. With shares having fallen over the last year, they now trade on a lower price to earnings (P/E) ratio of 33.1. This is clearly a lot higher than the FTSE 100s P/E of 13.7, but when it is combined with a strong growth rate in earnings, it equates to a price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio of around 1.5. For a high-quality company such as ARM, this seems very reasonable.


Although the current year looks set to be something of a disappointment compared to recent years, Prudential (LSE: PRU) is still an attractive growth stock. Certainly, 5% growth in EPS (which is expected this year) is a fall from the 18% average of the last five years, but with the companys bottom line set to increase by 12% next year, it appears as though Prudential will quickly get back on-track. With shares currently trading on a P/E of just 14.8, this equates to a PEG ratio of 1.2, which remains very enticing indeed.


Despite the price of oil fluctuating wildly, EasyJet (LSE: EZJ) is able to remain remarkably consistent when it comes to earnings growth. Thats why the last four years have seen the company post positive growth, while the next two are expected to continue that trend, as the companys bottom line is due to increase by 12% in both years. Furthermore, EasyJet has a low valuation as well as strong, reliable growth prospects. Shares in the company trade on a P/E of just 11.8, which equates to a PEG ratio of just under the sweet-spot of 1.0. This makes EasyJet hugely appealing right now.

Sports Direct

With UK interest rates set to stay low for a good while, Sports Direct (LSE: SPD) seems to be well-placed to take advantage of buoyant consumer spending. The company is forecast to deliver yet more double-digit earnings growth over the next two years, with the bottom line due to increase by 23% this year and by 18% next year. Although it trades at a substantial premium to the FTSE 100s P/E (18.4 versus 13.7 for the wider index), its strong growth potential mean that a PEG ratio of less than 1 is on offer. Therefore, alongside ARM, Prudential and EasyJet, Sports Direct seems to be a stock that offers growth at a great price.

Of course, they aren’t the only companies that could have bright futures. That’s why we’ve put together a free and without obligation guide to 5 shares that could beat the FTSE 100.

These 5 companies offer a potent mix of exciting future prospects and great valuations. As such, they could make a positive contribution to your portfolio and mean that 2014 and beyond are even better years for your investments.

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

Once Again, The FTSE 100 Shows Why You Should Never Time Markets

stock exchangeOne of the most important investment lessons you will learn is that you cant time the market. Unfortunately, too many investors think theyre an exception to this rule, especially in the early years of investing.

Some people time marketsfor a career. Fund managers are forever issuing notes explaining why now is the time to buy, say, technology start-ups, defensive blue-chips, emerging market debt or German bunds.

Many private investors do it out of fear. A few more bombs go off in the Middle East, the Baltic Dry Index flashes red, or US central bankers hint at a base rate hike, and they sell in advance of the anticipated crash.

Sometimes they get it right. Usually not, though.

Nine Times Loser

The law of averages suggest you should time the market correctly at least half the time, but for some reason it doesnt work that way.

Whenever I tried timing the market, I called it wrong around nine times out of 10. It seemed to take delight in doing exactly what I didnt want it to do.

The stock market is a proud and capricious beast. It doesnt like people trying to second-guess its movements.

So please, dont try.

Dont Kid Yourself

Here at the Fool, we are tough on market timing, tough on the causes of market timing.

The causes are naivety (I know whats going to happen next), short-termist thinking (Ill make a quick buck) and vanity (Im clever enough to call this right even though no-one else can).

The result is usually failure.

Yes, some people get it right, but they are the exception rather than the rule, and thats why we remember them.

Few repeat the trick.

Timing Isnt On Your Side

The last week has confirmed, once again, that trying to time the market is a mugs game. At the start of last week, the FTSE 100 seemed primed for the long-awaited correction.

The march of Isis, bloodshed in Gaza, confrontation in Ukraine, deflation in Europe and slowing earnings in the US could only mean one thing: trouble.

Everybody agreed on that. Then, with the FTSE 100 down almost 5% on its year-high of 6878, a strange thing happened. It delivered five consecutive days of growth instead.

Isis, Gaza, Ukraine, Europe and the US hadnt gone away, but sentiment had shifted. A few bombs from the US, a few slightly soothing gestures from Vladimir Putin, dovish words from the Fed, and all was right with the investment world.

One day, everybody is sad and scared. The next, theyre happy and free. Nothing much changed in between.

Nobody could have foreseen that.

Hindsight Is Better Than Foresight

You cant predict the next market movement, but you can take advantage of movements that have already happened.

The FTSE 250is currently down 6% from its year-high of 16,728. It yields 2.6%, and is valued at 18.4 times earnings. The index may fall further, it may climb higher, nobody knows.

The only thing you can say for certain is that you are buying the index 6% cheaper than in February. It doesnt take mystical foresight to seethat.

If it subsequently falls another 5%, well, you can always buy more.

Time, Not Timing

Or you could buy a FTSE 100 tracker, also tempting, with the index trading at an attractive valuation of 13.6 times earnings, and yielding 3.43%.

Then all you have to do is hold it for the long term. Eventually, stock markets will be much higher than they are today, and you will make money.

Naturally, I cant tell you when that will be. You just have to give it time.

You can’t time your investments, but you can choose the right stocks. At the Motley Fool, we reckon we have uncovered The UK’s Top Growth Stock for 2014 And Beyond. This company looks set to offer Super-Charged Returns To Investors. To find out which stock we rate so highly, Click Here Now.

Harvey Jones 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.

Leni Gas & Oil PLC Targets Completion Of Latest Drill Site For Production

Leni Gas & Oil (LSE: LGO), the Trinidad-focused oil explorer, declared that the fifth of its planned development wells at the Goudron field has been successfully drilled to a depth of 1,946 feet. Well GY-668, which was successfully spudded earlier this month, intersected 191 feet of net oil play in the Goudron Sandstones.

oilIt is the fourth and final well at the drill site. Neil Ritson, LGOs chief executive, said: We are continuing to deliver a successful drilling programme at Goudron and are now looking forward to completing these four wells for production.

The well is preparing to drill to the primary Gros Morne sandstone oil target expected at approximately 2,150 feet TVD (true vertical depth). The bottom hole location is approximately 680 feet west of the drills surface location.

In separate news, Leni Gas also confirmed that construction of a new 2,000 barrell sales tank has been completed, which will be installed adjacent to two sales tanks at the Goudron Field, increasing the total daily export capacity to approximately 2,750 barrels of oil per day.

Shares of Leni Gas and Oil remained flat (at 3.5p) in early trade. The shares have soared 375% year to date.

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Mark Stones 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.

Why Did Quindell PLC Results Fail To Ignite The Firm’s Share Price?

quindellOn the face of it, there was a lot to like in this mornings interim results from Quindell (LSE: QPP).

Sales up 118% to 364.2m.

Pre-tax profits up 292% to 153.7m.

Cash generation of 220m.

To top it all off, Quindell share trade on a crazily low 2014 forecast P/E of just 3.5!

So why did Quindells share price fall steadily when the markets opened?

Profitable claims

Lets start with a closer look at Quindells profits. During the first half of this year, Quindell reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 156m.

Of this, 101m (65%) came from Quindells Legal Services division, which handles compensation claims, while a further 14.2m (9.1%) came from its Health Services operations, most of which are linked to the personal injury claims handled by Quindells legal services division.

In other words, 74% of Quindells profits were derived from compensation claims during the first half of this year, making it clear that this is currently Quindells main line of business. This is a cause for concern for some investors, who question its sustainability.

Telematics profits

The remainder of the firms profits came from its Digital Services division, which includes the firms motor insurance telematics business, where EBITDA rose by 250% compared to the same period last year.

However, Quindell didnt address recent concerns about its large telematics deal with the RAC, instead simply stating that certain contracts are being restructured another warning flag.

What about cash generation?

Quindell has been criticised for its lack of cash generation in the past, and seems to be working hard to fix this.

Cash generation during the first half was 220m, which the firm says represents 80% of receivables at the end of 2013, excluding noise-induced hearing loss cases, which are a new growth area this year.

However, despite improved cash generation, the influx of new business seen during the first half means that Quindells receivables rose to 560m at the end of June, up by 71% from 327m at the end of 2013.

Quindell said today that it has never written down any significant amount of receivables, but such a large increase may raise concerns that not all of this money will be recoverable.

Should you buy it?

The problem for Quindell is that the market just isnt buying the firms story, despite the apparent progress signalled in todays results.

Going against such a distressed valuation takes a strong nerve.

The eventual profits could be massive, but Quindell shares could also become worthless, if the firm’s detractors are proved to be correct.

It’s a personal decision — but if you’re still unsure, I’d recommend a look at Ten Steps To Making A Million In The Markets, an exclusive wealth report from the Motley Fool, which sets out a simple 10-step process that could help you build a million-pound portfolio with surprising speed.

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Roland Head 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.

Why PV Crystalox Solar PLC has Slumped Today

Although we dont believe in timing the market or panicking over every stock fluctuation, understanding how a business is performing, competing and changing is vital to sensible investment.

solarWhat: The share price of PV Crystalox Solar (LSE: PVCS) a leading supplier of photovaltaic (PV) silicon wafers is currently down 12%, following release of its interim results for the first half of 2014. The company reported a first half loss of6.9m, compared with the profit of1.3m that it made in H1 2013.

Net cash fell to35.4m by 30 June 2014, down from39.2m on31 December 2013. However, Crystaloxsays that8.7m willbe received in September 2014, following court approval of a settlement with a customer with whom ithad along-term agreement to supply wafers at prices thatare now considerably above current market level. Two other customers with whomCrystalox had similar agreementshave entered insolvency, butclaims had been registered with the respective administrators.

So What: The loss was attributed to the continuing challenging PV market conditions, and the company also saidthat there was oversupply, due to weaker demand in China during the first half.Crystalox also commented that the resumption of international trade disputes had resulted in prices being driven below industry production cost, with wafer prices falling back tomid-2013 levels.

What Now: Despite the poor results, CEO Iain Dorrity said thatshipment volumes had actually increased group shipments reached 99MW during H1 2014, up 18% on the same period last year and that there were strengthened customer relationships in both Taiwan and Europe.

However, the company saysthat itremains cautious and, given theunfavourable market pricings it will bemaintaining its cash conservation strategy and will restricting production levels to around 30% of operating capacity.

Despite this mornings slump,Crystaloxs share price is still up 21% since the start of 2014, compared with a flat FTSE All-Share. Butthat will be little consolation for longer-term shareholders over the past five yearsCrystaloxs share price has collapsed by over90%, whereas the All-Share index is up 45% over the same period.

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Jon Wallis 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.

Could Kazakhmys plc Oust Rio Tinto plc From Your Portfolio?


Its been a good year for investors in Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ), with the copper and gold-focused mining company seeing its share price rise by an impressive 39% since the start of the year. This is a much better performance than the FTSE 100, which is flat over the same time period, while sector peer Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO) (NYSE: RIO.US) is up just 1% year-to-date. Does this mean, though, that Kazakhmys now has a better outlook than Rio Tinto and, as such, is a better buy than its sector peer?

Mixed Results

Todays results from Kazakhmys were mixed. On the one hand, the company is making encouraging progress with its new strategy that will see several non-core assets sold in order to make the business leaner, meaner and (potentially) more profitable. The strategy seems to be a sound one: Kazakhmys intends to sell-off mines that are relatively unprofitable, in favour of lower cost and larger mines.

On the other hand, Kazakhmys is experiencing disappointing short term output numbers, with the company now stating that the current years production levels are likely to be below previous guidance. This is perhaps to be expected when a company is going through such major changes, but is nevertheless disappointing for shareholders in the meantime, since market sentiment (which has been buoyant of late) is likely to dissipate to some degree.

Looking Ahead

Clearly, the longer-term future looks bright for Kazakhmys. It will focus on copper production and is forecast to increase earnings per share (EPS) by a whopping 106% this year and an even better 122% next year. Of course, previous years were highly challenging for Kazakhmys, with earnings falling by 89% last year, for instance, but the company seems to be back on-track and, with its new strategy, could deliver positive numbers moving forward.

Rio Tinto

While Rio Tinto doesnt have the same forecast growth rate, its focus on iron ore also makes it a highly cyclical play. For instance, while 2013 saw earnings increase by 10%, they had fallen by 38% in the prior year. So, while its bottom line is less volatile than that of Kazakhmys, Rio Tinto remains a company with profits that are likely to fluctuate. Looking ahead, its EPS is expected to fall by 6% this year and rise by 8% in 2015, a rate of growth that is considerably behind that of Kazakhmys.


On the face of it, Kazakhmys looks expensive. It trades on a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of 61.7, for instance. However, when its forecast growth rate is taken into account, the company has a price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.6, which is hugely attractive. Indeed, even if it misses growth forecasts by a considerable amount, its PEG ratio should remain below the key 1.0 level, thereby offering a considerable margin of safety at current price levels.

Meanwhile, Rio Tinto is far cheaper than its peer, with it having a P/E of just 11.1. However, its PEG ratio is a much higher (although still fairly attractive) 1.4. As a result, while far riskier, Kazakhmys could prove to be a strong performer and could outperform Rio Tinto in future. That said, both companies seem to complement each other well and offer a potent mix of value and growth potential.

Of course, mining isn’t the only sector with huge potential. That’s why we’ve put together a free and without obligation guide to where we think the smart money is headed in 2014 and beyond.

The guide is simple, straightforward and you can put it to use on your portfolio right away. It could help you to uncover a number of hidden gems and make the next few years even more prosperous ones for your investments.

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Peter Stephens owns shares of Kazakhmys. 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.

Why Shares In OILEX LTD. (UK) Spiked Today

Although we dont believe in timing the market or panicking over every stock fluctuation, understanding how a business is performing, competing and changing is vital to sensible investment.

What: Shares in Oilex (LSE: OEX) saw another +10% rise in early trade this morning, after issuing a positive update on itsCambay-77H wellin the Indian state of Gujarat.

oil rigSo what: While business as normal was reported in recovering light oil and frac fluids, preliminaryanalysis of the water encountered during the flow-back operationsshowingthatitis consistent with frac water and not formation water was received warmly by the company and investors alike, as its a strong sign that the well will be a strong performer.

Furthermore, the oil that has been recovered has the appearance of other high-quality Cambay crude oils, and is being transported to a nearby refinery for sale, where it attracts a price similar to Bonny Light crude oil. Oilex managing director Ron Miller commented: It is a nice sweetener to continue production of crude oil which sells for an attractive price during flow-back and clean-up as some North American wells only flow water during early clean-up.

Now what:Trading at just shy of10p this morning, its easy to see how far the shares havecome in the last month or two,especially in comparison to its price of 4p as recent as the beginning of May this year. However, the price has been volatile recently, with peaks and troughs alike resulting from news coming from this one well alone, and Ron Miller did cite some caution in the update, stating: As the first well of this type in the Cambay Basin to flow-back and clean-up, it is not unexpected for some remedial work as part of those operations. My advice is for investors to be cautious at this stage, too.

Whether you think Oilex has further to run is down to you. But if you’re looking for a growth share with excellent prospects AND pays a dividend, then you really need to read our latest specialFREEreport, “The Motley Fool’s Top Growth Share For 2014“.

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Sam Robson 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.

The Benefits Of Investing In Lloyds Banking Group PLC

Today I am outlining why Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) (NYSE: LYG.US) could be considered an attractive addition to any stocks portfolio.

Margins on the march

One of the most encouraging points of Lloyds interims last month was the confirmation that the net interest margin (NIM) continues to steadily ascend. The bank saw margins improve to 2.4% during the first half of the year, up from 2.23% in the prior six-month period and versus 2.01% at the same point in 2013.

The result prompted the firm to lift its full-year guidance 16 basis points from the start of the 2013, to 2.45%, marking a terrific omen for future income. Indeed, Lloyds stunning NIM recovery exacerbated by strong growth in critical customer sectors helped to drive net interest income 12% higher during January-June to 5.8bn.

And with the UK economic recovery continuing to click through the gears, I expect Lloyds lending activity to keep on heading higher.

Restructuring work still paying dividends

On top of bubbly activity in the front of store, Lloyds Simplification expense-slashing package is still delivering out the goods in the back.

Excluding the effects of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the institution saw underlying costs duck 6% lower during the first half to 4.68bn during the first half of the year. The business has pulled up trees in order to simplify processes, increase automation and slash the employee base, prompted by its desire to create a less risky and more High Street-focussed entity.Lloyds

The scheme is now in its third and final year, and run-rate savings from the strategy have exceeded target and now stand at 1.8bn per annum, a figure which Lloyds believes will hit 2bn by the close of the year.

In addition to this, Lloyds ongoing asset-shedding scheme has also boosted the cost profile of the business. Most notably, the firm part-floated TSB Banking Group in June with full divestment is pencilled in by the close of 2015 while other sales include that of St James Place during the past year as well as a variety of overseas operations.

These measures have done wonders for the firms capital position, and Lloyds fully-loaded common equity tier 1 ratio rose to 11.1% during the first half of 2014 from 10.3% as of the end of last year. Given this backdrop, I believe that investors can look forward to bubbly dividends being doled out once the regulatory nod is given in coming months, as is widely expected.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool 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.

Femi Ogunshakin Managing Director
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