At 83.17p, the stock hovers around its five-year highs (price as of 13.40 BST).
A Clean Bank
I have been bearish on Lloyds for a long time, but theres something I really liked today in its quarterly update: it looks like Lloyds could be on the verge of becoming a good bank, one with a clean balance sheet.
One swallow does not a summer make, but if the bank can confirm these trends by reporting healthy financials in future, it could certainly surprise many bears in the market.
At a time when most banks have to set aside more capital to cover hefty losses related to litigation and similar affairs just as Royal Bank Of Scotland and Barclays showed this week a brave investor could stick its neck out and bet on a price target of between 90p and 100p a share.
Last time Lloyds hit those levels was at the end of 2008, soon after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. So,was I wrong?
A Message For The Bears
Of course, the 7.4% surge in its stock price at the time of writing was unexpected, and I do not believe its current valuation is sustainable, but since its rivals have been under pressure this week, while Lloyds is rising high to its record for the past five years, it certainly needs more consideration its financials suggest so, at the very least.
Net income margin is improving, earnings per share are growing, return on equity is comfortably in the mid-teens, and core capital ratios have risen.
Furthermore, its underlying profit at about 2.2bn rose 20% compared to the first quarter of 2014, while its economic performance was hit to the tune of660m, a loss that was widely expected and was due to the de-consolidation of TSB.
Too Good To Be True?
We’ll see who’s right in the end!
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