HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland were among a group of five banks that were fined for fixing foreign exchange markets, it emerged on12 November. The total bill stood at 3.2bn.
Barclays was not included, yet its stock was the worst performer in the peer group that Wednesday. It also lost 1% in the previousfive trading sessions. The shares ofStandard Charteredoutperformed those of Barclays both on the day and during last week.
By comparison, the shares ofHBSC rose by 1.4%, while those of RBS were essentially flat in the last five trading sessions.
Barclays: When GoodNews IsBad News
At 232p, the shares of Barclays do not trade on fundamentals. You should pay little attention to trading multiples read the news instead.
Barclays surged 8% to 240.8p on October 31, when regulators said it would take longer for banks to lower their leverage ratios.Good news is it, really, for investors hunting for value? came only a couple of days after the bank reported interim results, which were not too bad, but failed to impress the market and left the stock virtually unchanged at 223p.Barclays stock has lost about 4% of value since October 31.
Admittedly, interim results were encouraging. This is notgood news, however.
In fact, Barclays will eventually disappoint investors, simply because estimates for earnings growth are unrealistic. If the stock doesnt surge when the bank beats estimate, well, would you imagine what could be the outcomewhen and if Barclays disappoints investors?
Just one bad trading update may push the shares down 5% to 10%. No matter how the banks core business is doing, or how the bank will perform in the next few quarters: the spotlight is on litigation and regulatory risks, both of which weigh heavily on the stock, but are not properly priced into the stock. For these reasons, Id consider a Barclays investment only below 200p.
Standard Chartered: On A Wing And A Prayer
The shares of Standard Chartered trade at multi-year lows, but this doesnt mean they are cheap. The bulls argue that based on several trading metrics Standard Chartered stock offers terrific value at 957p, where it currently trades, but Id point out that anybody willing to buy the banks shares would bet on relentless cost-cutting all the way through 2016. Moreover, Id add that improvement in capital ratios is unlikely, while additional profit warnings should not be ruled out.
The bank has struggled to deliver value in recent times because growth in emerging markets is hard to achieve. Looking ahead, capital ratios may come under more strain. Management isnt liked very much by investors, either although changes are taking place.The shares of Standard Chartered have not bottomed out.Quite simply, its shares would be a risky cyclical buy at the wrong time in the business cycle.
The Perfect Buy Is Not Standard Chartered
Looking tobuy cheap stuff offering high value? Then, our research will help you find the perfect buy outside the banking industry, which I believe is too risky at this point in time.
We strongly suggest you consider threestocks that have the potential to reward you with a 10% to 20% pre-tax return in 2015, excluding dividends. These three companies have different risk profiles, but they are similarly cheap right now.
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Alessandro Pasetti 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.