Barclays (NYSE:BCS) is a major global financial services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.
Barclays shares have been range-bound during 2013 and seem to be still floating in the same range during the first quarter in 2014. With an improving global and European economy, I believe Barclays should see share price appreciate in the future. Earlier in December of 2013, the BBC indicated that it expected that the UK's GDP is now expected to grow to 2.7%, an increase from the previous predication of 2.2%.
Below are some strong reasons to consider buying/adding BCS:
- Institutions have been adding to their positions heavily. December 31, 2013 13D filings showed the top 19 institutional holders (led by Price T Rowe Associates INC) increase their positions.
- Overall, as of December 31, 2013, 98 institutions have added to their positions while only 44 have reduced positions.
- 29 analysts are tracking the stock and have an average price target of $20.19. Only 1 analyst rates the stock a sell. 19 analysts rate BCS as buy/overweight.
- BCS pays a dividend and has been steadily increasing it since 2010.
- Technically, the stock recently shows strong support between the $15 and $16. However, I would recommend investors buy and hold this and wait for higher prices.
- Price to Book shows stock is on sale at 0.69 and Price to Sales at 1.17.
BCS is currently in a hold giving investors a chance to add at discount prices. The current price of $16.79 is an attractive price to get in. While I am not the biggest fan of increasing bonuses for bankers, I believe Mr. Jenkins is a forward-thinking man who is keeping around his key employees. I see BCS at $23-$25 in the not-so-distant future. Buy and hold.
Disclosure: I am long BCS. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.