Investment Banking

Barclays Shares Jump 4.4% on Dividend Hike

The bank had cut the dividend by more than half two years ago but is confident it will "generate excess capital going forward."
Matthew HellerFebruary 22, 2018

Barclays swung to a net loss of more than $2.6 billion in 2017 but its shares jumped more than 4% on Thursday after the British bank said it will pay out its full dividend this year.

Barclays’ bottom line was hit in part by a 901 million pound ($1.26 billion) writedown in the fourth quarter related to the new U.S. tax law. For the full year, it reported a net loss of 1.92 billion pounds ($2.68 billion), compared to a profit of 1.62 billion pounds ($2.26 billion) in 2016.

Pre-tax profit rose by 10% to 3.54 billion pounds ($4.94 billion) in 2017, but that missed analysts’ averaged expectations of 4.7 billion pounds, which did not take into account the one-off tax-related writedown. Revenue fell 2% to 21 billion pounds ($29.3 billion).

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Investors, however, were cheered by the news that the dividend payout to shareholders — which Barclays had cut by more than half two years ago — would go back up to 6.5p in 2018. Barclays London-listed shares climbed 4.4% to 211 pence in trading Thursday.

“I am confident in the capacity of this business to generate excess capital going forward, and it remains our intention over time to return a greater proportion of that excess capital to shareholders through dividends, and other means of capital distribution, including share buybacks,” CEO James E. Staley said in a news release.

Barclays was the worst-performing bank in the FTSE 100 index in 2017, falling 9% on concerns about both its investment bank and its legal and regulatory troubles.

“Staley has championed an aggressive push in investment banking that has so far largely failed to bear fruit,” Reuters noted.

In the fourth quarter, Barclays’ corporate and investment bank sank to a quarterly loss of 252 million pounds in part and revenue fell 11%. But Joseph Dickerson, analyst at Jefferies, told The Financial Times that Barclays’ investment banking revenues “looked resilient versus peers.”

CFO Tushar Morzaria said Barclays had gained market share, with business down in dollar terms by 10% compared with 20% at its biggest U.S. rivals.

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