Should you sell Barclays plc and buy Aldermore Group plc or OneSavings Bank plc?

Fed up with the performance of Barclays plc (LON: BARC)? Check out Aldermore Group plc (LON: ALD) and OneSavings Bank plc (LON: OSB) for two fast-growing banking stocks.

| More on:

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More.

There’s no doubt it’s been a torrid few years for Barclays(LSE: BARC) shareholders. The bank’s share price is down almost 17% year-to-date and has halved in the last three years.

First-quarter results in March were disappointing, with a 25% drop in pre-tax profits on the back of huge PPI claims, fines in relation to forex rigging and underperformance from the investment banking division.

To make matters worse, Barclays announced that it would be slashing its dividend to just 3p per share for the next two years, in order to conserve capital and absorb losses from toxic assets. That takes the forecast yield to a low 1.64% for next year’s dividend payout.

All in all, it’s not a pretty picture at Barclays, and while there’s a chance that the new CEO may be able to turn things around down the track, there certainly doesn’t seem to be much short-term momentum at the bank.

Challenger banks

If you’re looking for a bank that does have some positive momentum, it might be worth checking out challenger banks Aldermore (LSE: ALD) and OneSavings Bank (LSE: OSB).

Not that you’d know from their share prices, which have both also struggled in the last 12 months.

But to my mind, there’s a clear disconnect between the performance of these banks and their share prices.

Because whereas Barclays is clearly struggling to increase its earnings, both of these challenger banks are enjoying strong earnings growth.

For example, Aldermore reported adjusted earnings per share of 24p for FY2015, up from 18p in FY2014, a rise of 33%. And with city analysts pencilling-in earnings of 26p and 30p for the next two years, this bank definitely appears to be heading in the right direction.

Similarly, OneSavings Bank reported FY2015 earnings of 35p per share, up from 25p in FY2014, a year-on-year increase of 40%. Analysts have earnings per share estimates of 40p and 43p for the next two years.

Yet despite this stellar growth, both of these challenger banks appear to be trading cheaply.

Aldermore trades on a current P/E ratio of 9.5, which drops to just 8.3 on next year’s earnings. And OneSavings Bank’s current P/E ratio is 9.7, dropping to 8.4 on next year’s earnings.

Given that Barclays trades on a P/E ratio of 13.3 times next year’s earnings, the challenger banks certainly appear to offer relative value.

Income investors will be interested to know that while Aldermore doesn’t yet pay a dividend, OneSavings Bank paid out 9p per share in dividends last year, a yield of 2.7% at the current share price. Analysts have forecast dividends of 10p and 12p for the next two years, so there’s potential for dividend growth here.

Of course, the challenger banks aren’t without their own risks.

Both Aldermore and OneSavings Bank specialise in mortgage lending, and with the UK government cracking down on ‘buy-to-let’ mortgages, there’s an element of uncertainty here. Brexit fears are also almost certainly contributing to the recent share price weakness of the challengers.

And given that they’re smaller companies, it’s likely that their shares will be more volatile.

But in my opinion, the challenger banks offer a great risk-to-reward ratio right now. My advice would be to diversify between a handful of challenger banks, in order to reduce company-specific risk.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Edward Sheldon owns shares in Aldermore Group. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

More on Investing Articles

Young Asian man drinking coffee at home and looking at his phone
Investing Articles

Is Rolls-Royce’s share price an irresistible bargain?

Is Rolls-Royce's share price the FTSE 100's greatest bargain today? Royston Wild explains why he would -- and wouldn't --…

Read more »

Person holding magnifying glass over important document, reading the small print
Investing Articles

Is the Vodafone share price a wonderful bargain or a horrible value trap?

As the Vodafone share price continues to fall, is it now a stock to buy with a view to a…

Read more »

Hand of a mature man opening a safety deposit box.
Investing Articles

I’d buy 95,239 shares of this banking stock to generate £200 of monthly passive income

Muhammad Cheema takes a look at how Lloyds shares, with a dividend yield of 5.9%, can generate a healthy monthly…

Read more »

Person holding magnifying glass over important document, reading the small print
Investing Articles

Can FY results give the Antofagasta share price a long-term boost?

The Antofagasta share price has had a good five years. Now the company says it's set to enter a new…

Read more »

Person holding magnifying glass over important document, reading the small print
Dividend Shares

Can I make sustainable passive income from share buybacks?

Jon Smith notes the rise in share buybacks from FTSE 100 companies, but flags up why they aren't great for…

Read more »

Front view of a mixed-race couple walking past a shop window and looking in.
Investing Articles

After the Currys share price rockets, here are more potential UK takeover targets!

The Currys share price has surged 39% higher in response to news of a takeover bid. Which UK stocks could…

Read more »

Investing Articles

Down 25%, where will the British American Tobacco share price go next?

The British American Tobacco share price has taken a hit. But this Fool isn't deterred. He think's now could be…

Read more »

Young black colleagues high-fiving each other at work
Investing Articles

2 cheap dividend stocks I’d snap up in a heartbeat!

This Fool is on the look out for quality dividend stocks and earmarks these two firms as great options to…

Read more »