If I’d put £1,000 in Barclays shares a year ago, here’s how much money I’d have now

Barclays shares are on the up and it feels great! The banking stock appears to have turned a corner and the market approves of its strategic overhaul.

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Barclays (LSE:BARC) shares are among the top performers on the FTSE 100 over the past 12 months. It appears the negative sentiment surrounding the British bank has finally subsided, and things are improving.

Shares in Barclays are up 28.5% over the past 12 months. So if I’d put £1,000 in the banking stock a year ago, today I’d have £1,285, plus dividends. The dividend yield’s currently around 4.2%, but a year ago it was around 5% — this is because share prices and dividend yields work in opposite directions.

All in all, my £1,000 investment would be worth around £1,335. I actually doubled up on Barclays stock when the price collapsed on the back of the Silicon Valley Bank fiasco. It didn’t pay off for a long while, but now it’s looking like a very good call.

Sentiment swings

Barclays has been undervalued for some time, likely due to lingering investor caution about UK banks since the financial crisis. Despite Barclays returning a profit in each of the last 15 years, this negativity didn’t fade… perhaps until now.

There could be several reasons for this. Banks have weathered the negative impacts of high interest rates and slow economic growth pretty well, and now things are looking up. Net interest income is elevated, and interest rates are set to settle in the so-called Goldilocks Zone in the medium term.

This is when interest rates are elevated — say 2.5-3.5% — but aren’t high enough to engender a slew of customer and business defaults. This also allows banks to benefit from their hedges. In fact, Barclays’s gross hedge income could be worth £6bn in 2025 alone — three times higher than 2022.

Another reason for the sentiment change relates to the company’s strategic overhaul. The British bank’s three-year plan to support its share price involves a £10bn buyback programme and a £2bn cost-reduction plan.

Still a value stock

Barclays isn’t expensive compared to its international peers. The stock trades at 6.9 times forward earnings. That’s incredibly inexpensive compared to US peers including JP Morgan at 12.4 times and Bank of America at 11.8 times.

Barclays is broadly in line UK peers — they’re all pretty cheap. It’s price-to-earnings ratio is expected to fall to around 5.3 times in 2025 as earnings pick up further. It’s also trading at 0.55 times tangible book value — another suggestion that the company is undervalued.

Understandably, we now seeing analysts pointing investors in the direction of UK and European stock as the American market gets overcrowded.

I appreciate Barclays hasn’t had the best reputation with regulators in recent years, and its return on investment has lagged. This does represent something of a risk. But it’s good to see the company doing something positive to boost performance.

Management said it would allocate an additional £30bn of risk-weighted assets to its UK retail banking arm in the coming years as it looks to fund the most successful parts of its business. It’s sensible and hopefully will work.

Barclays is up, and I think it can go much further.

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.

JPMorgan Chase is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Bank of America is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. James Fox has positions in Barclays Plc. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays Plc. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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