After soaring 35% this year, is there still value in Barclays shares? Here’s what the charts say!

Barclays has been on a tear in 2024. But where does that leave investors considering buying some shares now? This Fool explores.

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Barclays (LSE: BARC) has been one of the top performing FTSE 100 shares this year. While the index has climbed an impressive 6.2%, the bank has skyrocketed 35.8%.

For shareholders, that’s brilliant news. I started building out my position in Barclays in August 2023 when the stock looked dirt cheap. Back then, a share cost 149.2p. Today, it would set me back 211.1p. I’ve slowly added to my holdings since. Right now, I’m sitting on a paper gain of 48.1%.

But for potential investors, or shareholders like me who were considering adding to their position, where does this leave us? Is there still more growing room in the share price?

Book value

One of the most common valuation metrics used for banks is the price-to-book (P/B) ratio. So let’s start there. Barclays P/B is 0.54. That’s cheaper than major Footsie banks HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, and Standard Chartered. What’s more, it’s considerably lower than 1, which is deemed the benchmark for fair value. On that basis, it’s safe to say there’s still value in Barclays shares despite their rise.


Created with TradingView

Return on equity

I also want to explore the bank’s profitability. To do this, I’m going to look at its return on equity (RoE). As the chart below shows, Barclays has the poorest RoE among its peers with nearly 7.1%. Standard Chartered is closest with 7.5%. The highest is NatWest with 12.4%. This has long been a problem associated with Barclays and shows that, despite its rise, there are still issues.


Created with TradingView

An opportunity?

Nevertheless, I see an opportunity with the Barclays share price today. It looks cheap trading on just 8.1 times earnings, below the Footsie average of 11.

Furthermore, the bank’s aware of its weaknesses, and CEO CS Venkatakrishnan has taken strides in recent times to fix this.

In its 2023 results, the bank announced a major overhaul to boost efficiency moving forward. As part of this, Barclays aims to cut £2bn of costs by 2026. The firm announced plans to streamline into five divisions to become more accountable.

Shareholder returns

In the results, it also announced its ambition to return £10bn to shareholders over the next three years via dividends and share buybacks. Today, the stock yields a healthy 3.8%, slightly above the Footsie average.

My concerns

While I sense an opportunity with Barclays, I do have a few concerns. The largest is falling interest rates. A cut to rates will squeeze Barclays’ net interest margin, which has blossomed over the past couple of years as rates have been hiked.

While its new transformation plan also excites me, there’s an inherent risk that comes with it. Should Barclays fail to deliver on its promises, this would no doubt damage its share price.

I’d buy today

But I’m confident the bank can deliver moving forward. And I reckon it looks too cheap to ignore.

The 12-month target price for the stock is 257.7p, representing a whopping 22.3% premium from its current price. Again, this signals there may be good value in Barclays shares today. If I had the cash, I’d add to my position.

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.

HSBC Holdings is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Charlie Keough has positions in Barclays Plc, HSBC Holdings, and Lloyds Banking Group Plc. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays Plc, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group Plc, and Standard Chartered 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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