RBS, Hargreaves Lansdown, ASOS, City analysts opinion compared
Analysts have recently lowered their recommendations on Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (LON:RBS), online fashion retailer ASOS Plc (LON:ASC) and financial services group Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HL), with the more bearish inclined analysts viewing the once favoured stocks as currently overvalued, G A Chester at The Motley Fool website has said.
**Royal Bank of Scotland share price**
RBS has fewest supporters amongst analysts of all FTSE 100 banks with just 12 percent of those surveyed recommending it as a ‘buy’ while 36 percent rate it at ‘sell’, Chester said.
In February, the 80-percent government-owned lender reported an attributable loss of £3.5 billion for 2014, down from the £9 billion loss it booked the previous year. (https://invezz.com/news/equities/16705-RBS-share-price-opens-higher-as-full-year-loss-shrinks) RBS turned in an operating profit of £3.5 billion as compared to a £7.5 billion loss for 2013. The bank’s earnings were dented by a £4 billion writedown of its Citizens unit. RBS also booked £2.2 billion in litigation and conduct provision last year, as against £3.8 billion for the previous year.
Following the release of the RBS figures, Societe Generale downgraded the UK banking group to ‘sell’. The bulk of analysts surveyed by the Motley Fool have revised down their target prices on RBS since February.
**ASOS share price**
ASOS, which earlier this month reported sales jumping 14 percent annually in the six months to February 28, has seen its shares lose some a quarter of their value over the past year. (https://invezz.com/news/equities/17581-ASOS-share-price-ASC-jumps-as-half-year-sales-soar ) .
The online fashion retailer also said its active customer base had soared 13 percent to 9.3 million.
Last year, however, the company issued several profit warnings and by November as many as five analysts had rated ASOS’ shares as a ‘sell’. The number of negative views has increased to seven but, to be fair, the firm still enjoys more positive than negative opinion from analysts in the City, Chester said.
**Hargreaves Lansdown share price**
The financial services group currently has twice as many analysts recommending it as a ‘sell’ than for a ‘buy’, Chester commented. Analysts no longer predict Hargreaves Lansdown will keep its growth rate. The FTSE 100 firm said in February that net business inflows had dropped 20 percent on the year to £2.25 billion in the six months to December 31, 2014. (https://invezz.com/news/equities/16149-Hargreaves-Lansdown-share-price-slides-as-net-business-inflows-slow ) Pre-tax profit was down two percent to £101.9 million. Nevertheless, Hargreaves Lansdown booked record assets under administration of £49.1 billion and reported continued growth in number of clients to 675,000. The group said it would pay a dividend of 7.3p per share, up four percent year-on-year.
Hargreaves Lansdown’s shares currently trade at a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 33, which UBS sees as too high. The Swiss bank has a 12-month share price target of 830p, or 30 percent below the current price of around 1,150p, Chester pointed out.
As of 13:25 BST, Friday, 10 April, Royal Bank of Scotland Group share price is 346.55p.