Barclays fourth-quarter income misses estimates amid weak investment banking fees

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Barclays fourth-quarter income misses estimates amid weak investment banking fees
Credit: © Reuters.

By Scott Kanowsky -- Shares in Barclays PLC (LON: BARC ) slumped by more than 8%, the biggest slip since March, after the British bank posted disappointing fourth-quarter profit and unveiled share buyback plans that underwhelmed analysts.

Total income at the bank grew by 12% in the three months to the end of December to £5.8 billion (£1 = $1.1.2099), but fell short of Bloomberg consensus estimates of £5.96B. Performance during the period was weighed down by weakness at the group's investment banking and corporate lending, reflecting a downturn in fees seen in other lenders during the final quarter of 2022.

Meanwhile, Barclays UK, the group's consumer lending unit, posted total profit of £1.97B that missed forecasts despite a jump in personal and business banking activity following a series of aggressive interest rate hikes by the Bank of England.

The company also booked an impairment charge stemming from a "deteriorating macroeconomic" environment that was worth half a billion pounds.

On an annual basis, profit before tax decreased by 14% to £7.01B, with much of the decline linked to litigation charges of £1.6B from overstepping agreed limits of sales of investment products in the United States.

With the returns in mind, Barclays said it intends to start a fresh round of share repurchases worth up to £500M. Analysts at Citi noted that the buybacks were under consensus estimates of £675M.

The Citi analysts flagged that Barclays UK's 2023 net interest margin guidance of "greater than 3.20%" came in below expectations as well.

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