HSBC is boosted as the banks 'reform'

After a lengthy stint in the stocks, the big banks started to edge back into favour last week. Signs that their cost-cutting is paying off and they might actually be reformed characters may have even stopped people hating them quite so much.

Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds revealed some signs of recovery, with a less brash and more boring way of doing business. Today it is HSBC's turn. Banking expert Ian Gordon at Investec thinks HSBC is "finally about to get serious on costs" and he said he feels "uncharacteristically positive ahead of first-quarter results".

Mr Gordon admits he predicts HSBC will miss financial benchmarks such as its 12 per cent return on equity target, but he does expect pre-tax profit to be at $6.6bn (£4.2bn), ahead of the $6.4bn for the same quarter of 2012.

He thinks the cull of 3,000 UK jobs as a "precursor to fresh initiatives at the strategy day on 15 May" is "welcome". He rates it a buy with a 735p price target.

Results/Updates: Aer Lingus, Betfair, CRH, easyjet, EOG Resources, HSBC, Hiscox, Iofina, Macfarlane Group, National Express, Numis, Prudential, Quindell Portfolio, Telecity.


Sainsbury's chief executive, Justin King, has been talked about more than the £7bn supermarket empire he controls recently. Investors will want to hear more from Mr King on his future plans. there have been rumours he will leave after 10 years at the business next year.

But more pressing are the group's expansion ideas. Will it ditch plans for new big shops in favour of online and convenience stores?

Analysts at Jefferies conclude the group has had a good year with pre-tax profits coming ahead of forecasts at £757m. The finals on Wednesday will show what a good year it has had, but Jefferies only rates the shares a hold with a 330p price target as there are "greater-than-expected UK consumer and competition headwinds".

Results/Updates: CSR, Costain, CRH, Drax, Ecofin Water & Power, esure, Galliford Try, InterContinental Hotels, Fidessa Group, Intu Properties, Next, Resolution, Rightmove, Sage, Sainsbury's, Standard Chartered, Tullow Oil, JD Wetherspoon.


SuperGroup, the owner of the Superdry clothing label, is expected to reveal a solid fourth quarter, proving that momentum from the third quarter has continued. After a series of self-inflicted wounds Kate Calvert at Cantor Fitzgerald thinks it will be able to "push ahead with the development of the brand on the internet and overseas". She rates the brand a buy with a 750p price target because the shares "remain undervalued" as they trade at 12.5 times 2014 earnings compared with a sector average of 13.8.

Results/Updates: Experian, Barratt Developments, Beazley, Eurasian Natural Resources, Hammerson, Hardy Oil & Gas, IMI, Kingspan, London Mining, WM Morrison, Old Mutual, Pantheon International, Provident Financial, Spirax-Sarco Engineering, SuperGroup, Titon Holdings, Tullett Prebon, TT Electronics, United Drug.


Shareholders may have got a bit confused last week when it came to BT. Do you hang up your shares or not? Morgan Stanley last week advised clients to avoid BT ahead of the full-year results today. It was concerned that "regulatory pressures" were mounting and thinks the rising pension deficit – now estimated at £6bn, up from £2.4bn in 2011, is a big issue. Morgan Stanley thinks BT's annual payments to pensioners will rise above £2bn a year from 2015. Last month BT's shares hit their highest since 2007, and analysts at Liberum Capital rate the shares a buy. They think BT, which has launched a sports TV channel featuring presenters including Clare Balding, pictured below, will manage to "deliver significant further cost-saving, achieving top-line stability and medium-term capex reductions" and rate the shares a buy with a 315p price target.

They say "don't be put off by the pension deficit" as the next actuarial review results will not be until March 2015 and "there is considerable scope for fluctuations in the fundamental drivers before then".

Results/Updates: BT, Catlin, Derwent London, Ferrexpo, Morgan Advanced Materials, TUI Travel.

Economics Diary

Today British Retail Consortium shop price index, new car registrations, Halifax house prices, Lloyds employment confidence survey.

Tomorrow British Retail Consortium like-for-like sales figures.

Thursday Industrial production data, manufacturing production data, Bank of England interest rate announcement, Bank of England asset purchase target, National Institute of Economic and Social Research GDP estimate for April, Bloomberg May UK economic survey, ECB monthly bulletin and US unemployment count.

Friday Trade figures, construction output data, G7 meetings and US federal budget balance.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
FIFA President Sepp Blatter reacts during a news conference in Zurich June 1, 2011
Life and Style
food + drink
peopleKatie Hopkins criticises River Island's 'seize the day' bags for trying to normalise epilepsy
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family
film'I survived it, but I’ll never be the same,' says Arash Amel
Life and Style
Retailers should make good any consumer goods problems that occur within two years
tech(and what to do if you receive it)
Life and Style
healthIf one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
Life and Style
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

Guru Careers: Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant

£16 - 20k: Guru Careers: A Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant is needed to ...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada