What You Were Selling Last Week: Lloyds Banking Group

LONDON -- One of Warren Buffett's famous investing sayings is "be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful" -- or in other words, sell when others are buying, and buy when they're selling.

But we might expect Foolish investors to know that, and looking at what Fools have been selling recently might well provide us with some ideas for investments that are past their prime

So, in this series of articles, we're going to look at what customers of The Motley Fool ShareDealing Service have been selling in the past week or so, and what might have made them decide to do so.

Star performer
After a punishing few years, starting with the credit crunch in 2007, in which they lost around 95% of their value, shares in Lloyds Banking Group  (LSE: LLOY  ) (NYSE: LYG  ) have risen an impressive 52% in the past year, making them something of a star performer, especially when you consider that the FTSE 100 has only gone up 6% over the same period.

So why was Lloyds in the No. 1 spot in the Top Ten Sells* list last week?

Perhaps investors feel that the upward trend can't continue, and it's time to take some profits. After all, Lloyds still faces some significant issues, including managing the divestment of half of its international operations over the next few months, ongoing concerns about the extent of its exposure to claims of payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling, and surviving the eventual sell-off of the U.K. government's 41% stake in the company. Add to that the fact that Lloyds still doesn't pay a dividend (although chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio apparently wants to restart that next year), and there's a lot that could be making investors cautious.

Lloyds publishes its annual results on Friday (March 1). What they contain should help investors decide whether the company's recent stellar performance can continue, or else justify some people's decision to take some profit now.

A high-quality growth share
Whether you're a seller of Lloyds, or just looking for a high-quality growth share, you'll want to get hold of "The Motley Fool's Top Growth Share For 2013" -- it's the latest report by The Fool's expert analysts and has only just been released.

It's completely free of charge, but like all special reports from TMF it will only be available for a limited period, so get your copy delivered to your inbox now!

*Based on aggregate data from The Motley Fool ShareDealing Service.


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