Is Now the Time to Buy Royal Bank of Scotland?

LONDON -- I'm always searching for shares that can help ordinary investors like you make money from the stock market.

So right now I am trawling through the FTSE 100 and giving my verdict on every member of the blue-chip index. Simply put, I'm hoping to pinpoint the very best buying opportunities in today's uncertain market.

Today, I am looking at Royal Bank of Scotland  (LSE: RBS  ) (NYSE: RBS  ) to determine whether you should consider buying the shares at 302 pence.

I am assessing each company on several ratios:

Price/Earnings (P/E) Ratio: Does the share look good value when compared against its competitors?

Price/Earnings-to-Growth (PEG) Ratio: Does the share look good value factoring in predicted growth?

Yield: Does the share provide a solid income for investors?

Dividend Cover: Is the dividend sustainable?

So let's look at the numbers:

Stock Price 3-Yr. EPS Growth Projected P/E PEG Yield 3-Yr. Dividend Growth Dividend Cover
Royal Bank of Scotland 302p 0% 10.5 0.2 0% 0% N/A

The consensus analyst estimate for this year's earnings per share is 28.7 pence (57% growth) and dividend per share is 0.17 pence (reinstated).

First, I must mention that the consensus analyst estimate for this year's earnings per share is based on underlying earnings, which excludes items such as mis-selling provisions and restructuring costs and which could significantly affect the estimate. In addition, the three-year earnings-per-share growth rate is based on the same underlying figures.

Anyway, using underlying earnings, RBS is currently trading on a projected P/E of 10.5, cheaper than its peers in the banking sector, which are currently trading on an average P/E of around 19.5.

RBS's P/E and high growth rate give a PEG ratio of around 0.2, implying the share is cheap for the near-term earnings growth the firm is expected to produce.

Unfortunately, RBS has not paid a dividend since 2008. However, the consensus analyst view is that RBS will offer a small dividend for 2013.

Is RBS a suitable investment yet?
As I have written before, I do not like financial stocks. In particular, I do not like the risks contained within bank balance sheets and the minefields they can become.

That said, similar to its peer Lloyds Banking, RBS has undergone a significant restructuring program during the past few years and the changes are starting to show through.

Indeed, RBS's underlying profit reached 3 billion pounds during 2012, almost double that of 2011. However, RBS was forced to take an accounting charge relating to the value of its own debt, which pushed the company into a loss for the year.

Nonetheless, RBS has made progress in other areas, especially the restructuring of its balance sheet. Indeed, the company's Tier 1 capital ratio is now at 10.3%, while loans as a percentage of capital have come down to a sustainable level of 100% to indicate all of RBS's loans are now covered by customer deposits.

Furthermore, RBS continues to sell off non-core assets in order to pay down debt and strengthen its balance sheet. Indeed, RBS recently spun off insurer Direct Line and is planning to sell part of its stake in U.S. retail bank Citizens Financial.

In addition, management believes that 2013 will be the bank's last year of major restructuring.

Overall, RBS has been working hard during the past five years to put itself back together. So, taking into account the growth of RBS's underlying profit and prospects of a dividend, I believe now looks to be a good time to buy RBS at 302 pence.

More FTSE opportunities
In addition to Royal Bank of Scotland, I am also positive on the FTSE 100 share highlighted within this exclusive free report.

You see, the blue chip in question offers a 5.7% income, its shares might be worth 850 pence compared to about 700 pence now, and it has just been declared "The Motley Fool's Top Income Stock for 2013."

Just click here to read the report -- it's free.

In the meantime, please stay tuned for my next verdict on a FTSE 100 share.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2316598, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/23/2014 11:47:18 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement