Is Barclays Lowballing Itself On Purpose?

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Barclays said today that in spite of writedowns due to subprime, etc., it predicts that 2007 will exceed last year's profit, though just barely. Everyone (traders especially) thinks this is good news, and if we were talking about Citi it definitely would be, but making a pound more that least year means that Barclays earnings will have moved an insignificant 4 percent, compared to the gigantic growth seen in the last four years. Barclays's estimate is "broadly in line with" analysts' average estimate of about $14.7 billion (7.1 billion pounds), news which move the stock as much as 6.2 percent in London trading. Interesting. What I'm getting at is that Barclays is trying to cover up a record 75 percent increase in profit for 2007, so that whenever that actual numbers come out, they can say they "beat" analysts' expectations, and continue to recover from a 7-week losing streak. That or they're just trying to cushion the blow for the inevitable admission that those rumors about a $10 billion writedown were true. I can't decide which.
Barclays says on track for 4 pct 2007 profit rise [Reuters]
Barclays May Match 2006 Profit This Year [Bloomberg]

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