As far as can be gleaned from today's trading statement, Barclays may be delivering early on the asset reduction programme outlined at the time when it announced its rights issue.
Crucially, and if one looks at the balance sheet, it is apparent how the leverage exposure declined by £78bn, of which £55bn looks seasonal (FX, settlement balances) and £20bn looks proactive (e.g. PFE & liquidity portfolio reductions), Jefferies explained to clients on Wednesday morning.
As regards profits before tax (PBT), at £1.49bn underlying third quarter profits did beat consensus expectations by a margin of 2%, as a 2% investment bank-led revenue miss was offset by better costs and materially better impairments (9% better than the Street, driven by Africa and Corporate banking).
Likewise, losses in the European Retail business of £106m were better than the broker's expectations for a £253m loss, although fixed income, currency and commodities (FICC) revenues contracted at a 44% year-on-year clip (-34% ex Exit Quadrant assets), driving a 5% revenue miss in the investment bank.
"We continue to regard the risk/reward of Barclays as attractive and reiterate our Buy recommendation", the broker concluded.
"The stock market seems to be gradually bringing these unruly oil majors to heel", begins Wednesday's research note from Investec on BP's third quarter results out the previous day which, it adds, "were good - but not that good".
The broker highlights how the company's quarterly net profits, which rose by 17%, were flattered by a flurry of extraordinary items. If not for those then the underling result was essentially in line, the broker went on to explain.
In a more positive vein, cash-flow is described as on track, if working capital is excluded.
However, and as regards to the company's new asset disposal programme, the analysts note that the new target is only a modest $3bn per annum higher than BP's existing guidance ($2-3bn per annum).
Furthermore, the free cash-flow calculation also excludes the likelihood of additional business opportunities over and above organic capital expenditures. Additionally, the Macondo incident remains unresolved and it is likely to remain they say.
Lastly, BP trades on a sector-average price-to-earnings multiple of 10 times and a sector-average dividend yield of 5.0%. So while their price-to-earnings multiple based price target rises to 460p (from 440p) on improved clarity, they have decided to retain their 'hold' recommendation.
'No pain no gain' seems to best sum up Credit Suisse's view on Regus' expansion plans unveiled Tuesday.
As the serviced offices group accelerates the rate of network growth near-term estimates will be negatively affected but there is longer-term value creation the Swiss broker's analysts believe.
As such, the costs of additional new centres (both set-up costs, and losses for the first 18 months) will negatively impact 2013 and 2014 financials, with earnings per share estimates for each of those years now estimated to be 15% and 8% lower than before, although their 2015 forecasts have been nudged up by 1%.
However, as the new centres mature and given that the group benefits from strong operational leverage, and given low incremental selling, general and administrative expenses for mature centres, they expect rapid profit growth over the next few years.
For all of the above reasons Credit Suisse has decided to up its price target on the shares
to 225p (from 190p), albeit while maintaining their outperform recommendation.