Here's a look at what industry experts have been saying about various shares this week.

1. Lloyds Banking Group HOLD

It’s been a good week for Lloyds. It cheered the market by announcing its biggest annual profits for a decade.

The pre-tax figure was up to £4.2 billion from £1.6 billion after a significant drop in provisions for PPI compensation.

Analyst Helal Miah at stockbrokers The Share Centre said: “Record annual profits beat analyst expectations. The bank also expects the acquisition of MBNA, which was made in December 2016, will give a boost to its profits margins.”

Lloyds share price (Image: Google)

2. Barratt Developments HOLD

The UK’s largest housebuilder has unveiled an 8.8% rise in pre-tax profits to £321 million for the second half of 2016 – even though it actually built thousands fewer homes than the corresponding period the year before.

Analyst Clyde Lewis at Peel Hunt has the company down as a Hold.

“There was a nice surprise in the form of an increased dividend commitment, which will see the shares yield over 8% in CY17 (calendar year),” he said.

Barratt share price (Image: Google)

3. HSBC Holdings BUY

Shares in HSBC fell after the bank reported a worse-than-expected fall in annual profits with the pre-tax figure coming in at £5.7 billion – down a whopping 62% on the level achieved the previous year.

However, Helal Miah at The Share Centre is upbeat. “It’s still our preference in the banking sector,” he said.

 “Despite a surprise drop in Q4 revenues and profits, it expects growth to be driven by emerging markets and portrayed confidence in its outlook.”

HSBC share price (Image: Google)

4. Hotel Chocolat BUY

The leading UK premium chocolate brand, it operates 90 of its own stores as well as generating 24% of sales online. Underlying momentum is strong and the management team appear to be delivering on expectations.

Interim results were ahead of expectations, resulting in 3% profit upgrades, says analyst Wayne Brown at Liberum Securities. “Outperformance in revenue growth alongside margin expansion lays the foundations for a positive outlook in H2 and beyond.”

Hotel Chocolat share price (Image: Google)

5. Capita REDUCE

The support services firm has written down the value of a number of historic contracts, assets that were worth around £50 million, and analyst Christopher Bamberry at Peel Hunt has attached a target price of 466p – substantially lower than its current 546p level.

“This reflects the on-going risk to forecasts, the reduced potential for M&A, which has made a material contribution to financial performance over many years, and the unfavourable mix shift post a successful disposal of Asset Services,” he said.

Capita share price (Image: Google)

The information included in this article does not constitute regulated financial advice. You should seek out independent, professional financial advice before making an investment decision.

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