4. Barclays Plc ( BCS) is a London-based financial services provider engaged in the retail, corporate, and investment banking services. More than half of the financial major's income is generated from Europe, with the U.K. contributing the bulk. For March 2011 quarter, gross loans and advances expanded 5% compared to the same period in 2010, driven by higher growth in mortgage loans. Gross new lending to U.K. households and businesses increased 11% during the period. Impairment costs at the end of the March quarter stood at $1.48 billion, reducing from $2.4 billion in the same period last year. The year-to-date annualized loan loss rate was 76 bps compared to 112 bps during the same period of 2010. The Tier-1 capital ratio at the end of March quarter was 13.5% and capital adequacy ratio was 16.9%. Adjusted profit before tax was $3.28 billion, up 10% compared to $2.98 billion in first quarter of 2010 and increasing 63% sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2010. The most profitable segments were retail and business banking, with profit before tax at $1.13 billion, up 21%. Return on average shareholder equity stood at 10.1%, compared to 9.3% in the same period last year. The stock trading at 8.7 times its estimated 2011 earnings and analysts expect it to gain 76% over the next one year.