NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Wall Street will be parsing the final readings on how the banks came through the 2009 over the next few weeks with JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) kicking off the festivities with its fourth-quarter report on Friday.
The numbers aren't expected to be all that pretty with analysts forecasting losses for some big names, including Bank of America (JPM - Get Report), Citigroup (C - Get Report), and sequential declines in profits from third-quarter levels for most others. Still there's little argument that substantial progress has been made in stabilizing the sector from where we were at this time last year. Even if where we were last year continues to be rehashed, and the shape of seemingly inevitable regulatory reform remains unclear.
Now, instead of tending to mere survival, the banks will once again be chasing profits. As of Jan. 11, analyst expectations were for financial components of the S&P 500 index to report earnings growth of 172% for calendar 2010, according to data from Thomson Reuters, an increase from a view for growth of 72.5% on Oct. 1, prior to the third-quarter reporting season.
That's a pretty high bar, especially with the pace of economic recovery still in question. Here are five areas banks are poised to profit from this year: