NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Despite all the hand-wringing about financial reform and the price weakness in the group over the past two months, bearish bank analysts are still few and far between ahead of second-quarter reporting season.
Earnings estimates have come down on many names in the past few weeks -- most notably Goldman Sachs (GS) on the perception that trading revenue has deteriorated -- but analysts have for the most part kept their overall ratings on the stocks in place, and those ratings in general are pretty good. For instance, on all four of the money-center banks -- Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) -- the majority of the analysts covering the stocks have either buy or strong buy ratings.
In the interest of seeing which financial names Wall Street was actually bearish about, TheStreet pulled together a list of the five banks with the largest percentage of sell ratings vs. the total number of analysts who cover the stock, using Bloomberg data as of June 28. The screen was for U.S.-based public institutions with at least $5 billion in assets and a minimum of five analysts covering the stock. The banks also had to have a share price of at least $2 a share and average daily trading volume of greater than 100,000.
Of the 78 banks that made the cut, none had a majority of analysts' rating them at sell. Doral Financial, the bank with the largest percentage of sell analysts, has one-third of the six analysts who cover it with sell ratings. On an absolute number basis, SunTrust Banks had the most sell ratingw with nine analysts, but the bank has a total of 35 analysts covering its stock, according to Bloomberg.Also, with the exception of Valley National Bancorp, the banks that made the list had an equal number of buy and sell ratings from analysts -- more evidence of the general bullishness on bank stocks these days. Here's the list going from the smallest percentage of sell ratings to the largest.