2. Bank of America (BAC) is a diversified financial services company, with investment-, commercial- and retail-banking operations.
Left for dead during the financial crisis, its stock has more than tripled since the March 2009 market low. In recent quarters, ongoing mortgage woes and credit write-downs have hampered performance. Most recently, management's request to boost its dividend was denied by the Federal Reserve, indicating that Bank of America is still viewed as a troubled institution and needs to raise further capital and work through ongoing housing market issues on the liability side. The stock has tumbled 27% in 12 months.Recent news flow has been undeniably negative for Bank of America, providing an opportunity for value-oriented investors to initiate positions, in Credit Suisse's view. Credit Suisse expects the stock to advance 47% to $20. The consensus on Wall Street is that Bank of America's equity is undervalued. It currently sells for 7.6-times forward earnings, 0.6-times book value, 1-times sales and just 1.7-times cash flow, representing discounts of 32%, 37%, 42% and 69%, respectively. Currently, 54% of researchers in coverage advise purchasing shares and the remainder recommend holding them. Bank of America is scheduled to report fourth quarter results April 15.
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