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Huntington Bancshares Causes Analyst Duel

Stocks in this article: HBAN TCB WFC BAC JPM

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) received an upgrade and a downgrade from bank analysts Friday following its second quarter earnings report, though both believe the shares are headed to $7--well north of their $6.09 closing price on Thursday.

Huntington reported second quarter earnings of 16 cents per share ahead on Thursday's open, beating analyst expectations. The bank also raised its quarterly dividend to four cents a share from a penny. Still, the shares closed some 3% lower on Thursday.

Guggenheim Securities analyst Jeff Davis argued analysts were "disappointed in commentary regarding a softer macro view and pressure on yields due to competition and low reinvestment rates," though he added, "neither was a surprise to us."

Davis raised Huntington to a "Buy" while leaving his price target unchanged at $7.

Taking the other side of the trade was FBR Capital Markets analyst Paul Miller, who lowered his recommendation to "market perform" from "outperform," arguing "the company is having trouble growing revenues with the economy still sluggish and low interest rates weighing on its ability to grow the balance sheet at attractive risk-adjusted spreads." Miller dropped his price target to $7 from $8.

Miller also cut his rating on TCF Financial (TCB) on Friday. He lowered the recommendation to "underperform" from "market perform" while cutting his price target to $12 from $14.

TCB is widely seen as being the hardest hit by the Durbin amendment, which caps fees banks can charge to merchants on debit card transactions. While Miller notes TCF "put up a hard fight" against the rule, he believes it will ultimately cost the company $50-60 million per year, or nearly 9% of projected 2011 earnings.

Miller has left his other ratings unchanged so far this earnings season, including an "outperform" on JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and "market perform" on Wells Fargo (WFC)and Bank of America (BAC).

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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