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JPMorgan a Ratings Apocalypse Survivor: KBW

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- KBW analyst David Konrad likes JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report), U.S. Bancorp (USB - Get Report) and Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report), among the largest banks, as the market digests Friday's monumental downgrade of U.S. debt from a AAA rating to AA+ by Standard & Poor's.

In a report saying that the downgrade was "manageable" but that the country's "economic downdraft is worrisome," Konrad said that "in terms of the universal banks, it is hard to argue that the group is not cheap," and that "the current valuation relative to tangible book value have now fallen below the average valuation during the depth of the crisis from October 2008 through March 30 in 2009."

Supporting Konrad's argument, JPMorgan's shares closed at $35.94 Friday, which was just 1.2 times the company's tangible book value, according to SNL Financial.

The analyst said investors will have "positive bias toward higher-quality names with a higher proportion of revenues being derived from fee income. In this camp, we recommend JPM, USB, and WFC."

JPMorgan Chase's shares were down 5% in late morning trading to $35.81, following last week's 7% pullback.

U.S. Bancorp's shares were down 3%, changing hands for $22.92, following a 9% decline last week.

Wells Fargo was down "only" 2% to $24.76, following last week's 9% decline.


-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

To contact the writer, click here: Philip van Doorn.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.

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