This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

5 Regional Bank Stocks Analysts Love

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Bank stocks have remained unloved through most of 2011, but some regional bank stocks have managed to earn investors' respect.

Stocks of large, regional banks such as U.S. Bancorp (USB - Get Report) and PNC Financial Services (PNC - Get Report) have been the relative winners in the year so far, declining to a lesser extent than their larger, more troubled, rivals- Bank of America (BAC - Get Report), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C - Get Report) and Wells Fargo (WFC).

Most of these banks are still "plain vanilla,"; predominantly focused on lending rather than capital markets activity that is more volatile. The universal banks have been hit hard in recent quarters by the European debt crisis, which has frozen capital markets and has investors jittery about banks' counterparty risk.

Regional banks have also been able to use acquisitions to build market share, growing revenues at a time when loan demand is low. As European banks exit the U.S. market, these banks are poised to benefit.

Smaller banks, such as East West Bancorp (EWBC - Get Report) have been able to benefit from a niche focus.

While performances do diverge, most of these banks are reporting solid trends in loan growth, driven by commercial loans and progress on expense reductions.

The caveat is that these banks are more exposed to the U.S. economy and also tend to be more sensitive to interest rate pressures on margins.

And while valuations of these stocks are cheap relative to their historic levels, several trade at premiums to their large-cap peers, which means there is little room for earnings disappointments.

TheStreet compiled a list of banks most loved by analysts with the help of analyst rating data from Bloomberg. We screened for banks with a market capitalization of more than $1 billion and that have at least 10 analysts covering the stock.

While Citigroup, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase still top the list of analyst favorites, the following five rank high as well.
1 of 6

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
C $54.08 0.00%
BAC $17.44 0.00%
EWBC $43.30 0.00%
FITB $20.53 0.00%
PNC $94.72 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,813.39 +1.20 0.01%
S&P 500 2,088.87 -0.27 -0.01%
NASDAQ 5,116.1430 +13.3350 0.26%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs