Goldman's favorites among the money-center names are JPMorgan and Wells Fargo but it was also optimistic that Bank of America could have some room to run, saying "clarity around BAC's capital base by the Fed should allow for outperformance from current levels."
JPMorgan's results are always parsed for indications of how the rest of the big banks will do, so there's a lot riding on how Jamie Dimon & Co. performed in the final three months of 2011, a year that saw its shares fall 21.6%, good for fourth worst in the Dow.
Wall Street is expecting earnings of 91 cents a share from JPMorgan in the fourth quarter on revenue of $23.26 billion. Both numbers would be the bank's lowest levels of the year. S&P Capital IQ, which has a hold rating on the stock, lowered its earnings estimate to 99 cents a share from $1.10 on Monday, citing "lower forecasts for trading, investment banking, mortgage fees, and credit card income."
As for Wednesday, Lennar (LEN) reports its fiscal fourth-quarter results before the opening bell, and the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for earnings of 17 cents a share in the November-ended period on revenue of $914 million.The stock has lost 16% in the past year, but it's seen a strong 70% bounce since scraping a 52-week intraday low of $12.14 on Oct. 4. The Miami-based home builder has beaten the consensus view in the first three quarters of fiscal 2011, and Wall Street is bullish ahead of this report with 15 of the 24 analysts covering the shares at either strong buy (4) or buy (11). Valuation could be an issue for the shares though, given how far they've come so fast. The median 12-month price target of $21 is just pennies away from Tuesday's close at $20.76, and the forward price-to-earnings multiple of 26.7X is more than double where the S&P 500 as a whole is trading. Guggenheim Securities has a neutral rating on Lennar ahead of the report, noting that the run-up in the stock makes the argument for more upside a difficult one to make.
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