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Citigroup Cuts Regional Banks

Zions Bancorporation
Shares of Zions Bancorporation (ZION) of Salt Lake City closed at $18.31 Thursday, returning 13% year-to-date, after a 33% decline during 2011.

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The shares trade for 0.9 times tangible book value, and for 10 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $1.85. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is $1.28.

Levin has a neutral rating on Zions Bancorporation and on Friday lowered his price target for the shares to $20 from $22, while leaving his 2012 EPS estimate of $1.30 unchanged, and lowering his 2013 estimate by five cents to $$1.75, and cutting his 2014 estimate by 15 cents to $2.25.

The analyst estimates that the company's net interest margin will decline from 3.67% this year to 3.62% in 2013, and then rise to 3.78% in 2014. Under Citi's "flat rate scenario," Levin estimates that Zions would see a 2012 net interest margin of 3.66%, followed by margins of 3.57% in 2013 and 3.64% in 2014.

Levin says that with "an unusual corporate structure in that it operates eight different banks across the Western and Southwestern parts of the country," Zions "is one of the more complicated stories in our regional bank coverage universe," with a complicated corporate structure, a messy capital structure, and a portfolio of [consolidated debt obligations]."

The analyst said that "although we believe there are sources of upside to its current valuation, we think this complexity is weighing on ZION's valuation."

Interested in more on Zions Bancorporation? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

Stock quotes in this article: WFC, HBAN, KEY, CMA, ZION, SIVB 

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