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TheStreet Open House

Capital One: Seasonal Flu Loser

Stocks in this article: BACCOFSTTI:BKX

The company's annualized ratio of net charge-offs to average loans increased to 2.26% in the fourth quarter from 1.75% in the third quarter, "largely because of the diminishing impact of the credit mark," while the net charge-off rate for credit card loans increased to 4.35% from 3.04%, "also driven by seasonality and the diminishing impact of the credit mark."

Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski rates Capital One "Outperform," but on Friday lowered his with a 12-18 price target for the shares by three dollars to $68, and said in a note that "for the second year in a row COF threw an air ball in 4Q. Last year it was a stunning expense bulge and this time it was not so much the 4Q results themselves but the guidance that pre-provision earnings would be flattish with the 4Q level in 2013 and that it did not plan to ask the Fed for any share repurchases in this year's stress test process."

"Nevertheless," Kotowski said that "in cases like this we find it best to put the emotion aside and do our numbers, and they point us to a still compelling but lower $68 price target on our downwardly revised $6.50 estimate, and thus we maintain our Outperform."

Kotowski lowered his 2013 EPS estimate from $7.03. His 2014 EPS estimate is $7.15.

Capital One's shares now trade for 8.5 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $6.67. the consensus 2014 EPS estimate is $7.05.

Orips Research CEO Zev Spiro says that the technical picture for Capital One's shares isn't all bad: "The end of a primary uptrend was signaled today for Capital One, via a high volume downward gap that broke below a bullish support line that began in 2011. The break indicates a shift in the primary trend from positive to neutral. Both the breakaway gap and accompanying high volume add confidence to the signal. On a positive note, prices tested and held the 200-Day Simple Moving Average, currently at $56.26, a level that recently halted a sharp decline in November 2012. Portfolios should monitor significant support in the $55/$56 area as a confirmed break below support could signal additional risk."

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