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Downgrading Two of Four 'Too Big to Fail' Banks

Stocks in this article: BAC C JPM WFC

Citigroup (C) ($46.68 vs. $42.92 on Feb. 6) remains buy rated with the stock 27.3% undervalued with a one-year price target at $50.73. Citi traded to a new multi-year high at $46.70 on Friday, a level not seen since April 2011. The stock has gained 37.3% over the last twelve months with a reasonable twelve month forward P/E ratio at 9.81.

Citi has a positive but overbought weekly chart profile with its five-week MMA at $42.90 and the 200-day SMA at $37.21. My annual value level lags at $33.19 with a monthly pivot at $45.30 and quarterly risky level at $56.11.

FDIC data shows that Citi decreased its total assets by 3.6% to $1.32 trillion in Q4 sequentially moving the bank to be the smallest of the big four. The bank has an asset to risk based capital ratio of 9.68% down from 9.83% in Q3, which is a sign of deceased stress as risk based capital is supporting a lower base of assets so this "too big to fail" has become slightly smaller.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) ($50.20 vs. $48.79 on Feb. 6) has been downgraded to hold from buy with the stock 19.6% overvalued with a one-year price target at $52.26. JPM traded to a new multi-year high at $50.86 last Thursday vs. the May 2007 high at $53.25. The stock has gained 24.1% over the last twelve months with a reasonable twelve month forward P/E ratio at 9.23.

JPM has a positive but overbought weekly chart profile with its five-week MMA at $47.97 and the 200-day SMA at $40.13. My annual value levels are $44.04 and $42.87 with semiannual and monthly pivots at $46.84 and $49.88 and a weekly risky level at $51.02.

FDIC data shows that JPM increased its total assets by 9.7% to $2.03 trillion in Q4 sequentially, which is 14.0% of the total assets in the banking system, much too big a share in my judgment. No single financial institution should have control of more that 10.0% of all assets among the 7,083 FDIC-insured financial institutions. JPM has an asset to risk based capital ratio of 12.53% unchanged from 12.51% in Q3. This is another ratio that should be no larger than 10.0% in my judgment. JPM is thus a "too big to fail" bank that's dangerously too big in my opinion.

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