NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Heading into what is expected to be a rather depressing third-quarter earnings season for the nation's largest banks, long-term investors should take a hard look at FirstMerit (FMER - Get Report) of Akron, Ohio.
JPMorgan Chase analyst Steven Alexopoulos on Tuesday reiterated his "overweight" rating for the fast-growing regional lender, while increasing his price target for the shares by 50 cents to $25, representing potential upside of 15% from Monday's closing price of $21.74 a share.
FirstMerit's shares trade for 13.9 times the consensus 2014 earnings estimate of $1.56 a share, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. That's a much lower forward price-to-earnings ratio than some other fast-growing medium-sized banks, including Signature Bank (SBNY - Get Report), which has been growing its sales staff and was covered recently as part of TheStreet's 5 Lean and Mean Bank Stocks.
Check Out Our Best Services for Investors
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Model portfolio
- Stocks trading below $10
- Intraday trade alerts