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KeyCorp 'Strongest' in 20 Years, Says JPMorgan

KeyCorp's stock closed at $12.95 Thursday, returning 56% this year. The shares trade for 1.3 times their reported Sept. 30 tangible book value of $9.92, and for 12.7 times the consensus 2014 EPS estimate of $1.02, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The consensus 2015 EPS estimate is $1.12.

Despite the stock's stellar return this year -- outperforming the KBW Bank Index (I:BKX), which was up 29% through Thursday -- KeyCorp still trades at a 27% discount to regional bank peers, based on year-end book value estimates and JPMorgan's 2014 EPS estimates, according to Alexopoulos.

"KEY is on a brief list of relatively inexpensive banks on TBV and EPS, is buying back stock, and pointed in the direction of improved ROEs over time," he wrote.

JPMorgan estimates KeyCorp will see 6% loan growth during 2014, with an 8% increase in operating earnings.

Must Read: MetLife Has 15% Upside From 2014 Fed Taper: Analyst

Shares of Cleveland-based KeyCorp were were down slightly in early trading Friday, to $12.90.

KEY ChartKEY data by YCharts

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

-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

>Contact by Email.

Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.
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