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TheStreet Open House

[video] Jim Cramer Quick Take: They're Wrong About KeyCorp, U.S. Bancorp

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. Bancorp (USB) and KeyCorp (KEY) were downgraded Wednesday and TheStreet's Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link, co-managers of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, disagreed. Both stocks are AAP holdings.

Cramer said KEY is located in an area of the country that's doing great thanks to oil and natural gas in the Utica shale. He said the stock can get back to its previous levels near $35 to $40 because "it's better now" than in the past. 

Link concurred and said the downgrade occurred because the stock was up 60% in 2013 and a repeat performance was unlikely.

However, she argued that despite the run, KEY is still trading below its peer group based on a tangible book value basis. She thinks increased operating leverage will be important in 2014. 

Turning to USB, Cramer said the downgrade "annoyed him" because USB has added some great branches and has historically been one of the best banks in the country. Its steady stream of earnings should equate to a sizable share buyback program and nice dividend. 

Link added that USB should trade at a premium compared to its peers, given its returns. 

Cramer concluded that it's imperative for investors not to lose conviction because of short-sighted analyst views such as these.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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