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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Bank stocks are 81% cheaper than they were on average from 2000 through 2006, according to a metric used by Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Chris Kotowski in a report published Monday.

Kotowski's report, entitled, "Bank Stocks Look Cheap," focuses on "franchise value" along with three other unconventional metrics for looking at bank stocks to argue they are an extraordinary bargain by historical standards and, indeed, for long-term investors.

"We believe banking services will be as needed in 2014 as they were in 2004 and the long-term value of these franchises should not be so vastly different in the future than it was in the past," the report states.

Kotowski's report defines franchise value as the amount investors will pay for a bank stock above its tangible book value (TBV).

"The logic behind this is that the capital embedded in the business (i.e.,the TBV) is never worth more than dollar for dollar," the report states. What investors pay above tangible book value is what investors believe the business franchise is worth.

Not surprisingly, investors are willing to pay far less for the business franchise than they were from 2000-2006--but 81% less?

As the report states, "are the franchises really 81% less valuable?"

Kotowski concludes that they are not, acquisitions notwithstanding.

"When this analyst looks at

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corp Report

, for instance, he sees Barnett Banks, NCNB, Citizen & Southern, First Republic and a dozen other companies 20 years ago.

And, although the assets of these companies are managed differently, in most cases they are basically the same loan and deposit franchises that have a roughly similar share as before--state by state and market by market," Kotowski writes.

Kotowski's top picks among large cap U.S. banks are

TheStreet Recommends

Citigroup

(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

,

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) Report

,

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Morgan Stanley (MS) Report

,

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Report

,

U.S. Bancorp

(USB) - Get U.S. Bancorp Report

and

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Wells Fargo & Company Report

.

--

Written by Dan Freed in New York

.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.