It might sound crazy, but this looks like an opportune time to buy shares of beleaguered financial services giant Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report .

That definitely may come as surprise, after the once-venerated company received a staggering blow to its reputation in September, when a shocking account-opening scandal came to light, shaking the very foundations of the bank and its stock.

What followed was job cuts, Chief Executive John Stumpf's unceremonious exit and a wave of sanctions against Wells Fargo that created uncertainty about the company and its shares.

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Not too long ago, Wells Fargo could pride itself on its spotless reputation.

Unlike other financial services companies such as Bank of America and Citigroup, Wells Fargo didn'ttake taxpayer money during the financial crisis when bailouts were required. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank is still reeling from a damaging dark-pool-trading controversy.

Wells Fargo and Citigroup are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. See how Cramer rates the stocks here. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells WFC or C? Learn more now.

But Wells Fargo is getting back on its feet, and the "Donald Trump factor" should help the bank, as its executives reportedly have a good relationship with the president-elect. That combined with rising interest rates means that investors are re-rating the banking sector.

The Trump administration will likely be hands-off when it comes to regulation, and fewer restrictions bode well for growth and lending.

As a result, over the past month, shares of BofA are up more than 13%, and JPMorgan Chase's stock has risen nearly 10%. Despite the bad press, Wells Fargo itself has gained nearly 5%.

With shares up about 1.8% this year, Wells Fargo has probably managed to absorb the negativity around it.

Even with a projected earnings-per-share slump of 2.9% this year and growth of just 3% in 2017, Wells Fargo continues to march forward.

Wells Fargo is a highly valued bank stock, trading at a price-book ratio of 1.6 times, compared with its peers BofA at 0.9 times, Citigroup at 0.8 times, HSBC Holdings at 0.9 times and JPMorgan Chase at 1.3 times. Nevertheless, Wells Fargo's stock has excellent growth prospects, with the company likely to fortify its earnings and gradually regain customer trust.

The vote of confidence for Wells Fargo's new Chief Executive Tim Sloan by none other than Warren E. Buffett has helped contain the fallout to an extent.

For income investors, Wells Fargo offers a dividend yield of 2.75% as well as the prospect of an increase, as the payout ratio remains below 40%. That is higher than money center banks' average dividend yield of 2.61%.

And though yields offered by Banco Santander-Chile at 3.89% and Royal Bank of Canada at 4.84% may be hefty, not everybody is comfortable with non-American lenders.

With rates rising and margins seen firming, any dip in Wells Fargo should be bought.

The worst is clearly over for Wells Fargo, and the occasional negative headline could be viewed as an opportunity for aggressive investors.


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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.