|Stockpickr: Who Owns Citigroup?|
( Citigroup and other stock price moves current in this update.) NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Citigroup ( C) was among the top performers of the financial sector Monday after a bank analyst upgraded the stock and argued that the bank has "turned around." Citigroup shares rose more than 3% after Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove upgraded the bank's stock to buy from neutral and raised his stock price target to $5 from $3.75. In his research note, Bove cited an improving loan loss situation and the bank's over-capitalized position, which gives management the flexibility to off-load the problem operations and to support longer term growth.
"It will be a money making machine again and the stock is long-term cheap," Bove wrote in his research note to clients. "Citigroup is the only truly international bank in the United States and, one might argue, in the world." Citigroup was up 12 cents, or 3.2%, to $4.03.
Bank of America ( BAC) shares were clinging to early gains after a report said that CEO Brian Moynihan is making his first trip to China this week. Bank of America is preparing to incorporate in China in order to pursue more business there, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The bank wants to do more commercial and corporate banking in China, in contrast to its retail-banking strength in the U.S. Bank of America was lately gaining 0.1% to $16.83, although the stock had traded as high as $16.95 earlier in the session. Other U.S. bank stocks were retreating. After rising to start the session, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) lost 0.1% to $43.40 and Wells Fargo ( WFC) gained 0.3% to $30.28. Also on the downside, Goldman Sachs ( GS) fell nearly 1% to $176.24 and Morgan Stanley ( MS) dipped 0.6% to $29.46. Elsewhere, American International Group ( AIG) shares lost ground after a regulatory filing showed that former CEO Hank Greenberg's investment vehicle, Starr International, will collect $278.2 million upfront from UBS ( UBS). In return, Starr will deliver 10 million shares of AIG to UBS in four transactions of 2.5 million shares, with the first delivery due in just under three years from now. AIG was down 4.2% to $33.35. E*Trade Financial ( ETFC) was also among the losing stocks of the financial sector Monday after the company named Steven Freiberg, the former head of Citigroup's global consumer group, as its new CEO. Freiberg will start at E*Trade on April 1 and will join the online broker's board of directors.
In addition, E*Trade said it will seek the approval of shareholders at its annual meeting in May for a 1-for-10 reverse stock split and corresponding decrease to the company's authorized shares of common stock to 400 million shares. E*Trade shares were lately down 2.6% to $1.53. -- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston. Follow Robert Holmes on Twitter and become a fan of TheStreet.com on Facebook.