4 Big Banks With Earnings Upside From Morgan Stanley

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --Morgan Stanley analyst Betsy Graseck raised first-quarter estimates for the big banks on Sunday, citing upside to capital markets revenues.

The return of the "risk on" trade is buoying fixed income trading revenues and investment banking fees are also up 14% quarter-to-date, according to the analyst. Improved consumer credit and higher refinancing fee income thanks to a better-than-expected response to the latest HARP changes also provide upside.

Here's a quick look at the revised estimates.

Bank of America

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The analyst raised Bank of America's ( BAC) earnings estimates for the first quarter to 3 cents from a penny previously. 2012 estimates rose to 47 cents from 40 cents previously.

Graseck expects Bank of America to reach a 7.75% Basel 3 target by the fourth quarter of 2012 and 8.9% by the fourth quarter of 2013. The bank passed the Fed's 2012 capital stress test comfortably, although it erred on the side of caution and abstained from putting in a request to return capital to shareholders. Morgan Stanley expects the bank to hike dividend in 2013 to 4 cents per quarter and start buybacks in 2014.

Shares of Bank of America were rising 1.5% to $9.94 after briefly cracking the $10 mark on Monday. Graseck has a price target of $9 per share on the bank.

Citigroup

Graseck's first quarter forecast for Citigroup ( C)jumped 34% to 88 cents, while the 2012 earnings estimate is up by 10% to $3.67. The analyst also raised her price target on the stock by 14% to $42.

Citigroup suffered a setback last week after the Federal Reserve unexpectedly rejected the bank's plans to return capital on the grounds that it failed to meet the minimum Tier 1 Common Capital of 5% in a supervisory stress scenario assuming it went ahead with its plans.

Graseck expects Citi to resubmit its plan and increase the amount of capital it returns to shareholders in the second half of 2012. The bank is likely to buy back shares worth $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 and might raise its dividend only in 2013, according to the analyst.

Shares of Citi were rising 2.6% to $37.61.

JPMorgan Chase

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JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) saw its first quarter estimate rise 14% to $1.22 from $1.07 previously, while 2012 earnings forecast was revised to $4.88 from $4.46. Morgan Stanley is most bullish on JPMorgan.

"We favor banks with ability to take share in a capital constrained environment, manage expenses and return sizeable capital to shareholders in 2012. We think JPM's best in class franchise is well positioned to take share and win through this environment and buyback $12b of stock in 2012," the analyst wrote.

Graseck has a price target of $60 for JPMorgan. That represents a 33% upside from the stock's current levels. Shares were last seen up 0.16% at $44.65.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs ( GS) saw its price target raised to $125 from $112. Estimates for the investment bank's first quarter earnings jumped 50% to $3.25 on the back of higher marks for its investment and lending division. Forecast for the year was lifted 18% to $11.10.

Goldman is likely to buyback $4 billion in stock in 2012 and $7.5 billion in 2013, according to the analyst.

Shares of Goldman were rising 1.2% to $124.45.

--Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

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