Wells Fargo, JPMorgan See Analyst Price Target Hikes

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Wells Fargo ( WFC) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) both saw higher price targets from analysts following the release of their first-quarter earnings on Friday.

Sterne Agee's Todd Hagerman and Barclays' Jason Goldberg raised targets on both banks. Hagerman lifted Wells Fargo to $38 a share from $36 while maintaining a buy rating. He raised his JPMorgan price target to $50 from $36 while keeping his recommendation at neutral.

Goldberg, meanwhile, lifted his JPMorgan target to $57 from $55.

JPMorgan also saw Stifel Nicolaus analyst Chris Mutascio raise his price target to $50 from $45 while he maintained a buy rating.

Wells Fargo got an additional lift from Joe Morford at RBC Capital Markets. Morford raised his target to $37 from $35 while maintaining an outperform rating on the shares.

Wells Fargo earned $4 billion, or 75 cents per share, beating analyst estimates of 0.73 on strong mortgage banking revenues.

JPMorgan earned $3.7 billion, or 90 cents a share. While the number was well short of analysts' expectations of $1.18 a share, that was largely due to an accounting oddity that causes a hit to earnings when banks' creditworthiness improves. Adjusting for that factor, JPM earned $1.45 a share, according to Sandler O'Neill research. Analysts cited strong trading results and improving consumer credit for JPMorgan's strong performance.

One analyst who took a more skeptical view of Wells Fargo was Oppenheimer's Chris Kotowski. The analyst lowered his price target on the bank to $35 from $37, even though he maintained an outperform rating on the shares.

Despite the positive analyst reception, shares of both banks were below their pre-earnings levels in mid-morning trading on Monday as Citigroup ( C) released its first-quarter numbers. JPMorgan shares were at $43.04, down 0.3% on the day and below Thursday's close of $44.84. Wells Fargo traded at $33.09, up 0.76% on the day but below Thursday's close of $34.02.

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

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