PNC Financial "While linked-quarter comparisons are difficult following the closing of the RBC acquisition in 1Q12, operating trends generally remained strong," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in an April 18 report. "Excluding acquired RBC assets, we estimate 1.4% linked quarter loan growth (3.7% commercial, -1.6% consumer) and flat net interest income. Fee income increased 7% linked quarter, largely due to better asset management (equity market driven), a strong quarter of mortgage banking (originations up 13%, gain-on sale wider similar to other peers), and some benefit from the RBC acquisition." Shares of PNC hit a 52-week high Tuesday of $67.89. The stock's 52-week low of $42.70 on Aug. 23. PNC's forward P/E is 9.88; the average for its peers is 11.05. For comparison, BB&T ( BBT) has a higher forward P/E of 10.9. Twenty-three of the 35 analysts who cover PNC rated it buy. Fourteen analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell. The stock has risen 17.22% year to date.