Bank of America: Bernanke Pullback Loser

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bank of America ( BAC) was the loser among the largest U.S. financial names on Monday, with shares declining 2.5% to close at $9.31.

The broad indexes took a breather after rallying on Thursday and rising again on Friday, following the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee's announcement that the central bank would increase its efforts to push down long-term interest rates by adding "additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month," to bring its total MBS securities purchases up to $85 billion per month until the end of the year.

Investors also considered European worries once again, after eurozone leaders at a weekend meeting in Cyprus made little progress on agreeing to when the European Central Banks would assume regulatory powers over the regions banks, as part of a major bailout effort.

The KBW Bank Index ( I:BKX) declined 2% to close at $50.77, with all 24 index components down for the session, except for Bank of New York Mellon ( BK), which was up slightly to close at $23.71.

Bank of America's shares have now returned 68% year-to-date, following a 58% decline during 2011.

The shares trade for 0.7 times their reported June 30 tangible book value of $13.22, and for ten times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of 91 cents, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is 55 cents.

Guggenheim Securities analyst Marty Mosby on Monday reiterated his "Buy" rating for Bank of America and raised his price target for the shares to $11.50 from $10.00, saying that "BAC's current discount to tangible book value per share represents the potential upside once the market decides that BAC doesn't need to issue incremental capital to fund future losses from Countrywide's residential real estate overhang issues and that these future losses could be covered with future earnings."

Bank of America reported that during the second quarter, its mortgage repurchase requests increased by 41%, to $22.7 billion as of June 30.

Mosby said he "set BAC's target price at around an 18% discount to year-end 2013 tangible book value per share," and that Guggenheim's "capital analysis suggests that BAC has enough capital to pass the Basel I stress test requirement but would be short of Basel III compliance at year-end 2013."

The analyst "concluded from that analysis that BAC will not need to raise capital, although BAC still needs to accumulate capital as quickly as possible."

Mosby added that "until short-term rates begin to rise, BAC's earnings power is between $10 billion and $12.5 billion a year," and that the company's after-tax mortgage losses ranges will range between $15 billion and $50 billion.

"While our best-case scenario could be funded with about one year's earnings, the worst-case scenario could create a $2 haircut to BAC's year-end estimated tangible book value per share of $14," he said.

Interested in more on Bank of America? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.


-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.