Going With BB&TThere are three large-cap regional banks stocks that Horowitz considers "preferred plays heading into earnings," including BB&T, M&T Bank ( MTB) of Buffalo, N.Y., and Wells Fargo ( WFC). However, BB&T of Winston-Salem, N.C., is the only one the analyst rates a "buy." BB&T's shares closed at $34.88 Friday, returning 22% this year, following a 19% return during 2012. Those, of course, are stellar numbers, but if you look at the one-year chart at the end of this article, you can see that the shares have significantly underperformed the KBW Bank Index and the S&P 500 ( SPX.X) over the 52-week period. A major reason for the underperformance has been investors' discomfort following the Federal Reserve's rejection of BB&T's 2013 capital plan in March, on "qualitative" grounds. The bank submitted its revised plan on June 11, and the Fed will respond by Aug. 25. An approval of the revised plan could serve as a catalyst for the shares.
Interested in more on BB&T? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock. -- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla. >Contact by Email. Follow @PhilipvanDoorn