Bank of America Gets Early 2014 Analyst Love

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bank of America ( BAC) is off to a good start in 2014, garnering an upgrade from Citigroup and a bullish note from Raymond James.

The new $19 target price, implying a 23% total return for 2014, "reflects a cost of equity more in line with history and no longer impacted by legacy issues," argues Citigroup analyst Keith Horowitz, who raised his overall recommendation to "buy."

Anthony Polini of Raymond James, meanwhile, upped his target price for Bank of America to $17 from $16, while reiterating his "outperform" rating and citing a "positive fundamental outlook"

Bank of America's shares, which finished 2013 at $15.57, were up 1.03% to $15.73 in premarket trading on Thursday.

Citigroup's upgrade to Bank of America came as part of a 33-page 2014 large-cap bank and broker preview. In the report, Horowitz also showered some love on JPMorgan Chase (JPM) for many of the same reasons he likes Bank of America.

If the U.S. economic improvement continues, Horowitz states in his report, both Bank of America and JPMorgan will thrive due to "asset sensitive" balance sheets and "exposure to the US consumer."

Horowitz upped his price target on JPMorgan to $72, implying 27% upside, based on Tuesday's closing price of $58.48. JPMorgan's shares were lower by 0.65% to $58.10 in pre-market trades.

BAC Chart data by YCharts

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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