Major Banks Keep Seeing Analysts Raise Price Targets After Earnings

October 31, 2017 by Jon C. Ogg

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It is no secret that we are in the midst of a raging bull market, and the massive bullish run up is now almost nine years old. In fact, the major U.S. stock indexes have not seen a 10% pullback in more than a year and a half.

24/7 Wall St. covers many of the daily analyst upgrades and downgrades. We had already tracked many analysts raising their targets for the major banks and financial institutions, but even after the financial firms have reported earnings in the past two weeks we have seen another round of analysts raising their price targets on major banks.

Investors need to understand that the many of the banks covered have seen major gains over the past year. Some of these banks had even seen their shares sell off after earnings. Either way, the trend at this time continues for higher analyst price targets.

Some of the higher target prices have been tracked in recent days, and consensus analyst data is from Thomson Reuters. Remember that analyst ratings should only be a starting point for investing decisions. We wouldn’t want readers thinking we believe in or agree with all the points and views in research reports just because they were written by smart people.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) saw its target price raised to $31 from $30 by Sanford Bernstein. Morgan Stanley also raised its price target to $28 from $26 on Tuesday. On October 13, CFRA (S&P) raised its target price to $31 from $28. UBS (Neutral) raised its target to $27 from $26 on October 16. Also on October 16, Wells Fargo’s $30 price target was one thing, but the firm issued a three-year target price of $40. Bank of America shares were last seen down three cents at $27.57. It has a 52-week trading range of $16.28 to $27.98, and its prior consensus analyst target price was $28.12.

BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT) has seen its price target raised to $50 from $48 at Sanford Bernstein. While it was with an Underperform rating before, BB&T’s target price was raised to $50 from $47 at Morgan Stanley on October 20. BMO Capital Markets (Market Perform) raised its target to $49 from $48 on October 20. Shares were last seen up 0.4% at $49.32. BB&T has a 52-week range of $49.01 to $49.40. Its prior consensus target price was $48.79.

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) has seen multiple target price hikes since earnings. Compass Pointe raised its target to $65 from $55, but this is well under the current $73.75 price as of Tuesday. Morgan Stanley previously raised its target to $79 from $73, and Bernstein raised its target to $88 from $80. RBC raised its target to $79 from $75, and Nomura raised its target to $81 from $80 back on October 13. Citigroup has a 52-week range of $47.70 to $76.14 and a prior consensus target price of $76.05.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) matters because it is a top component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and its shares were up about $2.25 at $243.14 on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley raised its price target for rival Goldman Sachs to $287 from $265 on October 18. That counts as the highest analyst target price on Wall Street. Evercore ISI raised its target to $260 from $240 back on October 18, and Buckingham Research (with only a Neutral rating) raised its target to $250 from $243. The 52-week range is $174.73 to $255.15 and the prior consensus target price was $247.84.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) has seen CEO Jamie Dimon return as the most top banker among top CEOs after the Wells Fargo woes. While this stock was down three cents a share at $101.38 on Tuesday, the target price hikes have been coming for much of the year. Bernstein raised its target price to $107 from $101, and Morgan Stanley raised its target to the same $107 from a prior target of $99. CFRA (S&P) raised its target to $106 from $100 back on October 12. The highest JPMorgan price target from analysts is up at $115, which is from Wells Fargo, and that was raised from $110 on October 27. The 52-week range is $67.64 to $102.42. The prior consensus analyst target was $99.81.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) was last seen trading up 0.4% at $137.70 on two price target hikes. Its target price was raised to $143 from $136 at Bernstein, and Morgan Stanley raised its target to $140 from $127. PNC Financial has a 52-week range of $94.30 to $139.23. Its prior consensus target price was $140.17, and the highest target is still up at $150.

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) was last seen trading up 0.7% at $54.64 on Tuesday. Sanford Bernstein raised its price target to $56 from $55. Morgan Stanley had an Underweight rating but raised its target price to $55 from $51 on October 19. Nomura (Neutral) raised its target to $57 from $55 on October 23. U.S. Bancorp has a 52-week range of $43.83 to $56.61, and its prior consensus target price was $55.82. Thomson Reuters has a street-high target price of $62 for U.S. Bancorp.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was last seen trading up 1.1% at $56.49, and the bank has continued to have some overhang after its account opening scandal weighed on Warren Buffett’s favorite bank. Wells Fargo’s price target was raised to $62 from $60 at Sanford Bernstein, but the target was hiked to $63 from $61 by Morgan Stanley. The street-high target for the banking giant is $65. Wells Fargo has a 52-week range of $44.49 to $59.99, and its prior consensus target price was $57.80.