Banks stocks are down 8% from the March 20 highs and 3% year-to-date. Numerous reason are behind that drop: a very sluggish economy, confusion on why yields on the 10-year Treasury bond continue to decline, overall weak bank fundamentals, mixed signals from the Federal Reserve and increased regulatory concerns. A new report from Deutsche Bank points out the pullback in monetary policy is a near-term negative. The firm does however, have five top stocks to buy now that it remains very positive on.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) remains the premier bank on Wall Street, and Deutsche Bank is very positive on the stock. The company has been very vocal lately when commenting on guilty pleas from banks that it does business with. In fact, CEO Lloyd Blankfein said guilty pleas by foreign banks could affect their relationships with them, saying the impact “depends on the consequences of the guilty pleas.” Investors are paid a 1.4% dividend. The Deutsche Bank price target for this ultimate white-glove firm is $181. The Thomson/First Call estimate is $176.09. The stock closed Monday at $157.67 a share.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is one of the top five names to buy at Deutsche Bank. The company may be nearing the end of a very long stretch of losses and penalty pay-outs. Between mortgage settlements and trading gaffes, the company has taken a PR beating and has still held up well. The mega-cap bank is expected to benefit from commercial loan growth and an upturn in capital spending. Investors are paid a solid 3% dividend. The Deutsche Bank price target is $66, and the consensus target is $64.20. J.P. Morgan closed Monday at $53.83.
M&T Bank Corp. (NYSE: MTB) is a super-regional that the Deutsche Bank team think cannot outperform despite the declining Fed taper. They also feel the bank is not dependent on a better overall macro environment to succeed. Investors are paid a 2.4% dividend. The Deutsche Bank price target is $136, the consensus figure is at $127.57. The stock closed Monday at $120.11.
PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) is listed as a top pick at Deutsche Bank. CEO Bill Demchak recently said that for years PNC has been “planting seeds” to draw in new customers and as a result, it had “the opportunity to move these new clients toward the depth of product penetration we enjoy with our longer-term clients,” which ultimately represented “significant potential to generate new fee income.” The East Coast powerhouse should see strong loan growth in all real estate areas as the economy improves there. Investors are paid a 2.3% dividend. The Deutsche Bank team has a $94 price target on the stock. The consensus is set at $91.54. Shares ended Monday at $83.21.
Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) is a name that almost every Wall Street firm likes, but it has traded sideways since last summer. One very positive area was the growth in loans came primarily from business lending, which was led by its commercial and industrial segments. Regions also experienced especially strong growth in auto lending, which was driven by an expanded dealer network and more accepted loans per dealer. Investors are paid a 1.1% dividend. The Deutsche Bank price target is $12, and the consensus target is $11.56. Regions closed Monday at $10.03.
As the Deutsche Bank report points out, banks have acted lousy this year, and the end of the Fed tapering may keep a lid on the upside for many of the stocks. With that in mind, investors looking to take advantage of the recent poor action in the stocks may want to consider some of these top recommendations as they have very strong franchises with top business models.
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