Despite lousy first-quarter gross domestic product that came in at -0.7%, the strong jobs report indicated last week that the labor market is tightening and wages are going higher. In new research reporting, Deutsche Bank thinks it is time for the Federal Reserve to start laying out their plans for rate hikes. They also think that four big U.S. banks are solid buys now.
While some banks are more interest rate sensitive than others, top U.S. banks remain a very solid place for growth investors to put capital. While strong dollar concerns have hit many stocks, staying with domestic banks, especially the four Deutsche Bank likes, could be a solid play for a rising interest rate environment.
Bank of America
This stock seems to have been in the “big bank penalty box” the longest and may offer investors a very good entry point. Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) reported solid first-quarter earnings that were driven by lower expenses and absence of substantial legal costs, which had strangled the bank for years. The first-quarter 2015 results saw year-over-year improvement and earnings of $0.27 per share were substantially up from a loss of $0.05 in the prior-year quarter. Some analysts think $2 per share earnings is not out of the question for the money center giant. Total 2015 earnings estimates are expected up 284% from last year.
The company is a ubiquitous presence in the United States, providing various banking and financial products and services for individual consumers, small and middle market businesses, institutional investors, corporations and governments in the United States and internationally. It operates 5,100 banking centers, 16,300 ATMs, call centers and online and mobile banking platforms.
The Deutsche Bank team sees the company as the purest play on U.S. growth and rates among the banks peers, especially with most of the legal issues in the rear-view mirror.
Bank of America investors are paid a 1.17% dividend. The stock is rated Buy with a $19 price target at Deutsche Bank. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $18.33. Shares closed Monday at $17.08.