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Hovde Group downgrades Signature Bank to 'market perform' from 'outperform'

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Hovde Group downgrades Signature Bank to 'market perform' from 'outperform'

Upgrades

Gerard Cassidy of RBC Capital Markets upgraded Wells Fargo & Co.'s stock rating to "sector perform" from "underperform," and lowered the price target to $48 from $50.

According to Cassidy, the company's stock "fully discounts the company's regulatory problems." The change in the price target is also based on the expectation for the company's regulatory issues to continue in 2019.

Cassidy's EPS estimates for Wells Fargo are $4.95 for 2019, and $5.60 for 2020.

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Cassidy upgraded Providence, R.I.-based Citizens Financial Group Inc.'s stock rating to "outperform" from "sector perform," and lowered the price target to $40 from $45.

The analyst wrote that the change in the price target is based on the view that the current market selloff for banks is overdone given the strong fundamentals. The company also succeeded in executing its plan to improve profitability.

Citizens Financial has strong credit quality, which is expected to continue through 2019.

His EPS estimates for Citizens Financial are $3.67 for 2019 and $3.73 for 2020.

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Hovde Group analyst Joseph Fenech upgraded Houston-based Prosperity Bancshares Inc.'s stock rating to "outperform" from "market perform," with a price target of $70.

The analyst wrote that the bank has a low-risk profile. Considering the turbulence and volatility in the market, Prosperity's shares look more interesting, according to the analyst.

The bank's shares are down 11% since July 2018.

Fenech's EPS estimates for Prosperity are $4.71 for 2019 and $4.91 for 2020.

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Fenech upgraded Jasper, Ind.-based German American Bancorp Inc.'s stock rating to "outperform" from "market perform," with a price target of $31.

He wrote that German American is well-positioned to continue to flourish, "should larger macro concerns linger or intensify further."

The bank's shares are down 27% since August 2018.

Fenech's EPS estimates for German American are $2.32 for 2019 and $2.45 for 2020.

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The analyst upgraded Hamburg, N.Y.-based Evans Bancorp Inc.'s stock rating to "outperform" from "market perform," with a price target of $38.

Fenech expects the company's net interest margin to maintain its level and its loan growth to slow. The company is not expected to sell in the near term.

The bank's shares are down 31% since late August 2018.

His EPS estimates for Evans are $3.40 for 2019 and $3.68 for 2020.

Downgrades

Fenech downgraded Stuart, Fla.-based Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida's stock rating to "market perform" from "outperform," with a price target of $28.

Although the bank has one of the lowest cost funding profiles, its shares have strongly outperformed. The bank's shares are up 4% since early February 2018.

Fenech's EPS estimates for Seacoast are $1.87 for 2019 and $2.11 for 2020.

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The analyst downgraded New York-based Signature Bank's stock rating to "market perform" from "outperform," with a price target of $117.

The bank's shares fell only 6% and outperformed recently.

Fenech's EPS estimates for Signature are $10.75 for 2019 and $11.25 for 2020.

Dropped coverage

Michael Young of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey dropped coverage of Houston-based Green Bancorp Inc.'s stock following its merger with Dallas-based Veritex Holdings Inc.

The analyst's last stock rating for Green was "hold."