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US Bancorp, Stock Yards Bancorp get upgrades

Upgrades

* U.S. Bancorp's stock rating was raised to "outperform" from "neutral" by Baird analyst David George.

The action came amid a broader bank stock pullback. U.S. Bancorp's stock price has dipped about 8% in the year to date, and "this is a good time in the cycle to upgrade the quality of bank holdings," George wrote.

The stock has a price target of $56. It closed at $49.25 on March 23.

* And FIG Partners' John Rodis raised Stock Yards Bancorp Inc.'s rating, in light of a 10% price decline in the year-to-date. Similar-sized banks, Rodis notes for comparison, are down about 3%.

That "disconnect" makes for an investment opportunity in a company that has cumulatively grown tangible book value 26%, 49% and 125% respectively over the past three, five and 10 years. Banks with more than $1 billion in assets have grown a median of 18%, 33% and 64%, respectively, in the meantime.

He upgraded Louisville, Ky.-based Stock Yards to "outperform" from "market perform," and kept the price target at $40. The stock closed at $34.00 on March 23.