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KBW upgrades PrivateBancorp

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KBW upgrades PrivateBancorp

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* Keefe Bruyette & Woods analyst Christopher McGratty upgraded PrivateBancorp Inc. to "outperform" from "market perform," increasing his price target to $63 from $54.

McGratty noted that under its current terms, the pending merger between the Chicago-based company and Toronto-based Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce won't likely receive approval from PrivateBancorp shareholders.

Even if the deal is not approved by shareholders, McGratty noted that PrivateBancorp has one of the best risk/reward trade-offs in the smaller mid-cap space. Though the company's stock trades "near-parity" with its peers on a revised 2018 estimate, the analyst wrote that it has "above-average" EPS growth/revisions and a very asset-sensitive balance sheet.

If the deal is terminated, the analyst projected a low, short-lived risk for the company.

Notable Reiteration

*Sandler O'Neill & Partners analyst Matthew Forgotson reiterated his "hold" rating for Kalispell, Mont.-based Glacier Bancorp Inc., with a $36 price target.

Forgotson wrote that Glacier Bancorp CEO Randy Chesler at a meeting with institutional investors reiterated his commitment to "controlled growth, high performance, and steady capital return." Additionally, Chesler seemed to want Glacier to focus on refinement and growth rather than "material shifts in strategy," the analyst wrote.

The CEO said at the meeting that the M&A pipeline "looks good," but that the company is not pressured to close a deal, Forgotson wrote. Chesler expects the Yuma, Ariz.-based TFB Bancorp Inc. deal might be the only deal to close in 2017, while Forgotson projected that any other deals made within the year would probably close in 2018.

The analyst wrote that Glacier's management seemed encouraged to pass the $10 billion asset threshold through steady organic growth and occasional acquisitions of small banks.

Forgotson wrote that he sees "modest upward pressure" on the bank's profitability metrics from the "TFB acquisition, NIM expansion, strong organic loan growth, and a shallower expense growth trajectory."