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Raymond James upgrades American National's stock rating to 'strong buy'

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Raymond James upgrades American National's stock rating to 'strong buy'

Upgrades

Macquarie Capital analyst David Konrad upgraded Citigroup Inc.'s stock rating to "outperform" from "neutral," and lowered its price target to $76 from $83.

Konrad wrote that over the past four years, Citi's core efficiency ratio has improved, and is expected to improve further. The analyst also wrote that Citi could be in a better position with greater exposure to trading, and lesser exposure to investment banking fees.

The analyst's EPS estimates for Citi are $7.55 for 2019, compared to the previous estimate of $7.70, and $8.60 for 2020, compared to the previous estimate of $8.75.

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Raymond James analyst William Wallace IV upgraded Danville, Va.-based American National Bankshares Inc.'s stock rating to "strong buy" from "outperform," and lowered the price target to $37 from $41.

The analyst wrote that the upgrade was based on valuation as the risk-to-reward dynamic is increasingly more attractive at current valuation levels.

The analyst's EPS estimates for American National are $3.00 for 2019, compared to the previous estimate of $3.05, and $3.25 for 2020, compared to the previous estimate of $3.40.

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Piper Jaffray analyst Matthew Clark upgraded Ontario, Calif.-based CVB Financial Corp.'s stock rating to "overweight" from "neutral", with a price target of $25.

The analyst wrote that the company's funding advantage will help it in taking market share, contrary to actions of other banks.

Clark wrote that CVB is one of the "highest quality and most conservatively run banks" that will attract more attention during an economic downturn.

His EPS estimates for CVB are $1.52 for 2019 and $1.55 for 2020.

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Piper Jaffray analyst Nathan Race upgraded Rosemont, Ill.-based Wintrust Financial Corp.'s stock rating to "overweight" from "neutral," with a price target of $85.

The analyst based the upgrade on improved net interest margin outlook with its acquisition of Elektra Holding Co. LLC, among other things.

Race expects the company to post higher than average operating leverage in 2019.

His EPS estimates for Wintrust are $6.67 for 2019 and $7.11 for 2020.

Downgrades

Goldman Sachs analyst Richard Ramsden downgraded Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc.'s stock rating to "neutral" from "buy," and lowered its price target to $144 from $154.

The analyst wrote that the company's operating leverage is not as well positioned to improve relative to its peer group, considering that higher deposit betas might restrict net interest income, among other things.

The analyst's EPS estimates for PNC are $11.31 for 2019, $11.78 for 2020 and $11.76 for 2021.

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Macquarie Capital's David Konrad downgraded Bank of America Corp.'s stock rating to "neutral" from "outperform," and lowered its price target to $30 from $34.

Konrad wrote that the company has been very successful in gaining operating leverage through lower costs and legal expenses while continuing to invest in the franchise.

The analyst's EPS estimates for the bank are $2.80 for 2019, compared to the previous estimate of $2.82, and $3.15 for 2020.

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Wallace downgraded Portsmouth, Va.-based TowneBank's stock rating to "market perform" from "outperform," on valuation.

According to the analyst the risk-to-reward dynamic is increasingly less attractive at current relative valuation levels.

The analyst's EPS estimates for the bank for 2018, 2019 and 2020 of $2.04, $2.15 and $2.25, respectively, remain unchanged.