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BMO Capital Markets downgrades Bank of America on valuation

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BMO Capital Markets analyst James Fotheringham downgraded Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp. based on valuation exclusively, the analyst wrote.

The analyst downgraded the company's stock rating to "market perform" from "outperform." The price target remained unchanged at $37. The analyst lowered his EPS estimates to $2.86 and $3.21 from $2.92 and $3.33 for 2019 and 2020, respectively.

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D.A. Davidson analyst Kevin Fitzsimmons upgraded Baton Rouge, La.-based Business First Bancshares Inc.

Fitzsimmons expects net interest margin pressure to diminish in the first half of the year and loan growth to remain healthy, he wrote.

Additionally, he expects the company to benefit from recent mergers of equals in its footprint, including Memphis, Tenn.-based First Horizon National Corp. and Lafayette, La.-based IBERIABANK Corp.'s MOE, and McKinney, Texas-based Independent Bank Group Inc. and Dallas-based Texas Capital Bancshares Inc.'s MOE.

The analyst upgraded the company's stock rating to "buy" from "neutral" and raised the price target by 50 cents to $28.50. His EPS estimates are $1.81 for 2019 and $1.90 for 2020.