Piper Jaffray analyst Kevin Barker downgraded to"neutral" from "overweight" based on valuation butincreased his 12-month price target to $32 from $30. The analyst noted that theshares, which are trading at a 10% premium based on forward earnings, haveappreciated 30% since July. He believes the market is valuing the company toreflect a possible rate hike and proposed changes to the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Reviewprocess. Barker thinks that among regional banks, the company is one of thebest-positioned for a rate hike, though he noted "there are cheaper waysto play a December rate move."
Nomura analyst Bill Carcache downgraded and inhis third-quarter earnings preview.
The analyst downgraded Fifth Third to "reduce"from "neutral." The analyst expects Fifth Third's share price todecrease following its third-quarter earnings. He thinks the company willnegatively revise its previously reported EPS, report unsatisfactory growth inits loan portfolio, and suffer "greatest EPS headwinds" if itreinvests securities, which will mature in less than one year, at currentrates. "We see value in being underweight [Fifth Third] vs.[KeyCorp]," he added.
He noted that the company has outperformed and the KBW Nasdaq Bank Indexsince January. He added that KeyCorp's shares reflect investors' perception ofthe company's ability to deliver cost savings from the acquisition. Hebelieves the company will be able to execute. In contrast, he thinks investorsare excited about the profitability-focused "Project North Star" atFifth Third and are overvaluing the stock.
Carcache also downgraded PNCFinancial Services to "neutral" from "buy" based onvaluation. The analyst noted that the company outperformed by 10 percentagepoints since the end of June. He believes PNC Financial Services is "fullyvalued."
He reiterated a "neutral"rating for M&T Bank.
Merion Capital Group analyst JoeGladue resumed coverage of BrynMawr Bank Corp. with an "outperform" rating and a12-month target price of $35. The analyst noted that the bank's focus onrelationship banking helps it compete with some of the largest banks in itsmarket area, including Capital OneFinancial Corp., Bankof America Corp., M&T Bank, PNC, Toronto-Dominion Bank and In addition, hehighlighted the bank's strong asset quality and diversified revenue stream,which provides stability under changing economic conditions.