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Odeon Capital Group downgrades 'directionless' Wells Fargo

Downgrades

Odeon Capital Group analyst Dick Bove downgraded San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co., writing that the company appears to be "directionless" at the moment.

While its three biggest competitors have established "aggressive" programs to gain market share from "weaker institutions," Wells Fargo has not, according to Bove. The company is likely to experience revenue weakness and earnings disappointment as a result, he wrote.

The analyst downgraded the company's stock rating to "sell" from "hold."

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Stephens analyst Terry McEvoy downgraded Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Great Western Bancorp Inc. based on the size of the company's agriculture portfolio and credit deterioration.

He downgraded the company's stock rating to "equal-weight" from "overweight," and he maintained his $37 price target.

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McEvoy also downgraded Moline, Ill.-based QCR Holdings Inc., writing that it has been one of the best performing banks within its Midwest peer group.

The company's shares have risen about 36% year to date, according to the analyst.

He downgraded the company's stock rating to "equal-weight" from "overweight" and maintained his $46 price target.

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Finally, McEvoy downgraded Manitowoc, Wis.-based County Bancorp Inc., writing that the company has actively worked through its dairy-heavy loan portfolio credit stress and successfully improved its net interest margin.

The company's shares are up about 59% year-to-date, according to the analyst.

He downgraded the company's stock rating to "equal-weight" from "overweight."

Upgrade

McEvoy upgraded Chicago-based Byline Bancorp Inc., writing that the company's shares have been relatively flat since going public in June 2017.

With no risk from adopting the current expected credit loss model until 2023, Byline is a growth company, the analyst wrote.

The analyst upgraded the company's stock rating to "overweight" from "equal-weight" and raised the price target to $22 from $20. He maintained his 2019 EPS estimate of $1.44 but raised his 2020 EPS estimate to $1.47 from $1.46.

Initiations

Raymond James analyst William Wallace initiated coverage of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Dime Community Bancshares Inc., writing that the company is well positioned to benefit from its New York City market.

The analyst believes the company will be meaningfully profitable following its transition from a thrift model to a full-service community bank.

The analyst initiated coverage with an "outperform" rating and a price target of $24. His EPS estimates are $1.15 for 2019 and $1.45 for 2020.

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Piper Jaffray analyst Nathan Race initiated coverage of Aurora, Ill.-based Old Second Bancorp Inc., writing that the company is uniquely positioned to drive upside estimates with strong loan growth that should limit net interest margin pressure in 2020.

The company also offers attractive M&A possibilities given its strong capital levels and Chicago's fragmented banking landscape, Race said.

The analyst initiated coverage with an "overweight" rating and a price target of $15. His EPS estimates are $1.15 for 2020 and $1.21 for 2021.

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Sandler O'Neill analyst Aaron Deer initiated coverage of Honolulu-based First Hawaiian Inc., writing that the bank is a market leader in Hawaii.

The analyst initiated coverage of the company with a "hold" rating and a price target of $31. His EPS estimates are $2.12 for 2019 and $2.00 for 2020.

Resumed Coverage

Sandler O'Neill analyst Andrew Liesch resumed coverage of San Jose, Calif.-based Heritage Commerce Corp.

The analyst wrote that he forecasts modest loan growth and NIM pressure, but the company's profitability should exceed peers.

The analyst resumed coverage with a "buy" rating and a $15 price target. His EPS estimates are $1.02 for both 2019 and 2020.