Thumbs Up on U.S. Banks (CS, WFC, JPM, HBAN)


Calling U.S. banks a leveraged play on interest rates supported by declining spreads on investment grade debt, Credit Suisse Group (NYSE: CS) today upgraded its view of U.S. banks. The bank's analysts believe that U.S. banks will see better returns as asset quality rises and as banks make more loans.

According to a report at MarketWatch, Credit Suisse rates Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) as Neutral and gives J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) and Huntington Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: HBAN) Outperform ratings.

Credit Suisse says U.S. banks will "surprise to the upside." Compared to European banks, U.S. banks are fully deleveraged, another point in the banks' favor. The U.S. economy is expected outperform Europe in the near term and corporate balance sheets have improved. Credit Suisse also notes that U.S. leading economic indicators are getting better.

Of the U.S. banks Credit Suisse names, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo are active in premarket trading this morning. Wells Fargo's shares are up about 0.5% at $34.85 in a 52-week range of $22.61 to $36.60. Shares of J.P. Morgan are trading down 0.4% at $40.80 in a 52-week range of $27.85 to $46.49.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Analyst Calls, Banking, Banking & Finance Tagged: CS, HBAN, JPM, WFC