Market Overview

SocGen Upgrades Bank Of America, Morgan Stanley, UBS Ahead Of Q4 Earnings

SocGen Upgrades Bank Of America, Morgan Stanley, UBS Ahead Of Q4 Earnings

SocGen has upgraded Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and UBS Group AG (USA) (NYSE: UBS) to Buy as it believes the “Trump Effect” will increase net interest income, lower corporate taxes and allow for the return of excess capital, benefiting the sector as a whole.

Banking Under A Trump Administration

“The increase in earnings will likely be significant for some banks, in our view, more than justifying the recent rally in share prices for US-centric banks,” analyst Andrew Lim wrote in a note.

Lim says Trump’s proposed fiscal stimulus has steepened the U.S. yield curve. Lim noted that banks that benefit the most from higher net interest income are BofA, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM).

Regarding the potential corporate tax reform, Lim said BofA, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan as best placed, with potential net earnings improvement of c.20 percent in store from 2018 onward. The analyst models a cut in the U.S. corporate tax rate to 20 percent from the current 35 percent.

“We see Trump’s policies as supportive of FX trading going forward, amplified by ongoing macro-political volatility in Europe and emerging markets,” Lim continued.

Share Buybacks

Meanwhile, the analyst highlighted that Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) and BofA have the most excess capital and using it to buy back shares could boost EPS by 26 percent, 21 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

The analyst calls Morgan Stanley and Bank of America as the biggest beneficiary of Trump’s policies. The analyst hiked Morgan Stanley’s price target to $60.0 from $22.5, while upping the target price of BofA to $31.5 from $17. Lim also increased his earnings estimates for the banks materially.

In addition, Lim maintains his Buy rating on JPMorgan and increased price target significantly to $108 from $77 as he believes the market under-appreciates the company’s top-line growth, especially in its CIB division, which has high exposure to the fast-growing rates business.

“Longer term, structural growth will be mainly in rates, credit trading, equity derivatives and FX thanks to supportive volatility. The stocks best placed to benefit from this are JPM, GS and UBS,” Lim highlighted.

For UBS, the potential benefits are relatively lesser than US peers, but the Swiss bank should still enjoy net interest income boost due to an upward shift in the yield curve. The analyst estimates that UBS should have excess capital of CHF3.9 billion by end-2018. If used for buybacks, this could lead to 6 percent EPS accretion.

Posted-In: Analyst Color Earnings Long Ideas News Upgrades Price Target Previews Reiteration Best of Benzinga


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