Market Overview

Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Are This Analyst's Tax Cut Plays

Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Are This Analyst's Tax Cut Plays
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The new 21-percent corporate tax rate is galvanizing players from tech to pharma to energy.

And it’s driving at least one analyst to ”keep the chips on the table” in the financial sector.

The Rating

Buckingham Research Group analyst James Mitchell upgraded Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) to Buy and raised their respective price targets from $57 to $75 and from $100 to $135.

Mitchell downgraded Lazard Ltd (NYSE: LAZ) to Neutral and maintained a $59 price target.

All other banks in his coverage saw median price target increases of 18 percent.

The Thesis

With the exception of Lazard, where Mitchell views growth as being stunted by weakening restructuring revenues, U.S. banks are expected to leverage a significantly lower tax rate, accelerated global growth and higher interest rates offset by modest repatriation charges. (See the analyst's track record here.) 

The tax cut is forecast to improve large-cap earnings per share by 12 percent and mid-cap EPS by 18 percent — and Mitchell considers these figures conservative.

“With valuations in line with long-term average multiples, we believed the market was not pricing in upside from tax reform, deregulation or materially higher economic growth/interest rates,” Mitchell said in a Thursday note.

This year, the group performed in line with the S&P 500 despite outperforming in EPS growth, and Mitchell estimates 24-percent average upside to the stocks.

Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Evercore Inc (NYSE: EVR) and Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE: RJF) boast the most near-term upside, according to Buckingham. 

Price Action

At the time of publication, Lazard was trading at $51.04, JPMorgan at $107.51 and Wells Fargo at $61.26. 

Related Links:

Analysis: Here's What Washington Is Likely To Accomplish By Years' End

Berenberg: Tax Reform Could Spark 21% Higher Earnings For Altria

Latest Ratings for WFC

Oct 2018NomuraMaintainsBuyBuy
Oct 2018MacquarieUpgradesNeutralOutperform
Sep 2018MacquarieMaintainsNeutralNeutral

View More Analyst Ratings for WFC
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Buckingham Research Group James MitchellAnalyst Color Upgrades Downgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga


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Latest Ratings

JBLGoldman SachsUpgrades0.0
JRVRKeefe Bruyette & WoodsDowngrades40.0
ADMPB. Riley FBRDowngrades2.5
EAFVertical GroupDowngrades9.0
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