One Of The Banking Sector's Biggest Bulls Thinks Now Is The Time To Sell

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Raymond James’ Anthony Polini announced today he’d downgraded 10 bank stocks, citing “too far too fast” price surges and warning of disappointing Q1 earnings. “In our opinion, bank stocks are overdue for a healthy round of profit taking given the recent rally sparked by positive results from the stress tests, a flow of funds into equities, and a more optimistic macroeconomic outlook,” the usually bullish Polini writes. 

The downgrades included M&T, PNC and BOK Financial.

Though he didn’t downgrade them, Polini also gave a nudge to taking profits on Bank of America and Citi.

“Some investors may want to take some profits after the very strong price performances thus far in 2012 (with BAC up 77% and C up 41%),” he writes.   

In addition to those two firms, Polini maintained strong-buy ratings for JPMorgan, U.S. Bancorp and BB&T.

Finally, Polini professed uncertainty about the future of interest rates.

“Interest rates remain our biggest wild card going forward, and the recent rally has factored in a potentially overzealous outlook.” 

Here’s the rundown of Polini’s 10 downgrades:

  • “Outperform from “Strong Buy”PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (PNC:NYSE) Webster Financial Corp. (WBS:NYSE)
  • PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (PNC:NYSE)
  • Webster Financial Corp. (WBS:NYSE)
  • “Market Perform” from “Outperform”BOK Financial Corp. (BOKF:NASDAQ) Dime Community Bancshares (DCOM:NASDAQ) KeyCorp (KEY:NYSE) M&T Bank Corp. (MTB:NYSE) Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc. (PNFP:NASDAQ)
  • BOK Financial Corp. (BOKF:NASDAQ)
  • Dime Community Bancshares (DCOM:NASDAQ)
  • KeyCorp (KEY:NYSE)
  • M&T Bank Corp. (MTB:NYSE)
  • Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc. (PNFP:NASDAQ)
  • “Underperform” from “Market Perform”Associated Banc-Corp (ASBC:NASDAQ) Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida (SBCF:NASDAQ) Simmons First National Corporation (SFNC:NASDAQ)
  • Associated Banc-Corp (ASBC:NASDAQ)
  • Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida (SBCF:NASDAQ)
  • Simmons First National Corporation (SFNC:NASDAQ)

 

[h/t Dealjournal]

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