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12 Bank Stocks That Wall Street Loves the Most

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Bank earnings season kicked off Friday, April 12, with first-quarter reports from JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC). As more reports roll in, investors will be keen to see what a pause in interest-rate hikes and a potential slowdown in economic growth could mean for the sector going forward.

After all, those and other concerns have made financial stocks a market laggard so far this year. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index is up a hot 15% for the year through April 10. The financial sector, however, gained just 11% over the same span. The bank subsector was up a bit more than 12%.

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But the financial sector might be ready to pivot. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expect the sector to post year-over-year Q1 earnings growth of just 2.9%. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s encouraging when you consider that FactSet estimates the S&P 500’s profits will contract by 4.2% for the quarter.

Which bank stocks are analysts most excited about right now? We screened the Russell 1000 Index for the top-rated small, midsize and large bank stocks. S&P Global Market Intelligence surveys analysts’ ratings on stocks and scores them on a five-point scale, where 1.0 equals “Strong Buy” and 5.0 means “Strong Sell.” Any score of 2.0 or lower means that analysts, on average, rate the stock a “Buy.” The closer the score gets to 1.0, the better.

Here are the 12 best-rated bank stocks as earnings season gets into gear. This group is broken down into the four most-loved stock picks in the small-, mid- and large-cap spaces.

SEE ALSO: The 25 Best Blue-Chip Stocks to Buy Now (According to Hedge Funds)

Data is as of April 10, 2019. Companies are listed by strength of analysts’ buy recommendations, from lowest to highest. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent quarterly payout and dividing by the share price. Analysts’ ratings are provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Expected earnings dates are provided by Briefing.com.

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