Bank of America Climbs on Analyst Upgrade

Shares of Bank of America (BAC)  rose Tuesday after BMO Capital upgraded the financial-services company to outperform from market perform.

Analyst James Fotheringham kept his price target for the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank unchanged at $37. In a note to investors, Fotheringham said he expects upward consensus estimates revisions and a “multiple re-rating” to drive 34% total return in the shares.

He said that Bank of America’s current valuation multiple is 15% below its long-term average and he believes that consensus earnings-per-share estimates will be revised higher. Even if the Federal Reserve cuts rates, Fotheringham said, positive earnings revisions from better fees, tax rates, provisions and buybacks should “more than offset” any related net interest margin dilution.

In April, Bank of America said first-quarter profit rose by 6% as cost cuts helped to overcome a soft trading environment. Net income climbed to $7.3 billion, the bank said. Earnings per share were 70 cents, beating analysts’ average estimate of 66 cents.

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