Bank of America removed from Wells Fargo signature list as Fed rate hike catalyst is now less so

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Bank of America removed from Wells Fargo signature list as Fed rate hike catalyst is now less so
Credit: © Reuters.

By Sam Boughedda

Wells Fargo removed Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) from its Signature Picks list in a note Wednesday but maintained an Overweight rating on the stock. In addition, the firm added Overweight-rated PNC Financial Services (NYSE: PNC ) and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB ) to the list.

Analysts told investors in a note that they still recommend BAC but recognize the catalyst from Fed rate hikes is now less so, and the story is more about earnings over time.

"To us, catalysts for large-cap banks include both the elimination of the 'bank crisis discount' and, at some point, the 'recession discount.' We see more near-term upside for PNC and USB, which we now rank ahead of BAC," the analysts wrote.

Wells Fargo still believes Bank of America is a "unique beneficiary from the COVID recovery as it relates to credit, rates, capital return, and reputation as a leader in stakeholder capitalism."

"BAC is a leader in tech among banks, which should help it further grow its leading deposit share toward its goal of one-fourth in the U.S. and aid in its effort to show superior operating leverage," the analysts added. "Overall, BAC is a goliath at a time when goliath is winning."

They said that PNC is a lower-risk bank with leading technology, while USB has excelled with its prudent risk management, best-in-industry debt ratings, and earnings consistency.

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