JP Morgan analyst Vivek Juneja reiterated an Overweight rating on Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) with a price target of $18 last week after meeting with Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan and Dean Athanasia, the Co-Head of Consumer Banking.
Following the 2008 financial crisis, Bank of America has been dealing with legacy issues and new regulations.Over the past few years, Bank of America’s earnings results were clouded by investors worrying about legal liabilities in regards to the subprime mortgage crisis. However, the bank’s legal settlements have been squared away and now investors can focus on the future.
Although Bank of America’s “improvement in efficiency ratio has slowed recently and investors want more urgency in lowering this ratio further,” Juneja believes “that [Bank of America] could reduce expenses further” as the company has been focusing on growing its business with “deposits and commercial loans.” The analyst ultimately expects Bank of America to have “increased cost control and lower efficiency ratio” and to “benefit from higher rates.”
In Juneja’s view, however, “there seems to be room for BofA to improve growth in some businesses where it lags [behind its] peers.” The analyst believes the company has specifically “lagged in credit cards and mortgage originations.”
The analyst also pointed out that Bank of America “is very focused on improving its modeling and other processes for CCAR [Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review cycle] so as to ensure it is approved for capital return following its conditional approval.”
Overall, Juneja attributes his bullish rating on Bank of America to the company’s “improving credit, expense savings, potential for significant increase in normalized earnings, and position as a leading retail and commercial banking franchise in the US.”
Vivek Juneja has rated Bank of America 13 times, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock and a +31.2% average return per recommendation. Overall, he has a 78% success rate recommending stocks and a +18.4% average return per recommendation.
Out of three top analysts polled by TipRanks, two recommend to Buy Bank of America and one recommends to Hold. the average 12-month price target on the stock is $19.17, marking over a 10% potential upside from where Bank of America is currently trading. On average, the top analyst consensus for Bank of America on TipRanks is Moderate Buy.