S&P MAINTAINS HOLD RECOMMENDATION ON SHARES OF SYNOVUS FINANCIAL CORP (Standard & Poor's) Q4 loss per share of $0.54 vs. a loss per share of $1.93 is slightly wider than our $0.53 loss per share estimate, due to a higher than expected tax rate, offsetting a $51.9M pre-tax gain on sale of Visa shares, about $0.065 per share. However, we see credit quality improving, with only $404M in new nonperforming loans, down slightly from prior quarters. We also see revenues as strong. On these results, we raise our target price to $3, up $1, based on a below-peers 0.77X tangible book. Our primary concern is on capital levels, as tangible common equity ratio is now below 6.0%.