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Value Investors Avoid JPM, Buy These 5 Bank Stocks Instead

Swayta Shah

JPMorgan JPM is witnessing downward estimate revisions. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the bank’s earnings has moved down marginally for 2018 and 2019, over the past 30 days.

Also, the company is witnessing investors apathy. Shares of JPMorgan lost 8.7% in 2018 compared with a decline of 5.9% for the S&P 500.

Also, JPMorgan’s mortgage operation is slowing down. This is because though rising rates are beneficial for banks, these hamper growth in mortgage banking business. Over the last three-years (2015-2017), mortgage fees and related income declined at a CAGR of 19.8%, with the same trend persisting in the first nine months of 2018. As fresh originations and refinancing activities are likely to continue declining, mortgage banking business will remain under pressure in the quarters ahead.

Price Performance in 2018


Also, a significant part of JPMorgan’s revenues come from the trading business (roughly one-fifth of the company’s total revenues). As the business is highly susceptible to performance of the fixed income and equity markets, there is always uncertainty about the level of contribution coming from trading revenues.

Further, JPMorgan has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17 compared with the industry average of 0.94. The high debt obligation might drag it to a relatively disadvantageous position.

Moreover, JPMorgan seems overvalued when compared with the broader industry. Its price/sales and price/earnings (F1) ratios compare unfavorably with the respective industry averages. Further, the stock has an unimpressive Value Score of F. Our research shows that stocks with a Value Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) offer the best upside potential. Hence, the stock does not look promising at present.

So, a stretched valuation and downward estimates revisions indicate limited upside potential for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.

Some Great Picks in the Banking Space

Heightening concerns about rising interest rates, trade tensions and political uncertainty have kept the broader markets under pressure, but the continued economic improvement has been the key offsetting factor.


Similar to many other companies that are suffering from the ongoing broader issues, it may not be easy for banks to produce decent returns in the near future. Nonetheless, betting on some banking stocks, which possess solid growth prospects and carry a top Zacks Rank, could be really rewarding.

These are expected to be worthy investment options for investors with promises of healthy returns.

With the help of the Zacks Stock Screener, we have shortlisted banks with a Value Score of A or B and a Zacks Rank #1 or 2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Also, these banks have market cap of $3 billion or more and are expected to record earnings growth of more than 5% for 2019.

Here are the five banks that met the criteria:

Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. CFR, with a market cap of $5.6 billion, carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a Value Score of B. The bank’s earnings are expected grow 5.3% year over year in 2019.

Carrying a Zacks Rank #2 and Value Score of A, Umpqua Holdings Corporation UMPQ has a market cap of $3.5 billion. The company’s 2019 earnings are expected to grow at the rate of 14.3%.

Western Alliance Bancorporation WAL carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a Value Score of B. The company earnings are expected grow 13% year over year in 2019. It has a market cap of $4.1 billion.

IBERIABANK Corporation IBKC, with a market cap of $3.6 billion, carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a Value Score of B. The bank’s earnings are expected grow 8.9% year over year in 2019.

Wintrust Financial Corporation WTFC carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a Value Score of B. The company earnings are expected grow 8% year over year in 2019. It has a market cap of $3.8 billion.

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