Buy Wells Fargo: Jefferies
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jefferies Analyst Ken Usdin on Monday initiated his firm's coverage of Wells Fargo with a buy rating, saying "the bank's bias is to return capital to shareholders and provide for growth in the near-term."
Wells Fargo's shares closed at $33.05 Friday, trading for just above tangible book value, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight, and for nine times the consensus 2013 earnings estimate of $3.66 a share, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is $3.29.
The shares trade significantly higher by both measures than those of the other three members of the "big four" club, reflecting Wells Fargo's stronger and more consistent earnings performance. The company's operating returns on average assets (ROA) have ranged between 1.21% and 1.30% over the past five quarters, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight.