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Cramer Quick Take: Time to Rotate Into Regional Banks

Tickers in this article: BAC BBT C FHN KEY
Check out Jim Cramer's latest trading recommendations on "Action Alerts Plus".

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When it comes to the regional banks, "the time is now," Jim Cramer told Lindsey Bell at Thursday.

He said the expectations have been set very high at the big banks including Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) , but it is the regional banks that are putting up the numbers.

Cramer said many investors and analysts are focused on a single metric, net interest margin, but that's only one of many matrices that matter. He said that as with any business sales matter, growth matters and more loans matter, all of which the regionals banks have.

That's why KeyCorp (KEYB) remains a favorite for Cramer's charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS. Cramer also recommended BB&T (BBT) and First Horizon (FHN) as other strong players.

As for Citigroup, Cramer said he was a fan of Vikram Pandit but it appears Citi is pulling back from Pandit's strategy at the very time it should be pushing it forward.

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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington.

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