"Bear Stearns (BSC, NYSE, around $15) recently reported quarterly earnings of 60 cents a share, double the amount earned in the year-earlier period," says Alison Deans of Smith Barney.
"This was well above our expectations. We have raised our fiscal 1991 [June] estimate to $1.45 a share. We view Bear Stearns as one of the best-managed firms in the industry. The company emphasizes a strict cost and risk discipline."
"We view the stock as attractively valued. We rate the stock a buy."
"We are reiterating our buy recommendation on Charles Schwab (SCH, NYSE, around $21), a leading discount brokerage operation," says Dean Eberling of Shearson Lehman Bros.
"The company offers significant operating leverage and considerable earnings growth potential in response to improvements in the financial markets."
"We believe that earnings for the company will rebound as the financial markets improve and retail investors move back into the stock market.
"North Carolina-based NCNB (NCB, NYSE, around $38) -- with a significant presence in the Florida market -- is one bank that we think has the potential to benefit from its competitor's weaknesses, boost its return on equity, and reward investors over the intermediate term and beyond," says the Merrill Lynch Market Letter of New York.
"The shares appear attractive based on their price-to-book value relationship.
"The stock has our highest long-term buy rating."
"American Express (AXP, NYSE, around $23) has undergone a major transformation during the last decade and has evolved into a preeminent global financial services conglomerate," says Argus Research of New York.
"The company's results for 1990 were weak. But by our estimate, 1991 earnings from continuing operations will jump more than 27 percent. "In our opinion, the stock is substantially undervalued on the basis of current and prospective earnings. We think the issue could reach the mid-$30s."