Bullishness creeps back into Bank of America recommendations

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Bank of America has been the target of some upbeat recent analyst reports as of late.

Ed Najarian, a banking analyst at ISI Group, recently upped his recommendation from hold to buy, arguing that Bank of America will likely be able to expand its stock buyback program and boost its annual dividend. It's now at $0.04 a share, but it seems poised to move up to about $0.20 next year and $0.4 cents by 2015, he wrote to clients, as noted by Bloomberg.

That comes on top of a positive report from Atlantic Equities analyst Richard Staite, who recently met with the bank's CFO Bruce Thompson. Staite has reiterated his "overweight" rating for Bank of America and has set forth a $12 price target. The analysts noted that Thompson "expressed confidence that in Q4 there will be a decline in Legacy Asset Servicing costs, that mortgage delinquencies will decline and that the NIM will benefit from lower funding costs."

Despite those projections, there's still plenty of skepticism about the bank, especially in the short term. A recent study of analyst recommendations at major brokerage houses has found that Bank of America ranks is the number 26 stock on average, out of the 30 stocks making up the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Within the broader S&P 500, when components were ranked in terms of analyst favorites, Bank of America comes in at number 371.

For more:
- here's the article
- here's an article from Forbes on the ETF Channel study

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