Are These The Top Bank Stocks To Buy Today?

Bank stocks appear to be kicking off the 2021 first-quarter earnings season strong. As a result, it would not surprise me if investors are looking for the top bank stocks to watch today. After all, banks would fall into the category of cyclical stocks which are looking at tailwinds amidst improving pandemic conditions now. This would be the case with the economy on the rebound and vast amounts of stimulus having been given out. All this would facilitate greater consumer spending all around which benefits banks, to say the least. If that wasn’t enough, the recent rise in interest rates also provides overall favorable operating conditions for commercial banks.

Given all of this, it would make sense that the financial industry performs well this earnings season, right? Well, RBC Capital Market appears to believe so. Namely, the firm’s head of U.S. bank equity strategy, Gerard Cassidy, argues that bank stocks will likely exceed analyst estimates this week. Specifically, he anticipates that Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) will be among the “biggest beneficiaries” from economic recovery. Just this morning, Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) exceeded Wall Street estimates with earnings of $1.05 per share on revenue of $18.06 billion. All things considered, it could be wise to keep an eye on these four bank stocks now.

Best Bank Stocks To Buy [Or Sell] Now

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Goldman Sachs is an investment banking, securities, and investment management company. It provides a range of financial services to financial institutions, corporations, governments, and individuals. Today, the company reported its first-quarter financials that have far exceeded analysts’ expectations as a reopening economic and investment banking boom helped the bank post a record revenue. GS stock currently trades at $337.09 as of 1:26 p.m. ET and have been up by over 20% year-to-date.

bank stocks (gs stock)
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

In detail, the company posted a record net revenue of $17.7 billion for the quarter, more than double the amount compared to a year ago. The increase reflected higher net revenues across all its segments. This includes significant increases in Asset Management, Global Markets, and Investment Banking revenues. Goldman Sachs also posted net earnings of $6.84 billion for the quarter and diluted earnings per share of $18.60.

Given the impressive financials, it is a testament to how the company has weathered through the pandemic. Its businesses remain very well positioned to help its clients reposition for the recovery in a post-pandemic world. The firm also returned $3.15 billion of capital to common shareholders during the quarter. This includes $2.70 billion of share repurchases and $448 million of common stock dividends. All things considered, will you consider investing in GS stock?

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JPMorgan Chase & Co

JPMorgan is an investment bank and financial services holding company that is headquartered in New York City. It is one of the oldest financial institutions in the U.S., with a history dating back over 200 years. It boasts over $2.6 trillion of client assets under management and over 250,000 employees worldwide. JPM stock currently trades at $152.24 as of 1:26 p.m. ET and has been up by over 20% year-to-date. A company, like Goldman Sachs, also reported its first-quarter financials today. JPMorgan had also smashed estimates as the economy rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic.

top bank stocks to buy (JPM stock)
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

Net income for the quarter was a staggering $14.3 billion, a 399% increase year-over-year. JPMorgan also reported net revenue of $33.1 billion, a 14% increase year-over-year. In its consumer and community banking segment, consumer spending had returned to pre-pandemic levels, up 14% versus the first quarter of 2019.

Could this be signs of better times ahead? One thing’s for certain, the company continues to make significant investments in products, people, and technology. Given the excitement surrounding the company, will you consider adding JPM stock to your portfolio?

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First Republic Bank

Next on our list is First Republic Bank or FRC. The bank and its subsidiaries offer private banking and private wealth management. It also specializes in delivering exceptional, relationship-based service and offers a complete line of financial products. The company today reported its first-quarter earnings for 2021. FRC stock currently trades at $173.69 as of 1:27 p.m. ET and has been up by over 70% in the last year.

best bank stocks (FRC stock)
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

For the first quarter, FRC reported a revenue of $1.1 billion, a 23.8% increase year-over-year. Furthermore, net income for the quarter was $334.8 million, up by 53.1% compared to a year earlier. The company also increased its quarterly dividend by 10% to $0.22 per share. Impressively, this is also the 10th consecutive year for the company to increase its quarterly dividend.

Also, the company reported that its total investment securities on March 31, 2021, were $21.7 billion, a 17% increase compared to the prior quarter. The company is certainly off to a very strong start in 2021, driven by strong growth in loans, deposits, and wealth management assets. With that in mind, will you consider buying FRC stock? 

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Morgan Stanley

Another top bank stock to consider now would be Morgan Stanley. In brief, the banking giant operates out of offices in over 41 countries across the globe. Morgan Stanley will be the last of the big banks reporting earnings on Friday. As with its other peers in the banking business, MS stock would be in focus right now. In fact, the company’s shares have more than doubled over the past year. Just how well does it compare to the rest of the competition now?

top bank stocks to watch (ms stock)
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

On the operational front, Morgan Stanley has been making massive plays. Just last month, the investment banking firm started offering access to three Bitcoin funds. Notably, it is one of the first big banks in the U.S. to do so. In detail, the company now allows wealthier clients to invest in three funds that enable ownership of Bitcoin. Now, this only applies to clients who have no less than $2 million in assets, but it is a great play by Morgan Stanley, nonetheless.

With Bitcoin hitting new highs this week, investors could be factoring this in when considering MS stock’s long-term growth potential. Time will tell if this move pays off for the company moving forward. In the meantime, would you consider investing in MS stock ahead of its earnings this week?


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