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Citi upgrades JPMorgan Chase to buy, says stock is at an attractive entry point

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Investors should consider buying shares of JPMorgan Chase ahead of a major earnings week for banks as they’re at an attractive entry point, according to Citi. Analyst Keith Horowitz on Tuesday upgraded shares of JPMorgan to buy from neutral, citing solid fundamentals that should appeal to investors, as well as the recent pullback in the stock. Shares are down 28% this year. “We are upgrading JPM to Buy as we believe investors will first look to high-quality franchises with strong management teams and a sound balance sheet, and we believe JPM fits this narrative,” Horowitz wrote. “Given the YTD pull back in the stock, we believe the market is no longer reflecting a premium valuation and we view this as an attractive entry point.” Citi lowered the price target by roughly 7%, to $135 from $145. The new price target represents about 20% upside from Monday’s closing price. JPMorgan is set to kick off corporate earnings season for bank stocks on Thursday at a time when rising recession concerns have investors uncertain whether to own bank stocks. A recession could mean greater credit losses for banks. Still, the Citi analyst said that higher interest rates, which benefit banks, as well as recent stress tests that show banks can weather a downturn, could offset those concerns. “We do not see capital issues this cycle given less credit creation heading into this potential downturn plus benefit of higher rates,” Horowitz wrote. “We don’t see a near-term catalyst, but believe the stocks will reprice quickly once the market gains comfort that there is less balance sheet risk than feared.” –CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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