4 Financial Stock Stories To Start the Trading Week

Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS): Current price $148.51

Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein received $21 million in 2012, and Goldman Sachs granted him a further $5 million in bonus shares in January. Breaking it down, the bank paid Blankfein $13.3 million in restricted shares and a $5.7 million cash bonus on top of his $2 million annual salary last year making his total 2012 amount $9m more than in 2011, and the highest since the $68 million he received in 2007, before the financial crisis. The payout was disclosed in a filing with the  U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and makes Blankfein the world’s highest paid banker.

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GS

Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC): Current price $12.11

Bloomberg says that Bank of America must face allegations by homeowners that it received kickbacks from private insurers, since a United States District Judge Berle Schiller denied the its request to turn down the lawsuit because the statute of limitations had expired on the claims. The judge said in a ruling that homeowners who sued should be given the opportunity to develop their argument that the claims should be allowed because the bank intentionally hid its behavior, Schiller commented that “plaintiffs’ allegations that defendants dressed up an illegal scheme to appear as a legitimate transaction is sufficient to deny defendants’ motion to dismiss.

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BAC

Citigroup (NYSE:C): Current price $45.87

Jim Cowles, the bank’s European chief, said that so-called United States universal banks such as Citi are gaining market share in investment banking since they can absorb the rising cost of regulation better than can their European peers. The third-largest domestic bank is planning to hire “several” senior investment bankers in Europe following the firm, just as did its American counterparts, taking “harder” decisions than lenders in Europe as it recapitalized after the financial crisis more than four years ago, Cowles said in an interview in London, adding that  “There are only a handful of banks that have the size and scope to deal with the growing regulatory demands. The result is likely to be consolidation of market share in the investment-banking business.

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C

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB): Current price $33.76

The bank has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. The analysts said that “The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. USB’s revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.7 percent. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.5 percent. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company’s bottom line, improving the earnings per share. The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report.”

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USB

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