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Excerpt from our One Page Barron's Summary (receive it weekly by email by signing up here):

BofA Gains Clout in Private Banking With a Smart Deal

Highlighted companies: Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), Wachovia Corp. (NASDAQ:WB), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)
Summary: In early 2005 Barron's published a skeptical piece on Bank of America (BAC). Now they say, "We were wrong; the stock has rallied 16% since then, outperforming not only its financial-services peers, but the broader market, too." BAC's $3.3b buyout of U.S. Trust looks good: its acquisition of a solid name in wealth-management is likely to lift Bank of America's private banking efforts. With combined assets under management of $328 billion, BAC Bank of America Chart 26 11 06goes to fifth from ninth in Barron's 2006 rankings of the top wealth management firms in the U.S., just ahead of Wachovia (WB) and just behind Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management. Analysts say the deal demonstrates the bank's willingness to draw on outside expertise to boost key portions of its business, leading a top CIBC analyst to lift her price target on Bank of America's stock to $65 from a previous $59 (shares closed Friday at $54.56). BAC currently trades for 11 times 2007 estimated earnings of $4.94 a share and yields a rich 4.10%, "which ought to keep shareholders happy as they wait for the latest purchase to pay off."
Related: Bank of America , Citibank Takeover Targets On Paper OnlyBank of America Acquires U.S. Trust in Bid To Lure the Uber-Rich$1.5 Billion Ruling Against Bank of America OverturnedBank of America Accelerates Free Trading: Time to Short Ameritrade, E-Trade and Charles Schwab?

Source: Bank of America: Impressive Numbers Prove We Were Wrong -- Barron's