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By David Berman

Jason Bilodeau, an analyst at TD Newcrest, is turning up his bullish enthusiasm for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (NYSE:CM) by another notch, to “action list buy” from the previous plain vanilla “buy,” which makes the bank his top pick in the sector.

Of course, this is CIBC we’re talking about, which means that even a bullish argument comes with all sorts of caveats. Bilodeau points out that the bank doesn’t have the highest quality business operations or medium-term growth prospects within the Canadian banking group. But it is cheap, trading at just 9.5 times estimated earnings, it is likely to raise its dividend payout in the coming quarters and its recent American Century acquisition should drive earnings higher.

“CIBC is a lower-quality platform, in our view,” he said in a note. “But it is building earnings and offers compelling value here, in our opinion.”

He maintained a price target of $94, implying about a 30 per cent upside to the current price. That's among the most bullish targets on the stock among Bay Street analysts, although an analyst at Scotia capital has him beat with a $105 target.

Overall, analysts aren't so keen on CIBC. According to Bloomberg, 11 analysts have "hold" recommendations on the stock, compared to just six "buy" recommendations.

Disclosure: None

Source: TD Newcrest Upbeat on Canadian Imperial Bank