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With all the negative headlines, it seems crazy to buy any bank or financial stocks now. However, it also seemed crazy to buy them when things looked very bleak in March 2009, and investors who bought the lows then made plenty. While I would not want to have a huge amount invested in the financial sector now, it might be worth considering averaging into a couple of these stocks as a contrarian investment.

There has been plenty of gloom and doom in the headlines, but it is important to remember that real estate downturns and recessions don't last forever. If you buy at or near the recent lows, you could end up just about doubling your money if these stocks hit the price targets set by analysts this year. Most analysts set price targets based on where they believe the stock should be trading in the next 12 months or so. Here are a number of stocks with price targets around double the current stock price:

PrivateBancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PVTB) shares are trading at $8.59. PrivateBancorp is a regional bank with branches worldwide. The 50-day moving average is about $8.27 and the 200-day moving average is about $12.99. These shares have traded in a 52-week range between $6.44 and $16.49. Earnings estimates for PVTB are 33 cents per share in 2011, and 62 cents for 2012.

This stock dropped to about $7 per share recently, so I would only consider buying on dips to that level. RBC Capital Markets has set a $16 price target for this stock.

Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE:C) shares are trading at $27.93. Citigroup is a leading bank with branches worldwide. The 50-day moving average is about $27.79 and the 200-day moving average is about $39.75. These shares have traded in a 52-week range between $21.40 and $51.50. Earnings estimates for Citigroup are about $3.81 per share in 2011, and $4.70 for 2012.

This stock dropped significantly in the past couple of weeks along with the markets, but it appears to have solid long-term potential. Barclays Capital and Standpoint Research have set a $55 price target for this stock.

Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE:SNV) shares are trading at $1.23. Synovus is a regional bank located in Georgia. The 50-day moving average is about $1.27 and the 200-day moving average is about $2.11. Earnings estimates are a loss of 22 cents for 2011 and a profit of 12 cents for 2012. The dividend is 4 cents per share per year which is a yield of about 3%.

SNV is trading well below book value of $2.47 per share. SNV could be a target for a major bank looking to expand in this region. Wunderlich has set a $2.50 price target for SNV shares, which is close to double the current price.

Legg Mason, Inc., (NYSE:LM) is trading around $24.95. Legg Mason is a leading asset management company, based in Maryland. These shares have traded in a range between $22.61 to $37.82 in the last 52 weeks. The 50-day moving average is $26.45 and the 200-day moving average is $31.98. LM is estimated to earn about $1.63 per share in 2011 and $2.22 in 2012.

LM pays a small dividend of 32 cents per share, which yields 1.2%. Just a few days ago, Barclays Capital gave LM shares an overweight rating and set a $49 price target.

Janus Capital Group, Inc. (NYSE:JNS) is trading around $6.30. Janus is a leading investment manager and is based in Colorado. The 50-day moving average is $6.53 and the 200-day moving average is $10.09. These shares have traded in a range between $5.36 to $14.57 in the last 52 weeks. Earnings estimates for JNS are for a profit of about 78 cents per share in 2011 and 67 cents in 2012. The dividend is 20 cents per share per year, which is a yield of about 3.1%.

This company has been facing outflows from investors in some of their mutual funds. This reduces fees and profits, but if Janus improves its performance, revenues and profits, the stock could rebound over time. Barclays Capital has a $10 price target for JNS, and Deutsche Bank set the target at $14 earlier this year.

Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE:GNW) has pulled back sharply and is trading at $5.59 today. These shares have fallen from a 52-week high of $14.77. The 50-day moving average is $5.98 and the 200-day moving average is $10.33, so these shares are trading well below key support levels. GNW has earnings estimates at 48 cents per share for 2011, and $1.34 for 2012. GNW investors are concerned about earnings and the impact over continued mortgage insurance losses. These shares could take a while to move, but are worth considering on further weakness. Northland Securities set an outperform rating on GNW with a $11 price target.

The data is sourced from Yahoo Finance and Stockcharts.com. The information and data is believed to be accurate, but no guarantees or representations are made. Rougemont is not a registered investment advisor and does not provide specific investment advice. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in SNV or GNW over the next 72

Source: 6 Financial Stocks Analysts Expect To Double In 2012