5 Hard-Hit Financials Ready To Rebound

Includes: BAC, BLK, IVZ, JPM, MS
by: James Hartje

With financial stocks taking a heavy hit throughout the past few months many have become strong buys, as they are now cheap, trading at low levels. Below are a list of 5 financial stocks ready to rise:

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) is one of the world’s largest investment companies based on assets under management. The company has strong prospects heading into the 2nd half of 2011. While the global economy continues to improve, so does the value of BlackRock’s assets. With $3.5 trillion in assets under management and a market value of $38 billion, BlackRock has become the largest asset manager in the world. Two-thirds of all these assets come from institutional investors alone. The increasing popularity of ETFs has benefited BlackRock tremendously, by giving the company a large international distribution network along with increased product reach.

BLK sells at a premium compared to its peers; however, I still think it’s a strong investment going forward. Analysts agree, with many rating BLK as a solid “Buy.” Credit Suisse expects BLK to trade at nearly 20 times 2011 earnings within the next year. If true, this bodes well for the stock, as we shall see a significant rise in its share price. With solid analyst coverage, good future prospects, and upbeat global markets, BlackRock should rise to more than $60 a share in 2011, all the way up to $210 for a total appreciation of 40%. Add on to that a dividend yield of 2.8%, and you have a solid, safe investment pick to build your portfolio around.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is one of the premier investment banks. Its business operations include everything from investment banking, research, trading, asset management operations, etc. Morgan Stanley is a great pick for 2011, as many analysts predict this stock to outperform both the global markets and the financial services sector. Right now the stock is trading at a significant historical discount, some analysts say, based on its multiples. They reflect the stock trading at a 60% discount compared to historical averages.

This alone makes me want in. A Morgan Stanley comeback is easily achievable based upon strong franchise power and a world-renowned name. With a rising stock market, Morgan Stanley has a chance to do very well in 2011 and beyond. It does offer a dividend, but it’s not sizable at 0.7%. What it does have is a strong PEG ratio of 1 along with strong book of business boding well for the future making me believe the stock can rise as much as 60%, all the way up to $25 a share, within the next year.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is very cheap and probably a good trade right now. Bank of America has been hammered in 2011, falling 20%, 12% in the past four weeks. Hedge funds have heavily sold off Bank of America in the first quarter, mainly due to the risks I mentioned above about increased regulation and the threats of Basel III.

For a short-time investor, BAC would be a risky play -- who knows what lies ahead week by week? Long-term, I think it might be a steal. The business as a whole is still intact, evaluations are attractive, 6.8 times forward earnings, beta value of 2.2, and best of all, it’s cheap. Hit hard, yes, but I think if you were to pick up Bank of America right now, anywhere below $7, it would be a steal long-term. 12 months from now we could easily see this stock trading at around $11 -- well worth the risk!

Invesco (NYSE:IVZ) is an investment manager whose outlook has been boosted due to strong quarterly performance as a result of strength in the global equity markets. The entire asset management group as a whole is becoming more attractive as individual investors are transitioning out of bonds into riskier assets. Expect this to buoy the market and help asset management firms like Invesco soar. Business is strong, as the stock trades at forward earnings multiple of 14 and is trading at a 30% discount compared to its peers. Based on strong outlook and improved earnings potential, IVZ will rise to $25 a share, a rise of 55%+.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) is a large investment bank that holds critical positions in three of the six key businesses on Wall Street. Investment banking has become one of their top two positions, accounting for over ¼ of their sales. I believe the bank will continue to succeed, most notably in emerging markets, boosting its overall business and outlook going forward. Therefore JPM has the potential to trade at over $50 based on strong cash flow, strong earnings projection, and improved sector outlook resulting in a yield of 55%.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.