Regional sector looking pricey to Citi team

|By:, SA News Editor

Fairly lukewarm on the large cap regional banking sector (KRE +0.7%) amid pricey valuations and the likelihood 2014 estimates are set to be trimmed after Q4 earnings reports, Citi's Keith Horowitz does have a favorite ...

BB&T Corporation (BBT +1.4%) deserves a premium multiple, says Horowitz, thanks to its above-average returns and quality of the management team.

The rest? Wells Fargo (WFC -0.1%) is likely to beat Q4 estimates due to lower expenses (the bank has been busy cutting mortgage staff), but Horowitz is Neutral on the name. U.S. Bancorp (USB +1%) is Neutral as well thanks to its premium valuation. Also not meriting a Buy rating are Fifth Third (FITB +0.4%), M&T (MTB +0.8%), and PNC Financial (PNC +0.9%).

JPMorgan today upgrades BB&T to a Buy with $42 price target.