CNBC Stock Blog

4 Big Banks with 'Buy' Ratings: Jeffery Harte

The financial sector is looking attractive, said Jeffery Harte, managing director in equity research at Sandler O’Neill. He shared his best plays with investors.

Pandit on Hot Seat

“We need to differentiate between historic Citigroup and current Citigroup because a lot of change has been made,” Harte told CNBC.

“It’s a very strong franchise and it’s now solvent but very underowned by institutional investors.”

Harte has a “buy” rating on the bank and said he sees further upside to its stock.

He also has “buy” ratings on rivals JPMorgan , GoldmanSachs and Morgan Stanley .

However, he said Citigroup is the best bet for investors.

“Citigroup is positioned to be the leader in international banking,” he said. “For people looking to put new money in, Citigroup is the one you have to be looking at—it’s the lowest value of the group and it has the clear catalyst of institutional ownership as a way to boost it up.”

Within a year, Citigroup will be trading above $5 a share, predicted Harte.

“In 3 to 5 years, you’ll see north of $10 stock,” he added. “There’s an awful lot of upside in Citigroup and they’re capitally and fundamentally sound now.”

  • Watch Harte's Previous Appearance on CNBC (Feb. 8. 2010)

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Harte has investment banking clients who own shares of C, JPM and BAC.

Sandler O’Neill has received compensation from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley for providing products or services other than investment banking in the lat 12 months.