Macquarie cited three items as near-term positives for the stock: Investor perception that the news sets a turning point for the stock to now move higher; the fact that Sloan is "well-liked" by Wall Street; and the idea that the bank "improved its governance" by separating the CEO and chairman roles.
However, KBW said in a note that the extended-hours gains in the shares Wednesday evening were likely "a near-term pop and not the start of a revaluation given ongoing unknowns regarding the scandal," which include details on potential settlements, impact to long-term business prospects and the "need to be able to quantify the ultimate impact of any business practice changes."
Raymond James said it wasn't surprised by the news, as "Wells seems to have sequestered Sloan from most discussions regarding the unauthorized account opening issues since Stumpf's Senate testimony a few weeks ago." The firm downgraded the stock to underperform from market perform on Oct. 4, and it expects "the cloud to remain over the stock despite Stumpf's departure while regulators continue investigations and it loses business from municipalities."
The challenges of recovering from such a scandal will not disappear quickly. "Sloan will now need to deal with both questions from investors and the numerous investigations," which will likely result in more fines and expenses, JPMorgan Chase said in a report. While Stumpf's retirement "may temper some of the headline risk," the move could "represent an acknowledgement of the mistakes," the note said.
"We do not believe that the leadership transition signals a change in strategy for the bank, as Mr. Sloan is a longstanding member of the leadership team," according to a Goldman Sachs note. The firm's note said it expects investors to focus on the level of reserves to pay for legal and regulatory fees, trends in new customer accounts, and other costs "related to improved compliance and oversight in the consumer bank."
— CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this report.