This Bank Could Be 2013 ‘Surprise’: Cassidy

A couple of financial names could lead banking sector stocks higher in 2013, RBC Capital Markets Lead Bank Analyst Gerard Cassidy said Thursday on CNBC.

"PNC Financial is a name that people have overlooked, and we think this company, which was a lackluster performer in 2012, when they integrate the RBC Bank deal this year, they could have better-than-expected growth," he said. "And that could be the real surprise for everyone in 2013."

On "Fast Money," Cassidy also said that Citigroup was his top pick in the space, praising its new management team, helmed by CEO Michael Corbat.

Corbat, who replaced embattled former CEO Vikram Pandit in October, boosted investor confidence by quickly moving to slash 11,000 jobs, saving the company an estimated $1.1 billion in costs.

Cassidy also said that he expected Wells Fargo, which the nation's leading mortgage originator, to report strong quarterly earnings.

Stephen Weiss of Short Hills Capital was bullish on yet another bank.

"BAC, still," he said.

(Read More: BAC Downgrade an 'Opportunity to Buy': Josh Brown)

Rosecliff Capital's Mike Murphy also backed Weiss's call of strength in Bank of America.

"Is it going to $22? I don't know that they can," he said, adding, "After a pullback, there's a lot of unlocked value there."

Murphy also saw continued gains in the sector and said it was possible for financials to log another year as the stock market's top sector.

"If we get the recovery in housing that we're looking for, if we get a tick-up in the economy that we're looking for, these banks have a lot of upside," he said.