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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and AAR

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 8, 2012 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Wells Fargo & Company (WFC - Free Report) , Bank of America Corporation (BAC - Free Report) , Citigroup, Inc. (C - Free Report) , JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Free Report) and AAR Corp. (AIR - Free Report) .

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Wells Fargo to Forgo Interest Income

Wells Fargo & Company (WFC - Free Report) is all set to lose significant amount of interest income in the coming years due to refinancing the mortgages arising out of the foreclosure settlement. The company stated this in its most recent quarterly filing.

Wells Fargo will be refinancing the mortgages of around 33,000 to 36,000 borrowers, having an unpaid principal balance to the tune of about $6.7–$7.4 billion. As a result, the company anticipates reduction in interest income in the range of $1.8– $2 billion ($181–$200 million annually), which is $300 million higher than the prior estimates.

Further, based on mix of loans to be refinanced, Wells Fargo expects a 270 basis points dip in the weighted average note rate and weighted average remaining life of these loans is anticipated be 10 years. However, the actual number of borrowers opting for refinance will definitely affect these estimates.

Under the refinance program, Wells Fargo is entitled to earn an additional 25% credit for all refinance credits earned in the first year of the program. If the company achieves the target, it will earn an extra credit of up to $350–$390 million. Moreover, the company anticipates total earned credit from this program to be approximately $1.7–$2.0 billion.

The forgoing of interest income stems from the agreement that Wells Fargo, along with Bank of America Corporation (BAC - Free Report) , Citigroup, Inc. (C - Free Report) , JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Free Report) and Ally Financial Inc., reached with the attorneys general of 49 states and several federal agencies in February this year, over alleged faulty foreclosure practices. The total settlement amount was $25 billion.

Wells Fargo’s settlement share of $5.3 billion includes $900 million in a refinance program, $3.4 billion in consumer relief programs and $1.0 billion in foreclosure assistance payment to the Federal government and the states.

Wells Fargo expects the impact from the interest income loss to be spread across several years. The company anticipates the low interest income to negatively impact the net interest margin, which is already pressurized in the low interest rate scenario. As of September 30, 2012, NIM stood at 3.66% compared with 3.84% in the prior-year period. Also, the refinance program is expected to reduce the fair value of the loans refinanced in the region of $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

Yet, we believe that robust capital levels, prudent expense management as well as improvement in credit quality, albeit at a slow pace, will support Wells Fargo’s financials going forward. Further, stress test clearance and sound capital deployment activities will boost investors’ confidence in the stock.

Wells Fargo currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. Considering the fundamentals, we also maintain a long-term Neutral recommendation on the shares.

AAR Corp.'s Airlift Service Renewed

AAR Corp. (AIR - Free Report) , one of the top contractors of aerospace, defense products and services in the world, declared that it has been selected by U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) to continue its airlift support services for the U.S. Department of Defense operations based in Afghanistan. The renewal of the contract forms a part of the deal awarded to the company in October, 2010, and is valued at $161 million.

According to the terms of the contract, AAR will carry on its services to meet the U. S Military’s Airlift requirement through using two Sikorsky S-92, six Sikorsky S-61, and two Bell 214 ST10 helicopters.

Additionally, the company will continue supporting the U.S. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) operations in Afghanistan and

U.S. Department of Defense engaging its airlift operating entity by providing rotary-wing aircraft as well as fixed-wing support services. The aircraft allocated by AAR are specifically designed to transport personnel, cargo and mail while the support process offers personnel, tools and maintenance services.

The company has already established itself successfully within the U.S. Government and its associates in Afghanistan, serving transport and logistics requirement of the nation’s defense forces. Thus, this renewal option is expected to strengthen the company’s influence within the U.S. Transportation Command and Department of Defense.


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