Shares of several thrifts gained ground Tuesday after positive comments from a Wall Street analyst.

The New York investment boutique Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. upgraded three stocks, raising Charter One Financial Inc. and Washington Federal from "market perform" to "outperform" and Astoria Financial Corp. from "outperform" to "buy." The three banks all have exceptional asset quality, compelling valuation, isolation from the capital markets, and balance sheets that benefit from lower interest rates, the analyst Thomas F. Theurkauf said in a report outlining the upgrades.

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