PNC Bank Corp. received a split decision Monday as analysts both upgraded and downgraded the Pittsburgh-based bank.
Sally Pope Davis, of Goldman, Sachs & Co. downgraded PNC to "market underperformer" from "market performer." Later, S.G. Warburg & Co.'s Francis X. Suozzo upgraded PNC to "buy" from "hold."
Most analysts are currently in Ms. Davis's corner about PNC, which has been buffeted by bad news about its interest rate sensitivity.
Ms. Davis said that the stock is already trading at her one-year target price of $21 to $22.
"I see little upside potential in the stock price over the intermediate term," she said. PNC rests close to the bottom of Goldman's list of bank stocks in price potential for 1995.
Ms. Davis reduced her earnings-per-share estimate for PNC for 1995 to $2.35 from $2.55. She reduced her 1996 earnings estimates to $2.55 from $2.95.
Mr. Suozzo thinks an improving net interest margin should allow PNC to become the fastest-growing stock in his universe over the next three to four years.
Mr. Suozzo estimates earnings for 1995 at $2.50, and for 1996 at $3.00. His target price for 1995 is $26.
Ms. Davis and Mr. Suozzo seemed to differ mostly on the immediate prospects for the stock. "PNC is a logical choice for those who believe interest rates will peak sooner rather than later," writes Mr. Suozzo.
"We don't disagree with the actions that management has taken," said Ms. Davis, "we just think it'll take a while before they recover."
The stock closed at $22 on Monday, up 25 cents.