True to form, Prudential Securities analyst Michael Mayo on Thursday put “sell” recommendations on nine bank stocks, many of which have been the darlings of Wall Street for the past few months.

Mr. Mayo, who joined Prudential last month, initiated coverage on 19 bank stocks in all, three of them with “strong buy” ratings and seven of them with “hold” ratings. He recommended as “strong buys” the stocks of First Union Corp. and Bank of America Corp., saying that though the two companies have done the most to destroy shareholder value over the past two years, new chief executives — both named Ken — should help push prices up.

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