The new BankAmerica looks more and more like the old NationsBank, suggesting a strong tilt toward consumer banking, according to one Wall Street analyst.
The banking company, created in last fall's merger of the two companies, "is evolving into a single operating system and pushing responsibility for customers as far down as is practical," said Henry C. Dickson, a banking analyst with Salomon Smith Barney.
Mr. Dickson said he came to those conclusions after recent meetings with BankAmerica's management.
He said BankAmerica's strategy will probably help generate income of $8.85 billion in 2001. Beyond that, he said, income will probably grow 10% annually.
Reiterating his "buy" recommendation for the company's stock. Mr. Dickson said its price will probably hit $80 per share within the next 12 months. Shares of BankAmerica closed Monday at $67.1875, up $1.875.
Meanwhile, shares of Citigroup rose $2.4375, to $61.1875, on a positive assessment from Joan Solotar, a brokerage industry analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
Citigroup's Salomon Smith Barney unit is among brokerages positioned to do well in the coming year from advisory and equity underwriting fees, Ms. Solotar said.
Bank One Corp. rose 87.5 cents, to $54.625, after an upbeat appraisal of its First USA credit card unit by Diana Yates, an analyst at A.G. Edwards & Sons.
First USA's "leadership role in the credit card business will continue through new initiatives electronically via the Internet, and by new growth as the company begins to duplicate its success within the U.K.," Ms. Yates said.
She sees First USA's use of the Internet as benefiting Bank One's own operations.
"The Internet could assist Bank One in achieving cross-selling targets, providing a communication link between Bank One and First USA, where much of the technological expertise rests," Ms. Yates said. "If the two can be successful in sharing data, including customer files, calling lists, credit files, and targeting lists, we believe the opportunity exists to substantially reduce operating costs."
Also, processing, marketing, and ongoing maintenance fees could be reduced by joint use of the Internet, Ms. Yates said.
For the day, the Standard & Poor's bank index added 1.18%, and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.20%. The Nasdaq bank index rose 0.52%; the S&P 500 was off 0.17%.
Investors in financial stocks remained jittery over fears that the Fed could move to cool off the economy by raising rates. In the latest sign of robust economy, the National Association of Purchasing Managers' index for February was stronger than expected.
On the other hand, consumer spending slowed, rising only 0.1% in January, versus a 0.6% jump in December, according to government data. The big reason was a retreat in automobile sales from December's red-hot pace.
And the personal savings rate turned positive again in January after a much-discussed run of several months in negative territory. The savings rate currently stands at 0.1% of personal income.