Lehman Brothers Inc. initiated coverage of 10 savings and loans on Friday, continuing to broaden its thrift coverage.

Analyst Bruce Harting, who came to Lehman from Salomon Brothers, said Lehman now covers 31 thrift companies, as many as Salomon.

The 10 companies that Mr. Harting initiated coverage on were Peoples Heritage Financial Group Inc., Portland, Me.; Queens County Bancorp, Flushing, N.Y.; RCSB Financial Corp., Rochester, N.Y.; Sovereign Bancorp, Wyomissing, Pa.; First Fed Financial Corp., Santa Monica, Calif.; Greenpoint Financial Corp., Flushing, N.Y.; People's Bank of Bridgeport, Conn.; Roosevelt Financial Group Inc., St. Louis; St. Paul Bancorp, Chicago; and Washington Federal Inc., Seattle.

Mr. Harting maintained his Salomon ratings on most of the thrifts. The exceptions were Peoples Heritage Financial Group; People's Bank, and Washington Federal.

Peoples Heritage Financial Group shares rose $37.5 cents to $20.875 on news of Harting's initial "outperform" rating. Salomon retained a "neutral" rating for Peoples Heritage.

"I expect them to be up in 1996; and to have more than a 15% price appreciation in the next 12 months," said Mr. Harting.

Mr. Harting downgraded People's Bank, from "buy" to "hold" in his initial rating. Shares of People's Bank were unchanged at $20.625 on the news. In a report, Mr. Harting estimated earnings would be $1.95 for 1996 and $2.30 for 1997.

"It's outperformed the market very nicely and I think it is time for a little breather," he said. "I don't see anything wrong with the company."

The analyst upgraded Washington Federal from "buy" to "strong buy," citing an increase in the company's net income and decrease in interest rate risk.

Shares for Washington Fed closed at $21, up 12.5 cents.

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