Thrift stocks are back in favor after falling out earlier this year when investors rushed into the higher-risk bank stock universe.
Shares of savings banks ran up last year only to fall after the New Year on profit taking, analysts said. Now, with an uncertain future for the economy, analysts said thrift stocks are a safer place to be. After the fabulous performance in 2000, profit taking put downward pressure on thrifts, said Mark Fitzgibbon, an analyst at Sandler ONeill & Partners. But, he added, there is a favorable round of earnings coming up, which will trigger positive ratings and translate into higher stock prices.