The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, JPMorgan Chase and Banco Macro

   The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank, Barclays,
                        JPMorgan Chase and Banco Macro

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Jan. 24, 2013

CHICAGO, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC),
Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB), Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS), JPMorgan Chase & Co
(NYSE:JPM) and Banco Macro S.A. (NYSE:BMA).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Wells Fargo Ups Dividend

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) enhanced its quarterly common stock dividend
by 14% to 25 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Mar 1, 2013 to
shareholders of record as of Feb 1, 2013.

This marks Wells Fargo's 3rd consecutive year of dividend increase, reflecting
its commitment to return value to shareholders with strong cash generation
capabilities. Prior to this, the company had increased its dividend by 83%
(from 12 cents to 22 cents per share) in Mar 2012.

The dividend increase is part of Wells Fargo's 2012 Capital Plan. The
company's capital plan, including dividend increase and other capital actions,
was submitted to the Federal Reserve in Jan 2012. Since the Fed gave its
capital plan a green signal, the company increased its quarterly dividend.

Moreover, Wells Fargo has submitted its 2013 Capital Plan earlier this month
to the Fed, and it is under review. This plan also seeks permission for an
increase in capital distributions. The company's decision to hike dividend
depicts its strong capital position and increases the possibilities of
clearing the recent stress test.

For Wells Fargo, its business model is an impressive one that allows it to
generate sufficient capital, grow its balance sheet and help return capital to
shareholders. Moreover, we believe that strategic acquisitions will expand the
company's business and improve its profitability over time.

Deutsche Bank-FERC Reach Agreement

Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) has agreed to pay a penalty to the
U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) over alleged manipulations in
the Ca. electricity markets in 2010. The settlement also requires this bank to
execute better compliance measures.

Deutsche Bank will pay a civil penalty of $1.5 million to the FERC within 10
days. Further, the bank has agreed to surrender $172,645 worth of profit along
with interest for influencing the Ca. power markets between Jan and Mar 2010.

As per FERC, Deutsche Bank Energy Trading LLC – a wing of Deutsche Bank – had
violated the anti-manipulation rule by engaging in a scheme, in which the
energy arm entered into physical transactions to boost its own financial
position.

According to the Office of Enforcement of the FERC, these physical
transactions sullied the proper functioning of the California Independent
System Operator (California ISO) markets. Further, FERC accused the bank of
infringing the regulations requiring companies with market-based rate
authority to provide correct information.

Though the bank has agreed to pay the penalty, it is yet to admit or deny
these accusations. In Nov 2012, Deutsche Bank was willing to challenge these
accusations in the court. However, it is likely that the bank discarded the
idea as the cost of litigation exceeded the settlement amount.

The abovementioned settlement is the latest win for the regulator that has
come down hard on unwarranted trading activities by the companies. The company
has also proposed a $470 million penalty on Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) and
prohibition of six months for JPMorgan Chase & Co's (NYSE:JPM) energy arm from
some of the power markets on the grounds of similar practices.

It is a prudent move by Deutsche Bank to settle the charges instead of opting
for a litigation, which may have added to its already high expenditures.

Currently, Deutsche Bank retains a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). However, another
foreign bank stock that is performing well and can be recommended for
investment purpose is Banco Macro S.A. (NYSE:BMA), which carries a Zacks Rank
#1 (Strong Buy).

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