Citigroup Inc. has shed its standing as the least-loved big bank stock on Wall Street, leaving Morgan Stanley at the bottom of the pile.
Citigroup, helmed by Jane Fraser, had held the lowest consensus rating among the six biggest U.S. banks since May 2022, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
That changed this week when an analyst at HSBC Holdings Plc shuffled his recommendations — upgrading Citigroup and lowering Morgan Stanley.
“Citigroup is an attractive vehicle to gain bank exposure,” HSBC’s Saul Martinez wrote in a note, adding that the firm is “our preferred choice among large-cap banks.”
As bank-stock analysts have reconfigured their ratings for 2024, Citigroup scored upgrades, including from Wolfe Research.
Wells Fargo & Co.’s Mike Mayo named it his top pick and said the stock could double over the next few years.
A plurality of analysts now recommend buying Citigroup shares, and their price targets indicate they expect the stock to rise about 8% over the next 12 months.