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Citi's Q1 Earnings Cheat Sheet For U.S. Banks

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Bank of America Corporation NYSE:BAC, Citizens Financial Group NYSE:CFG - Citi's Q1 Earnings Cheat Sheet For U.S. Banks

Citi prefers JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM and Citizens Financial Group Inc CFG heading into the "weak" first quarter earnings season, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS and KeyCorp KEY remain its top picks in the banking space.

"No surprise 1Q is going to be a weak quarter; favor JPM and CFG in 1Q," analyst Keith Horowitz wrote in a note.

He continued, "We estimate 1Q16 EPS of $1.28 for JPM, 2c ahead of consensus of $1.26. While this could be a nice headline to kick off earnings season, we don't see this as a sign of things to come as we expect misses or inline results relative to consensus for 13 of our 18 names as weaker fee revenue across trading, Ibanking, asset management, and servicing businesses, as well as higher provision expense due to reserve builds for Energy are expected to weigh on earnings in 1Q."

"We see the beat...