Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) Up Six Times by 2015 Says Dick Bove

Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove has been giving bank stocks a lot of love lately, and among the largest banks, he sees Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) exploding by six times what they are today by 2015.

In a Tuesday report, Bove said he sees Citigroup increasing in share price of $24.75 by 2015, over six and a half what it is today, and Bank of America charging to $99.37 by 2015. That’s also well over six times what Bank of America is trading at today.

The optimistic projections of Bove are based on a price-to-book ratio of $12.37 for each company. Today, Citigroup has a price-to-book ratio of 0.72, and Bank of America 0.73.

If you think that’s optimistic, when Bove focuses on the bigger regional banks, he ups the ante even more, saying he sees financial institutions like PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC), Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF) and M&T Bank Corp. (NYSE:MTB) being up even more. Unfortunately, Bove didn’t go into detail on his reasoning behind the regionals.

There are a number of caveats to Bove’s analysis, as when examining the banking data, he admits there aren’t any trends that can be identified in the group, being confirmed by metrics like price-to-earnings, price-to-book and price-to-revenue.

The foundation to Bove’s performance assertions are an economy that will continue to improve. With the dark clouds of European sovereign debt and China inflation hanging over the the global economy, it’s hard to see him stick his neck out this far on the stocks, when we are in very real danger of entering into a potentially deeper recession than the one that is still lingering with us.

Bove also cites data from the FDIC which he concludes give a picture of stability in operating revenues over the last four years, which would include the recession. That seems to imply that Bove thinks even if there are hard times ahead, the banks could ride it out. It’s doubtful they could, but evidently Bove either thinks they can, or doesn’t believe it’s going to get that bad.

He doesn’t think Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) will perform as strongly as the other major banks, but he still sees them doing well, although at about half of what the other banks will do, according to his estimates, which would still be worth three times what they are today.

With no identifiable trends and the economic crisis brewing, this seems far too optimistic of an outlook, and it could only happen if the crisis isn’t as bad as it seems at this time, which would help these stocks even more, as an increased optimism would arise, which could generate a self-fulfilling prophecy.