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Stock Analyst Update

Winner Banks Should Be Easy to Spot This Earnings Season

Citigroup, Chase, and FleetBoston to post strong first-quarter results.

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Sharpen your pencils, bank-stock investors. It's time for another shower of earnings releases, and this season--which begins in earnest on Tuesday--should clearly separate the industry's winners from the losers.

To be a winner, a bank must show that it can maintain earnings growth even though interest rates are rising and competition for new business is fierce. Well-managed companies will report earnings-per-share growth of at least 10% for the first quarter. Diversified companies--those that can call on their brokerage, investment-banking, and other fee-generating businesses to bring in the lion's share of first-quarter earnings--are expected post the best numbers.

Laura Pavlenko Lutton does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.