* Upgrades from neutral
* Says Synovus to unveil cost savings soon
Nov 15 Synovus Financial Corp (SNV.N) may come
up with cost-saving plans to help restore profitability sooner
than expected, analysts at Collins Stewart said, upgrading the
regional bank to "buy."
The lender, which has about $35 billion in assets, holds
many commercial real-estate and construction loans in some of
the worst markets in the country, making credit quality and
return to profitability a major concern.
"Our sense is the management is preparing to unveil a
specific set of programs designed to eliminate as much as $100
million of costs over the next 18 months, or about 8-10 percent
of the estimated 2010 cost base," analysts led by Todd Hagerman
said in a note to clients.
"Management believes the potential cost savings plans are
the 'game changer' for 2011," the analysts said.
The brokerage said it hosted a series of meetings with
Synovus' top management, including CEO Kessel Stelling.
The analysts expect significant drop in problem assets and
problem-asset inflows in the fourth quarter.
Synovus reported a wider-than-expected loss for the third
straight quarter in October. [ID:nSGE69O0K2]
The Columbus, Georgia-based bank's shares, which have
slumped 16 percent since the company reported third-quarter
results, were up 3 percent at $2.11 in morning trade on Monday
on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Tenzin Dekeva in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu