From the woulda-coulda-shoulda file: Royal Bank stock was on sale in late February for less than $26, and the other Canadian banks were similarly discounted.

Shares in Canada’s big­gest bank closed Friday at $42.25, still off from more than $50 last September but up by 65 per cent from the grim days of late winter.

The Big Five have staged a dramatic revival: Gains since early March range from close to 50 per cent for Toronto-Dominion, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Scotiabank to almost 70 per cent for Bank of Montreal.

Most analysts don’t see this being seriously dented when the banks roll out quarterly reports this week, with a caveat that bank profits are closely linked to general prosperity.

Earnings per share are expected to be down from a year ago — by eight to 20 per cent overall, analysts project — because of slower revenue growth and higher loan-loss provisions in a dreary economy.

BMO reports tomorrow on the February-April period, the second quarter of the banking year, followed Thursday by Scotiabank, CIBC, TD, and No. 6 National Bank of Canada. The Royal reports Friday.

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