TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (TheStreet) -- German American Bancorp (GABC) and Bank of Marin Bancorp (BMRC) probably haven't been considered by investors who scooped up financial firms JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) on the cheap.
Although the largest banks, such as JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C), have posted stellar returns since financial stocks bottomed March 6, some small community banks have given them a run for their money as long-term investments.
TheStreet.com Ratings has "buy" recommendations for 32 of 439 bank holding companies. Most are unknown, including German American Bancorp and Bank of Marin Bancorp. Three other obscure picks are National Bankshares (NKSH), Norwood Financial Corp. (NWFL) and First of Long Island Corp. (FLIC).
GRAPHIC: Interactive Bank Failure Map.
Our Five Bank-Stock PicksAn analysis of the recommended bank stocks shows that most had strong capital ratios and credit quality as of March 31, as well as low ratios of net charge-offs (loan losses) to average loans during the first quarter of 2009 and for all of last year. We have taken a very conservative approach in narrowing the list to five bank holding companies with the highest 2008 returns on average assets that also met the following criteria: 1. Price-to-tangible-book-value ratio of less than 2. Tangible book value is defined as total equity capital minus goodwill and other intangibles, such as loan-servicing rights. 2. Net charge-off ratios of less than 1 for 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. 3. Nonperforming assets and nonperforming loan ratios of under 1%. The following table includes total returns:
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV