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Three Undervalued and Overlooked Banks

Although the company made our list by posting a positive return on assets stretching back to the start of last year, Comerica suffered a third-quarter net loss of $15 million, or 10 cents a share, after factoring in preferred stock dividends paid to the Treasury. Still, the bank beat analysts' estimates of a loss of 53 cents, based on a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Comerica recorded $239 million in net loan charge-offs during the third quarter, a decline from $248 million in the second quarter, and said it expected another small drop this quarter because it reduced its residential real-estate exposure.

The company's net interest margin (the difference between the average rate earned on loans and investments, and the average cost of funding) declined to 2.68% from 2.73% in the previous quarter, which Comerica attributed to "excess liquidity, which more than offset improved loan spreads and lower core deposit rates."

During Comerica's third-quarter conference call, Chief Financial Officer Beth Acton said: "The fourth-quarter net interest margin will increase as a result of maturities of higher-cost CDs and wholesale funding and a reduction in excess liquidity. In addition, we expect the margin will continue to benefit from improved loan pricing."

Comerica had a high level of capital as of Sept. 30, with a tier 1 leverage ratio of 12.45% and a total risk-based capital ratio of 16.75%.

With the bank so well-capitalized and earnings significantly affected by dividends being paid on $2.25 billion in TARP money received in November, Comerica Chief Executive Officer Ralph Babb said during the call that "we would like to pay it back as soon as feasible."

Stock quotes in this article: CMA, UBNK, WFD 

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