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Bank Stocks That Pay Outsized Dividends

Stocks in this article: OCFC RNST HCBK

(The following story is the last in a two-part series on bank and thrift stocks that outperformed their peers last year and still pay attractive dividends. Three bank stocks were featured yesterday.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bank shares, as measured by the S&P 500 Regional Banks Index, have soared 142% since the stock-market low in early March, leaving companies with skinny dividends.

Following an earlier look at three bank stocks with outsized dividends, published in November, this expanded list features more conservative measures, excluding companies whose dividend payouts exceeded their 2009 net income.

The group was pared further by leaving out current participants in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Thinly traded names were also avoided, as were those with a Texas ratio of more than 20%. (The Texas ratio is nonperforming loans/core capital and loan-loss reserves.)

Yesterday's story featured New York Community Bancorp (NYB), United Bankshares (UBSI) and OceanFirst Financial (UCFC).

OceanFirst Financial

OceanFirst Financial (OCFC), based in Toms River, N.J., is yielding about 4.8% after the company cut its quarterly dividend to 12 cents from 20 cents. (See TheStreet.com's Banks to Watch After TARP Redemption for a discussion of the company's fourth-quarter earnings and prospects.)

Renasant Corp.

Renasant Corp. (RNST), based in Tupelo, Miss., had assets of $3.6 billion as of Dec. 31. Based on a quarterly dividend of 17 cents, the shares yield 4.73%.

While its Dec. 31 nonperforming-asset ratio of 2.98% was the highest on the list, Renasant's Texas ratio was a moderate 15.15%, because more than half of the nonperforming assets were repossessed real estate.

Looking deeper at asset quality, the ratio of net charge-offs to total loans for 2009 was 0.91%, with the pace peaking at 1.12% in the third quarter and slowing to 0.83% in the fourth quarter. Loan-loss reserves covered 1.67% of total loans as of Dec. 31.

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