The highest-yielding bank or thrift stock on our selected list is F.N.B. Corporation (FNB - Get Report) of Hermitage, Penn. The shares closed at $7.77 Friday, up 18% year-to-date, and were yielding 6.18% on a quarterly dividend payout of 12 cents.
F.N.B. had $8.8 billion in total assets as of June 30. The company announced on August 9 a definitive agreement to acquire Comm Bancorp (CCBP) of Clarks Summit, Penn. for a combined $70 million in cash and stock. The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2010. Comm Bancorp had 15 branches in Northeastern Pennsylvania and $642 million in total assets as of June 30.
In an investor presentation the following day, FNB's senior management emphasized the company's experience successfully integrating seven previous acquisitions since 2002 and how the combined company might benefit from the Marcellus Shale, which, when fully developed, has "potential to be the second largest natural gas field in the world."Guggenheim Securities analyst David Darst agreed that FNB was quite successful with previous merger integrations, acquiring since 2004 total assets of "$3.4 billion with no significant increase in risk or loss profile," although he maintained a neutral rating, with a 12-month price target of $9.00. Then again, based on Friday's close at $7.77, the target price would be a 16% gain, and an investor would receive a fat dividend yield while waiting.