This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

10 Cheapest Big U.S. Bank Stocks

NEW YORK (TheStreet)-- Banks stocks in the U.S. have had an impressive run of late.

Over the past three months SPDR KBW Bank (KBE) and SPDR KBW Regional Banking (KRE), exchange traded funds that track large-cap and mid-cap banks, have returned 12.78% and 11.8% respectively, versus 7.5% for the S&P 500.

For small and mid-sized banks, particularly ones that are just now returning to profitability, investors appear to be betting they will be snapped up in a wave of consolidation. Long-awaited M&A in the banking sector appears finally underway, with a spate of deals closing out 2010 getting investors excited about the potential for more transactions.

Some of these weaker banks may even surprise people by turning out to be acquirers. That's because the losses they piled up during the crisis can be used to shelter future profits. For example, if Regions Financial (RF), which lost 67 cents per share in 2010, were to acquire a profitable company it could make use of still-undeclared loan losses to avoid paying taxes on the next $3.5 billion it earns, according to corporate tax consultant Bob Willens.

However, if Regions gets acquired, it will lose that benefit.

For the larger players, investors appear to be looking for increased dividend and share buybacks now that nearly all these institutions have built up big capital cushions in the wake of the crisis.

Not to mention the fact that the economy looks to be on the mend, and, to paraphrase Fairholme Capital Management CEO Bruce Berkowitz, who has been buying up shares of big beaten up U.S. financials by the truckload, it is hard to imagine a recovery that excluded institutions like Citigroup (C), Morgan Stanley (MS) or Bank of America (BAC).

So, given the big run-up in bank stocks of late, it's a good time to take a look at some of the biggest bargains out there.

To arrive at our list, we looked at banks located in the U.S. with a market cap of at least $1 billion. We used Bloomberg analyst consensus estimates for one year out and picked the 10 banks with the lowest price-to-earnings multiple one year out based on those consensus estimates. The ranking is based on the close of trading Monday. Here are the results.

Stock quotes in this article: BAC, C, STSA, WFC, HBAN, USB, PNC 

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

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.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

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.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,864.85 +2.54 0.14%
NASDAQ 4,095.5160 +9.2910 0.23%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs