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TheStreet Open House

10 Bank Dividends with Room to Rise

4. Flushing Financial Corp.

Shares of Flushing Financial Corp. (FFIC) of Lake Success, N.Y., closed at $13.63 Monday, down slightly from a year earlier. Based on a quarterly payout of 13 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 3.82%.

The company had $4.3 billion in total assets as of March 31, with 16 branches in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as in Nassau County, in New York.

First-quarter net income was $8 million, or 26 cents a share, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. During the first quarter, a $3.6 million impairment charge on a private label collateralized mortgage obligation was offset by an 11% year-over-year increase in net interest income, to $37.2 million. The net interest margin expanded to 3.62% during the first quarter from 3.39% a year earlier, "primarily due to a reduction in the cost of funds."

The first-quarter ROA was 0.74%.

After the first-quarter earnings announcement, David Darst of Guggenheim Securities reiterated his "buy" rating on Flushing Financial with a $17 price target, despite lowering is 2011 EPS estimate by 4 cents to $1.26, in order to reflect the first-quarter results. The analyst maintained his 2012 earnings estimate of $1.45 and said his price target anticipated "earnings power improvement" from net interest margin expansion and growth, along with improving credit trends.

The shares trade for 10 times the consensus 2012 earnings estimate of $1.38 a share.

Four out of six analysts covering Flushing Financial rate the shares a buy, while the remaining analysts have neutral ratings.

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