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10 Bank Stock Picks for Bottom-Fishing Investors

5. Citizens Republic Bancorp

Shares of Citizens Republic Bancorp (CRBC) of Flint, Mich., closed at $6.36 Wednesday, declining 31% from a week earlier, but up 3% year-to-date.

The shares underwent a 1-for-10 reverse split on July 5.

The company also owes $300 million in TARP money, and has deferred its last six quarterly dividend payment to the government.

Citizens Republic reported second-quarter net income applicable to common shareholders of $18.5 million, or 46 cents a share, which was its first quarterly profit in three years. The profit mainly resulted from a $17.8 million release of loan loss reserves and a $10 million income tax benefit. The second-quarter numbers compared to a net loss to common shareholders of $74.3 million, or $1.89 a share, the previous quarter and a loss of $44.7 million, or $1.27 a share, a year earlier.

KBW analyst John Barber on July 11 raised his rating for Citizens Republic to "Outperform" with a price target of $13, saying the company had "significantly improved its credit quality and differentiated itself from peers."

The shares traded for 0.7 times tangible book value as of Wednesday's market close, according to SNL Financial.

The shares trade for 4.8 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $1.43 cents a share, among analysts polled by FactSet. That's the lowest forward P/E among this group of 10 bank stocks.

Three out of four analysts covering Citizens Republic rate the shares a buy, while the remaining analyst has a neutral rating.
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