NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Keefe, Bruyette and Woods says that regional banks with "compelling dividend yields" make for excellent "defensive ideas for a volatile market," in a report issued Friday.
The regional bank names listed by KBW include "franchises [that] can justify higher valuations given the returns they generate above their cost of equity," that also offer attractive dividends and "are in control of capital management decisions, as they are not subject to restrictions that come with certain forms of capital," such as federal bailout funds received through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP.
The following nine regional banks are rated "Outperform," or buy, out of the 16 banks discussed in the KBW report.
Bryn Mawr Bank (BMTC) of Bryn Mawr, Pa., closed at $18.16 Thursday, declining 5% from a week earlier, but up 6.5% year-to-date. Based on a quarterly payout of 15 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 3.30%. The shares trade for 9.5 times the consensus 2012 earnings estimate of $1.86, among analysts polled by FactSet.KBW analyst Christopher McGratty says Bryn Mawr Bank's "core fundamental trends remain solid as the company has posted mid-teen tangible [returns on average equity] over the past three quarters," adding that "the company is likely to actively manage its capital position, presumably through organic growth and strategic acquisitions of banks or in the wealth management space." CVB Financial (CVBF) of Ontario, Calif., closed at $8.26 Thursday, pulling back 9% from a week earlier, and down 2% year-to-date. Based on a quarterly payout of 9 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 4.12%. The shares trade for 10 times the consensus 2012 earnings estimate of 78 cents a share. KBW analyst Julianna Balicka points out that CVB Financial "has been profitable for over 136 consecutive quarters and has had 87 consecutive quarters of dividends," and has survived "a number of real estate-related downturns" in its market area of California's Inland Empire Region, since 1974. The analyst also touts the company's excess capital and the remaining 9.4 million shares authorized for repurchase. CVB's strong capital position has the company "well positioned as an acquirer, offering an attractive stock currency and an attractive franchise for a smaller bank to join," according to Balicka.
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