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TheStreet Open House

10 More Bank Stocks for Bottom-Fishing Investors

10. Synovus Financial

Shares of Synovus Financial (SNV) of Columbus, Ga., closed at $1.35 Monday, down 48% year-to-date. The shares trade for 0.6 times their tangible book value of $2.39, according to SNL Financial.

Based on a token payout of a penny per quarter, the shares have a dividend yield of 2.96%.

The company owes $967.9 million in federal bailout funds received in December 2008 through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP.

Synovus had $28.3 billion in total assets as of June 30 and reported a second-quarter net loss attributable to common shareholders of $53.5 million, or seven cents a share, compared to a loss of $93.7 million, or 12 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2010.

The company is still working through a high level of problem assets, although its provision for loan losses declined to $120.2 million in the second quarter, from $298.9 million a year earlier. Expenses on foreclosed real estate totaled $39.9 million in the second quarter, although this was a decline from $46.4 million a year earlier.

Nonperforming assets totaled $1.2 billion as of June 30, or 4.30% of total assets, improving from a nonperforming assets ratio of 4.86% a year earlier.

Investors discount the shares with good reason, as the company was still losing money during the second quarter and TARP also represents a significant overhang. Synovus's Tier 1 common equity ratio was 8.41% as of June 30, which would be considered a rather strong level for a profitable bank.

FIG Partners analyst Christopher Marinac rates Synovus "outperform" or a "buy," with a $2.15 price target, saying in an August 10 report that "investors should treat SNV as a financial institution capable of surviving without additional capital and with capacity to repay TARP in 2013," adding that a potential acquirer could benefit from the company's $809 million deferred tax asset valuation allowance.

The shares trade for 11 times the consensus 2012 earnings estimate of 12 cents a share, among analysts polled by FactSet.

Out of 22 analysts covering Synovus, five rate the shares a buy, 15 have neutral ratings and one analyst recommends investors sell the shares.

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