5. Valley National Bancorp
Shares of Valley National Bancorp (VLY) of Wayne, N.J., closed at $11.23 Thursday, down 14% year-to-date. Based on a quarterly payout of 17 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 6.14%.
Valley had $14.5 billion in total assets as of June 30, with roughly 200 branches in northern and central New Jersey and the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, in New York. The company expects to complete its acquisition of State Bancorp (STBC) of Jericho, N.Y., during the fourth quarter.The company earned $25.2 million during the second quarter, or 22 cents a share, increasing from $14.1 million, or 20 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2010. The earnings improvement reflected $16.4 million in securities gains during the second quarter and a decline in the provision for loan loss reserves to $6 million from $12.4 million a year earlier. The second-quarter net interest margin was a tax-adjusted 3.71% which was slight decrease from 3.72% a year earlier. The second-quarter ROA was 1.03%, according to SNL Financial. Guggenheim Securities analyst David Darst in August reiterated his "Buy" rating for Valley, but lowered his price target to $13.50 from $15.00, to reflect the "new market environment" for the banking sector, adding that the high dividend yield "coupled with an above peer [long-term return on equity] of 11%... warrants a premium valuation relative to peers." The shares trade for 12 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of 90 cents, among analysts polled by FactSet. Out of nine analysts covering Valley National, two rate the shares a buy, six have neutral ratings, and one analyst recommends investors part with the shares.
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