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10 Bank Stocks Ready for a 2012 Dividend Boost

2. Flushing Financial Corp.

Shares of Flushing Financial Corp. (FFIC) of Lake Success, N.Y., closed at $12.31 Friday, declining 9% year-to-date. Based on a quarterly payout of 13 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 4.22%.

The company had $4.3 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, with 17 branches in New York City and in Nassau County, on Long Island.

Flushing on Sept. 28 announced a new repurchase plan, authorizing buybacks of a million common shares, after completing a previous buyback plan during the third quarter.

Third-quarter net income was $10.2 million, or 33 cents a share, increasing from $9.1 million, or 29 cents a share, during the second quarter, but declining from $14.6 million, or 48 cents a share, during the third quarter of 2010. The provision for loan losses was $5 million during all three periods.

The year-over-year earnings declined reflected a net tax benefit of $5.5 million, or 18 cents a share ,during the third quarter of 2010.

The third-quarter net interest margin was 3.60%, increasing from $3.56% a year earlier.

The third-quarter ROA was 0.94%, according to SNL Financial.

Guggenheim Securities analyst David Darst on Oct. 31 reiterated his buy rating for Flushing Financial, with a $15 price target, saying that key catalysts for the shares in 2012 include "consistent earning contribution from a stable [net interest margin]," improved loan growth and declining credit costs, as problem loans "work through the foreclosure process."

The shares trade for 9.7 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $1.26, among analysts polled by FactSet, and just under tangible book value, according to SNL.

Four out of six analysts covering Flushing Financial Corp. rate the shares a buy. The remaining analysts both have neutral ratings.
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DCOM $18.37 -0.11%
FFIN $36.02 0.46%
HCBK $10.12 -0.69%
HBAN $11.68 0.17%
JPM $66.93 0.22%


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