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TheStreet Open House

10 Bank Stocks Ready for a 2012 Dividend Boost

5. WesBanco

Shares of WesBanco (WSBC) of Wheeling, W.Va., closed at $19.55, bucking the industry trend by rising 6% year-to-date. Based on a quarterly payout of 16 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 3.27%. The company has increased the payout twice during the last three quarters, from 14 cents.

The company had $5.5 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30 with 112 branches in West Virginia, Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

WesBanco reported third-quarter net income of $11.0 million, or 41 cents a share, declining from $11.9 million, or 45 cents a share, in the second quarter, but increasing from $9.2 million, or 34 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2010.

The provision for credit losses was $10.8 million during the third quarter, increasing from $6.8 million the previous quarter, but declining from $11.8 million a year earlier.

The third-quarter net interest margin was 3.67%, increasing from 3.61% a year earlier.

The third-quarter ROA was0.81%, according to SNL Financial.

Sterne Agee analyst Kenneth James on Oct. 31 reiterated his neutral rating on WesBanco, saying that although "core earnings trends have been favorable due to NIM expansion and expense reductions," a repeat of "the previous year's share price performance over the next year could prove difficult given a more challenging revenue outlook."

The shares trade for 10.5 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $1.86, among analysts polled by FactSet, and 1.5 times tangible book value, according to SNL.

Two out of six analysts covering WesBanco rate the shares a buy. The remaining analysts all have neutral ratings.

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