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TheStreet Open House

10 Bank Stocks Bringing Home the Bacon (Mmm... Bacon)

9. Cullen/Frost Bankers

Shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers (CFR) of San Antonio, Texas, closed at $49.87 last Friday, declining 16% year-to-date. Based on a quarterly payout of 46 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 3.69%.

The company's year-to-date ROA was 1.19% as of Sept. 30, and its five-year average ROA was 1.34%.

Cullen/Frost had $19.5 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, with 132 branches in Texas.

Third-quarter net income was $54.5 million, or 89 cents a share, declining from $55.7 million, or 91 cents a share, in the second quarter, and $55.0 million, or 90 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2010. A 3.1% year-over-year increase in net interest income, to a tax-adjusted $160.6 million in the third quarter, was more than offset by the correction of "an under-accrual of taxes from incorrectly deducting premium amortization on municipal bonds since 2008,: which "resulted in the unusually high effective tax rate in the third quarter of 30.3 percent" in the third quarter, with $6 million in additional income tax expenses.

The shares trade for 13.6 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of 3.64, among analysts polled by FactSet, and 1.8 times tangible book value, according to SNL.

Out of 14 analysts covering Cullen/Frost Bankers, only one rates the shares a buy, while 11 analysts have neutral ratings and Brett Rabatin of Sterne Agee recommends selling the shares.

In a report published on Oct. 26, Rabatin called Cullen/Frost "qualitatively one of the best banks in the country" but said it was "likely the premium valuation was not likely to move much higher vis-à-vis the industry," and that the bank's "overall profitability may continue to decline towards peers in the pervasive low interest rate environment."

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