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10 Bank Stock Picks: Heroes vs. Zeros


Updated with information on BOFI's common share offering.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- TheStreet has revisited a list of 10 bank stock picks made over a year ago based on low price multiples to forward earnings estimates; the results are a mixed bag.

Back in September 2010, we presented a list of 10 actively traded bank stocks, with average daily trading volume of over 50,000 shares, trading at the lowest multiples to consensus 2011 earnings estimates. Out of the 10 Cheapest Bank Stocks for 2011 that were selected based on closing prices and forward earnings estimates on Sept. 3, 2010, five had brought home positive total returns through Friday's market close.

Getting five out of ten picks right over a period of a year and three months would normally be a good track record, however, three of the picks saw very significant losses for investors.

During the same time period, the KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) of large U.S. bank holding companies declined 17%.

If an investor had purchased $10,000 worth of shares in each of the 10 Cheapest Bank Stocks for 2011, the investor would have been left with $89,936 as of Friday's market close. This decline of just over 10% compares favorably to the KBW Bank Index's performance, but still hurts.

Over the past couple of years, sell-side analysts covering the largest U.S. banks have generally been "early," with buy recommendations based on historically low price multiples to book value and to forward earnings estimates. We covered this subject in detail last week, in TheStreet's 10 Bank Stocks Beating Analysts' Price Targets.

As we have seen, the enthusiasm for some of the biggest and cheapest banking names, is unabated. JPMorgan Chase (JPM), for example, is rated a buy by 23 out of 25 analysts.

Here's an update on TheStreet's original September 2010 list of 10 Cheapest Bank Stocks for 2011, once again in descending order by forward price-to-earnings ratio:

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