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5 Bank Stocks That Could Jump on 2012 M&A (Update 1)

Stocks in this article: BAC JPM RF SNV FHN WAL BPFH

4.First Horizon National

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Shares of First Horizon National (FHN) have lost 36% in value in the year-to-date.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based bank has more than 180 bank branches in and around Tennessee. It has $25.57 billion in assets and $15.69 billion in deposits.

The bank's capital levels are quite solid with a Tier 1 Common Capital ratio of 11.95%.

Recent credit metrics at First Horizon have begun to improve, with the bank reporting nonperforming assets totaling $582.6 million as of Sept. 30, declining 22% quarter over quarter and 37% year over year. The ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets was 3.02% as of Sept. 30, improving from 4.09% the previous quarter and 5% in September 2010.

Still, First Horizon faces a high amount of risk tied to repurchase claims. First Horizon's reps and warrants provision expense more than doubled in the quarter and the company realized $53 million of losses while the pipeline of repurchase requests was $419 million at the end of 3Q11.

"We remain wary regarding First Horizon's relative overexposure to potential reps and warrants losses as its pipeline of requests remains strong at $419 million and losses increased in the quarter," FBR Capital analyst Paul Miller wrote in a report. "Until we gain more clarity into First Horizon's earnings power and its ultimate reps and warrants exposure, we look to remain on the sidelines with regards to shares."

Sterne Agee analyst Todd Hagerman has an underperform or sell rating on the shares, saying on Oct. 19 that " "core revenues remain uninspiring and the outsized benefit from improving credit will likely dissipate as we enter 2012 -- challenging the company's ability to earn its cost of capital. "

16 analysts rate the stock a buy, 12 have a hold rating while 1 analyst has an underperform rating on the stock.

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