1. First PacTrust Bancorp (BANC - Get Report)Forward yield 4.1%
First PacTrust is the holding company for Pacific Trust Bank, a community bank with a 70-year history of profitability. The bank operates 11 branch locations in San Diego, Los Angeles and Riverside counties in California.The company's year-over-year earnings nearly tripled to $2.75 million in the nine months ended Sept. 30, while earnings per share (EPS) jumped 59% to $0.27 in the same period. This growth reflects increases in total assets and deposits, not to mention a sizable 60% decline in nonperforming loans, to a current $8.3 million. Analysts say First PacTrust will likely produce 15% yearly earnings growth in the next five years. Like many banks during the financial crisis, First PacTrust was forced to cut its dividend (in this case, by half), but the old $0.40 annual dividend was restored last year. This month, First PacTrust raised the dividend by 4% to a $0.48 annual rate. The new dividend is payable Jan. 3, 2012, to shareholders of record on Dec. 16, 2011.