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10 New York Bank Stocks With Most Upside for 2012

4. MetLife

Shares of MetLife (MET - Get Report) closed at $30.23 Friday, for a year-to-date decline of 30%. Based on an annual payout of 74 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 2.45%. Based on a mean price target of $45.35 among analysts polled by FactSet, the shares have 50% upside.

Although MetLife is included here as a New York bank, the company is working hard to escape the extra Federal Reserve oversight that comes with being labeled a bank holding company. MetLife is actively peddling its relatively small MetLife Bank, NA subsidiary, which had $17.7 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, against the holding company's $785.2 billion in assets.

MetLife's capital plan, which would have included an increase of its annual dividend, was rejected by the Fed in October. The company will also participate in the Fed's annual stress tests in January.

In addition to the subsidiary bank's deposit business, MetLife announced in October, that it was trying to sell MetLife Bank, NA's mortgage origination business, as "exiting the depository business and deregistering as a bank holding company also will enable MetLife to operate within the same regulatory framework as other insurance companies."

The holding company recorded a $65 million third-quarter goodwill impairment charge on the banking unit.

While MetLife was the 10th largest mortgage loan servicer in the U.S., with servicing volume of $116 billion as of March 31, according to Credit Suisse, which cited data provided by Inside Mortgage Finance, its risk exposure in the ongoing negotiations between the top U.S. mortgage servicers, federal regulators, and the states' attorneys general, appears to be relatively limited. Credit Suisse analyst Moshe Orenbuch on Monday estimated that MetLife's contribution to the industry settlement would range from a low of $122 million, to a high of $203 million.

Sterne Agee analyst John Nadel on Dec. 5 reiterated his "Buy" rating for MetLife, with a $46 price target, while lowering his 2012 EPS estimate slightly to $5.00, saying that the company's "capital story remains solid," as MetLife expects to have $3.5 billion in "readily deployable capital," and expects to add between $2.5 billion and $3.5 billion more in 2012.

The shares trade for 6.0 time the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $5.04, among analysts polled by FactSet, and just 0.7 times tangible book value, according to SNL.

Out of 19 analysts covering MetLife, 16 rate the shares a buy, while the remaining analysts all have neutral ratings.

Interested in more on MetLife? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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