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5 Chicago Banks: How Our Picks Fared

Wintrust Financial

Shares of Wintrust Financial (WTFC) of Lake Forest, Ill., closed at $28.12 Wednesday, for a year-to-date decline of 14%.

The company fully repaid $193 million TARP money in December 2010.

Wintrust has been an active acquirer of failed banks, purchasing three failed institutions from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. this year, including Community First Bank - Chicago in February, Bank of Commerce of Wood Dale, Ill., in March, and First Chicago Bank & Trust in July.

FIG Partners analyst John Rodis upgraded his rating for Wintrust to "outperform" in November, saying that a pullback in the share price to $26.71 on Nov. 17, presented "an attractive buying opportunity for investors." The shares have climbed 5% since then, but Rodis's $33 price target still implies 17% upside from Wednesday's close.

The analyst's target is based a valuation of roughly 1.2 times estimated tangible book value going out one year, and "a low-teen P/E multiple to our forward EPS estimates," of $1.84 for 2012.

Rodis added that "While WTFC shares might not appear as inexpensive on a P/E bases (vs. some regional banks) we believe the trade-off with WTFC is one of a higher growth franchise at the expense of some near-term earnings power."

The shares trade for 0.9 times their Sept. 30 tangible book value of $32.11, according to SNL, and for 14 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $2.06, among analysts polled by FactSet.

Out of 13 analysts covering Wintrust Financial, seven rate the shares a buy, while the remaining analysts all have neutral ratings.

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

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