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10 Well-Run, Profitable Banks (Update 3)


9. BankUnited

Shares of BankUnited (BKU) of Miami Lakes, Fla., closed at $21.99 Friday, for a negative return of 17% since the "new" BankUnited was taken public on January 27 of last year. Based on a quarterly payout of 14 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 2.55%.

The "new" BankUnited was formed in May 2009 by an investor group led by former NorthFork Bancorp CEO John Kanas, to acquire the failed "old" BankUnited from the FDIC.

The company's third-quarter efficiency ratio was 41.64, according to SNL Financial.

BankUnited in June announced a deal to acquire Herald National Bank (HNB) of New York, in a deal valued at $71.4 million by SNL. Herald National's shareholders approved the deal on Dec. 22, and the transaction is expected to be completed during the first quarter.

Herald National Bank has three branches and reported $487 million in total assets as of Sept. 30. While this is a small deal for BankUnited, it provides an entry back into the New York market for Kanas, and BankUnited has loads of excess capital to fund a significant expansion in the New York area.

BankUnited earned $45.6 million during the third quarter, or 45 cents a share, compared to $45.0 million, or 48 cents a share, a year earlier.

The third-quarter ROA was 1.68%, according to SNL.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst L. Erika Penala rates BankUnited a buy, with a $30 price objective, saying in October that the company remained "a long-term growth story, with anticipated outsized growth in metro New York representing the crux of our bullish stance." Penala estimates that BankUnited will earn $1.74 a share in 2012.

The shares trade for 14 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $1.59, among analysts polled by FactSet, and for 1.5 times their Sept. 30 tangible book value of 14.72, according to SNL Financial.

The six analysts covering BankUnited are split between buy ratings and neutral ratings.

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

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