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Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

10 Well-Run, Profitable Banks (Update 3)


7. Westamerica Bancorporation

Shares of Westamerica Bancorporation (WABC) of San Rafael, Calif., closed at $43.90 Friday, down 18% during 2011. Based on a quarterly payout of 37 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 3.37%.

The company's third-quarter efficiency ratio was 41.16, according to SNL Financial.

In late November, Westamerica was included among TheStreet's 10 Bank Stocks Bringing Home the Bacon because it was one of the strongest earnings performers among actively traded U.S. banks during the first three quarters of 2011 and the preceding four years. Please see that article for a discussion on the company's third-quarter results.

KBW analyst Julianna Balicka rates the shares "Outperform," with a $55 price target, saying in October that "Westamerica is widely recognized as a high-quality, low risk banking franchise that provides a compelling value proposition for investors looking for low volatility earnings, consistently increasing dividends, and active capital management in the form of share buybacks or well priced acquisitions."

The company repurchased 956,000 shares for $45.1 million during the first three quarters of 2011.

The shares trade for 14 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $3.21, among analysts polled by FactSet, and for three times their Sept. 30 tangible book value of $14.21, according to SNL Financial.

Out of eight analysts covering Westamerica Bancorporation, one rates the shares a buy, six have neutral ratings, and one analyst recommends selling the shares.

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

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