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10 Buy Rated Regional Bank Stocks (Update 3)

7. F.N.B. Corporation

Shares of F.N.B. Corporation (FNB - Get Report) of Hermitage, Pa., closed at $12.33 Monday, rising 9% year-to-date, although the shares had a negative five-year return of 5%. Based on a quarterly payout of 12 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 2.89%.

The stock is rated an "A-minus" by TheStreet Ratings.

The company had $9.8 billion in total assets as of Dec. 31, with 297 branches across Pennsylvania, and also in Northeast Ohio.

F.N.B. on Monday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $23.7 million, or 19 cents a share, compared to $23.8 million, or 19 cents, in the third quarter, and $23.5 million, or 21 cents, in the fourth quarter of 2010.

During the fourth-quarter, sequential declines in fee income were largely offset by $3.5 million in securities gains.

The fourth-quarter ROA was 0.95% according to SNL Financial, and the ROA has ranged from 0.71% to 1.04% over the past five quarters.

KBW analyst Damon DelMonte on Tuesday lowered his rating on F.N.B. Corporation from "Outperform," to "Market Perform," saying that although he remains "positive on the FNB story," the stock's "valuation is fair at these levels." DelMonte said the company had "posted another favorable quarter," with results "marked by continued loan growth, improving asset quality and controlled expenses."

FBR analyst Bob Ramsey stuck with his "Market Perform" rating for F.N.B., while raising his price target for the shares to $13 from $11, following "another solid quarter," with results "characterized by continued loan growth, a stable NIM, and credit quality improvement." Ramsey added that "since June 30, 2009, FNB has grown its loan portfolio $1.0 billion, while other banks de-risked their balance sheets and pulled out of the market."

Then again, Ramsey said that "valuation keeps us on the sidelines."

The shares trade for 2.6 times the company's reported Dec. 31 tangible book value of $4.80, and 15 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of 84 cents, among analysts polled by FactSet.

Interested in more on F.N.B. Corporation? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.
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BAC $12.47 -5.90%
C $38.12 -6.50%
FNB $11.95 -1.20%
JPM $56.12 -3.90%
PB $40.62 -2.50%


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