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10 Buy Rated Regional Bank Stocks (Update 3)

3. Oritani Financial

Shares of Oritani Financial (ORIT) of the Township of Washington, N.J., closed at $12.52 Monday, down 2% year-to-date. The shares have returned 27% since the company's initial public offering at $10 a share, on Jan. 24, 2007.

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

The company was also included among TheStreet's 10 Well-Run, Profitable Banks, based on third-quarter efficiency ratios.

Oritani Financial is part of a mutual holding company structure, with 74.4% of common shares held by Oritani Financial Corp., MHC, according to the company's third-quarter 10-Q filing. Oritani Financial and the mutual holding company adopted a conversion plan in February 2010, to convert the holding company to a fully public stock structure.

While the company has not said when it plans to complete its second-step conversion to full stock ownership, Oritani in November announced its third share buyback program in November, authorizing the repurchase of 2,278,776 shares, or 5% of outstanding shares.

The company had $2.6 billion in total assets as of Dec.31 ,with 26 branch offices.

The company is set to announce its fourth-quarter results on Friday, with analysts expecting EPS of 13 cents a share, declining from 15 cents in the third quarter, and matching the results in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Oritani's earnings have been quite steady, with an ROA ranging from 1.11% to 1.15% over the five quarters ended Sept. 30.

The shares trade for 1.1 times tangible book value, according to SNL Financial, and for 21 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of 60 cents, among analysts polled by FactSet.

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

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