8. First Republic Bank
San Francisco- based First Republic (FRC) also had a record year, posting a net income of $352 million in 2011.
The bank saw a 20% increase in loan volume, even as it maintained high credit quality. Non performing assets account for about 11 basis points.The bank's return on assets improved from 1.33% in 2010 to 1.41% in 2011. The management attributes its profitability to its focused business model. "We are in well-established lines of businesses and operate in a limited number of urban coastal markets which we understand and know very well," CEO Jim Herbert said in a conference call. "In short, First Republic is a simple, almost one of a kind entity. A traditional bank focused intently on a few core businesses but with very modern delivery." First Republic has solid capital ratios, with Tier I Capital ratio oat 13.36% and Tier 1 Risk-based Capital ratio of 13.81%. The stock trades at 11 times forward earnings. Two analysts rate the stock a buy or outperform, while 7 rate it a hold.