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5 Bank Stocks That Won't Bankrupt You or America (Update 1)

2. Home Bancshares

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Home Bancshares (HOMB) of Conway, Ark., has seen its stock decline 1% year-to-date, to $25.55 on Monday, following a remarkable 19% return in 2011.

The company had $3.6 billion in total assets as of Dec. 30, with branch operations in Arkansas and Florida, and it was a strong and steady earnings performer during 2011, with ROA ranging from 1.46% to 1.58%.

Home Bancshares on Feb. 16 completed the purchase of all 17 branches of Vision Bank of Panama City, Fla., from Park National Corp. (PRK), for $27.9 million.

The shares trade for 1.8 times tangible book value and 12.5 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $2.04. The consensus 2013 EPS estimate is $2.13.

FIG Partners analyst Brian Martin has an "outperform" rating on Home Bancshares, with a $29 price target, saying on Jan. 23 that "the game plan heading into 2012 is M&A," including possible failed bank acquisitions as well as traditional deals, after "good pricing discipline prevented any M&A from occurring in 2011 as HOMB was an active bidder."

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

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