7. MB Financial
Shares of MB Financial (MBFI) of Chicago closed at $21.42 Friday, returning 25% year-to-date, after pulling back 1% during 2011.
The company last Wednesday made good on CEO Mitchell Geiger's promise to repaying $196 million in federal bailout funds received in December 2008 through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, in a "shareholder-friendly" way, announcing it had fully repaid the government, "with cash on hand."MB Financial earned $28.3 million, or 71 cents a share during 2011, increasing from $10.1 million, or 39 cents a share, during 2010, as credit expenses declined. The 2010 results masked some of the improvement, since they included $62.6 million in bargain purchase gains, on failed institutions acquired from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. FIG Partners analyst Brian Martin rates MB Financial "Outperform," with a $21 price target, saying in January that the company's fourth-quarter "highlights included a return to loan growth after a period of contraction, an uptick in the margin, and continued improvement in credit quality." Martin estimates that MBFI will earn $1.50 a share in 2012, followed by EPS of $1.80 during 2013. The shares trade for 1.5 times tangible book value, and for 14 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $1.49. The consensus 2013 EPS estimate is $1.74. Interested in more on MB Financial? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.