The broad indexes pulled back after the U.S. Commerce Department reported that manufactured durable goods orders in February increased 2.2 percent to $211.8 billion, which was a big improvement from January's 3.7% decline, but was behind the consensus forecast of a 2.9% increase, among economists polled by Thomson Reuters. The Commerce Department said that shipments of durable goods declined 0.4 percent during February.
Financial stocks strengthened late in the day, with the KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) ending up over 1% to close at 50.13.
BB&T's shares have now returned 27% year-to-date, following a decline of 2% during 2011.The shares trade for 1.9 times the company's reported Dec. 30 tangible book value of $16.73, and for 11 times the consensus 2012 earnings estimate of $2.89, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is $2.51. Following the completion of the Federal Reserve's 2012 bank holding company stress tests, BB&T on March 13 increased its quarterly dividend by four cents to 20 cents, and also said the regulator hadn't objected to "plans to redeem $3.2 billion of trust preferred securities beginning in 2012 without issuing any replacement capital." The shares now have a dividend yield of 2.51%. Also on March 13, BB&T modified its deal to acquire BankAtlantic Bancorp's (BBX) thrift subsidiary, agreeing to pay a premium of up to $316 million to acquire 78 South Florida branches, along $3.3 billion in deposits, while also agreeing to "assume BankAtlantic Bancorp's obligations with respect to its outstanding trust preferred securities, with an aggregate principal balance of approximately $285 million." The company is scheduled to announce its first-quarter results on April 19. The consensus first-quarter EPS estimate is 56 cents, increasing from 55 cents in the fourth quarter and 32 cents during the first quarter of 2011. Interested in more on BB&T? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.
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