Shares of Astoria Financial (AF) of Lake Success, N.Y., closed at $10.00 Tuesday, returning 20% year-to-date, following a 36% decline during 2011.
The shares trade for 0.9 times tangible book value, according to HighlineFI, and for 15 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of 65 cents. The consensus first-quarter EPS is 12 cents, with a full-year 2012 estimate of 53 cents.
Based on a quarterly payout of 13 cents, the shares have dividend yield of 5.20%.The company had $17 billion in total assets as of Dec. 30. Astoria has suffered in the prolonged low-rate environment, with its net interest margin -- the difference between a bank's average yield on loans and investments and its average cost for deposits and wholesale borrowings -- narrowing to 2.20% during the fourth-quarter, from an already low 2.32% a year earlier. Alexopoulos on Wednesday raised his price target for Astoria by a dollar, to $9.00. The analyst estimates that Astoria will post core first-quarter earnings of 11 cents, followed by EPS of 50 cents for all of 2012, and 2013 EPS of 56 cents. The analyst said that "despite strong pipelines in both multifamily and 1-4 family categories,
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