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3 A-Rated Bank Stocks

Signature Bank

Shares of Signature Bank of New York, N.Y, closed at $61.01 Tuesday, returning 2% year-to-date, following a 20% total return during 2011. The five-year total return was 87%.

The company had $15.3 billion in total assets as of March 31.

The shares trade for 1.9 times tangible book value, and for 14.5 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $4.21. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is $3.67.

Signature Bank's ROA has ranged from 1.13% to 1.23% over the past five quarters.

Guggenheim analyst David Darst on Tuesday upgraded Signature Bank to a "Buy" rating from a neutral rating, with a price target of $71, "given its attractive valuation and catalysts for continued robust organic growth driven by core business and the new specialty and [commercial and industrial] lending teams hired in 1Q12."

Darst said that "25-30% loan growth in 2012 and 2013 is attainable given recent [commercial real estate] volume and the addition of specialty lending and C&I teams."

The analyst expects that Signature Bank's "EPS will grow at a 21% three-year [compound annual growth rate] from 2011 to 2013," and that the company will earn $3.71 a share this year, followed by 2013 EPS of $4.35.

Interested in more on Signature Bank? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 3 A-Rated Bank Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

To contact the writer, click here: Philip van Doorn.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.
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