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5 Buy-Rated Bank Stocks With Safe and Solid Dividends (Update 1)

2. NBT Bancorp

Shares of NBT Bancorp (NBTB - Get Report) of Norwich, N.Y., closed at $19.27 Monday, down 11% Year-to-date, following a 5% decline last year. Based on a quarterly payout of 20 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 4.15%.

The shares trade for 1.6 times tangible book value, and for 11.5 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $1.68. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is $1.61.

NBT Bancorp had $5.8 billion in total assets as of March 31, and earned $13.65 million, or 41 cents a share, during the first quarter, declining slightly from $13.72 million, or 41 cents a share during the fourth quarter, and from $14.3 million, or 41 cents a share, during the first quarter of 2011. The first-quarter operating ROA was 0.96%, declining from 0.98% the previous quarter, and 1.06% a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight.

The first-quarter dividend payout ratio was 49%.

The company in November agreed to acquire Hampshire First Bank (HFBN) of Manchester, to pick up $273 million in assets and five New Hampshire branches, for $45 million in stock and cash. The deal is expected to be closed this month.

Guggenheim Securities analyst David Darst has a neutral rating for NBT, with $22 price target, saying on April 24 that first-quarter profitability remained "solid," but "underlying trends reflect a softer outlook for 2012," but that he "anticipates" recent branch acquisitions and the pending purchase of Hampshire First Bank "will contribute to earnings in 2013."

Darst estimate that NBT will earn $1.64 a share during 2012, followed by 2013 EPS of $1.71.

Interested in more on NBT Bancorp? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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