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5 Most Lean and Mean Bank Stocks

2. Signature Bank
Shares of Signature Bank (SBNY) of New York closed at $66.78 Wednesday, returning 11% year-to-date, following a 20% return during 2011.

The shares trade for 2.1 times their reported June 30 book value of $32.49, and for 16 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $4.22. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is $3.77.

The bank's efficiency ratio for the 12-months ended June 30 was37.07%.

Signature Bank reported second-quarter earnings of $45.3 million, or 96 cents a share, increasing from $42.4 million, or 90 cents a share, in the first quarter, and $36.6 million, or 87 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2011. The company has been growing very quickly, with total deposits increasing 19% year-over-year, to $13.0 billion as of June 30, while net loans and leases grew 32% year-over-year, to $7.9 billion.

The company's ROA for the 12-month period ended June 30 was 1.09%, while its ROE was 11.35%.

Sterne Agee analyst Peyton Greene rates Signature Bank a "Buy," with a $75 price target, and said on Tuesday that "we believe loan growth will be slightly stronger than previously expected in 3Q12E," and that "coupled with revenue growth of 12%-15% in 2013E-2014E," he expected consensus estimates to move closer to his 2013 EPS estimate of $4.40, and his 2014 consensus EPS estimate of $5.10.

Greene called Signature Bank "one of our top growth recommendations," and said that "the primary difference in our view versus consensus is that we are more optimistic regarding net interest income growth."

The analyst also noted that the bank's "management has been much more thoughtful in constructing an investment portfolio that would be subject to less prepayment risk from a refi wave."

SBNY Chart SBNY data by YCharts

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

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