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How Healthy Is Banco Santander?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- First, a shout-out to Jim Cramer. I love the way you pronounce "Banco Santander." Please give us another sampling of it on "Mad Money" Friday.

After the market closes that day, Spanish bank Banco Santander's (SAN) Argentine subsidiary, Banco Santander Rio, will report earnings for the first quarter of 2013.

SAN is a widely followed stock that trades almost seven million shares each day in the U.S. alone. If you were to purchase shares at the low on Thursday of $7.29 you'd be expecting a dividend yield-to-price of 8.37%. That's enough to make an income-oriented investor dance the flamenco with gusto.

Banco Santander is a global financial company that provides retail banking products and services for private customers, small and medium enterprises, and a host of companies in Brazil, Spain, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Portugal, Germany, Chile, Argentina, Poland and the United States.

Yes, it is headquartered in Madrid, so it does have a good bit of the "eurozone phobia" attached to it. That's probably one of the reasons Cramer and Research Director Stephanie Link would not include SAN in the ActionAlertsPlus portfolio.

If you're not adverse to some speculation, you'll be paid well to consider it as a speculative holding. After all, it's into some lucrative businesses, which include retail banking, global wholesale banking, plus asset management and insurance.

With 14,392 branches it most likely falls into the category of "too big to fail." May I remind you that the central bank of Europe has made it clear it stands ready to bail out the major financial centers of Spain, Portugal, Italy and even Cyprus?


SAN stands tall among its peers of European banking money-makers. It profits from corporate banking, treasury and investment banking activities. It designs and manages mutual and pension funds, investment companies and its clients' pension plans.

If that doesn't sound lucrative enough, it manages real estate investment products and offers trade financing and wholesale banking services. It even has an English-language version of its Web site, which I encourage you to peruse thoroughly.

SAN's first-quarter report was released April 25. In spite of a challenging economic situation in its core regions the bank reported a "...sharp profit increase over the fourth quarter 2012 with attributable profit almost three times higher."

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