This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

5 Cheapest A-Rated Bank Stocks


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you are a conservative long-term investor, the list of A-rated bank stocks below indicates that you can have your cake and eat it too.

TheStreet Ratings takes a very conservative, long-term approach to stock ratings, placing its emphasis on total returns as well as revenue trends, capital strength and dividends. The ratings also consider short-term performance, financial stability and stock-price volatility.

A rating of B-minus (Good) or higher translates to a "buy" rating.

Limiting the rated stocks to those that are actively traded with average daily volume of at least 40,000 shares, here are the four bank stocks rated A-plus (Excellent). All have achieved strong returns on average tangible common equity (ROTCE) through the third quarter of this year and over the previous two years, according to data provided by Thomson Reuters Bank Insight. Most trade at premiums to peers, based on forward price-to-earnings ratios:

  • Prosperity Bancshares (PB) of Houston. The shares closed at $63.76 Monday and trade for 16 times the consensus 2014 earnings estimate of $2.82, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The company's ROTCE for the first three quarters of 2013 was a very strong 20.88%, following ROTCE of 19.84% in 2012 and 22.80% in 2011, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight. On this basis, Prosperity Bancshares has been the strongest performer for the past three years among the banks listed here.
  • Home Bancshares (HOMB) of Conway, Ark. The shares closed at $33.75 Monday and trade for 19.6 times the consensus 2014 EPS estimate of $1.72. The ROTCE for the first three quarters of 2013 was 15.89%, improving from 15.09% in 2012 and 13.49% in 2011.
  • Community Bank System (CBU) of DeWitt, N.Y. The shares closed at $36.75 Monday and trade for 17.3 times the consensus 2014 EPS estimate of $2.13. The company's ROTCE for the first three quarters of this year was 17.54%, compared to 14.95% in 2012 and 17.67% in 2011.
  • First Financial Bancshares (FFIN) of Abilene, Texas. The shares closed at $61.79 Monday and trade for 21.9 times the consensus 2014 EPS estimate of $2.82. The company's ROTCE for the first three quarters of 2013 was 16.33%, increasing from 15.3% in 2012 and 15.67% in 2011.

There's no question that we're looking at a high quality group of stocks on the above A-plus list. The relatively high forward P/E valuations reflect the amazing run the stock market has had this year and in 2012 -- especially bank stocks.

For investors looking for possible bargains among highly rated bank stocks, we have moved down a notch and isolated the cheapest of these to forward earnings. Here are the five actively traded bank stocks rated A (Excellent), with the lowest forward price-to-earnings ratios, sorted by descending forward P/E:

Shares of 1st Source Corp. (SRCE) of South Bend, Ind., closed at $31.85 Monday. The shares have returned 48% this year and trade for 14.0 times the consensus 2014 EPS estimate of $2.28. For the first three quarters of 2013, the bank's ROTCE was 11.19%, improving from 10.53% in 2012 and 11.05% in 2011.

WesBanco (WSBC) of Wheeling, W.V., has seen its stock return 34% this year, through Monday's close at $29.01. The shares trade for 13.0 times the consensus 2014 EPS estimate of $2.24. The bank's ROTCE for the first three quarters of 2013 was 15.62%, improving from 12.71% in 2012 and 12.49% in 2011.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs