We arrived at this list by looking at the 24 components of the KBW Bank Index (I:BKX), along with other large-cap banks not included in the index, such as Morgan Stanley (MS), Goldman Sachs (GS), Discover Financial (DFS) and CIT Group (CIT).
The KBW Bank Index has risen 33% this year, after rising 30% during 2012.
Here are some quick data points for the four large-cap bank stocks faring best so far during 2013. The return numbers below may differ from those on the chart, which include today's price action.Morgan Stanley has been the strongest performer during 2013 among large-cap U.S. banks, with shares rising 66% through Monday's close at $31.54. The investment bank's shares trade for 1.2 times their reported Sept. 30 tangible book value of $26.96, and for 12.5 times the consensus 2014 earnings estimate of $2.53 among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The consensus 2015 EPS estimate is $2.96. Please see Wealth Management Gives Morgan Stanley Rare Wall Street Growth for a discussion of the company's business transformation over the past year. KeyCorp (KEY) of Cleveland ranks second, with shares returning 56% this year through Monday's close at $12.90. The shares trade for 1.4 times tangible book value, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight, and for 12.7 times the consensus 2014 EPS estimate of $1.02. The consensus 2015 EPS estimate is $1.12. Please see KeyCorp 'Strongest' in 20 Years for coverage of the bank's efficiency improvements. State Street (STT) of Boston takes third place, with shares returning 55% this year through Monday's close at $72.11. The trust and custody bank's shares trade for 2.8 times tangible book value, and for 13.9 times the consensus 2014 EPS estimate of $5.19. The consensus 2015 EPS estimate is $5.86. Please see TheStreet's earnings coverage for more on State Street. Comerica (CMA) of Dallas ranks fourth, with a not-too-shabby total return of 53% this year through Monday's close at $45.69. The shares trade for 1.3 times tangible book value, and for 15.5 times the consensus 2014 EPS estimate of $2.95. The consensus 2015 EPS estimate is $3.29. Please see TheStreet's earnings coverage for more on Comerica.
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