) --

New York Community Bancorp


was the winner among the largest U.S. financial names on Monday, with shares rising over 3% to close at $14.12.

The broad indexes ended mixed after a second straight session of little movement, after reports indicated that Germany and France were in disagreement over the timeline for bringing eurozone banks under European Central Bank supervision.

Reflecting the uncertain mood of the markets, Citigroup economist Robert DiClemente said on Monday that his firm's "updated economic forecast continues to show modest growth with a near-term dip in momentum reflecting in part the effects of drought, policy uncertainty and slowing abroad. Over the four quarters of 2013, we anticipate a slight acceleration to 2.4% growth assuming housing conditions continue to mend and fiscal drag is limited to about 1%."

DiClemente expects that the Federal Reserve's "balance sheet will continue to expand for at least the better part of 2013," given "the strengthened easing bias and the higher hurdle for what constitutes satisfactory job growth," however, "it remains to be seen whether the lift in financial conditions can be sustained given lingering threats externally and from fiscal policy as well as previous experiences with QE."

Shares of New York Community Bancorp have now returned 21% year-to-date, following a 30% decline during 2011.

The shares trade for nearly twice their reported June 30 tangible book value of $7.14, and for 14 times the consensus 2013 Earnings estimate of $1.04 a share, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is $1.13.

Based on a quarterly payout of 25 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 7.08%. This is quite a high yield, especially in the prolonged low-rate environment, and the company has been paying out nearly all of its earnings in dividends, however, despite some analysts' questioning the level of the dividend over the past several years, the company has managed to maintain the 25-cent quarterly payout for 34 consecutive quarters.

The company was recently included among TheStreet's 5 Most Lean and Mean Bank Stocks, with an efficiency ratio of 41.71% for the 12-month period ended June 30, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight. The efficiency ratio is, essentially, the number of pennies of overhead expenses incurred for each dollar of revenue. A level below 50% is generally considered good for most banks.

Please see


efficiency ratio

feature for more commentary on New York Community Bancorp's earnings performance and another interesting potential catalyst for the shares.

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Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.