After financial stocks posted unimpressive second-quarter earnings, I dished out a list of famous financial stocks to sell. A number of these companies have bounced back recently, however, as the stock market got some spring in its step in September -- for instance, Bank of America ( BAC) is up more than 3% in the past week and Goldman Sachs ( GS) is up almost 5%. But don't be fooled by this recent bounce. These short-term returns are merely a product of a broader rally and I expect many financials to continue lagging the market in the months ahead. High foreclosure rates and low lending rates are acting against the big banks, and there are no two ways about it. That's why I want you to sell the following 11 famous financial stocks into strength immediately, and get out while the getting is good.
Banco Santander (STD)
Operating in Europe and the U.S. but also Latin America, Banco Santander ( STD) is a financial stock some investors have jumped into for its emerging market potential. But over the past nine months, STD is down -22% compared to the broader markets which have remained even. And since September of 2009, the stock has dropped -18%. A growth estimate of -62% this year is far from enticing, and while Banco Santander has bounced back slightly from its 52-week low of $8.65 in June, it clear that this financial stock is still underperforming.
Bank of America (BAC)
If you haven't already sold Bank of America ( BAC) stock by this point, then you're probably willing to hang on despite this company's much publicized shortcomings. However, I'll do my best to convince you BAC is not a value investment but a money pit. Here goes: Year-to-date, BAC has slid -7%, and is a far cry from 2007 highs -- a whopping -72% to be exact. Once trading around $52, this financial stock now trades at $13.94. And if 2010's numbers are any indication, there is no help in sight for BAC. Experts are projecting EPS of $0.18, despite posting EPS of $0.27 last quarter. That's not a good sign for growth.
Barclays ( BCS) may be a big name in the banking industry, but its stock has been anything but impressive over the last 12 months. Since last September, Barclays has skidded -18%. Likewise, the stock has fallen -6% over the last six months, causing concern for shareholders. A growth estimate of -61% for this year is another reason why Barclays is a financial stock to sell.
China Life Insurance (LFC)
As its name would suggest, China Life Insurance ( LFC) offers a wide range of insurance services in Beijing. China stocks have hit a wall in 2010, and LFC stock has fallen -19% in kind. In the second quarter, China Life attributed its -27% profit drop to "market uncertainty." An odd line from the world's top life insurer by market value and a giant in one of the world's most populous countries. The company has lost -12% since last September, and China Life Insurance is a stock that should definitely be avoided.
Like other companies on this list, Citigroup ( C) has had a misleading 2010. Over the past nine months Citigroup's stock has gained +20.7%. However, this rise in price is overshadowed by the fact that the stock is still down -13.3% over the past 12 months and dramatically from 2007 highs. Experts have scaled back their earnings estimates, projecting EPS of just 7 cents this quarter after an actual EPS of 9 cents last quarter. While Citigroup stock may appear to be gaining momentum as of late, it is still facing an uphill battle and should thus be avoided.
Year-to-date, HSBC Holdings ( HBC) has watched its stock drop -9%, significantly worse than a flat Dow. Numbers aren't much better over the past 12 months, as the stock is down -4.7%. Like other banking stocks on this list, times have been tough since October 2007. Since that time, HSBC has dropped -43.6%. With a stock price of just $52.15, shareholders are longing for the days of 2007, when the stock was near $100 per share but will likely not see that valuation for a very long time.