NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - An analysis by TheStreet has identified the 10 large bank holding companies that have outperformed peers by reporting decent or better earnings through the worst credit crisis in generations.

Using data provided by SNL Financial, we started with the group of 62 U.S. bank and thrift holding companies with more than $10 billion in total assets as of June 30. We then isolated the ten holding companies that have posted returns on average equity (ROE) - based on earnings before extra items - of greater than 7% for the full years 2005 through 2009, and for the first half of 2010.

As we saw in TheStreet's profile of Bank of Hawaii ( BOH), a very strong industry performer will shoot for an ROE of 20%, but during 2009 a 7% ROE wasn't too shabby, as most banks saw their earnings dip as they took credit losses, boosted loan loss reserves, and suffered the effects of reduced fee income from transaction processing and loan origination.

The following are the 10 bank holding companies with ROE exceeding 7% from 2005 through the first half of 2010, ranked by ascending ROE so far this year:

10. FirstMerit Corporation

Company Profile

Shares of FirstMerit Corp. ( FMER) of Akron, Ohio closed at $18.32 Friday, down 7% year-to-date. Based on a quarterly payout of 16 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 3.49%.

Income Statement

For the first half of 2010, FirstMerit reported net income of $50.3 million, or $2.05 a share, increasing from $44.9 million, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier. The company's ROE for the first half of 2010 was 8.34% and over the previous five years peaked at 14.05% in 2007.

According to SNL, FirstMerit's net interest margin - the difference between the average yield on loans and investments and the average cost of funds - was 4.03% for the second quarter, increasing from 3.55% a year earlier and moving in line with the industry trend in the low interest rate environment.

Balance Sheet

FirstMerit had $14.5 million in total assets as of June 30 an increase of 36% from a year earlier. The company has acquired two failed institutions in the Chicago area during 2010, including Midwest Bank & Trust of Elmwood Park, Ill. in May and George Washington Savings Bank of Orland Park, Ill. in February. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. agreed to cover 80% of losses on the majority of assets acquired. In February, FirstMerit also acquired 24 Chicago-area branches from First Bank of Creve Coeur, Mo.

To support its expanding balance sheet, the company raised $320 million through the sale of common shares to Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, RBC Capital Market Corporation and Sandler O'Neil & Partners, L.P.

FirstMerit's Tier 1 leverage ratio was 8.00% and its total risk-based capital ratio was 12.48% as of June 30. These ratios need to be at least 5% and 10% for most banks to be considered well-capitalized by regulators.

The company's tangible common equity ratio was 7.34% as of June 30, according to SNL. While this ratio is not a standard regulatory capital ratio, investors and analysts have been focused on tangible common equity since it excludes preferred and trust-preferred equity and also excludes intangible assets such as goodwill. Many analysts consider 7% to be a good benchmark for the tangible common equity ratio for a profitable bank.

Nonperforming assets - including loans past due 90 days or more or in nonaccrual status (less government-guaranteed balances) and repossessed real estate - comprised 1.35% of total assets as of June 30. In comparison, the combined "noncurrent assets" ratio as of June 30 for all U.S. banks was 3.31% according to the FDIC.

The annualized ratio of net charge-offs (loan losses less recoveries) to average loans for the first half of 2010 was 1.10%, compared to the national aggregate charge-off ratio of 2.74% reported by the FDIC.

Stock Ratios

The shares trade for 1.9 times tangible book value according to SNL Financial. For all ten of the companies discussed here, the price-to-tangible-book ratios may appear high in a market where roughly 2/3 of bank stocks (excluding those trading on the Pink Sheets) trade below book value, however, most of those companies don't have earnings track records anywhere near as consistent as this group.

Based on the consensus estimate of $1.41 per share in earnings for 2011 among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, FirstMerit's shares trade for 13 times forward earnings. Based on the 2012 consensus earnings estimate of $1.75 a share, the forward P/E would drop to 10.5.

Analyst Ratings

Out of 13 analysts covering FirstMerit, four rate the shares a buy, while nine recommend investors hold the shares.

9. International Bancshares

Company Profile

Share of International Bancshares ( IBOC) of Laredo, Texas closed at $16.89 Friday, down 9% year to date.

Income Statement

After netting-out dividends on preferred shares held by the U.S. Treasury Department and "amounts related to warrants," net income available to common shareholders for the first half of 2010 was $59.5 million or 87 cents a share, declining from $62.2 million or 91 cents a share for the first half of 2009. ROE for the first half of 2010 was 9.29% and over the previous five years peaked at 17.97% in 2005.

International Bancshares owes the government $216 million in bailout money for assistance received through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP. It is the only company among these ten that is currently participating in TARP. While the company has not indicated when it plans to repay the government, it has received permission from regulators to repurchase up to $40 million of its common stock.

Balance Sheet

Total assets were $11.3 billion as of June 30. The nonperforming assets ratio was 1.31% and the net charge-off ratio for the first half of 2010 was a low 0.49%.

The company's tangible common equity ratio as of June 30 was 8.61% according to SNL Financial.

Stock Ratios

The shares trade for 1.2 times tangible book value - the cheapest on this basis among this group of ten holding companies, which is no surprise, since International Bancshares is the only current TARP participant among the group. According to Thomson Reuters, the only analyst covering International Bancshares is Brett Rabatin of Sterne Agee. Rabatin estimates earn $1.55 a share in 2011, for a forward P/E of 10.9. The forward P/E drops to 8.8 based on his earnings estimate of $1.91 for 2012.

Analyst Ratings

The only analyst covering the company has a neutral rating on the shares. Although International Bancshares stands out as the only remaining TARP participant among this group of ten holding companies, it has a reasonably strong tangible common equity ratio and has been approved by regulators to buy back its common shares. This, along with the low price relative to book value, continued profits and decent economic conditions in its home market in Texas make the shares worth considering.

8.Valley National Bancorp

Company Profile

Shares of Valley National Bancorp of Wayne, N.J. closed at $12.84 Friday, down 1% year-to-date. Based on a quarterly payout of 18 cents, the shares have a forward dividend yield of 5.61%, which is the highest among this group of 10 holding companies.

Income Statement

Net income for the first half of 2010 was $60.4 million, or 38 cents a share, increasing from net income to common shareholders of $42.4 million or 28 cents a share during the first half of 2009, when the company still owed $225 million in TARP money, out of a total of $300 million that had been received in November 2008. Valley finished repaying TARP in December 2009.

ROE for the first half of 2010 was 9.58% and over the previous five years peaked at 19.17% in 2005.

Balance Sheet

Total assets were $14.1 billion as of June 30. The nonperforming assets ratio was 0.86% and the net charge-off ratio for the first half of 2010 was a very low 0.34%. Valley National acquired to failed LibertyPointe Bank and Park Avenue Bank, both of New York City, from the FDIC on subsequent days in March.

Valley National Bancorp's Tier 1 leverage ratio was 8.16% and its total risk-based capital ratio was 12.74% as of June 30. The tangible common equity ratio was 6.86% according to SNL Financial.

Stock Ratios

Shares trade for 2.2 times tangible book value according to SNL Financial and for 15.1 times the consensus earnings estimate of 85 cents a share for 2011 among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The forward P/E would drop to 11.6 based on the consensus earnings estimate of $1.11 a share for 2012.

Analyst Ratings

Out of nine analysts covering Valley National Bancorp, just one rates the shares buy, while five have hold ratings and three recommend investors sell the shares.

7. U.S. Bancorp

Company Profile

U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis has seen its shares decline 3% this year to close at $21.71 Friday.

Income Statement

Net income for the first half of 2010 was $1.4 billion or 79 cents a share, increasing from net income to common shareholders of $640 million or 36 cents a share during the first half of 2009, when the company was still paying dividends on $6.6 billion in preferred shares held by the U.S. Treasury for bailout money received via TARP. U.S. Bancorp fully repaid TARP in June 2009.

ROE for the first half of 2010 was 10.24% and over the previous five years peaked at 22.96% in 2006.

Balance Sheet

U.S. Bancorp had $283 billion in total assets as of June 30. The nonperforming assets ratio was 2.31% as of June 30 and the net charge-off ratio for the first half of 2010 was 2.29%. The company tier 1 leverage ratio was 8.85% and its total risk-based capital ratio was 13.45% and the tangible common equity ratio was 5.76%, the second-lowest among this group of ten banks.

The company purchased the nine failed banks held by FBOP, a privately-held bank holding company headquartered in Chicago, in October 2009.

Stock Ratios

Shares trade for 2.6 times tangible book value according to SNL Financial, reflecting the company's excellent track record through the credit crisis, especially for such a large bank. The forward P/E is 10 based on the consensus earnings estimate of $2.18 a share for 2011, dropping to 8.2 based on the consensus estimate of $2.64 for 2012.

Analyst Ratings

Out of 26 analysts covering U.S. Bancorp, 16 rate the shares a buy, eight recommend holding the shares and two recommend investors sell. One of the enthusiasts is David Konrad of Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, who has an "outperform" or buy rating with a 12-month price target of $34, which would be a 57% gain from Friday's close.

6. Cullen/Frost Bankers

Company Profile

Shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers ( CFR) of San Antonio, Texas closed at $53.80 Friday, up 10% year-to-date, making it the only company among this group of ten to see its shares rise this year through Friday. On a quarterly payout of 45 cents, the shares have a forward yield of 3.35%.

Income Statement

Net income for the first half of 2010 was $100.7 million or $1.66 a share, increasing from $82.8 million or $1.39 a share in the first half of 2009. ROE for the first half of 2010 was 10.29% and over the previous five years peaked at 18.78% in 2005.

Balance Sheet

Cullen/Frost had $17.1 billion in total assets as of June 30. The nonperforming assets ratio was 1.09% and the net charge-off ratio for the first half of 2010 was 0.54%. The company's Tier 1 leverage ratio was 8.80% and its total risk-based capital ratio was 15.52%. The tangible common equity ratio was a strong 9.06%.

Stock Ratios

The shares trade for 2.2 times tangible book value according to SNL Financial and 14.2 times the consensus earnings estimate of $3.79 a share for 2011, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Based on the consensus estimate of $4.25 a share for 2012, the forward P/E would drop to 12.7.

Analyst Ratings

Out of 15 analysts covering Cullen/Frost, three rate the shares a buy, 11 have hold ratings and one recommends investors sell the shares.

5. Commerce Bancshares

Company Profile

Commerce Bancshares ( CBSH) of Kansas City, Mo. has seen its stock decline 1% during 2010 to close at $37.66 Friday. After it released its second-quarter financial results, the company was featured as part of TheStreet's Best In Class series.

Income Statement

For the first half of 2010, Commerce reported net income of $103.6 million, or $1.24 a share, increasing from $67.4 million, or 84 cents a share, during the first half of 2010. ROE for the first half of 2010 was 10.67% and for the previous five years peaked at 16.16% in 2005.

Balance Sheet

Total assets were $18.4 billion as of June 30 and the nonperforming assets ratio was 0.76%. The net charge-off ratio for the first half of 2010 was 1.03%. Commerce's Tier 1 leverage ratio was 10.01% and its total risk-based capital ratio was $15.49%. The company's tangible common equity ratio of 10.15% was the highest among this group of ten bank holding companies.

Stock Ratios

Shares trade for 1.7 times tangible book value according to SNL Financial. The forward P/E based on the consensus 2011 earnings estimate of $2.92 a share among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is 12.9 and would drop to 11.5 based on the 2012 consensus estimate of $3.27 a share.

Analyst Ratings

All eight analysts covering Commerce have hold ratings on the shares.

4. BOK Financial Corporation

Company Profile

Shares of BOK Financial ( BOKF) of Tulsa, Okla. closed at $45.12 Friday, down 4% year-to-date.

Income Statement

For the first half of 2010, net income was $125.9 million or $1.81 a share, increasing from $107.6 million or $1.58 a share during the first half of 2009. ROE for the first half of 2010 was 10.77% and over the previous five years, the peak ROE was 13.78% in 2005.

Balance Sheet

Total assets were $23.7 billion as of June 30 and the nonperforming assets ratio was 1.79%. The ratio of net charge-offs to average loans for the first half of 2010 was 1.25%. BOK Financial's Tier 1 leverage ratio was 8.57% and its total risk-based capital ratio was 15.38% as of June 30. The company's tangible common equity ratio was 8.88% according to SNL Financial.

Stock Ratios

Shares trade for 1.5 times tangible book value according to SNL Financial. The forward price-to-earnings ratio based on the consensus earnings estimate of $3.62 a share for 2011 among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is 12.5. The forward P/E would drop to 10.4 based on the 2012 earnings estimate of $4.34 a share.

Analyst Ratings

Among the seven analysts covering BOK Financial, one has a buy rating, five recommend investors hold and one recommends investors sell the shares.

3. Northern Trust

Company Profile

Shares of Northern Trust ( NTRS) of Chicago closed at $48.72 Friday, down 5% year-to-date.

The company was named in recent report by Rochdale Research analyst Richard Bove as a good fit for an acquisitive Credit Suisse ( CS). Bove said "there is no company better suited for Credit Suisse than Northern Trust," adding that "management has no ability to withstand a takeover bid."

Income Statement

Northern Trust reported net income of $356.8 million or $1.46 a share for the first half of 2010, compared to net income to common shareholders of $364.9 million or $1.57 a share during the first half of 2009. Northern Trust fully repaid $1.6 billion in TARP money in June 2009. The year-over-year decline in earnings was attributed to lower net interest income in the low rate environment and reduced noninterest expenses during the first half of 2009 from capital support agreements.

ROE for the first half of 2010 was 10.98% and for the previous five years peaked at 17.57% in 2006, according to SNL Financial.

Balance Sheet

Total assets were $80 billion as of June 30. Since Northern Trust focuses on providing trust, asset servicing and other fee-based services, loans held for investment only make up about 35% of its total assets and credit quality has not been a problem. The company's tier 1 leverage ratio was 9.22% as of June 30, its total risk-based capital ratio was 15.88% and its tangible common equity ratio was 7.76%.

Stock Ratios

The shares trade for 1.9 times tangible book value according to SNL Financial. The forward P/E based on the consensus earnings estimate of $3.46 a share for 2011 was 14.1 and world drop to 11.6 based on the 2012 consensus earnings estimate of $4.21 a share.

Analyst Ratings

Out of 19 analysts covering Northern Trust, nine have buy ratings while ten recommend investors hold the shares.

2. State Street

Company Profile

Shares of State Street Corp. ( STT) of Boston closed at $38.21 Friday, down 12% year-to-date.

Income Statement

Net income for the first half of 2010 was $927 million or $1.86 a share, compared to a net loss to common shareholders of $2.9 billion or $1.81 million a share during the first half of 2009, when the company took charges related to the consolidation of off-balance-sheet conduits onto its balance sheet.

State Street repaid $2 billion in TARP money in June 2009.

The company's ROE for the first half of 2010 was 12.06% according to SNL Financial and for the previous five years peaked at 16.25% in 2006.

Balance Sheet

Total assets were $161 billion as of June 30. With loans making up only about 7% of the company's balance sheet, loan losses haven't been a factor for State Street, which mainly focuses on providing fee-based services to institutional customers. The company's tangible common equity ratio was 5.16% as of June 30, which was the lowest for this group of 10 banks and also reflected the nature of State Street's business.

Stock Ratios

Shares trade for 2.4 times tangible book value according to SNL Financial and 10.1 times the consensus earnings estimate of $3.77 for 2011. Based on the 2012 consensus earnings estimate of $4.42 a share, the forward P/E would drop to a low 8.6.

Analyst Ratings

Out of 18 analysts covering State Street, 14 recommend buying the shares, while the remaining four all have hold ratings.

1. Bank of Hawaii

Company Profile

Shares of Bank of Hawaii closed at $44.64 Friday, down 2% year-to-date. The company was featured Tuesday as part of TheStreet's Best In Class series.

Based on a quarterly payout of 45 cents, the forward dividend yield on the shares is 4.03%.

Income Statement

Net income for the first half of 2010 was $99.3 million or $2.05 a share, increasing from $67 million or $1.40 a share in the first half of 2009. Bank of Hawaii's ROE for the first half of 2010 was 20.56%, by far the strongest earnings performance by that measure among U.S. bank and thrift holding companies with more than $10 billion in total assets. ROE exceeded 20% for all of the previous five years, except for 2009, when the company's return on equity was 16.42% according to SNL Financial.

Balance Sheet

Total assets were $12.9 billion as of June 30 and the nonperforming assets ratio was 0.44%. The ratio of net charge-offs to average loans for the first half of 2010 was 1.17%. The company's tier 1 leverage ratio was 7.09% as of June 30 and its total risk-based capital ratio was 18.19%. The tangible common equity ratio was 7.65%.

Stock Ratios

Shares trade for 2.2 times tangible book value according to SNL Financial and at a forward P/E of 13.3 based on the consensus earnings estimate of $3.35 for 2011. The forward P/E would fall to 11.8 based on the 2012 consensus earnings estimate of $3.79 a share.

Analyst Ratings

Out of nine analysts covering the company, two have buy ratings, six recommend holding the shares and one recommends investors sell the shares.

As discussed in Bank of Hawaii: How to Play It, Bank of Hawaii, with strong capital, an attractive dividend yield, an active stock buyback program and an amazing track record for earnings, is a worthy choice for investors looking to hold a quality bank name for many years.

>To see these stocks in action, visit the 10 Banks That Defy the Great Recession portfolio on Stockpickr.

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-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Philip van Doorn.

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>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.
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 TheStreet.com 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.

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