NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- After a fairly weak trading session for many of the best-known industry names, winners among bank stocks Thursday included JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), which was up 2% to close at $44.75 and Comerica ( CMA), which was up 2% to close at $38.88. Both stocks made up some of the ground lost over the previous two sessions, although Comerica was still down 7% from a week earlier, as investors pummeled the shares after the company's agreement Monday to acquire Sterling Bancshares ( SBIB) for a 30% premium from Friday's closing price of $7.70. The KBW Bank Index was down slightly to $52.71, with Fifth Third Bancorp the worst performer among the index components, with shares declining 3% on the day to $14.22 after the company announced fourth-quarter earnings that came in ahead of analysts' expectations and plans to raise $1.7 billion in common equity and repay the government $3.4 billion received through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP. Huntington Bancshares ( HBAN), which was down 2% to close at $6.85 as shares continued pulling back after the Columbus, Ohio lender's fourth-quarter earnings results were announced. While Huntington missed the consensus estimate among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, the bank's loan quality continued to improve. During Huntington's earnings conference call, CEO Stephen Steinour said the company's objective was organic growth, and when asked about a potential return of capital to investors through dividends or buybacks, said the bank wasn't "not in a position to articulate any plans at this point," and would "would expect to be back later this year with some guidance on that." Other bank stocks seeing notable declines on Thursday included First Niagara Financial ( FNFG), with shares declining 2% to $13.92 as they pulled back from gains in the previous two sessions and Peoples United Financial ( PBCT), which was down 2% to close at $13.69, leading into the company's earnings release, scheduled for after the market close. First Niagara is scheduled to announce its fourth-quarter results on January 27. Bank of America ( BAC), SunTrust ( STI) and BB&T ( BBT) are all scheduled to report earnings on Friday. Based on Thursday's closing prices and consensus 2012 earnings estimates among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters (as of Wednesday, with data supplied by SNL Financial) the KBW index component trading at the lowest price to forward earnings was Bank of America, with a forward P/E of 7.2, followed by JPMorgan at 8.3, Citigroup ( C) at 8.7 and Wells Fargo ( WFC), with a forward P/E of 8.9.
Philip van Doorn. To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/PhilipvanDoorn. To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.