9. First PacTrust Bancorp

Shares of First PacTrust Bancorp ( FPTB) of Chula Vista, Calif., closed at $15.87 Friday, returning 81% over the previous year. With a quarterly payout of 10.5 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 2.65%.

Based on a consensus 12-month price target of $19.08, the shares have 20% upside potential.

The company had $862 million in total assets as of December 31, with nine offices in San Diego and Riverside Counties.

After raising $60 million through a private placement completed in November, First PacTrust redeemed $19.3 million in preferred shares held by the government for bailout assistance received through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP. The company later completed its exit from the program by repurchasing for $1 million a warrant held by the U.S. Treasury to purchase common shares.

Net income available to common shareholders for 2010was $1.9 million, or 37 cents a share in 2010. The consensus earnings estimates are a dollar a share in 2011 and $1.25 a share in 2012.

After a "noisy" fourth quarter for the company, FIG Partners analyst Timothy Coffey reiterated his "outperform" or buy rating for First PacTrust with a $17.50 price target, saying that CEO Gregory Mitchell had assembled a "powerful team of bankers," and that with "the impressive capital base now in place," he was expecting "positive signs of growth to emerge."

All six analysts covering First PacTrust rate the shares a buy.

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