Updated with comments on First Busey from Sandler O'Neill analyst Andrew Liesch, and with information on pending second-step thrift conversions, from SNL Financial, in the Northfield Bancorp section.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- TheStreet has identified a group of 10 actively traded bank stocks that have beaten analysts' consensus 12-month price targets from the end of last year.

And that's saying quite a bit, since the analysts have generally been quite "early" in setting aggressive price targets for favored banking names, based on low market multiples to book value and forward earnings estimates.

Keeping in mind that the KBW Bank Index ( I:BKX) was down 31% year-to-date through Monday's close at 35.85, the "big four" U.S. banks have seen their shares turn in some rather poor performance against consensus 12-month price targets among analysts polled by FactSet:
  • Shares of Bank of America (BAC) closed at $5.25 Monday, down 61% year-to-date. The mean price target for the shares on Dec. 31, 2010, among analysts polled by FactSet, was $18.16. At this point, 10 out of 24 sell-side analysts covering Bank of America still rate the shares a buy (with 13 neutral ratings and one sell rating), and the consensus price target is $9.53.
  • Shares of Citigroup (C), declined 47% year-to-date, to close at $25.05. The consensus price target for Citi -- adjusting for the 1-for-10 reverse split on May 6 -- was $53.55 at the end of last year. Now the consensus 12-month price target is $42.39, with 16 out of 22 analysts rating the shares a buy. Four analysts have neutral ratings and two recommend selling the shares.
  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM) was down 30% year-to-date, closing at $29.16 Monday. The consensus price target for the shares was $52.62 at the end of last year. Analysts still love JPMorgan, as 23 out of 25 rate the shares a buy, with two neutral ratings. The consensus price target is now $45.91.
  • Wells Fargo (WFC) has fared best among the big four this year, with shares sliding "only" 21% through Monday's close at $24.15. The mean price target at the end of last year was $36.25. The consensus price target is now $32.57, with 20 out of 23 analysts rating the shares a buy, while two analysts have neutral ratings and one analyst recommends investors part with the share.

To come up with the following list of 10 bank stocks that beat analysts price targets, we compared Monday's closing prices with the mean price targets among analysts polled by FactSet, from Dec. 31, 2010. We limited the group to actively traded names with average daily trading volume of at least 40,000 shares. All data was provided by SNL Financial.

These 10 banks are much smaller than the big four, avoiding the pressure faced by industry giants from mortgage putback demands, Basel III capital requirements and for Bank of America, Citi and JPMorgan, worry over European exposure. Most of the 10 are also strongly capitalized.

Here are TheStreet's 10 Bank Stocks Beating Analysts' Price Targets so far during 2011:

10. First Busey Corp.

Shares of First Busey Corp. ( BUSE) of Champaign, Ill., closed at $4.93 Monday, rising 8% year-to-date. The shares closed 10% higher than the consensus 12-month price target as of Dec. 31, 2010, among analysts polled by FactSet.

Based on a quarterly payout of four cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 3.25%.

The company had $3.4 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, with 49 branches in Central Illinois and in Florida.

First Busey reported third-quarter net income available to common shareholders of $7.6 million, or eight cents a share, increasing from $4.7 million, or seven cents a share, in the third quarter of 2010. A 6% year-over-year decline in net interest income to $27.7 million, was more than offset by a decline in the third-quarter provision for loan losses to $5 million, from $9.5 million a year earlier.

The third-quarter net interest margin -- the difference between a bank's average yield on loans and investments and its average cost for deposits and borrowings -- was 3.57%, narrowing from 3.64% a year earlier. The operating return on average assets (ROA) was 0.89% during the third quarter, according to SNL Financial.

The company in August fully redeemed $100 million in preferred shares held by the U.S. Treasury for bailout assistance provided through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, in March 2009.

FIG Partners analyst Brian Martin on Oct. 28 reiterated his neutral rating of "Market Perform" on First Busey, with a price target of $5.50, saying the company was continuing "to post solid profits underscored by sound, underlying fundamentals." Martin added that he expected the company to "remain on the hunt for external growth opportunities."

Sandler O'Neill analyst Andrew Liesch on Thursday resumed coverage of First Busey with a hold rating and $5.25 price target, saying that the bank's loan portfolio should stabilize soon. "We still suspect loan maturities, paydowns and charge-offs will outweigh new originations in 4Q11, though the pace of the decline is likely to slow," he said.

The shares trade for 13.5 times the consensus 2012 earnings estimate of 35 cents among analysts polled by FactSet, and for 1.4 times tangible book value, according to SNL Financial.

All four analysts covering First Busey have neutral ratings.

9. Signature Bank

Shares of Signature Bank ( SBNY) of New York closed at $54.41 Monday, returning 9% year-to-date. The shares closed 12% ahead of the consensus price target of 48.71 at the end of last year.

The bank had $13.9 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, with 25 branches in New York City and in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, in New York, focusing on private banking services as well as commercial lending.

Signature Bank's balance sheet grew 19% year over year through the third quarter, with total loans growing 23%, to $6.4 billion as of Sept. 30. Third-quarter net income was $38.4 million, or 83 cents a share, compared to $27.4 million, or 66 cents a share, in the third-quarter of 2010. CEO Joseph DePaolo said that the third quarter marked "the eighth consecutive quarter in which Signature Bank reported record net income."

A 24% year-over-year increase in net interest income to $148.9 million in the third quarter, was partially offset by a decline in noninterest income to $8.8 million, from $11.3 million in the third quarter of 2010, as the bank saw declines in gains on the sale of loans and securities.

The third-quarter net interest margin was 3.51% during the third quarter, increasing from 3.41% a year earlier. The third-quarter ROA was 1.13%, according to SNL.

The bank had strong loan quality, with a nonaccrual loans making up 0.79% of total loans as of Sept. 30.

Signature Bank's tangible common equity ratio was a strong 9.85% as of Sept. 30, following a common equity raise in July, which netted $253.3 million to fund continued expansion.

Sterne Agee analyst Peyton Greene reiterated his "Buy" rating and price target of $64 for Signature Bank in late October after the bank's earnings announcement, saying the institution was one of his firm's "top organic growth picks," and that the company's earnings momentum would "remain strong" through 2013.

The shares trade for 14 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $3.67 among analysts polled by FactSet, and for 1.8 times tangible book value, according to SNL.

Out of 17 analysts covering Signature Bank, seven rate the shares a buy, while the remaining analysts all have neutral ratings.

8. Guaranty Bancorp

Shares of Guaranty Bancorp ( GBNK) of Denver closed at $1.40 Monday, down 1% year-to-date. The shares were 12% ahead of the consensus price target of $1.25 at the end of last year.

The company had $1.7 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, with 34 branches in and around Denver.

Guaranty Bancorp reported a third-quarter net loss applicable to common stockholders of $14.6 million, or 28 cents a share, which "included a non-cash adjustment of approximately $16.8 million, or $0.32 per basic and diluted common share, related to the regular quarterly paid-in-kind dividend on the Company's Series A Convertible Preferred Stock and the previously announced transaction that accelerated the conversion of the Series A Convertible Preferred Stock into common stock.

Excluding the preferred stock conversion, third-quarter net income was $2.2 million, improving from a net loss of $4.0 million a year earlier. A decline in third-quarter net interest income to $15.1 million from $16.2 million a year earlier, was more than offset by a decline in the provision for loan losses to $1 million from $2.5 million. The earnings improvement also reflected a $3.0 million gain on the sale of securities during the third quarter.

The third-quarter ROA was 0.49% according to SNL.

With the preferred stock conversion, Guaranty Bancorp reported a tangible common equity ratio of 9.4% as of Sept. 30, improving from 5.0% the previous quarter.

The company's ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets improved to 3.20% as of Sept. 30, from 6.00% a year earlier.

KBW analyst Brian Klock took over his firm's coverage of Guaranty Bancorp on Oct. 27, keeping the neutral rating reiterated by Aaron Jacobson on Oct. 21, with a price target of $1.60. Jacobson said Guaranty Bancorp had made "progress on many fronts" during the fourth quarter, "with capital, credit, and the NIM looking a lot better than a year ago."

The shares trade for 27 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of 5 cents among analysts polled by FactSet, and for 0.9 times tangible book value, according to SNL.

7. Heritage Commerce Corp.

Shares of Heritage Commerce Corp. ( HTBK) of San Jose, Calif., closed at $4.54 Monday, returning 1% year-to-date. The shares were 14% higher than the consensus price target of $4.00 at the end of 2010.

The company had $1.3 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, with 10 branches.

The company owes $40 million in TARP money.

Third-quarter net income available to common shareholders was $4.3 million, or 13 cents a share, increasing from $458,000, or a penny a share, in the third quarter of 2010. The prior-year results included a $1.1 million write-down loan loans held-for-sale, as well as 849,000 in Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. premiums. FDIC premiums in the third quarter of 2011 totaled $167,000.

Third-quarter results were boosted by a $3.0 million reduction in deferred tax assets, resulting in a $2.5 million tax benefit.

Third-quarter net interest income increased 8% year-over-year to $11.7 million. The net interest margin improved to 4.01% in the third quarter, from 3.52% a year earlier, "as a result of higher yields on earning assets and lower cost of deposits compared to the third quarter of 2010," according to CEO Walt Kaczmarek."

The provision for loan losses was $1.5 million in the third quarter, declining from $2.1 million a year earlier. Nonperforming assets made up 1.64% of total assets as of Sept. 30, improving from 3.73% in September 2010.

The third-quarter ROA was 1.53%, according to SNL.

FIG Partners analyst Timothy Coffey rates Heritage Commerce a buy, reiterating his "Outperform" rating on Nov. 7, with a price target of $5.50, saying that "management has done a substantial number of things right in the last year and investors should start paying attention," since "in order to reverse the (deferred tax asset) valuation allowance, the company had to show it had the ability to maintain profitability."

The shares trade for just under 16 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of 27 cents among analysts polled by FactSet, and for 0.9 times tangible book value, according to SNL.

Two out of five analysts covering Heritage Commerce rate the shares a buy, while the remaining analysts all have neutral ratings.

6. Northfield Bancorp

Shares of Northfield Bancorp ( NFBK) of Avenel, N.J., closed at $13.97 Monday, rising 7% year-to-date. The shares were 16% higher than the consensus price target of $12.00 at the end of 2010.

The company had $2.3 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, with 24 branches in New Jersey and New York.

Northfield Bancorp is a mutual holding company, with Northfield Bancorp MHC holding 57% of the company's common stock as of Dec. 31, 2010.

The mutual holding company waives its dividend from North Field Bancorp, which in turn pays six cents per quarter to common shareholders, for a dividend yield of 1.72%.

In June 2010, the mutual holding company and Northfield Bancorp adopted a plan for a second-step conversion to full stock ownership, however, the conversion and proposed common equity offering were put on hold in September 2010 because of market conditions.

According to SNL Financial, there are three second-step conversions scheduled to close this month, including Wellesley Bancorp ( WEBK) of Wellesley, Mass., on Dec. 12; West End Indiana Bancshares of Richmond, Ind., on Dec. 13; and Cheviot Financial ( CHEV) of Cheviot, Ohio, on Dec. 20.

Northfield Bancorp reported third-quarter net income of $3.7 million, or nine cents a share, increasing from $2.4 million, or six cents a share, in the third quarter of 2010. The provision for loan losses declined to $2 million in the third quarter, from $3.4 million a year earlier.

Third-quarter net interest income increased 4% year-over-year, to $16.3 million, as "strong loan growth and improving loan quality continued to fuel solid earnings," according to CEO John Alexander. However, the net interest margin declined to 2.96% in the third quarter from 3.05% a year earlier, with Alexander adding that margin pressures were "likely to continue as banks compete for quality loans when demand is weak, and seek to invest excess liquidity when the supply of quality investments is limited.

The third-quarter ROA was .64%, according to SNL.

Loan quality improved, with nonperforming loans making up 5.5% of total loans as of Sept. 30, compared to 6.9% a year earlier.

KBW analyst Matthew Clark on Nov. 10 initiated his firm's coverage of Northfield Bancorp with a "Market Perform" rating and $15 price target, saying he expected "valuation improvement as nonperforming assets (NPAs) decline to a more manageable level and Northfield revisits its second-step conversion."

The shares trade for just under 29 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of 47 cents among analysts polled by FactSet, and for 1.5 times tangible book value, according to SNL.

Both analysts covering Northfield Bancorp have neutral ratings on the shares.

5. Pinnacle Financial Partners

Shares of Pinnacle Financial Partners ( PNFP) of Nashville, Tenn., closed at $14.04 Monday, returning 3% year-to-date. The shares were 18% higher than the consensus price target of $11.89 at the end of last year.

The company had $4.9 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, with 33 branches in the Nashville and Knoxville areas in Tennessee.

The company owes $95 million in TARP money.

Third-quarter net income available to common shareholders was $24.5 million, or 72 cents a share, boosted by a $17 million income tax benefit. Excluding the recapture of deferred tax assets, third-quarter earnings would have been 21 cents a share, increasing from two cents a share a year earlier.

Third-quarter results also reflected a 6% year-over-year increase in net interest income to $38.4 million and a decline in the provision for loan losses to $3.6 million from $4.9 million a year earlier. The third-quarter net interest margin was 3.60%, improving from 3.23% in the third quarter of 2010.

Total noninterest income during the third quarter increased to $10.1 million from $8.6 million in the third quarter of 2010, with a 38% increase in investment services income to $1.7 million.

Meanwhile, total noninterest expenses declined to $35.7 million in the third quarter, from $37.8 million a year earlier, with declines in expenses on repossessed real estate, as well as on expenses on equipment and occupancy, more than offsetting an 18% year-over-year increase in salary and benefits expenses, which were $19.0 million.

FIG Partners analyst Christopher Marinac has a "Market Perform" rating on Pinnacle Financial Partners, with a $15.50 price target, saying in October after the company's third-quarter results were announced that "solid progress continued to be made on improving credit and growing the core earnings power of the bank," with "the two key levers impacting earnings power being accelerating loan volumes and margin expansion."

The shares trade for just under 19 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of 72 cents among analysts polled by FactSet, and for 1.3 times tangible book value, according to SNL.

Two out of 10 analysts covering Pinnacle Financial Partners rate the shares a buy, while the remaining analysts all have neutral ratings.

4. Bank of the Ozarks

Shares of Bank of the Ozarks ( OZRK) of Little Rock, Ark., closed at $26.79 Monday, rising 26% year-to-date. The shares were 19% ahead of the consensus price target of $22.50 at the end of 2010.

Bank of the Ozarks had $3.9 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, with 111 offices in seven southern states.

The bank has purchased seven failed institutions from the FDIC over the past two years, and CEO George Gleason said at a conference on Tuesday that the bank is "in an extraordinary environment that still affords a lot of opportunities," which could lead to another five to 12 additional failed-bank deals over the next 30 months, according to an SNL report.

Third-quarter net income available to common shareholders was $18.9 million, or 55 cents a share, compared to earnings of $50.2 million, or $1.46 a share in the second quarter, when the company booked $62.8 million in gains from Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. acquisitions, partially offset by an additional $20.2 million in income tax provisions. In the third quarter of 2010, Bank of the Ozarks earned $20.2 million, or 59 cents a share.

The bank's third-quarter ROA was 1.92%, which was the best among the banks with strong, consistent earnings profiled in TheStreet's 10 Bank Stocks Bringing Home the Bacon.

FIG Partners analyst Brian Martin has a neutral rating of "Market Perform" on Bank of the Ozarks, with a price target of $27.25, saying after the bank reported its third-quarter results, that although "management remains optimistic more deals are on the horizon and that covered (by FDIC loss-sharing) loans will continue to be the key driver of balance sheet growth in 2012 and possibly 2013," the company will have to "rely on organic growth to maintain record earnings."

The shares trade for 14 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $1.86 among analysts polled by FactSet, and for 2.3 times tangible book value, according to SNL.

Out of eight analysts covering Bank of the Ozarks, one rates the shares a buy, while the remaining analysts all have neutral ratings.

3. Capitol Federal Financial

Shares of Capitol Federal Financial ( CFFN) of Topeka, Kan., closed at $10.97 Monday. The shares were flat year-to-date, but were 24% higher than the consensus price target of $8.87 at the end of last year.

The company had $9.5 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, with 35 traditional branches and 10 in-store branches, mainly in the Topeka, Wichita and Kansas City areas.

The holding company completed its second-step conversion from a mutual thrift holding company to full stock ownership last December, raising a net $1.13 billion in common equity in the process. When Capitol Federal announced its financial results for its Fiscal 2011, ended Sept. 30, it also announced a special year-end dividend of 10 cents a share.

Based on a regular quarterly payout of eight cents, the shares have a 2.73% dividend yield.

Fiscal fourth-quarter net income was $16.8 million, or 10 cents a share, compared to $15.5 million, or an adjusted nine cents a share, a year earlier. Net interest income for the fiscal fourth quarter increased 7% from a year earlier to $43.9 million. The net interest margin was 1.89%, declining from 1.99% a year earlier.

The ROA for the fiscal fourth quarter was 0.70%.

Asset quality was strong, with nonperforming loans making up just 0.51% as of Sept. 30. The company reported a tangible equity to assets ratio of 15.1% as of Sept. 30.

Five out of seven analysts covering Capital Federal Financial rate the shares a buy, while the remaining two analysts have neutral ratings.

Capital Federal is sitting on a boatload of capital, with but has an expensive leverage strategy of borrowing from the Federal Home Loan Bank and holding a rather large securities portfolio.

With the shares trading below book, the return of capital should provide support for the shares and a decent return for investors for the time being. As far as overall performance goes, with such a narrow margin and a shrinking loan book, any operating improvement will be icing on the cake.

2. Enterprise Financial Services Group

Shares of Enterprise Financial Services Group ( EFSC) of Clayton, Mo., closed at $13.65 Monday, rising 32% year-to-date. The shares were 30% higher than the consensus price target of $10.50 at the end of 2010.

The company had $3.4 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, with 22 branches in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Arizona.

Enterprise Financial Services in August purchased its fourth failed institution from the FDIC, taking over First National Bank of Olathe, Kan.

The company owes $35 million in TARP money.

Enterprise reported third-quarter net income available to common shareholders of $9.1 million, or 49 cents a share, increasing from $4.4 million, or 29 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2010. Third-quarter net interest income increased 33% year-over-year, to $32.4 million, reflecting a 35% balance sheet expansion from the acquisitions. The third-quarter net interest margin was 4.56%, improving from 4.31% a year earlier. The company said that its "loans covered under FDIC loss share yielded 18.22%, including effects of accelerated discount accretion due to cash flows on paid off covered loans," and that "these cash flows contributed approximately $0.08 to the Company's third quarter fully diluted earnings per share."

FIG Partners analyst Brian Martin on Nov. 7 lowered his rating on Enterprise Financial Services to a neutral rating of "Market-Perform," from "Outperform," with a price target of $18.50, saying that in the third quarter "the company benefited from continued organic loan growth and elevated yields on its covered loan portfolio with mitigating factors including core margin compression and modest deterioration in credit." Martin said that "the significant increase in goodwill/CDI from the FDIC deals makes TARP repayment in the near term unlikely without a capital raise."

The shares trade for just under eight times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $1.69 among analysts polled by FactSet, and for 1.5 times tangible book value, according to SNL.

Out of four analysts covering Enterprise Financial Services Group, one rates the shares a buy, while the remaining analysts all have neutral ratings.

1. Texas Capital Bancshares

Texas Capital Bancshares ( TCBI) of Dallas closed at $26.93 Monday, returning 26% year-to-date. The shares were 30% ahead of the $20.69 consensus price target at the end of 2010.

The company had $7.7 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, with 12 offices, mainly in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but also in the Austin, Houston and San Antonio areas.

Third-quarter net income was $21.7 million, or 56 cents a share, more than doubling from $9.5 million, or 25 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2010. Net interest income increased 27% year-over-year, to $79.2 million in the third quarter, driven by an 18% year-over-year increase in loans held for investment, to $5.3 billion.

The third quarter net interest margin was a notable 4.81%, increasing from 4.27% a year earlier. The third-quarter ROA was 1.26%.

Following Texas Capital's third-quarter earnings release, Sterne Agee analyst Brett Rabatin on Oct 20 reiterated his neutral rating for the shares, saying that although "the premium valuation has limited our view of significant upside for the shares in the environment," he still considered "the name a solid holding," that was "positioned well in one of the better markets in the country - Texas."

The shares trade for 12 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $2.20 and 1.8 times tangible book value, according to SNL.

Out of 11 analysts covering Texas Capital Bancshares, six rate the shares a buy, while the remaining analysts all have neutral ratings.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 10 Bank Stocks Beating Analysts' Price Targets portfolio on Stockpickr.

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

To contact the writer, click here: Philip van Doorn.

To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/PhilipvanDoorn.

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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