7. Prosperity Bancshares

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Houston, Texas- based Prosperity Bancshares ( PB) was featured in TheStreet's 10 Buy Rated Regional Bank Stocks and 10 Well-Run Profitable Banks earlier this month.

The company has been expanding with small deals, including an agreement announced on Jan, 19 to buy The Bank Arlington, which has one office in Arlington, Texas, with assets of $37 million, which follows the completed purchase earlier this month of Texas Bankers of Austin, which included three branches and roughly $71 million in assets, and a deal announced on Dec. 9, to acquire East Texas Financial Services of Tyler, for about $20 million.

Prosperity reported fourth-quarter net income of $36.4 million, or 77 cents a share, which was flat from the third quarter, but up from $32.8 million, or 70 cents a share, a year earlier.

The bank's return on assets improved from 1.38% in 2010 to 1.47% in 2011.

The stock trades at nearly 14 times forward earnings estimates.

One analyst rates the stock a buy or outperform, while 17 rate it a hold and one analyst has an underperform rating.

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