Bank stocks rebounded Thursday afternoon, following a Labor Department report that jobless claims were unchanged last week, but that the total number of people receiving benefits declined by 52,000 the previous week.
Shares of Capital One Financial ( COF) rose over 2% to close t $49.30.
The shares have returned 14% year-to-date, after a flat performance during 2011. Capital One now trades for eight times the consensus 2012 earnings estimate of $5.76 a share. The consensus 2013 EPS estimate is $6.78. The company completed its acquisition of ING Direct last Friday, and now has the liquidity needed to support its next major acquisition, of HSBC's ( HBC) U.S. credit card portfolio, which is expected to be completed during the second quarter, contingent on approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Capital One is expected raise up to $1.25 billion in common equity, to support the HSBC deal. KBW analyst Melissa Roberts on Thursday said that with the impact on Capital One's share count from the ING deal, index funds tracking the S&P 500 Index will need to purchase about 12.3 million Capital One shares. KBW rates Capital One "Outperform," with a $48.25 price target, estimating the company will earn $5.64 a share in 2012, followed by EPS of $5.53 in 2013. Interested in more Capital One? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.