5 Bank Stocks That Won't Bankrupt You or America (Update 1)
Many of this year's best bank stock performers have still not recovered from their 2011 losses. These five quality names have lagged the financial sector so far this year, but performed well last year, highlighting the group's lower relative risk.
Home Bancshares ( HOMB) of Conway, Ark., has seen its stock decline 1% year-to-date, to $25.55 on Monday, following a remarkable 19% return in 2011. The company had $3.6 billion in total assets as of Dec. 30, with branch operations in Arkansas and Florida, and it was a strong and steady earnings performer during 2011, with ROA ranging from 1.46% to 1.58%. Home Bancshares on Feb. 16 completed the purchase of all 17 branches of Vision Bank of Panama City, Fla., from Park National Corp. ( PRK), for $27.9 million. The shares trade for 1.8 times tangible book value and 12.5 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $2.04. The consensus 2013 EPS estimate is $2.13. FIG Partners analyst Brian Martin has an "outperform" rating on Home Bancshares, with a $29 price target, saying on Jan. 23 that "the game plan heading into 2012 is M&A," including possible failed bank acquisitions as well as traditional deals, after "good pricing discipline prevented any M&A from occurring in 2011 as HOMB was an active bidder." Interested in more on Home Bancshares? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.