5. First PacTrust Bancorp

Shares of First PacTrust Bancorp ( BANC) of Chula Vista, Calif., closed at $11.53 Thursday, returning 14% year-to-date, following a 20% decline during 2011. Based on a 12-cent quarterly payout, the shares have a dividend yield of 4.16%/

The shares trade for just over nine times the consensus 2013 earnings estimate of $1.24 a share, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is 62 cents.

First PacTrust's shares trade for 0.7 times tangible book value, according to HighlineFI.

First PacTrust had $999 million in total assets as of Dec. 30.

The company has two acquisition deals in place that are expected to be completed during the second quarter, agreeing to pay $17 million in cash for the privately held Gateway Bancorp of Cerritos, Calif., and approximately $37.4 million in cash and stock for Beach Business Bank of Manhattan Beach, Calif. First PacTrust expects to have roughly $1.3 billion total assets following the two transactions.

The company on March 15 reported a fourth-quarter net loss to common shareholders of $6.0 million, or 52 cents a share, compared to earnings to common shareholders of $1.2 million, or 15 cents a share, during the fourth quarter of 2010. The net loss reflected elevated credit costs, including a $$4.1 million provision for loan losses, increasing from $328,000 a year earlier, and a $3.0 million valuation allowance for losses on repossessed real estate, compared to $1.3 million a year earlier. The loss also included a $1.3 million valuation allowance on deferred tax assets.

Wunderlich Securities analyst Kevin Reynolds on March 16 reiterated his "Buy" rating for First PacTrust, while lowering his price target for the shares to $16 from $20, calling the company's fourth quarter "cleanup quarter to end year one of a multi-year transition towards a more commercially oriented institution."

Reynolds also cited "strong loan and deposit growth," with "net loan growth of nearly $84 million on $107 million of new loan originations, primarily in CRE and residential loans," while "Deposits grew by almost $75 million, with 22% of the growth attributed to new branches, which continue to generate very strong deposit inflows."

The analyst said that First PacTrust "seems to be an acquirer of choice in its markets, with 2012 strategic plans calling for one to two additional acquisitions and three to five de novo branches in Southern CA."

Reynolds estimates the company will earn 55 cents a share this year, followed by 2013 EPs of 90 cents.

Interested in more on First PacTrust Bancorp? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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