NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bank of America ( BAC), JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), American Express ( AXP), Cisco ( CSCO) and Coca-Cola ( KO) were the top five best performers in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in March. The Dow gained 1.79%, or 231.74 points, in March to 13,212.04.
Bank of America was the top gainer with a 17.86% increase in March to $9.57. According to the Federal Reserve's stress test results, Bank of America's estimated Tier 1 common equity ratio under the adverse economic scenario would be 5.7%, increasing to an estimated 5.9% at the end of 2013. Bank of America has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 9.05 times; the average among its peers is 9.03. For comparison, JPMorgan has a lower forward P/E of 8.32 times and Wells Fargo's ( WFC) forward P/E is 9.42.. Twenty-five of the 39 analysts who cover Bank of America rated it hold. Ten analysts gave the stock a buy rating and four rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Bank of America a C- grade and hold rating.
Shares of America Express rose 8.01% in March to $57.86. The credit card company raised its quarterly dividend 11% in March to 20 cents a share from 18 cents. Shares of American Express hit a 52-week high of $59.26 on March 28. The stock's 52-week low of $41.30 was set on Oct. 4. American Express' forward P/E is 12.18 times; the average for its peers is 12.02. Sixteen of the 31 analysts who cover American Express rated it buy. Twelve analysts gave the stock a hold rating and three rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives American Express an A+ grade with a buy rating and $66.86 price target.
Coca-Cola shares gained 6.34% to $74.01 in March. Both Coca-Cola and rival PepsiCo ( PEP) are changing the coloring in their sodas so they won't need a cancer-warning label in California. Shares of Coca-Cola hit a 52-week high on March 29 of $74.39. The stock's 52-week low of $63.34 was set on Oct. 4. Coca-Cola's forward P/E is 16.52 times; the average for soft drink companies is 18.. For comparison, Pepsi's forward P/E is 14.96. Nineteen of the 24 analysts who cover Coca-Cola rated it buy; five analysts gave the stock a hold rating. TheStreet Ratings gives Coca-Cola an A grade with a buy rating and $85.25 price target.