3. East West Bancorp
Shares of East West Bancorp ( EWBC) of Los Angeles closed at $21.62 Wednesday, returning 12% year-to-date, following a 2% return during 2011. The shares trade for 1.7 times tangible book value, and for 10.8 times the consensus 2013 earnings estimate of two dollars a share. The consensus 2014 EPS estimate is $2.09. Based on a quarterly payout of 10 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 1.85%. The company repurchased $50 million worth of common shares during the second quarter. The company had $4.0 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30. Earnings have been good, with operating ROA improving to 1.31% from 1.14% over the past five quarters. East West Bancorp reported third-quarter earnings available to common shareholders of $69.4 million, or 48 cents a share, increasing from $68.8 million, or 47 cents a share, in the second quarter, and from $60.7 million, or 41 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2011. Total loans grew by 2% year-over-year, to $14.5 billion as of Sept. 30, however, non-real estate commercial loans were up 9 sequentially and 24% year-over-year, to $3.7 billion. The company's net interest margin -- adjusted to exclude "the net impact to interest income of $25.6 million resulting from covered loan activity and amortization of
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