Looking to the Next Clean Quarter
On Monday, at the last minute, as investors grew more confident that the ridiculous Fiscal Cliff negotiations would end in a deal that would at least kick the federal spending can down the road, Capital One's shares recovered sufficiently to come out on top of the 2012 stock-picking contest at InvestorPlace. Capital One ranked fifth among the 24 components of the KBW Bank Index, with shares returning 37.5% in 2012 through Monday's close at $57.93, following a flat return in 2011. The shares now trade for 1.6 times tangible book value, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight, and for and for 8.7 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $7.01. The consensus 2014 EPS estimate is $7.38. 2012 was a year of major transitions for Capital One, which in February acquired ING Direct (USA), followed by a $1.25 billion common equity raise in March, and the purchase of HSBC's ( HBC) U.S. credit card portfolio in May, for a premium of $2.5 billion. The ING deal included roughly $80 billion in deposits gathered over the Internet, along with $41 billion in loans, providing plenty of liquidity for the $28.2 billion in credit card loans acquired from HSBC. The third quarter was the company's first "clean" quarter in 2012, with a return on average tangible common equity of 21.48%. FBR analyst Paul Miller on Dec. 19 included Capital One among his list of "stocks to own for 2013," with a price target of $72, saying the company is "one of our favorite names due to its compelling valuation ($72 target = 10x our FY13 EPS estimate and 1.1x book value), expected resumption of the dividend, and increased earnings power."