BB&T

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BB&T ( BBT) is having a good run. Since I called the regional banking name one of " 4 Banks You Should Still Buy", this stock has rallied more than 34%, besting an otherwise impressive 20% run in the S&P 500.

On the dividend front, this $21 billion firm is one of the higher-yield names, with a 20-cent payout that weighs in at a $2.6% yield.

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A handful of factors make BB&T a best-in-breed financial stock right now. Like other regional banks, BB&T has remained focused on retail and commercial banking (rather than exotic, higher-risk ventures), and the firm has been able to collect double-digit net margins for its trouble. A major part of that success has been the underwriting standards that regional names maintained before and after the financial crisis.

And more recently, BB&T has been pushing to generate more fee-based revenue, leveraging its relationships with banking customers to sell them on insurance and other financial services. The lack of financial black holes on this firm's balance sheet (compared to the bigger banks in the U.S.) make it a strong candidate to get cleared for another dividend hike this year. In the meantime, excellent relative strength in the financial sector should keep this rally going.

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