The two companies extended the date after which either company could walk away from the deal until January 31, 2014, but also said in April "there can be no assurances that the merger will be completed by that date."

M&T's shares seem to have been held back this year by the delay to the Hudson City deal, but the there's no denying the bank is a solid performer.

U.S. Bancorp has been a very strong, consistent earner over the past 10 full years, as we discussed back in May. USB's shares closed at $37.67 Tuesday, for a year-to-date return of 20%. The shares trade for 11.8 times the consensus 2014 EPS estimate of $3.20. The company's ROTCE has ranged from 22.41% to 25.00% over the past five quarters, putting it in second place to Discover among the banks listed here. Please see TheStreet's earnings coverage for a discussion of the company's third-quarter results.

Wells Fargo ( WFC) since the credit crisis in 2008 has consistently been the strongest performer among the "big four" U.S. banks, which also include JPMorgan, Bank of America ( BAC) and Citigroup ( C). The company's shares closed at $42.63 Tuesday, retuning 27% this year. The stock trades for 10.6 times the consensus EPS estimate of $4.01. Wells Fargo's ROTCE has ranged between 17.48% and 18.77% over the past five quarters. Please see TheStreet's earnings coverage for a detailed discussion of the company's third-quarter results.


-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

>Contact by Email.

Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.

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