NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- For bank investors, boring is good. Boring is the new black.
Wells became the country's largest bank by market cap last year, even though, when ranked by assets, it was barely two-thirds the size of JPMorgan Chase at the end of 2012.
The big news at Wells this week is about as boring as bank news gets. It's shuffling its top executives so there will be a deep bench whenever CEO John Stumpf, 59, decides to retire.
During the current economic recovery, Wells Fargo has become the money-center bank that's traded like a regional bank. Its price-to-book value at the start of the month stood at 1.7, against 1.145 for JPMorgan Chase, 0.83 for Bank of America and 0.74 for Citigroup.
The price to book is better than any of the top regional banks which our Philip van Doorn highlighted last week.
The ratio is even higher than that of Prosperity Bancshares (PB), which is located in the center of the Eagle Ford shale oil play in Texas. Prosperity trades at a 1.57 price-to-book ratio.
So far this year the price of Wells Fargo stock is up nearly 10%, and it should go higher. The Federal Reserve recently approved its capital plan, under which it will return up to $24 billion to shareholders in the form of higher dividends and stock buybacks.
What's going on?