Sell National Bank of Greece and 3 Other Big Bank Stocks

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It shouldn't be a surprise that investing in the National Bank of Greece (NBG) isn't a smart move given the country's economic woes

Which other global banks should investors stay away from?

The stocks on this list are all diversified banks that are rated "sell" in the financial services sub-industry. When you're done be sure to check out the nine office REITs to buy.

TheStreet Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary ratings tool, projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.

Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 16.56% return in 2014 beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.

Note: Year-to-date returns are based on June 2, 2015 closing prices.

BNS Chart BNS data by YCharts

1. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
Market Cap: $64.5 billion
Year-to-date return: -6.6%

The Bank of Nova Scotia provides various personal, commercial, corporate, and investment banking services in Canada and internationally.

TheStreet Ratings: Sell, D
TheStreet Ratings said: "We rate BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA (BNS) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$2,077.00 million or 128.90% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • BNS has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 17.49% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. During the past fiscal year, BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA increased its bottom line by earning $5.66 versus $1.29 in the prior year.
  • The gross profit margin for BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA is currently very high, coming in at 73.25%. Regardless of BNS's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 22.96% trails the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 0.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,742.00 million to $1,757.00 million.



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