5 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now

As an investor, it’s next to impossible to pick a time when China has outperformed the market.

Year-to-date, the MSCI China and the FTSE China Xinhua 25 is down against the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. Six months? Down. Three months? Down. One month? Down. Five bloody years? Down.

Still, the good news is that China has not crashed in a hard landing. While the market continues to lower the country’s GDP forecast closer to 7% than 7.5%, China — as Dr. Doom Marc Faber even points out — does not need military bases to rule the world like the U.S. does.  As the world tilts to Asia, China becomes the center of the universe.

“We live in a new world. A world where the balance of power has shifted to emerging countries,” said Faber at the World War D conference in Melbourne today.  The conference is put on by the contrarian court jesters of financial newsletter chicanery Agora Publishing.  ”The U.S. surrounds China with military bases, many in Australia. But the Chinese don’t need to invade the countries in its sphere of influence,” he said. “You go to Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam — who are the leading businessmen? All Chinese.”

5 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: First Horizon National Corp (FHN)

First Horizon National Corporation (FHN), incorporated in 1968, is a bank holding company. The Company provides financial services through its subsidiary, First Tennessee Bank National Association (the Bank), and its subsidiaries. The Company’s two brands First Tennessee and FTN Financial provide customers with a range of products and services. First Tennessee provides retail and commercial banking services throughout Tennessee. FTN Financial (FTNF) is engaged in fixed income sales, trading, and strategies for institutional clients in the United States and abroad. FHN has four operating business segments: regional banking, capital markets, corporate, and non-strategic. As of December 31, 2011, the Bank had $16.4 billion in total deposits and $16 billion in total net loans. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s subsidiaries had over 200 business locations in 17 the United States states, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, excluding off-premises automated teller machines (ATMs). As o f December 31, 2011, the Bank had 183 branch locations in four states, which include 172 branches in metropolitan areas of Tennessee; two branches in northwestern Georgia; seven branches in northwestern Mississippi, and two branches in North Carolina. As of December 31, 2011, FTN Financial products and services were offered through 18 offices in total, including 16 offices in 14 states plus an office in each of Hong Kong and Tokyo.

The regional banking segment offers financial products and services, including traditional lending and deposit taking, to retail and commercial customers in Tennessee and surrounding markets. Regional banking provides investments, financial planning, trust services and asset management, credit card, cash management, and first lien mortgage originations within the Tennessee footprint. In addition, the regional banking segment includes correspondent banking, which provides credit, depository, and other banking related services to other financial institutions.

The capital markets se! gment consists of fixed income sales, trading, and strategies for institutional clients in the United States and abroad, as well as loan sales, portfolio advisory, and derivative sales. The corporate segment consists of gains on the extinguishment of debt, unallocated corporate expenses, expense on subordinated debt issuances and preferred stock, bank-owned life insurance, unallocated interest income associated with excess equity, net impact of raising incremental capital, revenue and expense associated with deferred compensation plans, funds management, low income housing investment activities, and charges related to restructuring, repositioning, and efficiency. The non-strategic segment consists of the wind-down national consumer lending activities, legacy mortgage banking elements, including servicing fees, and the associated ancillary revenues and expenses related to these businesses. Non-strategic also includes the wind-down trust preferred loan portfolio and exited bus inesses along with the associated restructuring, repositioning, and efficiency charges.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company provided services through its subsidiaries, which include general banking services for consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments; through FTN Financial fixed income sales and trading, underwriting of bank, loan sales, advisory services and derivative sales; discount brokerage and full-service brokerage; correspondent banking; transaction processing, such as nationwide check clearing services and remittance processing; trust, fiduciary, and agency services; credit card products; equipment finance; investment and financial advisory services; mutual fund sales as agent; retail insurance sales as agent, and mortgage banking services.

As of December 31, 2011, the commercial, financial, and industrial (C&I) portfolio was eight billion dollars, and is consisted of loans used for general business purposes, and co nsisted of relationship customers in Tennessee and certain n! eighborin! g states, which are managed within the regional bank. Products include working capital lines of credit, term loan financing of owner-occupied real estate and fixed assets, and trade credit enhancement through letters of credit. As of December 31, 2011, the unpaid principal balance (UPB) of trust preferred loans totaled $447.2 million with the UPB of other bank-related loans totaling approximately $161.8 million. The commercial real estate portfolio includes both financings for commercial construction and non-construction loans. This portfolio is segregated between income commercial real estate (CRE) loans which contain loans, lines, and letters of credit to commercial real estate developers for the construction and mini- permanent financing of income-producing real estate, and residential CRE loans. The residential CRE portfolio includes loans to residential builders and developers for the purpose of constructing single-family detached homes, condominiums, and town homes. As of December 31, 2011, the residential CRE portfolio was $.1 billion. As of December 31, 2011, the consumer real estate portfolio was $5.3 billion, and is composed of home equity lines and installment loans. As of December 31, 2011, the credit card and other portfolios were $.3 billion, and primarily include credit card receivables, automobile loans, and over-the-counter (OTC) construction loans and other consumer related credits.

FHN’s investment portfolio consists of debt securities, including government agency issued mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and government agency issued collateralized mortgage obligations (CMO). During the year ended December 31, 2011, Government agency issued MBS and CMO, and other agencies averaged $2.9 billion. During 2011, the United States treasury securities and municipal bonds averaged $79.5 million. During 2011, investments in equity securities averaged $222.3 million.

During 2011, short-term funds (certificates of deposit greater than $100,000, federal funds purchased (! FFP), sec! urities sold under agreements to repurchase, trading liabilities, and other short-term borrowings) averaged $3.6 billion. During 2011, other borrowings increased to $.3 billion. Term borrowings include senior and subordinated borrowings and advances with original maturities greater than one year. During 2011, average term borrowings averaged $2.6 billion.

The Company competes with Regions Bank, SunTrust Bank, Wells Fargo Bank N.A., Bank of America N.A., and Pinnacle National Bank.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    First Horizon National (NYSE: FHN) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $0.18 per share on revenue of $307.14 million.

    Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) is expected to report its Q3 earnings at $1.80 per share on revenue of $1.45 billion.

  • [By John Maxfield]

    Given that you clicked on this article, it seems safe to assume you either own stock in First Horizon National (NYSE: FHN  ) or are considering buying shares in the near future. If so, then you’ve come to the right place. The table below reveals the nine most critical numbers that investors need to know about First Horizon stock before deciding whether to buy, sell, or hold it.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    After the close of trading Friday, the S&P 500 will include Pfizer spinoff Zoetis (NYSE: ZTS  ) . The stock replaces First Horizon National (NYSE: FHN  ) , which is to find a new home on the S&P MidCap 400.

5 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Tompkins Financial Corp (TMP)

Tompkins Financial Corporation (Tompkins) is a bank holding company. The Company is a locally oriented, community-based financial services company that offers an array of products and services, including commercial and consumer banking, leasing, trust and investment management, financial planning and wealth management, insurance, and brokerage services. The Company operates in two segments: banking and financial services. Banking services consist primarily of attracting deposits from the areas served by the Company’s banking subsidiaries’ 45 banking offices and using those deposits to originate a variety of commercial loans, agricultural loans, consumer loans, real estate loans, and leases in those same areas. Financial services activities consist of the results of the Company’s trust, financial planning and wealth management services, broker-dealer services, and insurance and risk management operations. On June 1, 2011, its subsidiary, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, I nc. (Tompkins Insurance), acquired Olver & Associates, Inc. (Olver), a property and casualty insurance agency. In August 2012, it acquired VIST Financial Corp.

The Company maintains a portfolio of securities, such as obligations of the United States Government agencies and the United States Government sponsored entities, obligations of states and political subdivisions thereof, and equity securities. Tompkins provides a variety of financial services to individuals and small business customers

Commercial Services

The Company’s subsidiary banks provide financial services to corporations and other business clients. Lending activities include loans for a variety of business purposes, including real estate financing, construction, equipment financing, accounts receivable financing, and commercial leasing. Other commercial services include deposit and cash management services, letters of credit, sweep accounts, credit cards, purchasing ca rds, Internet-based account services, and remote deposit ser! vices.

Retail Services

The Company’s subsidiary banks provide a variety of retail banking services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, time deposits, individual retirement accounts (IRA) products, brokerage services, residential mortgage loans, personal loans, home equity loans, credit cards, debit cards and safe deposit services. Retail services are accessible through a variety of delivery systems, including branch facilities, automated teller machines (ATMs), voice response, Internet banking, and remote deposit services.

Trust and Investment Management Services

The Company offers a range of financial services to customers, including trust and estate services, investment management, and financial and insurance planning. These services are offered through Tompkins Investment Services (TIS), a division of Tompkins Trust Company, and AM&M. Tompkins Financial Advisors has office locations at all three of the Comp any’s subsidiary banks, and provides a range of money management services, including investment management, trust and estate, financial and tax planning, as well as life, disability and long-term care insurance services.

Broker-Dealer Services

AM&M operates a broker-dealer subsidiary, Ensemble Financial Services, Inc. Ensemble Financial Services, Inc. is an outsourcing company for financial planners and investment advisors.

Insurance Services

The Company provides property and casualty insurance services and employee benefits consulting through Tompkins Insurance. Tompkins Insurance is an independent insurance agency. Tompkins Insurance has automated systems for record keeping, claim processing and coverage confirmation, and can provide insurance pricing comparisons from a range of insurance companies. Tompkins Insurance provides employee benefits consulting to employers in Western and Central New York, assisting them with their medical, group life insurance and group disability in! surance. ! In addition to its seven offices, Tompkins Insurance shares several offices with The Bank of Castile and The Trust Company. AM&M also provides insurance services for financial planning and wealth management clients, offering risk management plans using life, disability and long-term care insurance products.

Subsidiary Activities

The Company’s subsidiaries include: three wholly owned banking subsidiaries, Tompkins Trust Company (the Trust Company), The Bank of Castile, and The Mahopac National Bank (Mahopac National Bank); AM&M Financial Services, Inc., doing business as Tompkins Financial Advisors, a wholly owned and an investment advisor (AM&M), and a wholly owned insurance agency subsidiary, Tompkins Insurance. AM&M and the trust division of the Trust Company provides an array of investment services under the Tompkins Financial Advisors division, including investment management, trust and estate, financial and tax planning, as well as life, disa bility and long-term care insurance services. The Trust Company has a full-service office in Cortland, New York and a full-service office in Auburn, New York. Both of these offices are located in counties contiguous to Tompkins County. The Trust Company operates 15 banking offices, including two limited-service banking offices in the counties of Tompkins, Cortland, Cayuga and Schuyler, New York.

The Bank of Castile is a New York State-chartered commercial bank and conducts its operations through its 15 banking offices, in towns situated in and around the areas commonly known as the Letchworth State Park area and the Genesee Valley region of New York State. The Bank of Castile’s lending portfolio includes loans to the agricultural industry. The Mahopac National Bank (Mahopac National Bank) operates 15 banking offices, including one limited-service office in counties north of New York City. The 15 banking offices include five full-service offices in Putnam Coun ty, New York, three full-service offices in Dutchess County,! New York! , and six full-service offices, and one limited-service office in Westchester County, New York.

Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc. (Tompkins Insurance) offers property and casualty insurance to individuals and businesses primarily in Western and Central New York. AM&M Financial Services, Inc. (AM&M) offers financial services through three operating companies: AM&M Planners, Inc., which provides fee-based financial planning and wealth management services for corporate executives, small business owners and high-net-worth individuals; Ensemble Financial Services, Inc., an independent broker-dealer and outsourcing company for financial planners and investment advisors, and Ensemble Risk Solutions, Inc., which creates customized risk management plans using life, disability and long-term care insurance products. Tompkins Capital Trust I and Sleepy Hollow Capital Trust I are Delaware statutory business trusts.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Ithaca, N.Y.-based financial services company Tompkins Financial (TMP) raised its quarterly dividend 5.3% to 40 cents per share, payable Nov. 15 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 4.
    TMP Dividend Yield: 3.25%

  • [By Fredrik Arnold]

    Tompkins Financial Corp. (TMP) netted $44.97 based on a mean target price estimate from three analysts combined with projected annual dividend less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 27% less than the market as a whole.

5 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC)

HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC), incorporated on January 1, 1959, is a global banking and financial services organizations. As of December 31, 2010, it provided a range of financial services to around 95 million customers through two customer groups, Personal Financial Services (PFS), including consumer finance, and Commercial Banking (CMB), and two global businesses, Global Banking and Markets (GB&M), and Global Private Banking (GPB). Its international network covers 87 countries and territories in six geographical regions; Europe, Hong Kong, Rest of Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, North America and Latin America. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had an international network of some 7,500 offices in 87 countries and territories in six geographical regions; Europe, Hong Kong, Rest of Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, North America and Latin America. PFS incorporates the Company’s consumer finance businesses, which include HSBC Finance Corporation (HSBC Finance). In April 2011, the Company closed its retail banking operation in Russia. In July 2011, the Company sold its unsecured written-off personal loan and credit card portfolio to J M Financial Asset Reconstruction Co. Pvt. Ltd. On May 20, 2012, HSBC Holdings PLC’s wholly owned subsidiary HSBC Bank USA, N.A. and other wholly owned subsidiaries, sold 195 retail branches to First Niagara Bank, N.A. (First Niagara). In May 2012, the Company’s 70.03% owned subsidiary, HSBC Bank Malta plc, sold its card acquiring business to HSBC Merchant Services Ltd. In June 2012, the Company’s indirect wholly owned subsidiary, HSBC Iris Investments (Mauritius) Ltd, sold its 4.73% interest in Axis Bank Limited and 4.74% interest in Yes Bank Limited. In July 2012, its subsidiary, HSBC Europe (Netherlands B.V.), sold its 100% interest in HSBC Credit Zrt, to CentralFund Kockazati Tokealap. On March 31, 2013, Enstar Group Ltd’s subsidiary completed the acquisition from Household Insurance Group Holding Company of HSBC Insurance Company of Delaware and Household Life Insur! ance Company of Delaware, as well as its three subsidiary insurers.

The Company’s principal banking operations in Europe are HSBC Bank plc in the United Kingdom, HSBC France, HSBC Bank A.S. in Turkey, HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c., HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) S.A. and HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG. Through these operations it provides a range of banking, treasury and financial services to personal, commercial and corporate customers across Europe. HSBC’s banking subsidiaries in Hong Kong are The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Hang Seng Bank Limited.

The Company offers a range of banking and financial services in the People’s Republic of China, mainly through its local subsidiary, HSBC Bank (China) Company Limited. It also participates indirectly in the People’s Republic of China through its four associates. Outside Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China, it conducts business in 22 countries and territories in the Rest of Asia-Pacific region, through branches and subsidiaries of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, with coverage in Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

In the Middle East, the Company has network of branches of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, together with HSBC’s subsidiaries and associates. Its North American businesses are located in the United States, Canada and Bermuda. Operations in the United States are conducted through HSBC Bank USA, N.A., which is concentrated in New York State, and HSBC Finance, a national consumer finance company based near Chicago. HSBC Markets (USA) Inc. is the intermediate holding company of, inter alia, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. HSBC Bank Canada and HSBC Bank Bermuda operate in their respective countries.

The Company’s operations in Latin America consists of HSBC Bank Brasil S.A.-Banco Multiplo, HSBC Mexico, S.A., HSBC Bank Argentina S.A. and HSBC Bank (Panama) S.A. In addition to bankin g services, it operates insurance businesses in Brazil, Mexi! co, Argen! tina, Panama and a range of smaller markets.

Personal Financial Services

PFS offers the Company’s products and services to customers based on their individual needs. Premier and Advance services are for customers who value international connectivity and benefit from its global reach and scale. It offers a range of banking products and services reflecting local requirements. In addition, it issues card globally, offering HSBC branded cards, co-branded cards with selected partners and private label (store) cards. Its customer offerings include personal banking products, including current and savings accounts, mortgages and personal loans, credit cards, debit cards and local and international payment services, and wealth management services, including insurance and investment products and financial planning services.

HSBC Premier provides preferential banking services to high net worth customers and their immediate families with a rela tionship manager, wealth advice and solutions. Customers can access emergency travel assistance, telephone banking and an online global view of their Premier accounts globally with free money transfers between them. HSBC Advance provides a range of preferential products and services customized to meet local needs. With a telephone service, access to wealth advice and online tools to support financial planning, it gives customers an online global view of their Advance accounts with money transfers between them. Wealth Solutions & Financial Planning process designed for global individual customer needs to help its clients to protect, grow and manage their wealth through investment and wealth insurance products manufactured by in-house partners, including Global Asset Management, Global Markets and HSBC Insurance, and by selected third party providers. During 2010, PFS provided 92 million individual and self-employed customers with financial services in over 60 markets globally .

Commercial Banking

The Company ! segments ! its CMB business into Corporate, to serve both Corporate and Mid-Market companies, and Business Banking, to serve the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) sector. It provides support to companies as they expand both domestically and internationally, and ensures a focus on the business banking segments. It offers a range of financing, both domestic and cross-border, including overdrafts, receivables finance, term loans and syndicated, leveraged, acquisition and project finance. Asset finance is offered in selected sites, focused on leasing and instalment finance for vehicles, plant and equipment. It is a provider of domestic and cross-border payments and collections, liquidity management and account services globally, delivered through its e-platform, HSBC net. It provides international trade products and services, to both buyers and suppliers, such as export finance, guarantees, documentary collections and forfeiting to improve efficiency and help mitigate risk throu ghout the supply chain.

CMB customers are volume users of its foreign exchange, derivatives and structured products. Capital markets & advisory is raising capital on debt and equity markets and provide advisory services. Commercial cards issuing helps customers enhance cash management, credit control and purchasing. Card acquiring services enable merchants to accept credit and debit card payments in person or remotely. CMB offers key person, employee benefits and a range of commercial risk insurance, such as property, cargo and trade credit. Direct channels include online and direct banking offerings, such as telephone banking, HSBCnet and Business Internet Banking.

Global Banking and Markets

GB&M provides tailored financial solutions to government, corporate and institutional clients and private investors globally. Managed as a global business, GB&M operates a long-term relationship management approach to build a understanding of clie nts’ financial requirements. Sector-focused client service! teams co! nsisting of relationship managers and product specialists develop financial solutions to meet individual client needs. GB&M is managed as four principal business lines: Global Markets, Global Banking, Global Asset Management and Principal Investments.

Global Markets operations consist of treasury and capital markets services. Products include foreign exchange; currency, interest rate, bond, credit, equity and other derivatives; government and non-government fixed income and money market instruments; precious metals and exchange-traded futures; equity services; distribution of capital markets instruments, and securities services, including custody and clearing services and funds administration to both domestic and cross-border investors. Global Banking offers financing, advisory and transaction services. Its products include capital raising, advisory services, bilateral and syndicated lending, leveraged and acquisition finance, structured and project finance, le ase finance and non-retail deposit taking; international, regional and domestic payments and cash management services; and trade services for large corporate clients.

Global Asset Management offers investment solutions to institutions, financial intermediaries and individual investors globally. Principal Investments includes its relationships with third-party private equity managers and other investments. GB&M is a global business, which provides financial solutions to government, corporate and institutional clients globally.

Global Private Banking

GPB works with the Company’s high net worth clients to offer ways to manage and preserve wealth. HSBC Private Bank is the principal marketing name of its international private banking business, GPB. GPB works with its clients to offer both ways to manage and preserve wealth while optimising returns. GPB accesses six advisory centers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Geneva, New York, Paris and Lon don. Private Banking services consist of multi-currency depo! sit accou! nts and fiduciary deposits, credit and specialist lending, treasury trading services, cash management, securities custody and clearing. GPB works to ensure that its clients have access to other products and services available in HSBC, such as credit cards, Internet banking, corporate banking and investment banking.

Private Wealth Management consists of both advisory and discretionary investment services. A range of investment vehicles is covered, including bonds, equities, derivatives, options, futures, structured products, mutual funds and alternatives (hedge funds, private equity and real estate). Corporate Finance Solutions helps provide clients with solutions for their companies, working in conjunction with GB&M. Private Wealth Solutions consist of planning, trustee and other fiduciary services to protect wealth and preserve it for future generations. Its expertise includes trusts, foundation and company administration, charitable trusts and foundations, in surance, family office advisory and philanthropy.

Other

The Company’s Other contains the results of certain property transactions and unallocated investment activities. It also includes centrally held investment companies, movements in fair value of own debt, HSBC’s holding company and financing operations.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sara Sjolin]

    Banks posted some of the biggest gains in London, with Barclays PLC (UK:BARC)   (BCS)  up 1.6%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (UK:RBS)   (RBS)  rising 1.1% and sector heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC (UK:HSBA)   (HBC)   (HK:5)  0.7% higher.

  • [By Sara Sjolin]

    Banks were among major decliners, playing a part in dragging the FTSE 100 index lower. Shares of Barclays PLC (UK:BARC)   (BCS)  fell 2.7%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (UK:RBS)   (RBS)  dropped 2.9%, Lloyds Banking Group PLC (UK:LLOY)   (LYG)  gave up 2.3% and sector heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC (UK:HSBA) (HBC)   (HK:5)  erased 1.3%.

5 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Prosperity Bancshares Inc (PB)

Prosperity Bancshares, Inc., incorporated on December 22, 1983, is a financial holding company. The Company operates through its bank subsidiary, Prosperity Bank (the Bank). The Bank provides a broad line of financial products and services to small and medium-sized businesses and consumers. As of December 31, 2012, the Bank operated 213 full service banking locations; 59 in the Houston area; 20 in the South Texas area including Corpus Christi and Victoria; 35 in the Dallas/Fort Worth area; 21 in the East Texas area; thirty-four 34 in the Central Texas area including Austin and San Antonio; 34 in the West Texas area including Lubbock, Midland-Odessa and Abilene; and 10 in the Bryan/College Station area. The Company added a net of two banking centers in Tyler, TX in connection with its acquisition of East Texas Financial Services (East Texas) on January 1, 2013, after consolidations. In November 2013, the Company announced that the completion of the merger of FVNB Corp.

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On January 1, 2012, the Company acquired Texas Bankers, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Bank of Texas, Austin, Texas. On April 1, 2012, it acquired The Bank Arlington. Effective July 1, 2012, the Company announced the completion of the merger with American State Financial Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary American State Bank (collectively referred to as ASB) whereby American State Bank was merged with and into Prosperity Bank. In October 2012, the Company announced the completion of the merger with Community National Bank, Bellaire, Texas. On January 1, 2013, the Company announced the completion of the merger with East Texas Financial Services, Inc. (ETFS) and wholly owned subsidiary First Federal Bank Texas. Effective April 1, 2013, Prosperity Bancshares Inc announced the completion of the merger with Coppermark Bancshares, Inc. and wholly owned subsidiary Coppermark Bank, whereby Coppermark merged with and into Prosperity and Coppermark Bank merged with and into Prosperity Bank.

The Company pr! ovides medical and hospitalization insurance to its full-time associates. The Company considers its relations with associates to be good. Neither the Company nor the Bank is a party to any collective bargaining agreement. In 2012, the Company added additional products and services including trust services, credit card, mortgage lending and independent sales organization (ISO) sponsorship operations.

Lending Activities

The Company, through the Bank, offers a variety of traditional loan and deposit products to its customers, which consist primarily of consumers and small and medium-sized businesses. At December 31, 2012, total loans were $5.18 billion. Loans at December 31, 2012, included $10.4 million of loans held for sale and consisted of residential mortgage loans that were acquired as part of the acquisition of ASB in 2012. As reflected in the table below, loan growth was also impacted by the acquisition of Texas Bankers, Inc., The Bank Arlington , ASB and Community National Bank. Excluding loans acquired in these acquisitions and new production at the acquired banking centers since their respective acquisition dates, loans held for investment grew approximately $234.9 million, or 6.2%. The Company offers a variety of commercial lending products including term loans and lines of credit. The Company offers a broad range of short to medium-term commercial loans, primarily collateralized, to businesses for working capital (including inventory and receivables), business expansion (including acquisitions of real estate and improvements) and the purchase of equipment and machinery.

The Company makes commercial real estate loans collateralized by owner-occupied and non-owner-occupied real estate to finance the purchase of real estate. The Company’s commercial real estate loans are collateralized by liens on real estate, typically have variable interest rates (or five year or less fixed rates) and amortize ov er a 15 to 20 year period. Company’s lending activities al! so includ! es the origination of 1-4 family residential mortgage loans collateralized by owner-occupied residential properties located in the Company’s market areas. The Company offers a variety of mortgage loan products which generally are amortized over five to 25 years. Loans collateralized by 1-4 family residential real estate generally have been originated in amounts of no more than 89% of appraised value or have mortgage insurance. The Company requires mortgage title insurance and hazard insurance. Other than with respect to mortgage banking activities acquired in the ASB acquisition, the Company has elected to keep all 1-4 family residential loans for its own account rather than selling such loans into the secondary market. By doing so, the Company is able to realize a higher yield on these loans; however, the Company also incurs interest rate risk as well as the risks associated with nonpayments on such loans. The Company makes loans to finance the construction of residential and, to a lesser extent, nonresidential properties. Construction loans generally are collateralized by first liens on real estate and have floating interest rates. The Company provides agriculture loans for short-term crop production, including rice, cotton, milo and corn, farm equipment financing and agriculture real estate financing.

Investment Activities

The Company uses its securities portfolio to manage interest rate risk and as a source of income and liquidity for cash requirements. At December 31, 2012, the carrying amount of investment securities totaled $7.44 billion. At December 31, 2012, securities represented 51.0% of total assets. At December 31, 2012 and 2011, the Company did not own securities of any one issuer (other than the U.S. government and its agencies) for which aggregate adjusted cost exceeded 10% of the consolidated shareholders equity .

Sources of Funds

The Company offers a variety of deposit accounts having a wide range of interest rates an! d terms i! ncluding demand, savings, money market and time accounts. The Company relies primarily on competitive pricing policies and customer service to attract and retain these deposits. The Company does not have or accept any brokered deposits. Total deposits at December 31, 2012, were $11.64 billion. Noninterest-bearing deposits at December 31, 2012, were $3.02 billion. The Company utilizes borrowings to supplement deposits to fund its lending and investment activities. Borrowings consist of funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) and securities sold under repurchase agreements.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chuck Carnevale]

    Next, I run graphs on liquidity ratios and additional data on various valuation ratios to include price to book value (pb), price to cash flow (pcfl), price to free cash flow (pfcfl) and others that can be seen as options on the navigation bar to the left of the sample graph which only plots the current ratio (cr), a quick ratio (qr) and for those diehards concerned with volatility [size=11.0pt;line-height:115%; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA”>—

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Houston-based bank holding company Prosperity Bancshares  (NYSE: PB  )  announced today its second-quarter dividend of $0.215 per share, the same rate it paid the last two quarters after raising the payout 10% from $0.195 per share.

5 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Astoria Financial Corp (AF)

Astoria Financial Corporation, incorporated on June, 14, 1993, is the unitary savings and loan association holding company of Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association (Astoria Federal). The Company’s principal business is the operation of its wholly owned subsidiary, Astoria Federal. Astoria Federal’s primary business is attracting retail deposits from the general public and investing those deposits, together with funds generated from operations, principal repayments on loans and securities and borrowings, primarily in one- to four-family mortgage loans, multi-family mortgage loans, commercial real estate loans and mortgage-backed securities. Astoria Federal also invests in consumer and other loans, the United States Government, government agency and government-sponsored enterprise (GSE), securities and other investments.

Lending Activities

The Company’s loan portfolio consists primarily of mortgage loans. As of December 31, 2012, 74% o f its total loan portfolio was secured by residential properties and 24% was secured by multi-family properties and commercial real estate. The remainder of the loan portfolio consists of a variety of consumer and other loans, including commercial and industrial loans originated in 2012 through its business banking initiatives. As of December 31, 2012, its net loan portfolio totaled $13.08 billion, or 79% of total assets. The Company originates mortgage loans either directly through its banking and loan production offices in New York or indirectly through brokers and its third party loan origination program. It also originates mortgage loans for sale. The Company’s primary lending focus is on the origination and purchase of first mortgage loans secured by one- to four-family properties that serve as the primary residence of the owner.

The Company also originates multi-family and commercial real estate loans. As of December 31, 2012, multi-family mortgage loan s totaled $2.41 billion, or 18% of its total loan portfolio,! and commercial real estate loans totaled $773.9 million, or 6% of its total loan portfolio. At December 31, 2012, $264.1 million, or 2%, of the Company’s total loan portfolio consisted of consumer and other loans which were primarily home equity lines of credit. The Company also offers overdraft protection, lines of credit, commercial loans and passbook loans. Consumer and other loans, with the exception of home equity and commercial lines of credit, are offered primarily on a fixed rate, short-term basis.

Investment Activities

At December 31, 2012, the Company’s securities portfolio totaled $2.04 billion, or 12%, of total assets. The Company does not use derivatives for trading purposes. Its securities portfolio consists primarily of mortgage-backed securities. At December 31, 2012, its mortgage-backed securities totaled $1.94 billion, or 95%, of total securities, of which $1.92 billion, or 94%, of total securities, were real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMIC) and collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO) securities, substantially all of which had fixed rates. Of the REMIC and CMO securities portfolio, $2.35 billion, or 98.7%, are guaranteed by Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) or Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) as issuer. At December 31, 2012, its securities available-for-sale totaled $336.3 million and its securities held-to-maturity totaled $1.7 billion. At December 31, 2012, it had no investments in repurchase agreements and federal funds sold.

Sources of Funds

The Company’s primary source of funds is the cash flow provided by its investing activities, including principal and interest payments on loans and securities. Its other sources of funds are provided by operating activities and financing activities, including deposits and borrowings. The Company offers a variety of deposit a ccounts with a range of interest rates and terms. It offers ! passbook ! and statement savings accounts, money market accounts, negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) and demand deposit accounts, liquid certificates of deposit (Liquid CDs), and certificates of deposit, which include all time deposits other than Liquid CDs. Liquid CDs have maturities of three months, require the maintenance of a minimum balance and allow depositors the ability to make periodic deposits to and withdrawals from their account. At December 31, 2012, its deposits totaled $10.44 billion. Of the total deposit balance, $1.28 billion, or 12%, represented individual retirement accounts during the year ended December 31, 2012. It held no brokered deposits at December 31, 2012. Core deposits represented 53.3% of total deposits at December 31, 2011. Reverse repurchase agreements are accounted for as borrowings and are secured by the securities sold under the agreements. At December 31, 2012, borrowings totaled $4.37 billion. It also obtains advances from the Federal Home Loan Ba nk of New York (FHLB-NY).

Subsidiary Activities

In addition to Astoria Federal, the Company has two other subsidiaries, AF Insurance Agency, Inc. and Astoria Capital Trust I. AF Insurance Agency, Inc. is a life insurance agency. Through contractual agreements with various third parties, AF Insurance Agency, Inc. makes insurance products available primarily to the customers of Astoria Federal. Astoria Federal’s wholly owned subsidiaries include AF Agency, Inc., Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association Revocable Grantor Trust, Astoria Federal Mortgage Corp. (AF Mortgage), Fidata Service Corp. (Fidata), Marcus I Inc. and Suffco Service Corporation (Suffco). AF Agency, Inc. makes various annuity products available to the customers of Astoria Federal through an unaffiliated third party vendor. AF Mortgage is an operating subsidiary through which Astoria Federal engages in lending activities outside the State of New York through its third party loan origination program. Fidata mortgage loans totaled $5.09 bi! llion at ! December 31, 2012. Suffco serves as document custodian for the loans of Astoria Federal and Fidata and certain loans being serviced for Fannie Mae and other investors.

Advisors’ Opinion:

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