5 Best Financial Stocks For 2014

Given that you clicked on this article, it seems safe to assume you either own stock in First Niagara Financial (NASDAQ: FNFG  ) 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 investors need to know about First Niagara Financial stock before deciding whether to buy, sell, or hold it.

But before getting to that, a brief introduction is in order. First Niagara traces its roots back to 1870 with the founding of Farmers and Mechanics’ Savings Bank. In the intervening years, it’s grown into one of the largest regional banks in the Northeastern United States. While it did so, according to Wikipedia, through “the recruitment of new customers, as opposed to the purchase of other firms’ assets,” the same can’t be said of the bank’s growth in the time since the financial crisis. The Buffalo, New York-based bank has completed multiple acquisitions over the last five years, culminating in the recent and anticlimactic departure of its now-former CEO John Koelmel. At present, First Niagara has $37 billion in assets and 360 branches in four Northeastern states.

5 Best Financial Stocks For 2014: Territorial Bancorp Inc.(TBNK)

Territorial Bancorp Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Territorial Savings Bank, a federally-chartered savings bank that provides a range of financial services to individuals, families, and businesses in Hawaii. It involves in accepting deposits from the general public and investing those deposits together with funds generated from operations and borrowings in loans and investment securities. The company?s deposit products include passbook and statement savings accounts, certificates of deposits, money market accounts, commercial and regular checking accounts, and NOW accounts. Its loan products include one-to-four-family residential mortgage loans; home equity loans and lines of credit; construction, commercial, and other non-residential real estate loans; consumer loans; and multi-family mortgage loans. The company, through its subsidiary, Territorial Financial Services, Inc., also engages in insurance agency activities. In addition, it provides various non-d eposit investments, including annuities and mutual funds through a third-party broker-dealer. As of December 31, 2010, the company operated 26 full-service branch offices in Hawaii. The company was founded in 1921 and is headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Territorial Bancorp (NASDAQ: TBNK) shares touched a new 52-week low of $21.31. Territorial Bancorp shares have dropped 9.43% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 16.18% in the same period.

5 Best Financial Stocks For 2014: Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance (ARI)

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc., a real estate investment trust, engages in originating, acquiring, investing in, and managing performing commercial first mortgage loans, commercial mortgage-backed securities, mezzanine financings, and other commercial real estate-related debt investments in the United States. The company is qualified as a real estate investment trust (REIT) under the Internal Revenue Code. As a REIT, it would not be subject to federal income taxes, if it distributes at least 90% of its REIT taxable income to its stockholders. The company was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Mortgage real estate investment trust Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance  (NYSE: ARI  ) announced this morning its second-quarter dividend for its 8.625% Series A cumulative redeemable perpetual preferred stock of $0.5391 per share for the period ending July 15. That’s the same rate it’s paid for the past three quarters after it was increased 21% from $0.4432 per share.

5 Best Financial Stocks For 2014: iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (EZA)

iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund (the Fund) seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of publicly traded securities in the aggregate in the South African market, as measured by the MSCI South Africa Index (the Index). The Index seeks to measure the performance of the South African equity market. The Index is a capitalization-weighted index that aims to capture 85% of the (publicly available) total market capitalization. Component companies are adjusted for available float and must meet objective criteria for inclusion to the Index.

The Index is reviewed quarterly by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI). The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities included in the Index that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Index. The Fund’s investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    Yet an interesting thing happened. While the news stories have gone from bad to worse, most emerging markets have been quietly enjoying a rally since early February. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) is up about 7%, and the iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (EZA) is up fully 17%.

  • [By Jeff Reeves]

    For starters, there’s the iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (EZA). The fund is down about 11% in the last year, but remember that emerging markets dramatically underperformed across the board in 2013. And if you believe in value investing, this may be a good opportunity to buy.

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    Investors have pretty well forgotten about emerging markets over the past three years. The “BRIC” countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China no longer excite. Nor do more exotic non-BRIC locales such as South Africa. The iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (EZA) is down by roughly 15% since the beginning of 2011, while the S&P 500 has gained nearly 45%.

5 Best Financial Stocks For 2014: Wells Fargo Advantage Income Opportunities Fund (EAD)

Evergreen Income Advantage Fund (the Fund) is a diversified closed-end management investment company. The primary investment objective of the Fund is to seek a high level of current income.

During the fiscal year ended April 30, 2005, the Fund’s investment portfolio included Marquee Holdings, Inc., Mediacom LLC, American Achievement Corp., CSK Auto, Inc., Oxford Industries, Inc., B&G Foods Holdings Corp. and Chiquita Brands International, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    EADS (EAD) declined 1.2 percent to 51.54 euros. UBS said in a note that investing in the company is “less compelling” after shares rallied 77 percent in 2013 through yesterday and orders were announced following the Dubai Air Show.

  • [By Sarah Jones]

    Daimler AG jumped 6.2 percent to 52.35 euros. The world’s third-largest maker of luxury cars posted second-quarter profit that beat analyst predictions following the sale of its final holding in the parent company of planemaker Airbus SAS. (EAD)

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Precision Castparts’ impressive growth in the June quarter was largely a result of acquisitions. Organic sales growth year over year came to just 2%. Most of the time I don’t like growth stocks that are fueled by acquisition since these deals can hide the true (frequently negative) trend in core sales and earnings growth. But in the case of Precision Castparts, an acquisition strategy makes sense to me, because it is a reflection of what’s going on in the aerospace sector. Companies like Boeing (BA) and Airbus (EAD) are looking to simplify their supply chain and to deal with fewer suppliers. Rolling up part of the supply chain under one roof, which is what Precision Castparts is doing right now, is a way to gain a bigger share of the business of these big end customers.

5 Best Financial Stocks For 2014: Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida(SBCF)

Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida operates as the holding company for Seacoast National Bank that provides various financial products and services in the United States. It offers an array of deposit accounts and retail banking services; engages in consumer and commercial lending activities; and provides various trust and asset management services, as well as securities and annuity products to its customers. The company also offers marine loans. In addition, it provides Internet banking, and brokerage and annuity services. As of June 17, 2011, the company had 39 offices in South and Central Florida. Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida was founded in 1926 and is based in Stuart, Florida.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida (NASDAQ:SBCF) is certainly no Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) or Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), but then again, that may be a good thing – both larger banks are still dealing with the headaches of their sheer size. The smaller bank is far more nimble, and better still, appears to be on the verge of doling out a huge reward for shareholders.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    One that recently crossed my radar as an “avoid” is small-cap bank Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida (NASDAQ: SBCF  )  (henceforth known here as Seacoast to make our lives easier).