Hot Bank Companies To Own For 2014

Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) surged 16.60% to $2.95 in the pre-market session on reports that the company has hired JP Morgan to help find a buyer.

Zogenix (NASDAQ: ZGNX) shares gained 9.21% to $3.32 in the pre-market session after the company won the FDA approval for Zohydro ER capsules.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA) soared 5.06% to $3.74 in the pre-market trading. ARIAD Pharmaceuticals is expected to report its Q3 financial results on November 6, 2013.

SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) shares jumped 4.14% to $60.43 in pre-market trading. SolarCity’s trailing-twelve-month revenue is $125.18 million.

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Hot Bank Companies To Own For 2014: Fifth Third Bancorp (FFH)

Fifth Third Bancorp (the Bancorp), incorporated on October 7, 1974, is a diversified financial services company. As of December 31, 2011, the Bancorp had $117 billion in assets, operated 15 affiliates with 1,316 full-service Banking Centers, including 104 Bank Mart locations open seven days a week inside select grocery stores, and 2,425 automated teller machines (ATMs) in 12 states throughout the Midwestern and Southeastern regions of the United States. The Bancorp operates in four business segments: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Investment Advisors. The Bancorp also has a 49% interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC.

Commercial Banking

Commercial Banking offers credit intermediation, cash management and financial services to large and middle-market businesses and government and professional customers. In addition to the traditional lending and depository offerings, Commercial Banking products and services include global cash ma nagement, foreign exchange and international trade finance, derivatives and capital markets services, asset-based lending, real estate finance, public finance, commercial leasing and syndicated finance.

Branch Banking

Branch Banking provides a range of deposit and loan and lease products to individuals and small businesses through 1,316 full-service Banking Centers. Branch Banking offers depository and loan products, such as checking and savings accounts, home equity loans and lines of credit, credit cards and loans for automobiles and other personal financing needs, as well as products designed to meet the specific needs of small businesses, including cash management services.

Consumer Lending

Consumer Lending includes the Bancorp’s mortgage, home equity, automobile and other indirect lending activities. Mortgage and home equity lending activities include the origination, retention and servicing of mortgage and home equ ity loans or lines of credit, sales and securitizations of t! hose loans, pools of loans or lines of credit, and all associated hedging activities. Indirect lending activities include loans to consumers through mortgage brokers and automobile dealers.

Investment Advisors

Investment Advisors provides a range of investment alternatives for individuals, companies and not-for-profit organizations. Investment Advisors is made up of four main businesses: Fifth Third Securities (FTS), an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the Bancorp; Fifth Third Asset Management, Inc. (FTAM), an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the Bancorp; Fifth Third Private Bank; and Fifth Third Institutional Services. FTS offers full service retail brokerage services to individual clients and broker dealer services to the institutional marketplace. FTAM provides asset management services and also advises the Bancorp’s family of mutual funds. Fifth Third Private Bank offers holistic strategies to affluent clients in wealth planning, investi ng, insurance and wealth protection. Fifth Third Institutional Services provide advisory services for institutional clients including states and municipalities.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bloomberg]

    Mattel (MAT), the world’s largest toymaker, agreed to buy Mega Brands (MB) for $460 million, acquiring the biggest challenger to Lego A/S in the construction-toy market. Mattel is offering C$17.75 ($16) a share, according to a statement today, a 36 percent premium over yesterday’s closing price. The board of Montreal-based Mega Brands unanimously approved the transaction, and investors holding 39 percent of the stock, including Chief Executive Officer Marc Bertrand and Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH), agreed to the deal. The purchase of Mega Brands, the world’s second-largest maker of snap-together blocks, will fill a product hole for Mattel. It doesn’t have its own construction line, locking it out of a $4 billion market in the U.S. and Europe. The category also is a bright spot in a toy industry that has seen growth stall in the U.S. Mattel considered starting its own construction line, then opted instead to buy Mega Brands because it would be faster and less risky, Mattel CEO Bryan G. Stockton said on a call with reporters. Mattel got its first taste of construction in 2012 when it debuted blocks for its Barbie brand through a licensing deal with Mega Brands. Mattel realized that replicating this kind of expertise would take years, Stockton said. ‘About Growth’ “This acquisition is all about growth,” Stockton said. “We see an opportunity to expand our brands in this category across boys, girls and preschool.” Mattel shares rose 0.8 percent to $37.44 at 10:34 a.m. in New York. They had declined 9 percent over the past year through yesterday. Shares of Montreal-based Mega Brands surged 36 percent to C$17.73 today in Toronto. Mattel is coming off a lackluster holiday season, with sales sinking 6.3 percent — the biggest quarterly drop since 2009. The El Segundo, California-based toymaker has looked to acquisitions to boost sales in the past. In February of 2012, it paid $680 million to buy HIT Entertainment, owner of Thomas the Tank Engine. It also acq

  • [By gurufocus]

    Prem Watsa, highly regarded CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (FFH), wrote in March that “We continue to fully hedge our common stock portfolios as our concerns about the United States…” You would think he has been wrong with the hedging as he is losing money with them. But the last time he was losing with hedging was during the last bull market from 2004 to 2006. He then made a killing with the hedges in 2007 and 2008.

Hot Bank Companies To Own For 2014: Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS)

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS), incorporated on March 25, 1968, is a holding company of a global banking and financial services group. The Company operates in the United Kingdom, the United States and internationally through its two principal subsidiaries: The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (the Royal Bank) and National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest). Both the Royal Bank and NatWest are clearing banks. In the United States, the Company’s subsidiary Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (Citizens) is a commercial banking organization. The Company’s business segment include UK Retail, UK Corporate, Wealth, Global Transaction Services, Ulster Bank, US Retail & Commercial, Global Banking & Markets (GBM), RBS Insurance, Central items, Non-Core Division and Business Services. In February 2012, Ensign Group, Inc. acquired $21.5 million seven-year term loan from RBS Asset Finance, Inc., an affiliate of the Company. In May 2012, The Paragon Group of Companies PLC announced the acquisition of further unsecured consumer loans, through its Idem Capital Securities subsidiary, from the Company.

In September 2011, the Company sold Hilton Glasgow City hotel to Topland Group. In October 2011, Paragon Group of Companies PLC acquired a portfolio of unsecured consumer loans from Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc. In December 2011, the Company sold its tenanted pub business to Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company (Management) Limited (S&NPC), a subsidiary of Heineken N.V.

As of December 31, 2011, the Royal Bank and NatWest had 627 and 1,493 retail branches, respectively, in the United Kingdom. Ulster Bank has a foot print of 236 branches and a network of business banking offices across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. US Retail & Commercial had 1,519 retail banking offices (including in-store branches) covering Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

UK Retail

The Company offers a range of banking products and related financial services to the personal market. It serves customers through the RBS and NatWest networks of branches and automated teller machines (ATMs) in the United Kingdom, telephony, online and mobile.

UK Corporate

The Company is a provider of banking, finance, and risk management services to the corporate and small and medium enterprises (SME) sector in the United Kingdom. It offers a range of banking products and related financial services through a nationwide network of relationship managers, and also through telephone and Internet channels. The product range includes asset finance through the Lombard brand.

Wealth

The Company provides private banking and investment services in the United Kingdom through Coutts & Co and Adam & Company. It also offers offshore banking through RBS International, NatWest Offshore and Isle of Man Bank, and international private banking through Coutts & Co Ltd.

Global Transaction Services

The Company offers global payments, cash and liquidity management, and trade finance and commercial card products and services. Through the network and partner bank agreements, GTS is able to support and connect customers across 128 countries.

Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank is retail and business bank in Northern Ireland. It provides a range of financial services. As of December 31, 2011, the Retail Markets division, which had a network of 236 branches, operated in the personal and financial planning sectors. The Corporate Markets division provides services to SME business customers, corporates and institutional markets.

US Retail and Commercial

The Company provides financial services through the Citizens and Charter One brands. US Retail & Commercial is engaged in retail and corporate banking activities through its branch network in 12 states in the United States and through non-branch offices in othe! r states.!

Global Banking and Markets

The Company is a banking partner to corporations and financial institutions globally, providing a range of debt and equity financing, risk management and investment services to its customers. The division is organized along six principal business lines: money markets, rates flow trading, currencies, equities, credit and mortgage markets, and portfolio management and origination.

RBS Insurance

The Company provides a range of general insurance products to consumers through a range of brands, including Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also provides insurance services for third party brands through its UKI Partnerships business. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses through brokers or direct respectively. Through its international division, RBS Insurance sells general insurance, mainly motor, in Germany and Italy. In addition to insurance services, RBS Insurance continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of the United Kingdom motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and Tracker stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business. On 15 February 2012, a new corporate brand, Direct Line Group, was announced.

Central Functions

Central Functions consist of corporate functions, such as treasury, funding and finance, risk management, legal, communications and human resources. The Centre manages the Company’s capital resources and regulatory projects and provides services to the operating divisions.

Non-Core Division

Non-Core Division manages separately assets, which the Company intends to run off or dispose of. The division contains a range of businesses and asset portfolios from the GBM division, higher risk profile asset portfolios, including excess risk concentrations, and other illiquid portfolios. It als o includes a range of other portfolios and businesses, inclu! ding regi! onal markets businesses.

Business Services

Business Services supports the customer-facing businesses and provides operational technology, customer support in telephony, account management, lending and money transmission, global purchasing, property and other services. It also leverages its purchasing power and is the Company’s center for managing large-scale and complex change.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Citi and four other banks – Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION), Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN), HSBC Holdings PLC (NYSE: HSBC) for its North American operations, Royal Bank of Scotland PLC (NYSE: RBS) – will have to resubmit their plans with the Fed, and then they must get approval in writing from the Fed to increase buybacks and dividends. The foreign banks that failed will be restricted from paying higher dividends back to their parent companies.

  • [By Reuters]

    Kris Connor/Getty ImagesU.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The U.S. Justice Department is preparing to file civil fraud charges against Citigroup and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit over their sale of flawed mortgage securities ahead of the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the probes. Civil investigators have compiled evidence that allegedly shows that investors lost tens of billions of dollars after purchasing securities Citigroup (C) had marketed as safe even though the bank had reason to believe otherwise, one person said. An investigation into the mortgage securities marketed by Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America (BAC) agreed to acquire at the height of the crisis in 2008, is also close to completion, two other people said. Probes against Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Credit Suisse (CS) are also underway and progressing, according to another two people familiar with those cases. Representatives for all four banks declined to comment. The U.S. banking industry, which faces a range of mortgage-related lawsuits, has contended that many of the alleged investor losses can be attributed to the financial crisis, and that they shouldn’t be held liable for marketing a variety of mortgage securities that ultimately soured. The Justice Department hasn’t determined the exact timing of upcoming lawsuits, the sources said, although U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told Reuters earlier this month that the department planned to bring more mortgage-related cases in early 2014, while declining to name which companies were targeted. The probes could also lead to settlements instead of lawsuits. The cases stem from a government task force the Obama administration created in early 2012 to probe the sale of shoddy home loans repackaged for investors. Last month, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) entered a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department and other agencies, to resolve charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages it was

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Even more interesting is the prospect that Toronto-Dominion might seek to buy Citizens Bank, which is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS  ) . Rumors of a potential $13 billion deal for Citizens surfaced back in October, but thus far, nothing has happened to substantiate those rumors. With RBS facing scrutiny from the U.K. government to reorganize, it might be looking to divest its U.S. operations, and the move could greatly enhance TD’s presence in the States. But TD’s top executive said earlier this year that a potential acquisition of Citizens wouldn’t necessary match well with the bank’s usual guidelines for buyouts.

Hot Bank Companies To Own For 2014: U.S. Bancorp(USB)

U.S. Bancorp, a financial services holding company, provides various banking and financial services in the United States. It generates various deposit products, including checking accounts, savings accounts, money market savings, and time certificates of deposit accounts. The company originates a portfolio of loans comprising commercial loans and lease financing; commercial real estate; residential mortgage; and retail loans consisting of credit cards, retail leasing, home equity and second mortgages, and other retail loans. It also offers wholesale lending, equipment finance, small-ticket leasing, depository, treasury management, capital markets, foreign exchange, and international trade services to middle market, large corporate, commercial real estate, and public sector clients. In addition, U.S. Bancorp provides telebanking and automated teller machine (ATM) services, as well as cash management services. The company, through other subsidiaries, provides trust, private banking, financial advisory, investment management, retail brokerage services, insurance, and custody and fund services; and payment services, including consumer and business credit cards, stored-value cards, debit cards, corporate and purchasing card services, consumer lines of credit, and merchant processing. U.S. Bancorp primarily serves individuals, estates, foundations, business corporations, and charitable organizations. It operates a network of approximately 3,031 banking offices and 5,310 ATMs. The company was founded in 1863 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    US Bancorp (USB) managed to beat on earnings by a penny a share, but revenue fell by 4.4% year over year and was just in line with estimates.

    McDonald’s (MCD) beat on earnings by a penny, but revenue grew year over year by just 2% and came in $15 million short of Wall Street projections.

  • [By Charley Blaine]

    Also in the list: Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), up 13.31 percent; Citigroup (NYSE: C), up 8.8 percent; U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), up 5.33 percent; and Texas Capital Bancshares (NASDAQ: TCBI) up 8.18 percent.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) is nowhere near as large of a stake as Wells Fargo, but Warren Buffett keeps growing this stake as well. Its higher-end customer has to be attractive to Buffett. The stake grew to 79.11 million shares, versus a prior stake of 78.277 million shares. It had also been raised from 61.458 million shares prior to that. This stock was not reacting positively and was actually down $0.10 at $38.18 in mid-Friday trading. Still, its shares did briefly hit a new high of $38.39 on Friday. The consensus price target was $39.97 on last look, and new investors are getting a 2.4% yield here, even at these high prices.

Hot Bank Companies To Own For 2014: Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc (CFR)

Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (Cullen/Frost), incorporated in 1977, is a financial holding company and a bank holding company. The Company offers commercial and consumer banking services, as well as trust and investment management, mutual funds, Section 1031 property exchange services, investment banking, insurance, brokerage, leasing, asset-based lending, treasury management and item processing services. At December 31, 2011, Cullen/Frost had consolidated total assets of $20.3 billion. The Company operates in two segments: Banking and Frost Wealth Advisors. The Company serves a variety of industries including, among others, energy, manufacturing, services, construction, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, military and transportation. On January 1, 2012, the Company acquired Stone Partners, Inc., a Houston-based human resources consulting firm that specializes in compensation, benefits and outsourcing services. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company acquired an insurance agency in the San Antonio market area.

Cullen/Frost’s subsidiaries include The New Galveston Company, Cullen/Frost Capital Trust II (Trust II), The Frost National Bank (Frost Bank), Frost Insurance Agency, Inc., Frost Brokerage Services, Inc. (FBS), Frost Premium Finance Corporation, Frost Investment Advisors, LLC, Frost 1031 Exchange, LLC, Frost Securities, Inc. and Main Plaza Corporation. The Banking operating segment includes both commercial and consumer banking services, Frost Securities, Inc. and Frost Insurance Agency. Commercial banking services are provided to corporations and other business clients and include an array of lending and cash management products. Consumer banking services include direct lending and depository services. Frost Insurance Agency provides insurance brokerage services to individuals and businesses covering corporate and personal property and casualty products, as well as group health and life insurance products. F rost Securities, Inc. provides advisory and private equity s! ervices to middle market companies. The Frost Wealth Advisors operating segment includes fee-based services within private trust, retirement services, and financial management services, including personal wealth management and brokerage services. The parent company’s principal activities include the direct and indirect ownership of the Corporation’s banking and non-banking subsidiaries and the issuance of debt and equity.

The New Galveston Company

The New Galveston Company is a wholly owned second-tier financial holding company and bank holding company. The Company directly owns all of Cullen/Frost’s banking and non-banking subsidiaries with the exception of Cullen/Frost Capital Trust II.

Cullen/Frost Capital Trust II

Trust II is a business trust formed for the purpose of issuing trust preferred securities and lending the proceeds to Cullen/Frost. Trust II is a variable interest entity for which the Company is not t he primary beneficiary.

The Frost National Bank

The Frost National Bank (Frost Bank) is primarily engaged in the business of commercial and consumer banking through approximately 115 financial centers across Texas in the Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio regions. At December 31, 2011, Frost Bank had consolidated total assets of $20.3 billion and total deposits of $16.8 billion. Frost Bank provides commercial banking services to corporations and other business clients. Loans are made for a variety of general corporate purposes, including financing for industrial and commercial properties and to a lesser extent, financing for interim construction related to industrial and commercial properties, financing for equipment, inventories and accounts receivable, and acquisition financing, as well as commercial leasing and treasury management services.

Frost Bank provides a range of consumer b anking services, including checking accounts, savings progra! ms, autom! ated teller machines, overdraft facilities, installment and real estate loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, drive-in and night deposit services, safe deposit facilities, and brokerage services. Frost Bank provides international banking services to customers residing in or dealing with businesses located in Mexico. These services consist of accepting deposits, making loans, issuing letters of credit, handling foreign collections, transmitting funds, and to a limited extent, dealing in foreign exchange.

Frost Bank acts as correspondent for approximately 316 financial institutions, which are primarily banks in Texas. These banks maintain deposits with Frost Bank, which offers them a range of services, including check clearing, transfer of funds, fixed income security services, and securities custody and clearance services. Frost Bank provides a range of trust, investment, agency and custodial services for individual and corporate clients. These services i nclude the administration of estates and personal trusts, as well as the management of investment accounts for individuals, employee benefit plans and charitable foundations. Frost Bank’s Capital Markets Division offers services, such as sales and trading, new issue underwriting, money market trading, and securities safekeeping and clearance.

Frost Insurance Agency, Inc.

Frost Insurance Agency, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Frost Bank. Frost Insurance Agency, Inc. provides insurance brokerage services to individuals and businesses covering corporate and personal property and casualty insurance products, as well as group health and life insurance products.

Frost Brokerage Services, Inc.

FBS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Frost Bank. FBS provides brokerage services and performs other transactions or operations related to the sale and purchase of securities of all types.

Frost Premium Finance Corporat ion

Frost Premium Finance Corporation is a who! lly owned! subsidiary of Frost Bank. Frost Premium Finance Corporation makes loans to qualified borrowers for the purpose of financing their purchase of property and casualty insurance.

Frost Investment Advisors, LLC

Frost Investment Advisors, LLC is a registered investment advisor entity and a wholly owned subsidiary of Frost Bank. Frost Investment Advisors, LLC provides investors access to various Frost-managed mutual funds.

Frost 1031 Exchange, LLC

Frost 1031 Exchange, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Frost Bank. Frost 1031 Exchange, LLC assists customers in structuring the exchange of property such that the transactions result in a tax-deferred exchange in compliance with Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Frost Securities, Inc.

Frost Securities, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of The New Galveston Company. Frost Securities, Inc. provides advisory and private equity services to middle m arket companies in Texas.

Main Plaza Corporation

Main Plaza Corporation is a wholly owned non-banking subsidiary of The New Galveston Company. Main Plaza Corporation occasionally makes loans to qualified borrowers.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sarah Jones]

    Richemont (CFR) rallied 8.3 percent to 73.80 Swiss francs, the biggest gain since December 2008. The Swiss company said full- year net income climbed about 30 percent as the dollar’s strength against the euro boosted sales growth. Analysts had expected a 25 percent gain in profit, according to the average of 17 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

  • [By Jack Adamo]

    Steve Halpern: Another new recommendation is Cullen/Frost Bankers (CFR). There you’ve been recommending the 5.375% Perpetual Preferred Series A (CFR-PA). Now, you call Cullen/Frost one of the best little banks in Texas. What makes this such an attractive issue?

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Sanofi fell 2.6 percent after withdrawing a U.S. application for a diabetes drug. Cie. Financiere Richemont (CFR) SA dropped 2.3 percent as revenue missed analysts’ estimates. Vivendi SA advanced 2.7 percent after saying it will begin a formal study to separate its French phone unit from its media businesses. Home Retail Group Plc (HOME) surged 5.4 percent to a two-year high as sales exceeded projections.

  • [By Namitha Jagadeesh]

    UniCredit SpA and Standard Chartered Plc climbed more than 2 percent each as a gauge of lenders advanced. Randgold Resources Ltd. and Polymetal International Plc jumped more than 8 percent as the price of gold rose. Cie. Financiere Richemont SA (CFR) and Swatch Group AG advanced more than 1 percent as a report showed Swiss watch exports increased last month.

Hot Bank Companies To Own For 2014: M&T Bank Corporation (MTB)

M&T Bank Corporation operates as the holding company for M&T Bank and M&T Bank, National Association that provide commercial and retail banking services to individuals, corporations and other businesses, and institutions. It offers business loans and leases; business credit cards; deposit products, such as demand, savings, and time accounts; and financial services, including cash management, payroll and direct deposit, merchant credit card, and letters of credit. The company also provides residential real estate loans; multifamily commercial real estate loans; commercial real estate loans; one-to-four family residential mortgage loans; investment and trading securities; short-term and long-term borrowed funds; brokered certificates of deposit and interest rate swap agreements related thereto; and branch deposits. In addition, it offers foreign exchange, as well as asset management services. Further, the company provides consumer loans, and commercial loans and leases; cred it life, and accident and health reinsurance; and securities brokerage, investment advisory, and insurance agency services. As of December 31, 2009, it had 738 banking offices in New York State, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia; a commercial banking office in Ontario, Canada; and an office in George Town, Cayman Islands. The company was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Buffalo, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Mike Deane]

    M&T Bank (MTB) announced its fourth quarter and full year earnings before the bell on Friday, with quarterly GAAP earnings falling from last year’s Q4 while full year earnings rose 11%.

    MTB Earnings in Brief

    M&T Bank reported quarterly net income of $245.72 million, which was down from last year’s Q4 net income of $296.19 million. The company’s diluted EPS came in at $1.79 for the quarter, down from the $2.23 per diluted common share reported in last year’s Q4 results. MTB missed analysts’ estimates of $1.92 EPS. For the full year, MTB reported EPS of $8.38, marking an 11% increase from last year’s EPS of $7.54

    CFO Commentary

    Rene F. Jones, CFO and executive VP, had the following comments about the company’s earnings: “While expenses were elevated by investments in our infrastructure during 2013, M&T achieved a net operating return on average tangible common shareholders’ equity of 18.17% for the full year.  Our core capital position strengthened, as the Tier 1 common ratio grew to 9.25% at the 2013 year-end, up 17 basis points from September 30 and 168 basis points higher than at December 31, 2012.  We are also pleased with the continued improvement in credit quality.  M&T’s liquidity and risk profile was enhanced during the year through several actions, including replacing less liquid investment securities with Ginnie Mae securities and the securitization of loans held in the loan portfolio.  During the final two quarters of 2013 we invested heavily in several key areas, including risk management, capital planning and stress testing, regulatory compliance, and other operational and technology initiatives.  Those investments will better position M&T for the future.”

    No Dividend Change

    MTB did not announce a change to its quarterly dividend, and has not raised its dividend since 2007. It should be noted that MTB did not cut its dividend

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Sterne Agee’s top pick among regional banks is M&T Bank Corp. (NYSE: MTB). Sterne Agee cut its 2014 earnings per share (EPS) estimate on the Buy-rated bank from $8.20 to $7.90 and the 2015 estimate has been cut from $9.50 to $9.00. The bank’s fundamentals are strong and it continues to experience good organic lending growth. The consensus estimate on M&T shares from Thomson Reuters is around $121.20 yielding an implied gain of 6% based on Friday’s closing price of $114.34. The forward multiple is 13.86 based on the consensus estimate for 2014 EPS of $8.25. Based on the Sterne Agee estimate of $7.90, the forward P/E ratio is around 15.4. M&T’s 52-week range is $95.68 to $119.54.

Hot Bank Companies To Own For 2014: Barclays PLC (II)

Barclays PLC (Barclays) is a global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, wholesale banking, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services. The Company’s operations include its overseas offices, subsidiaries and associates. The Company operates in eight segments: UK Retail and Business Banking (UK RBB), Europe Retail and Business Banking (Europe RBB), Africa Retail and Business Banking (Africa RBB), Barclaycard, Barclays Investment Bank, Barclays Corporate Banking, Wealth and Investment Management, and Head Office and Other Operations. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Todd Sullivan]

    HHC has increased all our ownership percentage through the repurchasing of outstanding warrants.

    From the 13D/A
    On December 31, 2013, certain of the Reporting Persons entered into swaps for the benefit of certain Pershing Square Funds. Under the terms of the swaps, (i) the relevant Pershing Square Funds will be obligated to pay to the bank counterparty any negative price performance of the 5,399,839 notional number of Common Shares subject to the swaps as of the expiration date of such swaps, plus interest rates set forth in the applicable contracts, and (ii) the bank counterparty will be obligated to pay the relevant Pershing Square Funds any positive price performance of the 5,399,839 notional number Common Shares subject to the swaps as of the expiration date of the swaps. During the term of the swaps, cash will be paid by the bank counterparty to the relevant Pershing Square Fund in an amount equal to the amount of notional distributions or dividends paid by the Issuer in respect of such notional number of Common Shares. All balances will be settled in cash. The Pershing Square Funds’ counterparties for the swaps include entities related to Citibank, Nomura, Société Générale and UBS. The swaps do not give the Reporting Persons direct or indirect voting, investment or dispositive control over any securities of the Issuer and do not require the counterparty thereto to acquire, hold, vote or dispose of any securities of the Issuer. Accordingly, the Reporting Persons disclaim any beneficial ownership of any Common Shares that may be referenced in the swap contracts or Common Shares or other securities or financial instruments that may be held from time to time by any counterparty to the contracts.

Hot Bank Companies To Own For 2014: Westpac Banking Corp (WBK)

Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac), incorporated on August 23, 2002, is a banking organization. Westpac provides a range of banking and financial services, including retail, business and institutional banking, and wealth management services. It operates through three divisions: Australian Financial Services (AFS), Westpac Institutional Bank (WIB) and Westpac New Zealand. AFS encompasses Westpac’s retail and business banking operations in Australia, and includes the businesses of Westpac Retail & Business Banking, St.George Banking Group and BT Financial Group Australia (BFTG). Westpac RBB is responsible for sales and service for Westpac’s consumer, small-to-medium enterprise customers and commercial customers in Australia under the Westpac brands. St.George is responsible for sales, and service for its consumer, business and corporate customers in Australia under the St.George, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne and RAMS brands. BTFG is Westpac’s Australian wealth manageme nt division. WIB delivers a range of financial services to commercial, corporate, institutional and government customers with connections to Australia and New Zealand. Westpac New Zealand is responsible for the sales and service of banking, wealth and insurance products for consumers, business and institutional customers in New Zealand. In January 2014, the Company completed the acquisition of Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s Australian asset finance business, Capital Finance Australia Limited, and its Australian corporate loan portfolio, BOS International (Australia) Ltd.

Westpac RBB

Westpac RBB’s activities are conducted through its network of branches and business banking centers, home finance managers (HFMs) and specialized consumer and business relationship managers, with the support of cash flow, financial markets and wealth specialists, customer service centers, automated teller machines (ATMs) and Internet channels.

St.George

Consumer activities are conducted through a networ! k of branches, third party distributors, call centers, automated teller machines (ATMs), electronic funds transfer point-of-sale (EFTPOS) terminals and Internet banking services. Business and corporate customers are provided with a range of banking and financial products and services, including specialist advice for cash flow finance, trade finance, automotive and equipment finance, property finance, transaction banking and treasury services. Sales and service activities for business and corporate customers are conducted by relationship managers through business banking centers, Internet and customer service centre channels.

BTFG

BTFG’s funds management operations include the manufacturing and distribution of investment, superannuation and retirement products; investment platforms, such as Wrap and Master Trusts, and private banking and financial planning. Its Insurance solutions cover the manufacturing and distribution of life, general and lender s mortgage insurance. BTFG’s brands include Advance Asset Management, Ascalon, Asgard, BT, BT Investment Management (64.5% owned by Westpac), BT Select, Licensee Select, Magnitude, Securitor and the advice, private banking and insurance operations of Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, St.George and Westpac.

Westpac Institutional Bank (WIB)

WIB operates through industry relationship and specialist product teams, with knowledge in transactional banking, financial and debt capital markets, specialised capital, margin lending, broking and alternative investment solutions. Customers are supported through branches and subsidiaries located in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom and Asia.

Westpac New Zealand

Westpac conducts its New Zealand banking business through two banks in New Zealand; Westpac New Zealand

Limited, and Westpac Banking Corporation. Westpac New Zealand operates through network of branches a nd ATMs across both the North and South Islands. Business an! d institu! tional customers are served through relationship and specialist products teams. Banking products are provided under the Westpac and WIB brands, while insurance and wealth products are provided under Westpac Life and BT brands.

Westpac’s other business divisions includes Pacific Banking, which provides banking services for retail and business customers in seven Pacific countries. Branches, ATMs, telephone banking and Internet banking channels are used to deliver its business activities in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Tonga, Solomon Islands and Samoa. Pacific Banking’s financial products include personal savings accounts, business transactional accounts, personal and business lending products, business services and a range of international products; Group Services which include technology, banking operations, legal and property services; Treasury which focuses on management of the Group’s interest rate risk and funding requirements, and Cor e Support which include functions performed centrally including finance, risk and human resources.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Fede Zaldua]

    Most Australian banks seem to comply with (1) and (2). On the other hand, Australian banks have a loan to deposit ratio of 120% and around 9% of their funding is short term foreign funding. This means that their results shall be severely damaged by a steep depreciation of the local currency. A good example of a bank that is easy to short from the US (since it trades in the New York Stock Exchange) is the Westpac Banking Corporation (WBK). Westpac generates 90% of its revenues domestically and sells for 2014 13.1 times earnings and 2.1 times its 2014 expected book value. That said, there is one problem that you will find when you short Westpac’s shares: The bank pays a +5% cash dividend yield.

  • [By Selena Maranjian]

    More than a handful of international companies had strong performances over the past year. Australia-based Westpac Banking (NYSE: WBK  ) , for example, soared 54% — and still yields a fat 5.4%. It’s been hampered, though, by the slowdown in China, as China uses many commodities produced by Australia. Some worry about a housing slowdown hurting the company, too.

Hot Bank Companies To Own For 2014: 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%.

  • [By Sara Sjolin]

    Banks led the benchmark lower, with Société Générale SA (FR:GLE)  down 2.1% in Paris, HSBC Holdings PLC (UK:HSBA) (HBC)   (HK:5)  off 1.4% in London, and Banco Santander SA (ES:SAN)   (SAN)  1.6% lower in Madrid.

  • [By Barbara Kollmeyer]

    U.S.-listed shares of HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC)   (UK:HSBA)  could rise after the investment bank reported a 30% rise in third-quarter pretax profit, news that boosted shares more than 2% in London.

Hot Bank Companies To Own For 2014: J P Morgan Chase & Co(JPM)

JPMorgan Chase & Co., a financial holding company, provides various financial services worldwide. Its Investment Bank segment provides various investment banking products and services, including advising on corporate strategy and structure, capital-raising in equity and debt markets, risk management, market-making in cash securities and derivative instruments, prime brokerage, and research services serving corporations, financial institutions, governments, and institutional investors. The company?s Commercial Banking segment provides lending, treasury, investment banking, and asset management services to corporations, municipalities, financial institutions, and not-for-profit entities. Its Treasury & Securities Services segment offers cash management, trade, wholesale card, and liquidity products and services to small and mid-sized companies, multinational corporations, financial institutions, and government entities. It also holds, values, clears, and services securities, cash, and alternative investments for investors and broker-dealers, and manages depositary receipt programs worldwide. JPMorgan?s Asset Management segment provides investment and wealth management to institutions, retail investors, and high-net-worth individuals. This segment offers investment management in equities, fixed income, real estate, hedge funds, private equity, and liquidity products, as well as trust and estate, banking and brokerage services, and retirement services. Its Retail Financial Services segment offers retail banking and consumer lending services that include checking and savings accounts, mortgages, home equity and business loans, and investments through ATMs, online banking, and telephone banking, as well as auto dealerships and school financial-aid offices. The company?s Card Services segment issues credit cards and processes various credit card payments. JPMorgan Chase & Co. was founded in 1823 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    JPMorgan Chase (JPM) got its capital plan approved. So did the Bank of New York Mellon (BK) and Capital One Financial (COF). Citigroup (C), however, was left out in the cold after the Fed rejected its capital plans because of its “deficiencies” in capital planning and despite passing the Fed’s stress test.

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    Bernstein’s John McDonald and team express their disappointment:

    The Federal Reserve’s surprise “qualitative” rejection of Citigroup’s capital plan raises questions about the company’s relationship with its regulators and the necessary next steps and timing to restore confidence. While we still believe Citi will build and eventually distribute an increasing amount of capital over the next several years, the starting point for return has clearly been pushed out and the pace of increase will be more gradual. The reduction of buybacks hits EPS estimates and makes it more challenging for Citi to reach its 2015 ROTCE target of 10%. While the stock is undoubtedly cheap, we have trouble seeing it outperform over the next 6-12 months with the capital return on hold, ROTCE stuck in the 8%-9% range for the next 2 years, and earnings power still in question as the company battles high legal/repositioning costs and now possibly higher regulatory expenses. We still see good long-term value, but suspect the shares will r emain range-bound in the near to intermediate term amid lingering uncertainty. We move to a market-perform rating with a PT of $52, which equates to 9.5x our revised 2015 EPS estimate of $5.50.

    Shares of Citigroup have dropped 4.3% to $47.98 at 10:26 a.m., while JPMorgan Chase has ticked up 0.1% to $59.97, Capital One Financial has gained 1.8% to $76.30 and Bank of New York Mellon has risen 0.5% to $35.31.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Morgan Stanley (MS),  JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) had their capital plans approved. Morgan Stanley has gained 0.6%, JPMorgan Chase has dropped 0.8% and Bank of America has dropped 0.8%.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Big bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) also posted a new 52-week high yesterday and the shares traded down down 1.67% today at $59.91. The 52-week range for the stock is $46.05 to $61.48. In addition to the new high, the bank lost a potential replacement for Jamie Dimon yesterday when Mike Cavanaugh left the bank to sign on with private equity firm The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG). Trading volume for JPMorgan’s shares was about 5% below the daily average of around 19 million shares traded.

  • [By Victor Selva]

    In Mar 2013, following the approval by the FED, the bank announced to buy back as much as $5 billion in stock. This way credibility will be improving. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said “Buying back common shares is the best way to continue to drive value for our shareholders”. As of Dec 31, it reported Basel 1 Tier 1 common capital of $145 billion, and ratio of 11.19%. Its estimated Basel III Tier 1 common ratio stood at 9.96%. All the numbers showed that were well above the regulatory requirements On the other hand, JPMorgan (JPM) reported Basel I Tier 1 common capital of $149 billion, and ratio of 10.7% and estimated Basel III Tier 1 common ratio of 9.5%, while Wells Fargo (WFC) reported Tier 1 common equity ratio under Basel I of 10.82%and common equity Tier 1 ratio under Basel III off 9.78%.