Top 10 Bank Stocks To Own For 2014

The Department of Defense awarded a total of 16 contracts Tuesday, worth a combined $2.7 billion. One award, however, stood out from the pack both for its sheer size and the unusual identity of the recipient: Polaris Industries (NYSE: PII  ) , a company better known for its snowmobiles and ATVs than for its military hardware.

Specifically, the Pentagon named Polaris’ specialized Polaris Defense subsidiary in a $382.5 million maximum value, fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract. This contract, which gives Polaris the right to compete for orders, is stated to be for the purchase of “fire and emergency vehicles” for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies, and has a May 17, 2018, performance completion date.

Polaris spokesman Richard Edwards said the company currently sells about $50 million worth of ATVs and side-by-side vehicles to the military annually. It does not expect to receive the full amount of this latest fire-and-emergency vehicle contract, as other companies are also participating in the contract, and bidding for individual task orders. But Polaris does hope to build its defense business out to $200 million eventually, a goal this contract win should help to achieve.

Top 10 Bank Stocks To Own For 2014: National Bank of Greece SA (NBG)

National Bank of Greece S.A. (the Bank), incorporated on March 30, 1841, is a Greece-based financial institution. It offers a range of integrated financial services, including corporate and investment banking, retail banking (including mortgage lending), leasing, stock brokerage, asset management and venture capital, insurance, real estate and consulting services. In addition, the Company is involved in various other businesses, including hotel and property management, real estate and information technology (IT) consulting. On May 19, 2009, the Bank established Ethniki Factors S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary. On June 8, 2009, Finansbank A.S. established Finans Faktoring Hizmetleri A.S. (Finans Factoring), a wholly owned subsidiary. On June 30, 2009, NBG Luxemburg Holding S.A. and NBG Luxfinance Holding S.A. were merged to NBG Asset Management Luxemburg S.A. On January 18, 2010, the Bank acquired 35% of the share capital of AKTOR FM. On October 16, 2009, United Bulgarian Ba nk A.D. (UBB) established UBB Factoring E.O.O.D., a wholly owned subsidiary of UBB. On September 15, 2009, the Bank disposed of its investment in Phosphoric Fertilizers Industry S.A.

At December 31, 2009, the Bank operated in Greece through 575 branches, one private banking unit, one unit for financial institutions and 10 specialized banking units that deal exclusively with troubled and non-performing loans. At December 31, 2009, the Bank had over 1500 automated teller machines (ATMs).

Retail Banking

The Bank offers retail customers a number of different types of deposit and investment products, as well as a range of services and products. The Bank offers a range of mortgage products, with floating, fixed, or a combination of fixed and floating interest rates. In February 2009, the Bank introduced a new floating rate product, the ESTIA MIKTO with flexible payment terms. In addition to fire and earthquake property insurance, the Bank o ffers an optional life insurance plan together with mortgage! s.

The Small Business Lending Unit (SBL Unit) a part of the Bank’s retail banking division consists of three credit centers situated in Athens, Thessaloniki and Patrastail. The SBL Unit offers term loans geared towards medium and long-term working capital needs for the financing of asset purchases.

Corporate and Investment Banking

The Bank offers corporate accounts with overdraft facilities, foreign currency loans, variable rate loans, and currency swaps and options for corporate customers. The Bank’s commercial loan portfolio in Greece comprises approximately 50,000 corporate clients, including small and medium sized enterprises. It offers the corporate clients a range of products and services, including financial and investment advisory services, deposit accounts, loans denominated in euro and other currencies, foreign exchange services, insurance products, custody arrangements and trade finance services. The Bank lends primarily in the form of credit lines, which are generally at variable rates of interest with payment terms of up to 12 months. In addition, the Bank provides letters of credit and guarantees for its clients.

The Bank’s shipping finance and syndicated loan portfolio consists of first-tier shipping groups involved in diversified shipping activities. The Bank provided project finance advisory services to the Hellenic Republic on two infrastructure projects: the new Attica Motorway and Kasteli International Airport.

Global Markets & Asset Management

The treasury activities provided by the Bank and its subsidiaries include

Greek and other sovereign securities trading, foreign exchange trading, interbank lending and borrowing in euro and other currency placements/ deposits, forward rate agreement trading, repurchase agreements, corporate bonds, and derivative products, such as options and interest rate and currency swaps. The Bank also conduc ts a portion of its treasury activities through its subsidia! ry CPT. A! s at December 31, 2009; CPT’s portfolio comprised Greek government bonds and corporate bonds, with a total value of EUR 1.8 billion.

The Bank offers its private banking services both domestically and internationally from its international private banking units in London. The Bank offers custodian services to its foreign and domestic institutional clients who hold equity securities listed on the ATHEX or listed Greek State debt, as well as remote settlement and custody services on the Cyprus Stock Exchange. The Bank offers trade settlements, safekeeping of securities, corporate action processing, income collection, proxy voting, tax reclamation, brokerage services, customized reporting, regular market flashes and information services. The Bank also acts as global custodian to its domestic institutional clients who invest in securities outside of Greece.

The domestic fund management business is operated by NBG Asset Management, which is wholly owned by the Group. NBG Asset Management manages funds that are made available to customers through the Bank’s extensive branch network. As at December 31, 2009, NBG Asset Management’s total assets under management were EUR 1.9 billion.

National Securities S.A offers a range of investment services to both individual and institutional customers. In September 2009, National Securities S.A. opened a branch in Nicosia, Cyprus, to provide brokerage services to local private investors.

Turkish Operations

The Bank’s Turkish operations include the Finansbank group of companies and NBG Bank (Malta) Ltd. Finansbank’s group of companies includes Finans Invest, Finans Leasing, Finans Portfolio Management, Finans Investment Trust, Finans Factoring, IBTech, Finans Pension, and Finans Consumer Finance. As at December 31, 2009, Finansbank operated through a network of 461 branches in 60 cities.

Finansbank Corporate Banking serves corporati ons through its eight branches in the four cities in Turkey.! Finansba! nk Commercial Banking serves medium-sized companies located in 23 cities in Turkey through its head office, four regional offices (three in Istanbul and one in Ankara) and a distribution network, which includes 61 branches.

Finansbank Investment Banking consists of project finance, corporate finance and technical consulting. Investment Banking acts as a client relations specialist while providing medium to long-term loans and other products. Finansbank Private Banking has been providing investment products and asset management services to individuals through eight private banking centers and 28 private banking corners located in Finansbank’s branches in the cities throughout Turkey.

International

The Bank’s international operations include the Bank’s branches in Albania, Egypt and Cyprus, as well as banking subsidiaries in six countries: NBG Cyprus; Stopanska Banka A.D. in FYROM; United Bulgarian Bank A.D. in Bulgaria; Banca Romaneasca S.A., in Romania; Vojvodjanska in Serbia; and the South African Bank of Athens, as well as other subsidiaries, primarily in the leasing sector. As at December 31, 2009, the Bank had foreign branches in four countries, including one in the United Kingdom, 30 in Albania, one in Cyprus, 15 in Egypt and one in Guernsey (which closed early in 2010).

Insurance

The Bank provides insurance services to individuals and companies through the wholly owned subsidiary Ethniki Insurance Group (EI) and Finans Pension. EI offers a range of products such as life, accident and health insurance for individuals and groups, fire, catastrophe, credit, motor, marine hull and cargo insurance, and general third party liability. EI operates through a network of 2,850 tied agents and 2,620 independent insurance brokers, in addition to selling bancassurance products through the Bank’s network. EI provides bancassurance products through our insurance brokerage subsidiary NBG B ancassurance S.A. (NBGB), which assumes no insurance underwr! iting ris! k, and the Bank’s extensive network in Greece.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    There’s just one problem with the big runups from Elephant Talk Communications, WidePoint Corporation, and CytRx Corporation. That problem? Before the surges, it was very unlikely any of them were on very many traders’ radars. In fact, it’s very likely most traders had never even heard of at least one of them (if not two). The trick to creating success as a speculator of small cap stocks is spotting a big winner before the runup starts to materialize, since (to be blunt, but honest), most small cap stock picks aren’t all that rewarding. Enter the National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG). The National Bank of Greece is also one of the small caps that has gone ballistic of late? No, it hasn’t – that’s just it. NBG hasn’t gone anywhere of late. If the very subtle clues are on target though, then this stock has a good shot at becoming the next WYY, ETAK, or CYTR, and you know about it before it actually happens.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Moody’s raised the rating of Greece’s government bonds to Caa3 with a “stable” outlook. Now we have five Greek banks being given credit rating upgrades as well. The one upgrade that ADR investors will want to watch is the rating on the National Bank of Greece S.A. (NYSE: NBG). Moody’s signaled that the upgrade reflects NBG’s more favorable asset-quality, funding profile and earnings than local peers. It also is based upon an expectation of further capital enhancements to address its weaker capital base.

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    What do Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHTP), National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG), and Walter Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WLT) have in common. They all have charts worth a much closer look right now. That’s not to say they’re all dropping the same bullish hint. In fact, WLT, NBG, and CHTP are all dropping distinctly-different hints as to their likely near-term future. But, trading action is trading action no matter which direction it’s in. Take a look.

    Yes: Truth be told, shares of the National Bank of Greece have been working on a rally for a while. It’s only been recently, however, that NBG has made it clear it’s not going to give up. The stock crossed above the 100-day moving average line (gray) early in the month, and has continued to peel away. Yes, National Bank of Greece hit something of a soft patch last week, but the 20-day moving average line (blue) has since stepped up to the plate as a technical floor, rekindling the uptrend yesterday day and toda y. Perhaps most bullish of all is the fact that NBG has started to increase volume on the way up, after it cleared the 100-day moving average line,

Top 10 Bank Stocks To Own For 2014: Customers Bancorp Inc (CUBI)

Customers Bancorp, Inc. (Customers Bancorp), incorporated in April 2010, through its wholly owned subsidiary Customers Bank (the Bank), provides financial products and services to small businesses, not-for-profits and consumers through its fourteen branches in Southeastern Pennsylvania (Bucks, Berks, Chester and Delaware Counties), Rye, New York (Westchester County) and Hamilton, New Jersey (Mercer County). Customers Bank also provides liquidity to the mortgage market worldwide through the operation of its mortgage warehouse business. As of December 31, 2011, Customers Bancorp had total assets of $2.08 billion, including net loans (including held for sale loans) of $1.50 billion, total deposits of $1.58 billion. The Company offers a range of banking products and financial services to its commercial and consumer customers in Suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Central New Jersey and Southeastern New York. It offers a range of lending products to cater to its customers’ n eeds, including small business loans, mortgage warehouse loans, multi-family and commercial real estate loans, residential mortgage loans and consumer loans. It also offers traditional depository products, including commercial and consumer checking accounts, non-interest-bearing demand accounts, money market deposit accounts, savings accounts and time deposit accounts and cash management services. On September 17, 2011, Customers Bank became a wholly owned subsidiary of Customers Bancorp. On September 17, 2011, Customers Bancorp acquired Berkshire Bancorp, Inc. and its subsidiary Berkshire Bank. In May 2013, Customers Bancorp Inc merged with CMS Bancorp Inc.

Lending Activities

The Company focuses its lending efforts to the lending areas, such as commercial lending, which includes business, small business and multi-family and commercial real estate lending; specialty Lending, which include warehouse lending, and consumer lending, which include local market mortgage lending and home equity lending. It also pr! ovide warehouse financing worldwide and multi-family lending in the Mid-Atlantic States.

The Bank’s commercial lending is segmented into three groups, which include multi-family and commercial real estate, business banking and small business banking. The small business banking platform originates loans, including small business administration loans, through the branch network sales force and a team of dedicated small business relationship managers. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it originated and closed $121.5 million of multi-family loans commitments. As of December 31, 2011, it had $536.9 million in commercial loans outstanding, comprising approximately 35.3% of its total loan portfolio (which includes loans held for sale). During 2011, it originated and closed $167.7 million of commercial loans and commitments. As of December 31, 2011, loans in its warehouse lending portfolio, as well as loans held for sale totaled $794.3 million outstanding, comp rising approximately 52.3% of its total loan portfolio (which includes loans held for sale). During the year ended December 31, 2011, it funded $7.7 billion of mortgage loans under warehouse facilities.

The Company offers a range of deposit products to its customers, including checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts and other deposit accounts, including fixed-rate, fixed-maturity retail time deposits ranging in terms from 30 days to five years, individual retirement accounts, and non-retail time deposits consisting of jumbo certificates greater than or equal to $100,000. As of December 31, 2011, its deposit portfolio was consisted of 54.9% of core deposits. Its financial products include Internet banking, wire transfers, electronic bill payment, lock box services, remote deposit capture services, courier services, merchant processing services, cash vault, controlled disbursements, positive pay and cash management services (including account re conciliation, collections and sweep accounts).

! Sources o! f Fund

The Company offers a range of deposit accounts, including checking, savings, money market and time deposits. Deposits are obtained primarily from its service area. As of December 31, 2011, the total deposits grew to $1.58 billion.

Investment Activities

The Company’s investment securities portfolio consists of United States Treasury, government agency and mortgage-backed securities (guaranteed by an agency of the United States government and non-agency guaranteed), municipal securities, domestic corporate debt, and asset-backed securities. In addition to generating revenue, it maintains the investment portfolio to manage interest rate risk, provide liquidity, provide collateral for other borrowings and diversify the credit risk of earning assets. As of December 31, 2011, $79.1 million of its investment securities were classified as available for sale (AFS). As of December 31, 2011, the fair value of its investment securities por tfolio was approximately $409.9 million. As of December 31, 2011, it held $319.5 million of investment securities that were classified as held to maturity (HTM).

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Wyomissing, Pa.-based Customers Bancorp (NASDAQ: CUBI  ) has a new CFO.

    On Tuesday, Customers Bancorp announced that Interim Chief Financial Officer James D. Hogan intends to retire from the bank on Aug. 13. Replacing Hogan will be Robert E. Wahlman, a new hire from Doral Financial, who will join Customers initially in the post of executive vice president on Aug. 5, and then be promoted to permanent CFO on the 13th.

Top 10 Bank Stocks To Own For 2014: Wilshire Bancorp Inc.(WIBC)

Wilshire Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Wilshire State Bank that offers a range of financial products and services. It accepts various deposit products that include certificates of deposit, regular savings accounts, money market accounts, checking and negotiable order of withdrawal accounts, installment savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. The company?s loan portfolio comprises commercial real estate and home mortgage loans, commercial business lending and trade finance, and small business administration lending, as well as consumer loans, including personal loans, auto loans, and other loans. It also provides trade finance services that include issuance and negotiation of letters of credit, handling of documentary collections, advising and negotiation of commercial letters of credit, transfer and issuance of back-to-back letters of credit, and trade finance lines of credit. In addition, the company offers Internet banking services, auto matic teller machines, and armored carrier services. It has 24 full-service branch offices in Southern California, Texas, New Jersey, and the greater New York City metropolitan area; and 6 loan production offices in Colorado, Georgia, Texas, New Jersey, and Virginia. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Los-Angeles, California-based bank holding company Wilshire Bancorp (WIBC) raised its quarterly dividend 67% to 5 cents per share, payable April 15 to shareholders of record as of March 31.
    WIBC Dividend Yield: 1.77%

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Los Angeles-based Wilshire Bancorp (NASDAQ: WIBC  ) is acquiring some Korean banking customers… in New Jersey.

    On Monday, Wilshire announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire New Jersey’s BankAsiana, a commercial bank with three branches serving the Korean-American community in the New York/New Jersey market, boasting total assets of $207.3 million, total net loans of $161.2 million, and total deposits of $164.6 million.

Top 10 Bank Stocks To Own For 2014: JPMorgan Chase & Co (AMJ)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMorgan Chase), incorporated on October 28, 1968, is a financial holding company. The Company is a global financial services firm and a banking institution in the United States, with global operations. The Company is engaged in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. JPMorgan Chase’s principal bank subsidiaries are JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association (JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.), a national bank with the United States branches in 23 states, and Chase Bank USA, National Association (Chase Bank USA, N.A.), a national bank that is the Company’s credit card-issuing bank. JPMorgan Chase’s non-bank subsidiary is J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMorgan Securities), the Company’s the United States investment banking firm. The bank and non-bank subsidiaries of JPMorgan Chase operate nationally, as well as through overseas bra nches and subsidiaries, representative offices and subsidiary foreign banks. One of the Company’s principal operating subsidiaries in the United Kingdom is J.P. Morgan Securities plc., a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. JPMorgan Chase’s activities are organized into four business segments, as well as Corporate/Private Equity. The Company’s consumer business is the Consumer & Community Banking segment. The Company’s wholesale businesses consists of Corporate & Investment Bank, Commercial Banking, and Asset Management segments. Effective January 7, 2014, JPMorgan Chase & Co acquired an undisclosed minority stake in Chi-X Global Holdings LLC.

Consumer & Community Banking

Consumer & Community Banking (CCB) serves consumers and businesses through personal service at bank branches and through automated teller machines (ATMs), online mobile and telephone banking.CCB is organized into Consumer & Business banking, Mortgage Banking (including M ortgage Production and Servicing, and Real Estate Portfolios! ) and Card, Merchant Services & Auto (Card). Consumer & Business Banking offers deposit and investment products and services to consumers, and lending, deposit, and cash management and payment solutions to small businesses. Mortgage Banking includes mortgage origination and servicing activities, as well as portfolios comprised of residential mortgages and home equity loans, including the purchased credit impaired (PCI) portfolio acquired in the Washington Mutual transaction. Mortgage origination channels consists of Retail, Wholesale, Correspondent and Correspondent negotiated transactions. Retail includes Borrowers who buy or refinance a home through direct contact with a mortgage banker employed by the Firm using a branch office, the Internet or by phone. Wholesale refers to third-party mortgage brokers loan application packages to the Company. The Company then underwrites and funds the loan. Correspondent includes Banks, thrifts, other mortgage banks and other financial i nstitutions that sell closed loans to the Firm. Correspondent negotiated transactions include mid-to-large-sized mortgage lenders, banks and bank-owned mortgage companies sell servicing to the Firm on an as-originated basis (excluding sales of bulk servicing transactions). Card issues credit cards to consumers and small businesses, provides payment services to corporate and public sector clients through its commercial card products, offers payment processing services to merchants, and provides auto and student loan services.

Corporate & Investment Bank

The Corporate & Investment Bank (CIB) offers a suite of investment banking, market-making, prime brokerage, and treasury and securities products and services to a global client base of corporations, investors, financial institutions, government and municipal entities. Within Banking, the CIB offers a range of investment banking products and services in all major capital markets, including advising on corporate strategy and structure, capital-raising in equity ! and debt ! markets, as well as loan origination and syndication. The Company also provides Treasury Services, which includes transaction services, comprised primarily of cash management and liquidity solutions, and trade finance products. The Markets & Investor Services segment of the CIB is engaged in cash securities and derivative instruments, and also offers risk management solutions, prime brokerage, and research. Markets & Investor Services also includes the Securities Services business, which holds, values, clears and services securities, cash and alternative investments for investors and broker-dealers, and manages depositary receipt programs globally.

Commercial Banking

Commercial Banking (CB) provides industry knowledge, and service to the United States multinational clients, including corporations, municipalities, financial institutions and non-profit entities with annual revenue generally ranging from $20 million to $2 billion. CB provides financin g to real estate investors and owners. CB also provides financial solutions, including lending, treasury services, investment banking and asset management to meet its clients’ domestic and international financial needs. Commercial Banking is divided into four client segments: Middle Market Banking, Commercial Term Lending, Corporate Client Banking, and Real Estate Banking. Middle Market Banking covers corporate, municipal, financial institution and not-for-profit clients. Commercial Term Lending provides term financing to real estate investors/owners for multifamily properties, as well as financing office, retail and industrial properties. Real Estate Banking provides full-service banking to investors and developers of institutional-grade real estate properties. Lending and investment activity within the Community Development Banking and Chase Capital segments are included in other.

Asset Management

Asset Management (AM) clients include institutio ns, high-net-worth individuals and retail investors. AM offe! rs invest! ment management across all major asset classes including equities, fixed income, alternatives and money market funds. AM also offers multi-asset investment management, providing solutions to a broad range of clients’ investment needs. For individual investors, AM also provides retirement products and services, brokerage and banking services including trust and estate, loans, mortgages and deposits. The majority of AM’s client assets are in actively managed portfolios. AM’s client segments consists of Private Banking, Institutional and Retail. Private Banking offers investment advice and wealth management services to high- and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families, money managers, business owners and small corporations worldwide, including investment management, capital markets and risk management, tax and estate planning, banking, capital raising and specialty-wealth advisory services. Institutional brings comprehensive global investment services including asset m anagement, pension analytics, asset-liability management and active risk-budgeting strategies to corporate and public institutions.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    The ETFs and funds held up on Monday:

    JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSEArca: AMJ) was down only 0.3% at $46.86, versus a 52-week range of $42.18 to $49.31. Volume was 1.1 million shares versus an average of about 628,000. ALPS Alerian MLP ETF (NYSEArca: AMLP) closed down 0.45 at $17.57, versus a 52-week range of $16.75 to $18.36. This ETF traded more than 3.1 million shares, up from an average of about 2.85 million shares. The closed-end fund of Kayne Anderson MLP Investment Company (NYSE: KYN) even managed to rise by 0.26% to $38.70 against a 52-week range of $33.11 to $40.22. Its volume was also almost 300,000 shares versus an average volume of closer to 218,000 shares.

    It still seems more than interesting that the investment community did not pound the rest of the sector in sympathy with Boardwalk. This Boardwalk MLP still has a $3.1 billion market cap, even after getting cut almost in half. Usually investors try to tie in peers when one implosion is seen versus others. It seems as though they are trusting that negative natural gas exposure here is not going to spill over into the rest of the sector, and maybe not even spill over into the price of units in its more direct peers.

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    The biggest problem with the fund is that while it yields an attractive 7.5 percent annually based on the most recent quarterly distribution, the total expense ratio is presently an astronomical 4.4 percent. This is bound to be a drag on performance over the long run (although it still potentially offers an attractive short-term play). As a result, my preference for a long term investment in and IRA would be to own an exchange-traded note (ETN) based on one of the Alerian indices that I reviewed recently in Navigating the Universe of MLPs. There are several to choose from, including the JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSE: AMJ), which presently yields 5 percent and has an expense ratio of 0.85 percent.

Top 10 Bank Stocks To Own For 2014: FirstMerit Corporation(FMER)

FirstMerit Corporation operates as the bank holding company for FirstMerit Bank, N.A. that provides a range of banking, fiduciary, financial, insurance, and investment services to corporate, institutional, and individual customers in northern and central Ohio, and western Pennsylvania. The company?s commercial business offers commercial term loans, revolving credit arrangements, asset-based lending, leasing, commercial mortgages, real estate construction lending, letters of credit, cash management services, and other depository products. Its retail business provides various financial products and services, including consumer direct and indirect installment loans, debit and credit cards, debit gift cards, residential mortgage loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, fixed and variable annuities, and ATM network services, as well as deposit products comprising checking, savings, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit. The company?s wealth business provides a sset management, private banking, financial planning, estate settlement and administration, and credit and deposit products and services. FirstMerit Corporation also offers trust and investment services, including personal trust and planning, and investment management; retirement plan services; retail mutual funds, other securities, variable and fixed annuities, personal disability and life insurance products, and brokerage services; and private banking services, including credit, deposit, and asset management solutions. As of December 31, 2009, it operated a network of 160 full service banking offices and 182 ATMs. The company was founded in 1855 and is headquartered in Akron, Ohio.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    The year ahead should be a great one for the smaller bank stocks. Larger regionals like Huntington Bancorp (HBAN) and Capital Ban Financial (CBF) have made it clear they intend to grow by acquisition in the years ahead. Banks like First Merit (FMER) and First Merchants (FRME) have done deals in the past year and are open to doing more to increase their market share and footprints. This should be the year the floodgates open and we see the first wave of merger activity in small banks.

Top 10 Bank Stocks To Own For 2014: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANEWF)

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) provides a range of banking and financial products and services to retail, small business, corporate and institutional clients. The Company conducts its operations in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region. It also operates in a range of other countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States. The Company operates on a divisional structure with Australia, International and Institutional Banking (IIB), New Zealand, and Global Wealth and Private Banking. As of September 30, 2012, the Company had 1,337 branches and other points of representation worldwide, excluding automatic teller machines (ATMs). In September 2012, it sold its remaining shareholding in Visa Inc. In May 2013, the Company ceased to be substantial holder in respect of ING Private Equity Access Limited. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks enjoyed early Monday gains after an advance for commodities and U.S. stocks since the last session, with a relatively good reception for earnings. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) improved by 0.4% to 5,376.30, with miners tracking gains in gold and copper. Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) added 1.3%, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) traded 1.1% higher, while gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (AU:KCN) (KSKGF) rallied 2.2% and 4.7%, respectively. Banks rose after Wall Street shares climbed on Friday, with National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) up 1% and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) adding 0.9%, though Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) dropped 2.4% as it traded without rights to its latest dividend. Coal transport firm Aurizon Holdings Ltd. (AU:AZJ) (QRNNF) tacked on 2.1% as its fiscal first-half underlying profit increased 18%, though net profit f

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks shimmied lower in early Tuesday trade, with earnings news moving the share prices of some major names. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) moved off a flat open to trade down 0.1% at 5,218.50 after rising 1.1% the previous day. Financial blue chip Macquarie Group Ltd. (AU:MQG) (MCQEF) lost 2.7% following the release of its operational update, with broker BBY telling Dow Jones Newswires that the quarterly statement was very similar to its previous update, signaling no change to earnings expectations. Shares of Cochlear Ltd. (AU:COH) (CHEOF) , the world’s top hearing-implant maker, snapped 9.1% lower after the firm posted a larger-than-expected 73% drop in profit from a year earlier. However, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) managed to rise 0.5% after reporting a quarterly profit gain of more than 20% with fewer non-performing loans. Meanwhile, further gains for gold overnight lifted Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) by 1.3%, Evolution Mining Ltd. (AU:EVN) (CAHPF) by 2.5% and St. Barbara Ltd. (AU:SBM) by 3%. On the downside for miners, Paladin Energy Ltd. (AU:PDN) (PALAF) lost 2.5% as selling surfac

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks rose early Thursday, with miners leading the way higher after a positive production report from Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) , while overall sentiment got a lift from U.S. gains overnight. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) improved by 0.6% to 5,274.30, with shares of Rio Tinto rising 2.2% after reporting record high iron-ore shipments for 2013 and a sold gain for copper output. Rio’s peers also advanced, with BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) up 1.7%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) ahead by 3.2%, and Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) adding 2.4%. Among the gold producers, Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) surged 7.2% as J.P. Morgan raised its rating on the shares to overweight from neutral. Banks weren’t as lucky, however, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) down 0.3%, while Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBNF) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) lost 0.7% each as Citibank downgraded the trio t

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks edged lower Thursday, as a mostly soft lead from the U.S. markets helped weigh on the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) , which lost 0.2% to 5,306.40. Mining stocks moved mostly lower as a rising dollar depressed some key commodity prices overnight, with Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) down 1%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) off 1.5%, and Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) 1.1% lower. The big four banks all started lower as well, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) down 0.2% each, while National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) lost 0.4%, and Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBNF) fell 0.5%. Retailers were mixed ahead of retail-sales data due out later in the day, as Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. (AU:HVN) (HNORY) fell 0.5% and Myer Holdings Ltd. (AU:MYR) lost 0.7%, while David Jones Ltd.

Top 10 Bank Stocks To Own For 2014: Credit Lyonnais SA (CLP)

Crédit Lyonnais Group is engaged in retail financial services, asset management and investment and corporate banking. The Company’s banking activities include personal banking, professional and small business banking, e-banking and middle market banking. The Company offers cash management and associated services, international business, advisory services and corporate finance. Its asset management services are involved in mutual funds, institutional clients and defining the investment strategy for the domestic private banking unit. The Company also offers structured finance, export finance and international trade finance. Crédit Lyonnais has a network of 1,834 branches in France and operations in 55 countries worldwide. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Apartment-only real estate investment trust Mid-America Apartment Communities  (NYSE: MAA  ) once again is snapping up properties, this time announcing Monday that it is adding multifamily housing operator Colonial Properties Trust (NYSE: CLP  ) to its portfolio in an $8.6 billion transaction. 

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Multifamily real estate investment trust Colonial Properties Trust (NYSE: CLP  ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.21 per share, the same rate it’s paid for the past two quarters after raising the payout 17% from $0.18 per share.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Another growth driver looks to be its pending $8.6 billion merger with Colonial Properties Trust (NYSE: CLP  ) . The combined entity would become the second-largest U.S. based residential REIT, with 85,000 apartment units. Opposition to the deal from some of Colonial’s shareholders does exist, but comparatively speaking, MAA is in great shape either way. It already has a high occupancy rate, and the addition of Colonial’s properties would only further serve to enhance its rental pricing power

Top 10 Bank Stocks To Own For 2014: Banco Bradesco SA (BBD)

Banco Bradesco S.A. (the Bank), incorporated on November 5, 1943, is commercial bank. The Bank offers a range of banking and financial products and services in Brazil and abroad to individuals, large, midsized and small companies and local and international corporations and institutions. It operates in two segments: the banking, and the insurance, pension and capitalization bonds. Its products and services encompass banking operations, such as loans and advances and deposittaking, credit card issuance, purchasing consortiums, insurance, leasing, payment collection and processing, pension plans, asset management and brokerage services. The main services it offers through Bradesco Expresso are receipt and submission of account applications; receipt and submission of account applications; Social Security National Service (INSS) benefit payments; checking and savings account deposits, and receipt of consumption bills, bank charges and taxes. In May, 2011, the Bank acquired Ban co do Estado do Rio de Janeiro S.A. (BERJ).

Banking

The Banking segment includes deposit-taking with clients, including checking accounts, savings accounts and time deposits; loans and advances (individuals and companies, real estate financing, microcredit, onlending BNDES funds, rural credit, leasing, among others); credit cards, debit cards and pre-paid cards; management of receipts and payments; asset management; services related to capital markets and investment banking activities; intermediation and trading services; custody, depositary and controllership services; international banking services, and purchasing consortiums.

The Bank offers a variety of deposit products and services to our customers through its branches, including Non-interest bearing checking accounts, such as Easy Account, Click Account, Academic Account and Cell Phone Bonus Account; traditional savings accounts; time deposits, and deposits from financial institut ions. As of December 31, 2011, it had 43.4 million savings a! ccounts. It offers its customers certain additional services, such as identified deposits and real-time banking transfers. Its loans and advances to customers, consumer credit, corporate and agricultural-sector loans, totaled R$263.5 billion as of December 31, 2011.

The Bank’s loan portfolio consists of short-term loans, vehicle financings and overdraft loans on checking accounts. It also provides revolving credit facilities and traditional term loans. As of December 31, 2011, it had outstanding advances, vehicle financings, consumer loans and revolving credit totaling R$58.0 billion, or 22.0% of its portfolio of loans and advances. Banco Bradesco Financiamentos (Bradesco Financiamentos) offers direct-to-consumer credit and leasing for the acquisition of vehicles and payroll-deductible loans to the public and private sectors ‘in Brazil. Supported by BF Promotora de Vendas Ltda. (BF Promotora), and using the Bradesco Financiamentos brand, the Bank operates thro ugh its network of correspondents in Brazil, consisting of retailers and dealers selling light vehicles, trucks and motorcycles, to offer financing and/or leasing for vehicles. Through Bradesco Promotora brand, it offer payroll-deductible loans to social security retirees and pensioners, public-sector employees, military personnel and private-sector companies sponsoring plans, and other aggregated products (insurance, capitalization bonds, cards, purchasing consortiums, and others).

As of December 31, 2011, the Bank had 63,156 outstanding real estate loans. As of December 31, 2011, the aggregate outstanding amount of its real estate loans amounted to R$15.9 billion, representing 6% of its portfolio of loans and advances. As of December 31, 2011, it had 69,491 microcredit loans outstanding, totaling R$62.8 million. Its BNDES onlending portfolio totaled R$35.4 billion as of December 31, 2011.

The Bank provides traditional loans for the ongoing needs o f its corporate customers. It had R$85.8 billion of outstand! ing other! local commercial loans, accounting for 32.5% of its portfolio of loans and advances as of December 31, 2011. It offers a range of loans to its Brazilian corporate customers, including short-term loans of 29 days or less; guaranteed checking accounts and corporate overdraft loans; discounting trade receivables, promissory notes, checks, credit card and supplier receivables, and a number of other receivables; financing for purchase and sale of goods and services; corporate real estate financing, and investment lines for acquisition of assets and machinery. As of December 31, 2011, the Bank had R$11 billion in outstanding rural loans, representing 4.2% of its portfolio of loans and advances. The Bank conducts its leasing operations through its primary leasing subsidiary, Bradesco Leasing and also through Bradesco Financiamentos.

The Bank offers electronic solutions for receipt and payment management solutions, which include collection and payment services and onli ne resource management enabling its customers to pay suppliers, salaries, and taxes and other levies to governmental or public entities. The global cash management concept provides solutions for multinationals in Brazil and/or domestic companies operating abroad. It manages third-party assets through mutual funds; individual and corporate investment portfolios; pension funds, including assets guaranteeing the technical provisions of Bradesco Vida e Previdencia, and insurance companies, including assets guaranteeing the technical provisions of Bradesco Seguros.

The Bank’s subsidiaries Bradesco S.A. CTVM and Agora S.A. CTVM (or Bradesco Corretora and Agora Corretora, respectively) trade stocks, options, stock lending, public offerings and forwards. They also offer a range of products, such as Brazilian government securities (under the Tesouro Direto program), BM&F trading, investor clubs and investment funds.

The Bank offers a range of international services, such as foreign exchange transactions, foreign tr! ade finan! ce, lines of credit and banking. As of December 31, 2011, its international banking services included New York City, a branch and Bradesco Securities Inc., its subsidiary brokerage firm, or Bradesco Securities United States, and its subsidiary Bradesco North America LLC, or Bradesco North America; London, Bradesco Securities U.K., its subsidiary, or Bradesco Securities U.K.; Cayman Islands, two Bradesco branches and its subsidiary, Cidade Capital Markets Ltd., or Cidade Capital Markets; Argentina, Banco Bradesco Argentina S.A., its subsidiary, or Bradesco Argentina; Banco Bradesco Luxemburgo S.A. its subsidiary, or Bradesco Europe; Japan, Bradesco Services Co. Ltd., its subsidiary, or Bradesco Services Japan; in Hong Kong, its subsidiary Bradesco Trade Services Ltd, or Bradesco Trade, and in Mexico, its subsidiary Ibi Services, Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, or Ibi Mexico.

The Bank’s Brazilian foreign-trade related business consists of export and import finance. In addition to import and export finance, its customers have access to a range of services and foreign exchange products, such as purchasing and selling travelers checks and foreign currency paper money; cross border money transfers; advance payment for exports; accounts abroad in foreign currency; cash holding in other countries; collecting import and export receivables; repaid cards with foreign currency (individual), and structured foreign currency transactions through its foreign units.

Insurance, pension plans and capitalization bonds

The Bank offers insurance products through a number of different entities, which it refers to collectively as Grupo Bradesco Seguros. It offers life, personal accident and random events insurance through its subsidiary Bradesco Vida e Previdencia. It offers health insurance policies through Bradesco Saude and its subsidiaries for small, medium or large companies. It provides automobile, property/casualty and liability products through its subsidiary Bradesco Auto! /RE. It a! lso offers certain automobile, health, and property/casualty insurance products directly through its Website.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Banco Bradesco S.A. (NYSE: BBD) is one of the key banks and financial services companies in Brazil. A Yahoo! Finance reference showed that the 2012 figures were as follows: 4,686 branches; 34,859 ATMs; 12,975 shared ATMs under the Banco24Horas brand; and 5,237 special points of banking services. At $11.65, the 52-week trading range is $11.29 to $17.79. This ADR is down 7% so far in 2014.

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    And speaking of top dividend stocks with high capital gains potential, next on the list of are Brazilian banking groups Banco Bradesco (BBD) and Banco Itau (ITUB) — two monthly dividend stocks you must consider.

Top 10 Bank Stocks To Own For 2014: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce(CM)

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce provides various financial products, services, and advice to individual, small business, commercial, corporate, and institutional clients in Canada and internationally. The company offers retail markets services comprising personal banking, business banking, and wealth management services, as well as investment management services to retail and institutional clients. It also provides wholesale banking services, including credit, capital markets, investment banking, merchant banking, and research products and services to government, institutional, corporate, and retail clients. The company provides its services through its branch network, automated bank machines, mobile banking, and online banking site. As of June 3, 2011, it operated approximately 1,100 branches and 4,000 automated bank machines in Canada. The company was founded in 1867 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Will Ashworth]

    NTIOF Rating: 7

    Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM)

    Dividend Yield: 4.4%

    According to a report by TD Securities, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM) generates 80% of its total loans in Canada, higher than any other major Canadian bank.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    It’s easy for U.S. investors to paint Canadian banks with a single brush-stroke, as the differences in the banking system helped keep Bank of Montreal and its peers safer during the financial crisis five years ago. As Canada’s housing market has kept rising even after the housing bust south of its border, however, investors have gotten increasingly concerned about the potential health of its banks, especially the largest ones. With downgrades for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (NYSE: CM  ) , Toronto-Dominion (NYSE: TD  ) , and Bank of Montreal among a total of six banks in January, Moody’s identified higher debt levels among Canadian consumers as driving potential risk for the economy.

Top 10 Bank Stocks To Own For 2014: Morgan Stanley(MS)

Morgan Stanley, a financial holding company, provides various financial products and services to corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals worldwide. It operates in three segments: Institutional Securities, Global Wealth Management Group, and Asset Management. The Institutional Securities segment offers financial advisory services on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, corporate restructurings, recapitalizations, spin-offs, exchange offers, and leveraged buyouts and takeover defenses, as well as shareholder relations, capital raising, corporate lending, and investments. This segment also engages in sales, trading, financing, and market-making activities, including equity trading, commodities, and interest rates, credit, and currencies, as well as financing services, such as prime brokerage, consolidated clearance, settlement, custody, financing, and portfolio reporting services. The Global Wealth Management Group segment provide s brokerage and investment advisory services covering various investment alternatives comprising equities, options, futures, foreign currencies, precious metals, fixed income securities, mutual funds, structured products, alternative investments, unit investment trusts, managed futures, separately managed accounts, and mutual fund asset allocation programs; education savings programs, financial and wealth planning services, and annuity and insurance products; credit and other lending products; cash management services; retirement services; and trust and fiduciary services. The Asset Management segment offers products and services in equity, fixed income, and alternative investments, such as hedge funds, fund of funds, real estate, private equity, and infrastructure to institutional and retail clients through proprietary and third party distribution channels. This segment also involves in investment and merchant banking activities. The company was founded in 1935 and is head q uartered in New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Nearly everyone passed the bank stress tests, but if this is passing, I would hate to see what happens to banks like JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), Morgan Stanley (MS), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Bank of America (BAC) if they’d failed.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The sale comes amid a realignment in the global commodities-trading business as tighter regulation and capital constraints have made it more difficult for big Wall Street banks to participate in the high-cost, low-margin business…Morgan Stanley (MS) agreed to sell its oil storage and trading business to state-backed Russian oil giant OAO Rosneft at the end of last year. Deutsche Bank, one of the banking industry’s biggest players in the commodities sector, said in December it would exit almost all its commodity businesses around the world. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) has entertained offers for certain units, such as its Metro International Trade Services group of metals warehouses.

  • [By WWW.GURUFOCUS.COM]

    Investment broker Morgan Stanley (MS) was a strong performer during the quarter as the company reported another period of improving margins and generally stronger profitability. Additionally, its capital levels continue to improve.From Diamond Hill Capital (Trades, Portfolio)’s Fourth Quarter 2013 Commentary.
    Also check out: Diamond Hill Capital Undervalued Stocks Diamond Hill Capital Top Growth Companies Diamond Hill Capital High Yield stocks, and Stocks that Diamond Hill Capital keeps buying
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  • [By Trey Thoelcke]

    Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) reportedly is considering its options, including a possible outright sale, for its private Swiss private banking business. The private bank has about 10 billion Swiss francs, or near $11.3 billion, in assets under management. Morgan Stanley declined to comment.