Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now


GM headquarters in Detroit. Photo credit: General Motors Co.

General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) reported first-quarter earnings of $865 million on Thursday, a better than expected result driven in part by a surprisingly narrow loss in Europe.

Excluding one-time items, GM earned $0.67 a share in the quarter, handily beating the Wall Street consensus estimate of $0.54.

Given GM’s size and sales, $865 million isn’t a big profit. It’s much less than the $1.6 billion first-quarter profit that smaller rival Ford (NYSE: F  ) reported last week.


But sometimes, the headline number doesn’t tell the whole story. This is one of those cases.

Europe may finally be turning around
One of the big stories here was GM’s loss in Europe: At $175 million, it was much smaller than nearly anyone had expected. Most observers, including your humble Fool, expected a loss in the $400 million-$500 million range.

Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: Protective Life Corporation(PL)

Protective Life Corporation and its subsidiaries engage in the production, distribution, and administration of insurance and investment products in the United States. Its Life Marketing segment markets universal life, variable universal life, level premium term insurance, and bank-owned life insurance products primarily through a network of independent insurance agents and brokers, stockbrokers, and independent marketing organizations. The company?s Acquisitions segment focuses on acquiring, converting, and servicing life insurance policies and annuity products sold to individuals, which are acquired from other companies. Its Annuities segment markets variable annuity products that offer the policyholder the opportunity to invest in various investment accounts; and fixed annuity products, such as modified guaranteed annuities, single premium deferred annuities, single premium immediate annuities, and equity indexed annuities primarily through broker-dealers, financial ins titutions, and independent agents and brokers. The company?s Stable Value Products segment offers guaranteed funding agreements to special purpose entities; fixed and floating rate funding agreements directly to the trustees of municipal bond proceeds, institutional investors, bank trust departments, and money market funds; and guaranteed investment contracts to qualified retirement savings plans. Its Asset Protection segment primarily markets extended service contracts, and credit life and disability insurance to protect consumers? investments in automobiles, watercraft, and recreational vehicles; and markets a guaranteed asset protection product primarily through a national network of approximately 3,750 automobile, marine, and recreational vehicle dealers. The company was founded in 1907 and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By David Sterman]

    My favorite insurers: AIG (NYSE: AIG) (which I discussed a few months ago), Protective Life (NYSE: PL) and Reinsurance Group of America (NYSE: RGA).

Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: Fifth Street Senior Floating Rate Corp (FSFR)

Fifth Street Senior Floating Rate Corp., incorporated on May 22, 2013, is a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The Company investment objective is to maximize the Company’s portfolio’s total return by generating income from its debt investments while seeking to preserve its capital. The Company intends to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in senior secured loans, including first lien, unitranche and second lien debt instruments, that pay interest at rates, which are determined periodically on the basis of a floating base lending rate, made to private middle market companies whose debt is rated below investment grade, which the Company refer to collectively as senior loans. The Company’s investment adviser is Fifth Street Management.


The Company may also invest in senior unsecured loans issued by private middle market companies and, to a lesser extent, subordinated loans issued by private middle market compani es and senior and subordinated loans issued by public companies. Under normal market conditions, at least 80% of the value of its net assets plus borrowings for investment purposes will be invested in floating rate senior loans. Senior loans pay interest at rates, which are determined periodically on the basis of the London-Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus a premium. Senior loans in which the Company expects to invest are made to United States and, to a limited extent, non- United States corporations, partnerships and other business entities which operate in various industries and geographical regions.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Management investment company Fifth Street Senior Floating Rate Corp. (FSFR) raised its quarterly dividend 15% to 23 cents per share, payable April 15 to shareholders of record as of March 31.
    FSFR Stock Dividend Yield: 6.88%

Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: Macquarie Group Ltd (MQG)

Macquarie Group Limited acts as a non-operating holding company (NOHC). The Company’s segments include Macquarie Funds Group, Corporate and Asset Finance, Banking and Financial Services Group, Macquarie Securities Group, Macquarie Capital, Fixed Income, and Currencies and Commodities. The Company is a financial services provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment and funds management services. The Company’s products and services include Asset and Wealth Management, which is engaged in distribution and manufacture of funds management products; financial markets involves trading in fixed income, equities, currency, commodities and derivative products; capital markets include corporate and structured finance. In February 2014, Endeavour Mining Corporation announced that Macquarie Group Ltd and its controlled bodies corporate ceased to be a shareholder in the capital of the Company. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Adam Haigh]

    Esprit Holdings Ltd. (330), a Hong Kong-based clothier that counts Europe as its biggest market, climbed 2.4 percent. Macquarie (MQG) Group Ltd. surged 11 percent, its biggest gain in four years, as profit at the Australia’s largest investment bank topped estimates. Fletcher Building Ltd., a manufacturer of construction products, sank 6.5 percent in Wellington as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its outlook for building-material shares.

Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: Camden Property Trust (CPT)

Camden Property Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is engaged in the ownership, management, development, acquisition, and construction of multi-family apartment communities. As each of its communities has similar economic characteristics, residents, amenities, and services, its operations have been aggregated into one segment.


In April 2011, it sold one of its land parcels to one of the Funds. In June 2011, it sold another land parcel to the Fund. In August 2011, the Company acquired 30.1 acres of land located in Atlanta, Georgia. In December 2011, it acquired 2.2 acres of land in Glendale, California. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it sold two properties consisting of 788 units located in Dallas, Texas. During 2011, the Funds acquired 18 multifamily properties totaling 6,076 units located in the Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Tampa and Atlanta. In January 2012, one of the Funds acquired one multifamily property consis ted of 350 units located in Raleigh, North Carolina.


As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned interests in, operated, or were developing 206 multifamily properties comprising 69,794 apartment homes across the United States. Of these 206 properties, 10 properties were under development. In addition, it owns land parcels, which it focuses on developing into multifamily apartment communities.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Michael Lewis]

    Take Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT  ) , for example. The stock is up around 16% over two years — respectable, but incongruent with the industry trends. Since 2010, operating cash flow has increased more than 30%. The company pays a 3.5% dividend and trades at 16.5 times projected one-year earnings. For comparison, Lennar trades at 18 times earnings, while KB Homes trades at more than 20 times forward earnings.

Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: California Republic Bancorp (CRPB)


California Republic Bank (the Bank) provides an integrated banking solution to its customers. The Company provides a range of products and services, such as deposit and cash management, loans and private banking. The deposit and cash management include real time, online Internet banking, business analyzed checking, IOLTA accounts, NOW Accounts, nationwide network of cash vault centers, remote Deposit capture, fully automated domestic and international wire transfers, lockbox processing services, free worldwide automated teller machines (ATM) and debit cards, credit cards and purchase card services, customized merchant banking services, fraud prevention products including positive-pay, secure online applications, including token device with internal control access, and contractor Retention Escrow Accounts.


The loan services include unsecured lines of credit, secured revolving lines of credit, working capital loans, equipment financing, asset based credit lines, commercial owner occupied real estate loans, investor real estate loans and construction loans. Its private banking includes full array of private banking loans and lines of credit, Bill pay services, and stock secured credit lines and loans.

The Bank provides banking services to commercial entities, their owners, high net-worth individuals and active investors. It provides commercial banking, lending services, deposit services, contractor retention escrow accounts, cash management, remote deposit capture, private banking, online banking and auto finance.


The commercial banking includes online banking services, cash management products and services, remote deposit capture, contractor retention escrow accounts, domestic and international wire transfers, checking accounts, NOW accounts, money market accounts (MMA), savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), corporate credit card, analyzed accounts and IOLTA accounts. The Bank offer lines of credit to provide working capital for day-to-day operations, term loan! s for equipment, and commercial real estate loans for facilities and for investment portfolio.

The cash management includes Account Analysis, Master Agreement Accounts, Account Reconciliation, Remote Deposit Capture (RDC), Online Cash Management, Automated Clearing House (ACH) Services, Bill Pay, Lockbox Services, Positive Pay, Zero Balancing Accounts, Merchant Card, Reverse Wires, Statements on CD Rom, Corporate Credit Card, Courier Service and Bank by Mail.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By CRWE]

    Today, CRPB remains (0.00%) +0.000 at $19.00 thus far (ref. google finance Delayed:   11:35AM EDT July 29, 2013).

    California Republic Bancorp previously reported its results for the second-quarter 2013, reporting quarterly net income of $2.8 million, record net interest margin of 6.41%, record assets of $737.1 million and record deposits of $669.7 million.

    CEO Jon Wilcox stated, “In the second-quarter we not only experienced strong deposit and loan growth, but also continued to invest in our people and infrastructure both in California as well as nationally, while increasing our bottom line and maintaining solid credit quality.”