A Review of Top U.S. Regional Bank Choices for 2009

 |  Includes: BXS, CHCO, DNBK, FHN, PBCT, TCB
by: David Hunkar

On January 2nd of this year, Stifel Nicolaus released a list of top U.S. bank choices for this year based on its research.

The top bank choices were:

BancorpSouth (NYSE:BXS)
City Holding (NASDAQ:CHCO)
Danvers Bancorp (NASDAQ:DNBK)
First Horizon (NYSE:FHN)
People’s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT)
TCF Financial (NYSE:TCB)

Stifel Nicolaus said:

“Though not unscathed by the credit cycle, these institutions maintain adequate capital levels, in our view, and, in many cases, will capitalize on weakened competitors.”

The Year-To-Date (YTD) performance and dividend yield of these stocks are as follows:

BancorpSouth (BXS)
YTD Change= -9.0%
Dividend Yield = 4.23%

City Holding (CHCO)
YTD Change= -12.4%
Dividend Yield = 4.75%

Danvers Bancorp (DNBK)
YTD Change= -1.5%
Dividend Yield = 0.61%

First Horizon (FHN)
YTD Change= 19.7%
Dividend Yield = N/A

People’s United Financial (PBCT)
YTD Change= -10.2%
Dividend Yield = 4.01%

TCF Financial (TCB)
YTD Change= 5.0%
Dividend Yield = 1.50%

The best performer in the list is Memphis, Tennessee-based First Horizon. The Wall Street Journal recently had a rave review of FHN saying that the bank had cleaned up its mortgage business and is a survivor of the credit crunch. Danvers Bancorp is a Massachusetts-based small S&L. We will review these picks again at the end of the year.