This morning I added Beneficial Mutual Bancorp (NASDAQ:BNCL) to the Barchart Van Meerten Speculative portfolio. This bank makes money the old-fashioned way: It takes in deposits and makes loans in the local community markets it is familiar with. Community banks with strong, local, long-term ties should be able to make the most of the recovery in their home local markets.
BNCL is a community-based, diversified financial services company providing consumer and commercial banking services. Its principal subsidiary, Beneficial Bank, has served individuals and businesses in the Delaware Valley area for more than 150 years. The bank is the oldest and largest bank headquartered in Philadelphia, Penn. with 72 offices in the greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey regions. Insurance services are offered through Beneficial Insurance Services, LLC and wealth management services are offered through Beneficial Advisors, LLC, both wholly owned subsidiaries of the bank.
The stock hit 14 new highs and appreciated 13.99% in the last month, earning it a 72% Barchart overall technical buy signal. The Relative Strength Index is 65.42%, and it trades around 9.21 with a 50-day moving average of 8.32.
Wall Street brokerages have this on their buy lists of regional banks, with five buy and two hold recommendations published. They expect revenue to increase by 11.30% this year. The real story is next year's EPS, which is estimated to increase by 387.50% and continue by another 10.00% annually for at least five years.
Although the bank is local, it is well known nationally. For a small regional bank, it's gotten noticed by the general investors over on Motley Fool, with the CAPS members thinking the stock will beat the market by a vote of 24-10; the All Stars are in agreement, 6-3. Fool notes that there have been three positive Wall Street columnist articles recently.
Disclosure: I am long BNCL.