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By Bert Wilkison

U.S. banks and the financial sector as a whole have been on an impressive run over recent weeks as concerns about the collapse of the EU have eased a bit as has the possibility of a Greek default "contagion" reaching America's shores and negatively impacting its banking system. Signs of a slow (most say sluggish) but steady U.S. economic recovery and improving investor confidence have also contributed to the sector's recent strength, among other items.

Often overlooked is the foreign banking industry, which has also seen marked improvement since the turn of the calendar. Of the 34 NYSE-listed foreign banks, I have identified the six that should have their investors most satisfied with each company's respective stock performances, as the worst of the bunch is still showing an 11.32% YTD increase in share price.

1. Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS): Last Price $15.80 USD

1-Week Price Change: 4.03%

4-Week Price Change: 4.86%

12-Week Price Change: 44.19%

YTD Price Change: 43.40%

Average Daily Volume: 5.07M

From the company:

We have a clear sense of our business purpose - to help individuals, businesses and economies progress and grow. We use the term "Citizenship", one of our four execution priorities, to capture that business purpose. From basic accounts in developing markets to financial expertise in high street branches, Barclays services include credit cards, insurance, loans, mortgages and more.

(Click to enlarge images)

Chart

With 3.05B shares out, Barclays currently has a market cap of $48.19B. Institutional ownership is reported to be 3%, with the short interest as of 02/29/12 being 7.15M shares. The average analyst price target is $16.08.

Balance Sheet:

Total Cash (mrq):

1.49T

Total Cash Per Share (mrq):

496.62

Total Debt (mrq):

1.40T

Total Debt/Equity (mrq):

N/A

Current Ratio (mrq):

N/A

Book Value Per Share (mrq):

29.01

2. Lloyds Banking Group PLC (NYSE:LYG): Last Price $2.28 USD

1-Week Price Change: 3.77%

4-Week Price Change: 5.26%

12-Week Price Change: 45.69%

YTD Price Change: 40.13%

Average Daily Volume: 1.97M

From the company:

Lloyds TSB Group plc was renamed Lloyds Banking Group plc on 19 January 2009, following the acquisition of HBOS plc. This makes us the largest retail bank in the UK with strong positions in a number of sectors. One in three people bank with us. Our goal is to be the best financial services provider in the UK. We believe this means we must build a leadership position not on the basis of scale but on the foundations of reputation and recommendation. While the short term outlook for all financial services companies in the UK and around the globe is challenging, we believe that the acquisition of HBOS will be a success and presents us with many opportunities.

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With 17.20B shares out, Lloyds currently has a market cap of $39.22B. Institutional ownership is reported to be less than 1%, with the short interest as of 02/29/12 being 3.09M shares. The average analyst price target is $2.69.

Balance Sheet:

Total Cash (mrq):

228.15B

Total Cash Per Share (mrq):

13.57

Total Debt (mrq):

445.53B

Total Debt/Equity (mrq):

N/A

Current Ratio (mrq):

N/A

Book Value Per Share (mrq):

4.29

3. Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB): Last Price $50.47 USD

1-Week Price Change: 10.82%

4-Week Price Change: 15.86%

12-Week Price Change: 32.94%

YTD Price Change: 31.43 %

Average Daily Volume: 2.05M

From the company:

Deutsche Bank is a leading global investment bank with a substantial private clients franchise. Its businesses are mutually reinforcing. A leader in Germany and Europe, the bank is continuously growing in North America, Asia and key emerging markets. With more than 100,000 employees in 72 countries (as of December 31, 2011), Deutsche Bank offers unparalleled financial services throughout the world. We have established strong bases in all major emerging markets, and therefore have good prospects for business growth in fast-growing economies, including the Asia-Pacific region, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

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With 899.10M shares out, Deutsche Bank currently has a market cap of $45.38B. Institutional ownership is reported to be 21%, with the short interest as of 02/29/12 being 9.54M shares. The average analyst price target is $49.43.

Balance Sheet:

Total Cash (mrq):

1.99T

Total Cash Per Share (mrq):

2,199.69

Total Debt (mrq):

1.67T

Total Debt/Equity (mrq):

N/A

Current Ratio (mrq):

N/A

Book Value Per Share (mrq):

75.46

4. Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS): Last Price $29.20 USD

1-Week Price Change: 9.63%

4-Week Price Change: 11.35%

12-Week Price Change: 22.1%

YTD Price Change: 21.17%

Average Daily Volume: 2.36M

From the company:

Credit Suisse provides companies, institutional clients and high-net-worth private clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland, with advisory services, comprehensive solutions, and excellent products. Credit Suisse operates in three global divisions - Private Banking, Investment Banking and Asset Management. The three divisions are supported by Shared Services.

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With 1.22B shares out, Credit Suisse currently has a market cap of $35.63B. Institutional ownership is reported to be 3%, with the short interest as of 02/29/12 being 3.83M shares. The average analyst price target is $28.01.

Balance Sheet:

Total Cash (mrq):

685.10B

Total Cash Per Share (mrq):

561.41

Total Debt (mrq):

495.25B

Total Debt/Equity (mrq):

N/A

Current Ratio (mrq):

N/A

Book Value Per Share (mrq):

29.86

5. Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RY): Last Price $58.67 USD

1-Week Price Change: 3.99%

4-Week Price Change: 8.8%

12-Week Price Change: 21.59%

YTD Price Change: 14.03%

Average Daily Volume: 988k

From the company:

Royal Bank of Canada and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are one of Canada's largest banks as measured by assets and market capitalization, and are among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services on a global basis. We employ approximately 74,000 full- and part-time employees who serve close to 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 56 other countries.

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With 1.44B shares out, Royal Bank of Canada currently has a market cap of $84.61B. Institutional ownership is reported to be 54%, with the short interest as of 02/29/12 being 14.59 shares. The average analyst price target is $60.13.

Balance Sheet:

Total Cash (mrq):

359.55B

Total Cash Per Share (mrq):

249.80

Total Debt (mrq):

157.25B

Total Debt/Equity (mrq):

N/A

Current Ratio (mrq):

N/A

6. Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE:TD): Last Price $84.08 USD

1-Week Price Change: 3.66%

4-Week Price Change: 6.7%

12-Week Price Change: %

YTD Price Change: 16.44%

Average Daily Volume: 717k

From the company:

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with more than 85,000 employees in offices around the world, The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group . TD offers a full range of financial products and services to approximately 21.5 million customers worldwide through four key business lines: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking including TD Canada Trust and TD Auto Finance Canada Wealth and Insurance including TD Waterhouse, an investment in TD Ameritrade, and TD Insurance Wholesale Banking including TD Securities U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank and TD Auto Finance U.S.

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With 905.68M shares out, Toronto Dominion currently has a market cap of $76.15B. Institutional ownership is reported to be 58%, with the short interest as of 02/29/12 being 3.29M shares. The average analyst price target is $90.46.

Balance Sheet:

Total Cash (mrq):

163.86B

Total Cash Per Share (mrq):

181.32

Total Debt (mrq):

166.27B

Total Debt/Equity (mrq):

N/A

Current Ratio (mrq):

N/A

Book Value Per Share (mrq):

45.49

Source: The 6 Most Impressive Foreign Bank Stocks