5 Financial Stocks Trading At A Discount And With Strong Profitability

Includes: AIZ, BAC, DFS, FITB, MET
by: ZetaKap

Interested in financial stocks? Looking for undervalued stocks? Do you prefer companies with strong profits? We ran a screen you might find helpful.

The forward P/E is a price multiple valuation metric, which is similar to the current P/E ratio, except that it uses the forecasted earnings instead. While this number might not be as accurate because it uses "forecasted" numbers, it does offer the benefit of illustrating analysts' expectations of a firm. If the market believes that earnings will grow moving forward, then the forward P/E should be lower than the current P/E. Financial Leverage, also known as the Equity Multiplier, illustrates how a firm is financing its assets. The lower the number the more a firm is financing its assets internally through stockholder equity. The higher this metric is the more the firm is relying on debt to finance its assets.

EPS growth (earnings per share growth) illustrates the growth of earnings per share over time. EPS growth rates help investors identify stocks that are increasing or decreasing in profitability. This profitability metric is generally a key driver in the price of the stock as it directly correlates to the profitability of the company as a whole.

We first looked for Financial stocks with a low price-multiple premium (forward P/E<10) and that have posted strong earnings growth for shareholders over an extended period of time (1-year fiscal EPS growth rate>10%). We did not screen out any market caps.

Do you think these financial stocks hold solid value? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

1) Assurant Inc. (NYSE:AIZ)

Sector: Financial
Industry: Accident & Health Insurance
Market Cap: $3.43B
Beta: 1.30

Assurant Inc. has a Forward Price/Equity Ratio of 6.46 and Earnings Per Share Growth of 122.86%. The short interest was 4.06% as of 04/24/2012. Assurant, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides specialized insurance products and related services in the North America and internationally. It operates in four segments: Assurant Solutions, Assurant Specialty Property, Assurant Health, and Assurant Employee Benefits. The Assurant Solutions segment offers extended service contracts and warranties that provide coverage on cellular phones, personal computers, consumer electronics, appliances, automobiles, and recreational vehicles against mechanical breakdowns, accidental damages, and casualty losses.

2) Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

Sector: Financial
Industry: Credit Services
Market Cap: $17.38B
Beta: 1.48

Discover Financial Services has a Forward Price/Equity Ratio of 8.56 and Earnings Per Share Growth of 233.36%. The short interest was 1.01% as of 04/24/2012. Discover Financial Services, a bank holding company, offers direct banking and payment services in the United States. It operates in two segments, Direct Banking and Payment Services. The Direct Banking segment offers Discover card-branded credit cards to individuals and small businesses that are accepted on the Discover Network.

3) Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB)

Sector: Financial
Industry: Regional - Midwest Banks
Market Cap: $12.71B
Beta: 2.17

Fifth Third Bancorp has a Forward Price/Equity Ratio of 8.97 and Earnings Per Share Growth of 84.11%. The short interest was 0.83% as of 04/24/2012. Fifth Third Bancorp operates as a diversified financial services holding company in the United States. The company's Commercial Banking segment offers credit intermediation, cash management, and financial services; lending and depository products; and foreign exchange and international trade finance, derivatives and capital markets services, asset-based lending, real estate finance, public finance, commercial leasing, and syndicated finance for business, government, and professional customers. Its Branch Banking segment provides deposit and loan, and lease products to individuals and small businesses.

4) MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET)

Sector: Financial
Industry: Life Insurance
Market Cap: $37.64B
Beta: 1.94

MetLife, Inc. has a Forward Price/Equity Ratio of 6.33 and Earnings Per Share Growth of 112.03%. The short interest was 2.39% as of 04/24/2012. MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. The company offers group life insurance products, including variable, universal, term, and whole life products, as well as employee paid supplemental life products; and individual life insurance products comprising variable, universal, term, and whole life products, as well as a range of mutual funds and other securities products. It also provides non-medical health products and services, which include dental insurance, group short- and long-term disability, individual disability income, long-term care, critical illness, and accidental death and dismemberment coverages, as well as employer-sponsored auto and homeowners insurance, and administrative services to employers; and retirement products consisting variable and fixed annuities that are primarily sold to individuals and employees of corporations and other institutions.

5) Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC)

Sector: Financial
Industry: Regional - Mid-Atlantic Banks
Market Cap: $88.14B
Beta: 2.32

Bank of America Corporation has a Forward Price/Equity Ratio of 7.72 and Earnings Per Share Growth of 102.23%. The short interest was 1.31% as of 04/24/2012. Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services to individual consumers, small-and middle-market businesses, institutional investors, corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally. The company's Deposits segment provides traditional savings accounts, money market savings accounts, CDs and IRAs, and noninterest-and interest-bearing checking accounts, as well as investment accounts and products. Its Card Services segment issues credit and debit cards in the United States providing a range of lending products, including co-branded and affinity products.

*Company profiles were sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.