Shares of PNC Financial Services Group Inc (PNC) are down 11% over the past month. However, there are three reasons to buy PNC.
On Tuesday, Fitch affirmed its A+ rating on PNC. This is important as speculation continues to mount about ratings cuts for major U.S. banks. Fitch recently cut JP Morgan Chase's (JPM) rating to a AA- following JPM's trading loss. PNC's ability to maintain an A+ rating is a positive as many competitors will likely be downgraded soon.
PNC pays a dividend of $1.60 per share or 2.8%. Even if the economy worsens, PNC should be able to maintain its divided as the payout ratio is just 29%.
Lack of European Exposure
PNC has little exposure to Europe as the bank is a U.S. regional bank. While the entire financial sector is likely to get hit if the European situation worsens, PNC is less exposed than its larger peers. Comparably, Bank of America (BAC), Morgan Stanley (MS), and JP Morgan have more direct exposure to Europe. If banks in Europe are forced to sell assets to raise capital, PNC should be in a position to be a buyer. PNC has had a history of making good deals during times of panic in the banking sector, most recently PNC's purchase of National City in 2008 has helped PNC grow into the sixth largest U.S. bank by assets.
While the events in Europe will be the driver of PNC shares over the short-term, the bank is in better shape than many of its peers and stands to benefit from potential purchases in Europe. PNC's lack of European exposure, recently affirmed credit rating, and solid dividend yield are all reasons to consider PNC.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.