With the Fed limiting bank dividends to about 30% of earnings, the real action is in buybacks, so look for lenders to announce some loud repurchase plans this week following the results of the Fed's CCAR (due after the bell on Wed.). Big numbers are nice, but more important is the size relative to the share count.
According to KBW, only Discover (DFS +0.2%) and State Street (STT -0.5%) had large enough programs in 2012 and 2013 to lower their float by more than 5%. Analyst Sanjay Sakhrani estimates Discover will get approval for its $1.6B buyback this year, which would be a boost to last year's repurchases.
Analyst Robert Lee sees State Street getting approval for $2.026B in buybacks, with estimated net buybacks of $1.62B down from $1.676B a year ago.