Mar. 20, 2014, 10:54 AM
- Much of the financial sector is lit up bright green, continuing to outperform following yesterday's suggestion by the FOMC and Janet Yellen that rate hikes could come sooner than expected. XLF +1.1%, KBE +1.6%, KRE +1.6%.
- At new 52-week or even multi-year highs are JPMorgan (JPM +2.3%), Wells Fargo (WFC +1.7%), Morgan Stanley (MS +1.4%), and Bank of America (BAC +1.6%).
- Regional lenders: U.S. Bancorp (USB +1%), Huntington (HBAN +1.5%), PNC (PNC +1.3%), BB&T (BBT +1.5%), Fifth Third (FITB +1.8%), First Niagara (FNFG +2.1%).
- Leading among the life insurers are Lincoln National (LNC +1.9%), Protective Life (PL +1.6%), Manulife (MFC +1.2%), and Sun Life (SLF +1.1%).
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, KIE, IAT, SEF, IYG, IAK, FXO, PFI, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FNCL, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, KBWI, KBWP, KRS, FINZ
Mar. 20, 2014, 6:56 AM
- The Fed is due to release the results of its annual stress test on 30 banks today, with most expected to pass.
- If the banks, which include JPMorgan (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Morgan Stanley (MS), are found wanting, they will have a few days to alter any plans to return money to shareholders - the Fed is due to say next week whether it will approve firms' dividend and/or stock-buyback programs.
- Relevant tickers include GS, BAC, BK, AXP, COF, C, FITB, PNC, RF, STT, STI, USB, WFC.
- ETFs of interest: KBE, KBWB, KRE, KCE, KBWC, XLF, IYF, PFI, VFH, RYF, RWW, FAS, UYG, FAZ, SKF, SEF, IAI, FXO, PSCF, KBWD, KBWB, IYG, FINU, FINZ.
Mar. 19, 2014, 3:13 PM
- A check of sectors following the FOMC statement and updated projections suggesting a quickened pace of rate hikes in the future finds the banks and life insurers notably moving higher. Both groups have struggled earning a spread amid ZIRP and are positively levered to higher rates.
- Lenders: Bank of America (BAC +1%), Citigroup (C +1%), JPMorgan (JPM), Regions (RF +1.7%), KeyCorp (KEY +0.9%), SunTrust (STI +0.7%).
- Life insurers: MetLife (MET +1%), Prudential (PRU +0.7%), Lincoln National (LNC +1%).
- Related ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, KIE, SEF, IYG, IAK, FXO, PFI, KBWB, FNCL, FINU, RWW, RYF, PSCF, KBWP, KBWI, FINZ, KBE, KRE
- Not necessarily positively levered to higher rates are the mortgage REITs (REM -1.6%): Annaly (NLY -1.8%), American Capital (AGNC -1.7%), (MTGE -1.9%), Armour (ARR -1.3%), Two Harbors (TWO -2%) CYS Investments (CYS -3.3%), Capstead (CMO -1.3%), MFA (MFA -1.8%).
- Related ETFs: MORT, MORL
Mar. 11, 2014, 12:54 PM
- The First Trust RBA Quality Income ETF (QINC) and RBA American Industrial Renaissance ETF (AIRR) will track their respective Richard Bernstein Advisors indexes; QINC will focus on total return through global firms with strong dividends and capital appreciation potential, while AIRR will invest in both small and mid-cap domestic firms in the industrial and community banking sectors.
- High dividend ETFs and capital strength ETFs: VYM, HDV, KBWD, PEY, DIV, RDIV, FTCS
- Regional banking ETFs: KRE, KBE, IAT, RKH, QABA, KRU, KBWR, KRS
- The Global X Guru Small Cap Index ETF (GURX) and Guru International Index ETF (GURI) are hoping to capitalize on the success of GURU by offering exposure to small-cap and international (respectively) stocks that large hedge fund managers hold.
- Broad hedge fund replication ETFs: QAI, MCRO, HDG, QEH
Mar. 6, 2014, 1:16 PM
- His stock struggling (relatively) as his bank tries to complete its merger with Hudson City Bancorp, M&T Bank (MTB +1.2%) CEO Robert Wilmer was awarded $3.05M in 2013, 23% less than the previous year. M&T did gain 18% in 2013, but it was the worst performer in the 24-company KBW Bank Index (KRE) which advanced 35%.
- His salary of $950K was a 49% cut from 2012, and the amount of stock Wilmer received fell 12%. His cash bonus of $425K was higher than the previous year.
Mar. 5, 2014, 3:42 PM
- Buying the rumor? On a flattish day for the major averages, the Too Big To Fail banks are ignoring a continued slowdown in markets revenue this quarter, and instead partying ahead of what may be the imminent release of the Fed's stress test results (perhaps Friday). About one week later will be CCAR results at which the Fed gives the thumbs up or thumbs down on the banks' capital return plans.
- Word is the tests are tougher this year, but bank capital levels are also improved.
- Leading today is Bank of America (BAC +3%) - now within about one percent of a 4-year high. Others: Morgan Stanley (MS +2.8%), Goldman Sachs (GS +1.8%), Ciitgroup (C +1%), JPMorgan (JPM +1.5%), and Wells Fargo (WFC +0.6%).
- Also subject to the stress tests are a number of regional lenders, not to mention credit card players - they're mixed in today's action.
- Related ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAI, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, PFI, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FNCL, FINU, KCE, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, KRS, FINZ, KBWC
Feb. 25, 2014, 12:59 PM
- With bank capital levels really no longer in question, don't expect any big pops in the banks surrounding the stress tests and CCAR results, says Citi in its "2014 CCAR Playbook." If anything - given that the stress tests are supposedly tougher this year - the risk to banks could be on the downside.
- The team expects the stress test results - which looks at bank balance sheets under different scenarios - sometime around March 7 and the CCAR results - on which the Fed approves/disapproves capital return plans - about a week later.
- Look for modestly higher average gross payout ratios of 62% vs. 55% last year. Individual banks: BAC 11% dividend (payout ratio) + 32% buyback for 43%; BBT 33% dividend +19% buyback; FITB 32% dividend + 37% buyback; JPM 27% dividend + 18% buyback; WFC 28% dividend + 43% buyback; GS 14% dividend + 78% buyback for an industry-leading payout ratio of 91%; MTB 34% dividend + 0% buyback; MS 17% dividend + 36% buyback; PNC 31% dividend + 49% buyback; USB 30% dividend +46% buyback.
- Related ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAI, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, PFI, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FINU, FNCL, KCE, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, KRS, FINZ, KBWC
Feb. 20, 2014, 3:29 PM
- Expecting dividends to grow 49% on average for the banks subject to the Fed's stress tests (about the same as last year), Markit, says Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) will lead the way with 400% boosts. "They are the last of the major banks paying minimal dividends ... change is overdue."
- While 400% is a big number, Citi and BofA will continue to lag their peers in terms of yield (400% growth on a penny just leads to a nickel).
- Also expected to have a significant pop is Morgan Stanley (MS) - a doubling of the payout to $0.10 per share and a 1.4% yield. Others in the top 5 in increases are Zions Bancorp (ZION) with a 75% boost to $0.07 and Regions Financial (RF) up 67% to $0.05.
- The others: KEY +27%, HBAN +20%, BK +20%, STI +20%, COF +17%, DFS +15%, AXP +13%, STT +12%, JPM +11%, CMA +11%, PNC +9%, USB +9%, GS +9%, FITB +8%, WFC +7%, NTRS +6%, and no soup for BBT and MTB where the dividends are expected to be flat at $0.23 and $0.70 per share, respectively.
- As for ETFs, the dividend jumps are expected to have the biggest impact on the XLF which would see a 25% increase in payout: The ETF has 81 companies, but the top 5 holdings - BofA, Wells, JPM, Citi, USB - make up 41% of assets. In contrast, just two CCAR banks make up the top five holdings of the KBE and it should see a more muted increase of just 18%.
- Related ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, PFI, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FNCL, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, KRS, FINZ
Feb. 12, 2014, 1:08 PM
- Wells Fargo (WFC) has lowered the minimum FICO score for borrowers applying for FHA loans to 600 from 640, and JPMorgan (JPM +0.1%) plans to lower LTV standards for both jumbos and conforming mortgages, reports TheStreet.
- The moves come as the MBA predicts 1-4 family mortgage originations will fall to $1.16T this year from $1.755T in 2013. An early estimate from Inside Mortgage Finance pegs MBS issuance by the GSEs in January of just $67.8B, off 10% since December and the lowest amount since January 2009.
- "The wall has begun to come down," writes FBR's Paul Miller of the Wells Fargo news. Miller has been calling for easier standards to combat slowing activity, and if Wells is now approving FHA product to riskier borrowers, other large originators are likely to follow suit. In this case, his own estimate of $1.3T in mortgage originations this year could prove conservative, and bank earnings surprises going forward might be on the upside.
- Related ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, PFI, KBWB, KME, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, FNCL, KBWR, RWW, RYF, PSCF, KRS, FINZ
Jan. 27, 2014, 2:54 PM
- “It is now obvious to us that the continuing objective of the Obama administration and the U.S. Attorney General is to punish banks and finance," writes Daivd Kotok's Cumberland Advisors, explaining a decision to underweight the banks.
- The firm previously had been overweight the regionals via the KRE and just two weeks added exposure to the larger lenders through the KBWB, but has quickly decided to reverse that move. "We were wrong" in thinking the "persecution" of the banks was near over, says Cumberland.
- "The investment strategy we pursued for our clients in this case was not to confront the U.S. Attorney General with an overweight position in a sector that he views as adversarial.”
- Related ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, PSP, IYF, EUFN, IAI, KIE, IPF, IAT, SEF, IYG, IAK, PFI, FXO, IXG, KBWB, PEX, KME, RKH, QABA, FINU, KCE, KRU, RWW, KBWR, FNCL, RYF, KBWI, PSCF, FEFN, AXFN, KBWP, KRS, FINZ, EMFN, KBWC, KBWX
Jan. 23, 2014, 2:01 PM
- Flagstar Bancorp (FBC +3.3%) is the outlier to the upside among a hard-hit regional banking sector (KRE -2.1%) today following last night's Q4 earnings results.
- The bank reported a big headline number ($2.77 per share in earnings) after finally reversing the valuation allowance on its DTA. However, notes BTIG's Mark Palmer (who was a big bull on the stock at about $13 per share, but not so much at $20), the results of the underlying core business left something to be desired.
- Net interest income was well lower, as was noninterest income as mortgage business vanished. On the expense side, the bank does appear to be executing on its plan to cut costs and guided towards the high-end of its previously estimated cost savings for this year.
Jan. 21, 2014, 9:58 AM
- M&T Bank (MTB -1%) and Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK -1.1%) are again the laggards in a nicely green regional bank sector (KRE +1.9%) as Raymond James pulls its Buy rating on M&T following last week's earnings report.
- At issue with the results are the high costs M&T is experiencing to upgrade its infrastructure to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering laws. The immediate need for all the work is to please regulators currently holding up the Hudson City takeover, but management insists it's something which would need to be done anyway.
Jan. 17, 2014, 1:19 PM
- The big losers in a largely green regional bank sector (KRE +0.4%) today are M&T Bank (MTB -3.3%) and Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK -3.2%). M&T's excuse is a big earnings miss as the bank was unable to cut expenses the way some of its competitors had. At issue is the cost to come into compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering programs in order to win the favor of regulators for the Hudson City takeover.
- It's possible a negative development was mentioned in the earnings call, or - maybe more likely - since the deal is set to be an all-stock one, the decline in M&T is being felt by Hudson City.
Jan. 16, 2014, 3:59 PM
- About the only green on the screen in the regional bank sector (KRE -0.9%) is PNC Financial (PNC +2.7%) after this morning's earnings beat. Sandler O'Neill is impressed enough to lift its rating to Buy with price target of $93.
- Boding well for earnings in 2014? $130M remain in repurchase reserves - a number management (on the earnings call) says should come down thanks to settlements with the GSEs.
Jan. 15, 2014, 2:49 AM
- Federal regulators have decided to ease the Volcker Rule and will allow smaller banks to hold certain CDOs of trust-preferred securities (TRuPS) that they may otherwise have had to sell.
- The move comes after the American Bankers Association threatened to sue over the provision, which the industry group said would have forced 275 small banks to take a $600M hit to capital.
- The change would apply to any bank that invested in TRuPS-backed CDOs that were issued by banks with under $15B in assets. There are also time conditions attached.
- At least three lenders - Zions Bancorp (ZION) being the most prominent - had said prior to the latest ruling that they would have to write down or divest the CDOs immediately at a substantial loss. Zions has assets of $55B.
- Related ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, KRE, KBE, VFH, IYF, SEF, IAT, IYG, PFI, FXO, KBWB, RKH, QABA, RWW, KRU, FINU, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, FNCL, KRS, FINZ
Jan. 13, 2014, 5:09 AM
- The Basel Committee for Banking Supervision has eased the way banks will have to report leverage ratios, or the amount of capital they hold against their loans and other assets.
- The regulations will not force banks to count 100% of their off-balance-sheet assets, such as much of their exposure to derivatives, and guarantees and letters of credit.
- That alterations will lower the need for banks to sell assets or raise capital to meet the Basel leverage-ratio requirements, which might be set at 3% or higher from 2018.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Banks index is +1.5%.
- Major banks: RBS, HSBC, BCS, DB, CS, UBS, GS, JPM, C, MS, WFC, USB, BK, SAN, BBVA, LYG, NMR
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, EUFN, IPF, SEF, IAT, IYG, PFI, FXO, IXG, KBWB, KME, RKH, QABA, KRU, FINU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, FNCL, PSCF, AXFN, KRS, FINZ, EMFN, KBWX
The SPDR® S&P® Regional Banking ETF, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the S&P® Regional Banks Select Industry Index(ticker: SPSIRBK). Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
See more details on sponsor's website
See more details on sponsor's website
Country: United States
Other News & PR