Market Overview

Financial Sector Top Performers in January

Here's a quick look at some of the top performing financial stocks, year to date. These stocks all have a market cap of more than $500 million and all pay a dividend.

Banco Macro (NYSE: BMA) shares are trading almost 27% higher year to date despite pulling back more than 5% in the past week. The Argentine bank has grown rapidly over the past several years, and it has a solid balance sheet. Its market cap is $1.5 billion and it has a long-term EPS growth forecast of 13.7% and a dividend yield of 8.4%. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed regional peers such as Banco Frances (NYSE: BFR) and Grupo Financiero Galicia.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) is more than 30% higher than a month ago, despite falling more than 2% in the past week. The lender just announced the hiring of 51 small business bankers to offer guidance and counsel to local small business owners. The bank was founded in 1874. It has a market cap of $72.3 billion and its dividend yield is 0.6%. But the stock has underperformed the likes of Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) over the past six months.

See also: Is Bank of America in Major Trouble?

Greenhill & Co. (NYSE: GHL) is up about 28% year to date, including a more than 8% rise in the past week. The investment bank recently posted better-than-expected Q4 results due in part to surging revenues. This New York-based company has a market cap of $1. 4 billion, a dividend yield of 3.9% and a long-term EPS growth forecast of 17.0%. The stock has outperformed competitors such as Jefferies Group (NYSE: JEF) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) over the past six months.

Grupo Financiero Galicia (NASDAQ: GGAL) is up about 32% in the past month. This is just one of several Argentine companies on the rise since an emerging markets analyst began buying the region's stocks. Based in Buenos Aires, the holding company has a market cap of $959.6 million, a dividend yield of 0.6%, a long-term EPS growth forecast of 46.0% and a P/E ratio of 4.4. Over the past month, the stock's performance has been largely in line with peers Banco Macro and Banco Frances.

ICICI Bank (NYSE: IBN) shares are trading about 37% higher year to date but are still down more than 15% from a year ago. India's largest private-sector lender posted a better-than-expected jump in Q3 net profit. Its dividend yield is 1.7%, the market cap is $20.9 billion and the long-term EPS growth forecast is 19.5%. The bank is based in Mumbai and was founded in 1955. But the stock has underperformed HDFC Bank (NYSE: HDB) and HSBC Holdings (NYSE: HBC) over the past six months.

Privatebancorp (NASDAQ: PVTB) is almost 29% higher year to date, but still down more than 7% from a year ago. The company just reported better-than-expected Q4 EPS and a sizable decrease in nonperforming loans over the past year. This regional bank is based in Chicago and has a market cap of $1.0 billion. Its dividend yield is 0.3%. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed competitors Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB) and Northern Trust (NASDAQ: NTRS).

See also: Jefferies Says Private Bancorp's Recovery Is Showing Decent Growth Prospects.

Janus Capital Group (NYSE: JNS) is more than 24% higher year to date, including more than 4% in the past week. The Denver-based asset management holding company beat low Q4 EPS expectations. It has a $1.5 billion market cap and a dividend yield of 2.5%. The P/E ratio is lower than the industry average and the operating margin is better than the industry average. The stock has outperformed competitors such as Franklin Resources (NYSE: BEN) over the past six months.

ACTION ITEMS:

Bullish: Investors interested in exchange traded funds focused on financials might want to consider the following trades:

  • ProShares Ultra Financials (NYSE: UYG) is up more than 13% year to date.
  • iShares S&P Global Financials (NYSE: IXG) is up more than 9% year to date.
  • iShares Dow Jones US Financial Services (NYSE: IYG) is up almost 8% year to date.
  • PowerShares Financial Preferred (NYSE: PGF) is up almost 8% year to date.
Bearish:

Traders may prefer to consider these alternative positions:

  • Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (NYSE: FAZ) is up more than 5% from a recent 52-week low.
  • ProShares UltraShort Financials (NYSE: SKF) is up more than 3% from a recent 52-week low.
Neither Benzinga nor its staff recommend that you buy, sell, or hold any security. We do not offer investment advice, personalized or otherwise. Benzinga recommends that you conduct your own due diligence and consult a certified financial professional for personalized advice about your financial situation.

Posted-In: Banco Frances Banco Macro Bank of AmericaLong Ideas Sector ETFs Short Ideas Trading Ideas ETFs Best of Benzinga

 

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