Knight Capital and Other Top Performing Financial Stocks in November
Here is a quick look at some of the top-performing financial sector stocks in the past month. These companies all have a market cap of more than $500 million and their share prices are more than 15 percent higher than 30 days ago.
Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE: FBC) shares are up more than 220 percent year to date, including more than 24 percent in November. Flagstar swung to profits in the second and third quarters that were much better than consensus estimates. The price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is in line with the industry average. But the long-term earnings per share (EPS) growth forecast is only about three percent, and the return on equity is less than eight percent. Still, the stock has outperformed larger competitors Comerica (NYSE: CMA) and Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ: HBAN) over the past six months.
Jeffries Group (NYSE: JEF) shares are trading more than 31 percent higher than six months ago, including a 14 percent surge in mid November on news that Jeffries would merge with Leucadia National (NYSE: LUK), a New York-based conglomerate. Jeffries' P/E ratio is in line with the industry average, and the long-term EPS growth forecast is about 16 percent. The dividend yield is about 1.7 percent. Only one of eight analysts polled by Thomson/First call recommends buying shares. But over the past six months, the stock has outperformed Raymond James (NYSE: RJF) and Stifel Financial (NYSE: SF) and the broader markets.
Knight Capital Group (NASDAQ: KCG) is more than 35 percent higher on recent rumors that the Jersey City-based investment broker is in talks about possibly selling its market-making operation. The jump in the share price nowhere near makes up for the 75 percent plunge at the end of July after a technical glitch led to a mini flash crash in some stocks. The long-term EPS growth forecast and return on equity are both in the red, and the shares sold short represent more than five percent of the float. Over the past six months, the stock has underperformed the broader markets.
Nelnet (NASDAQ: NNI), a Lincoln, Nebraska-based student loan services company, has seen its share price rise more than 17 percent in the past month, despite posting a slump in net income in the third quarter. Shares reached a multi-year high late last week. The P/E ratio is less than the industry average, and the long-term EPS growth forecast is about 17 percent. The dividend yield is near 1.4 percent. Because of the recent surge, the stock as outperformed competitor SLM (NASDAQ: SLM), commonly known as Sallie Mae, over the past six months.
Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ: VRTS), headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, jumped almost 20 percent to hit a new multi-year high last week after it reported strong third-quarter results on Halloween. Shares are trading about 54 percent higher than a year ago. The P/E ratio is less than the industry average, the long-term EPS growth forecast is about 15 percent and the return on equity is a healthy 95 percent. The stock has outperformed larger competitor Hartford Financial Services (NYSE: HIG) over the past six months.
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