Best Bank Stocks

Every single day, Benzinga brings you data for the best and worst performing Banks - Global stocks of the day, so you can make the most informed trading decisions possible.

Contributor, Benzinga

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The financial services sector is still recovering its reputation in the wake of the Great Recession. Many Americans still don’t trust the banking industry and low interest rates have caused investors to have second thoughts about buying even the best bank stocks.

But the banking industry is making a comeback, thanks to some new consumer-friendly policies, a return to profitability and rising interest rates. Do individual bank stocks belong in your portfolio? Sure, but it depends on the type of investment you want. Prefer high growth and no taxable events? Finding the best bank stocks might not be on the top of your list. But if you’re looking for value and income, the financial services sector deserves a close inspection.

Best Bank Stocks:

  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
  • U.S. Bancorp (USB)
  • Citigroup (C)
  • Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB)
  • KeyCorp (KEY)
Symbol Company % Change Price Dividend Yield Invest
JPM JPMorgan Chase
– 1.32%
$118.51 4 / 3.33% Buy stock
USB U.S. Bancorp
+ 0.57%
$49.38 1.84 / 3.75% Buy stock
C Citigroup
+ 1.16%
$49.89 2.04 / 4.14% Buy stock
FITB Fifth Third Bancorp
– 0.86%
$35.74 1.2 / 3.33% Buy stock
KEY KeyCorp
– 1.06%
$18.31 0.78 / 4.21% Buy stock

What Are Bank Stocks?

If you’re like most investors, your first encounter with a bank took place in your own home — with a piggy bank. Unlike a piggy bank, modern banks do so much more than hold your cash, and banks are some of the oldest institutions in the world. Current titans like JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs have been in business for well over 100 years.

They loan to creditworthy borrowers, create debt markets and enable borrowers to access funds they can’t otherwise obtain. Banks charge interest on the loans they issue, which is how they earn a majority of their profits.

Since banks are only required to hold a small portion of capital compared to their liabilities (known as the fractional banking system), large banks are required to undergo stress tests to gauge their response to a potential catastrophe.

What to Look for in a Banking Industry Stock

Banks are not all the same. Just like any other sector of the stock market, banks are a mixed bag when it comes to corporate citizenship and transparent leadership. As you choose bank stocks for your portfolio, keep these three concepts top-of-mind.

Price-to-book value. The price-to-book value measures the price of a company’s stock against the liquidation value of the firm’s assets. For value investors, low price-to-book ratios could mean a stock is undervalued and due for a resurgence.

Bank stocks traditionally have lower-than-average price-to-book values. For large bank stocks, look for a price-to-book ratio between 1 and 2. For smaller regional banks, a price-to-book ratio under 1 could signal an undervalued stock. Price-to-book value is one of Warren Buffett’s favorite ratios to look for in a stock.

High-dividend yield. Banks don’t do much research and development, so profits are often returned to shareholders in the form of dividends. If a bank offers a dividend yield that continually grows over the years, it’s a sign the bank’s profits are increasing. Increased profits results in more money in the pockets of shareholders. Bank stocks are often a favorite among value investors because of the income they provide through dividends.

Return On Assets (ROA). Return on assets (ROA) is a better measure than the return on equity (ROE) for banks because it enables easy comparisons between companies in the sector. ROA is determined by dividing net income by total assets. For the banking industry, a ROA over 1% is considered a strong number.

Best Bank Stocks to Watch Out for This Year

Interest rates have been trending up for the first time since the Great Recession and many banks are poised to profit on such increases. The banking sector might not enjoy the recent bull market as much as the tech or healthcare sectors, but there’s reason to believe that banks are currently undervalued. Benzinga has picked 5 bank stocks to add to your brokerage account.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM)

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM)

118.505

-1.585 [-1.32%]
117.91 – 119.65
115.37 – 172.96
118.06
2.94B
4.50M/15.99M
348.06B
2.94B
4/3.33%
28.910
2.91B

Price-to-book value: 1.63
Dividend yield: 2.89%
Return on assets: 1.25%

JPMorgan Chase is one of the oldest institutions in the United States and operates in 4 different areas: consumer banking, investment banking, commercial banking and wealth management.

JPMorgan Chase has exceeded earnings estimates more often than not.

U.S. Bancorp (USB)

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB)

49.380

0.28 [0.57%]
48.41 – 49.675
47.68 – 63.57
48.49
1.49B
2.79M/8.17M
73.37B
1.49B
1.84/3.75%
38.790
1.48B

Price-to-book value: 1.78
Dividend yield: 2.85%
Return on assets: 1.51%

U.S. Bancorp is tiny compared to JPMorgan Chase, but the regional Midwestern firm still has an multi-billion-dollar market cap and strong future prospects. Like JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bancorp regularly raises its dividend and has met or exceeded earnings expectations more often than not.

U.S. Bancorp recently introduced an array of new (and unique) digital tools for homebuyers looking for mortgages, home equity loans and HELOCs.

Citigroup (C)

Citigroup (NYSE:C)

49.890

0.57 [1.16%]
48.6 – 50.295
45.395 – 80.29
48.67
1.94B
10.01M/28.70M
96.88B
1.94B
2.04/4.14%
23.890
1.94B

Price-to-Book Value: 0.83
Dividend Yield: 2.77%
Return on Assets: 1.01%

To most investors, Citigroup stock looks cheap and might deserve a spot in your portfolio. The firm has raised dividends often and seems to have shaken off the stench of the massive bailout it received in 2008.

The dividend yield here is generally lower than the other stocks on this list, but there’s strong upside potential here if Citigroup posts more earnings beats.

Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB)

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB)

35.740

-0.31 [-0.86%]
35.34 – 36.23
34.35 – 50.64
35.65
686.09M
1.93M/6.78M
24.52B
686.09M
1.2/3.33%
33.620
601.01M

Price-to-Book Value: 0.96
Dividend Yield: 3.22%
Return on Assets: 1.24%

Massive national banks aren’t the only ones that deserve attention. Small regional banks like Fifth Third Bancorp often have more room to run and the numbers here look solid. The bank has reported strong growth, but it may not have the long track record of some of the other banks on this list.

KeyCorp (KEY)

KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY)

18.315

-0.1954 [-1.06%]
18.13 – 18.495
17.9 – 27.17
18.26
932.47M
3.82M/10.07M
17.08B
932.47M
0.78/4.21%
30.890
819.39M

Price-to-Book Value: 1.16
Dividend Yield: 4.07%
Return on Assets: 1.33%

Tiny KeyCorp, which operates KeyBank, might be the biggest winner from this group in the future. Despite a smaller market cap, the dividend yield is very generous and has been growing for some time. KeyCorp has a great ROA number despite its small size and cheap price-to-book value. In our opinion, KeyCorp is primed for a breakout.

Choose the Best Bank Stocks for Your Portfolio

Bank stocks have been a favorite of Warren Buffett for decades and a rise in interest rates could catapult them back into favored status. Recovery from the 2008 financial meltdown has been slow and many investors still don’t trust the banks that happily bought up worthless mortgage bonds during the crisis.

Don’t miss out on this beaten-down sector, which could offer hidden gold, especially when banks have favorable fundamentals like the 5 listed above. Bank stocks right now are on sale and it might be wise to scoop up these deals.

The Biggest Bank Stock Movers of the Day

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Gainers

Session: May 18, 2022 4:00 pm – May 19, 2022 12:16 pm
Symbol Open Close Change Change % Volume
Buy LYG Stock – Trade for Free LYG
Lloyds Banking Group
2.12 2.17 0.05 2.12% 8.54M
Buy BCH Stock – Trade for Free BCH
Banco De Chile
19.61 19.93 0.32 1.63% 11.88K
Buy C Stock – Trade for Free C
Citigroup
49.32 50.04 0.72 1.44% 10.48M
Buy BBD Stock – Trade for Free BBD
Bank Bradesco
3.87 3.90 0.03 0.64% 19.32M
Buy USB Stock – Trade for Free USB
U.S. Bancorp
49.10 49.40 0.30 0.61% 2.89M
Buy AVAL Stock – Trade for Free AVAL
Grupo Aval Acciones
3.98 4.00 0.02 0.49% 23.24K
Buy ALLY Stock – Trade for Free ALLY
Ally Financial
39.00 39.14 0.14 0.35% 1.85M
Buy IBN Stock – Trade for Free IBN
ICICI Bank
17.87 17.88 0.01 0.05% 4.42M

Losers

Session: May 18, 2022 4:00 pm – May 19, 2022 12:16 pm
Symbol Open Close Change Change % Volume
Buy JPM Stock – Trade for Free JPM
JPMorgan Chase
120.09 118.51 -1.58 -1.32% 4.73M
Buy BOH Stock – Trade for Free BOH
Bank of Hawaii
76.33 75.68 -0.65 -0.86% 10.29K
Buy KEY Stock – Trade for Free KEY
KeyCorp
18.51 18.38 -0.13 -0.71% 4.08M
Buy PNC Stock – Trade for Free PNC
PNC Financial Services Gr
155.93 154.83 -1.10 -0.71% 66.91K
Buy BY Stock – Trade for Free BY
Byline Bancorp
23.71 23.63 -0.09 -0.36% 23.06K
Buy BSAC Stock – Trade for Free BSAC
Banco Santander Chile
19.13 19.09 -0.04 -0.21% 14.98K
Buy BK Stock – Trade for Free BK
Bank of New York Mellon
43.29 43.25 -0.04 -0.10% 2.68M