Market Overview

Capital One or U.S. Bank: Which Would You Rather?

Capital One or U.S. Bank: Which Would You Rather?

Credit cards are big business.

With experts saying 70 percent of the U.S. economy is consumer spending, and much of that spending being made on credit cards, it is no wonder why plastic is all but ubiquitous in American society.

Two of the largest credit card issuers North America are Capital One (NYSE: COF) and U.S. Bank (NYSE: USB). A recent ranking by CardHub listed the companies as being numbers five and seven, respectively, in terms of their shares of the U.S. credit card market.

Today we will compare how these two credit card companies’ stocks performed in 2013 and into 2014.

Capital One entered 2013 after a healthy gain in share value for 2012. A share of Capital One stock could be purchased for $60.00 on Jan. 2, 2013, but the stock’s price quickly fell -- reaching nearly $50 per share by March 1st.

But the stock’s early year backsliding did not last for long, and after the spring its share price increased steadily. By the end of the year Capital One managed to close at near-highs for the year -- its $76.61 closing price being just pennies off the yearly high. Overall, Capital One returned a respectable 27.7 percent for the year, which was right in line with major market averages. 2014 has seen Capital One give back some of its 2013 gains, and the stock is trading under $72 going into the latter part of February.

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U.S. Bank opened 2013 at $32.46, a result of being in a narrow trading channel between $30 and $35 for almost all of 2012. The company struggled to get going at the beginning of the year and into the spring, before finally entering into upward movement in late spring to early summer. But market headwinds proved too much and the stock stalled again in early fall, barely touching $37.50 in late September before running out of steam. 
By late October U.S. Bank stock was finally ready to make a sustained move to the upside, as the stock rose to close out the year at $40.40 – near its yearly high. For the year, U.S. Bank returned 24.4 percent. Though the company did suffer a dip in its stock value in the new year, in most recent trading a share of U.S. Bank is valued almost equal to the 2013 yearend price.

Capital One recently made headlines when it was revealed at least some of the company’s credit accounts have terms -- which allow Capital One employees to visit debtors at home or at work when attempting to collect a debt.

In the case of credit cards, this practice is virtually unheard of. Commentators and pundits have called the update in terms everything from “a mistake” to “creepy.” It will be interesting to see exactly how Capital One handles the controversy, and if other creditors follow suit in adding similar language to their credit card terms.

Posted-In: credit cards revolving credit revolving credit credit card processingNews Psychology Economics Markets General Best of Benzinga


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