Capital One Earns Place as 2012 Bank Stock Pick
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Capital One (COF) is getting it done for investors, with two major acquisitions set to raise the company's earnings bar.
Nearly six months ago, I called Capital One the top bank stock pick for 2012, and the shares indeed returned 29% year-to-date through Friday's close at $54.52. That beats the year-to-date returns of three out of the "big four" U.S. banks, with the notable exception of Bank of America (BAC) , with a total return of 39%, through Friday's close at $7.74.
|Capital One CEO Richard D. Fairbank|
Of course, Bank of America's year-to-date performance owes a great deal to the stock's 58% decline during 2011, when Capital One's shares had a flat return, and BAC's shares have pulled back 22%, from their 2012 closing high of $9.93 on March 26.
Bank of America's shares were trading at such a low multiple to tangible book value at the end of the year, that a recovery for the shares seemed quite likely. Then again, giving some further perspective to the numbers, Bank of America's 52-week total return through Friday was a negative 37%, while Capital One's 52-week return was 2%.