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15 Best Bank Stocks To Buy Now

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·16 min read
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In this article, we discuss the 15 best bank stocks to buy now. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of these stocks, go directly to the 5 Best Bank Stocks To Buy Now.

After a turbulent 2020, the banking sector, one of the critical drivers of the economy in the United States, finally seems to be on the rise. Due to the increase in vaccination rates, businesses have gradually began their road to recovery, amid increasing consumer spending. According to a report by the US Department of Commerce, the gross domestic product (GDP) had jumped by 6.4% on an annual rate. Additionally, changes in both the consumer spending methods and digital platforms introduced in the wake of the pandemic have led to increased adoption of online business models, cashless services and branchless banking, thereby contributing to the stability of the consumer and banking sectors these past few years. With recovery well underway, the banking sector is adjusting to the economic climate set forth by the Covid-19 pandemic, outpacing the broader market by 14%.

As such, many investors have decided to benefit from exposure to the economic recovery. According to The Wall Street Journal, over $32 billion has been poured into the broad financial stocks by investors looking to make a hefty profit. With bank stocks on track for what could be their best year on record, compared even to the S&P 500, opinions surrounding investing in banking and finance are becoming more optimistic, with some investors looking for short-term gains, while others are in it for the long run.

Some of the best bank stocks on the market to watch out for in this regard include JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), among others discussed in more detail below.

15 Best Bank Stocks To Buy Now
15 Best Bank Stocks To Buy Now

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Our Methodology

Let us now analyze our list of the 15 best bank stocks to buy now. We took into account hedge fund sentiments, analysts’ ratings, long-term growth potential, and fundamentals while choosing these stocks.

Why should we pay attention to hedge fund sentiment while choosing stocks? Insider Monkey’s research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 86 percentage points since March 2017. Between March 2017 and July 2021, our monthly newsletter’s stock picks returned 186.1%, vs. 100.1% for the S&P 500 ETF (SPY). Our stock picks outperformed the market by more than 86 percentage points (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to. You can subscribe to our free newsletter on our homepage to receive our stories in your inbox.

Best Bank Stocks To Buy Now

15. KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 40

KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) operates as a holding company for KeyBank National Association, providing retail and commercial banking products and services in the United States. The Ohio-based company ranks fifteenth on our list of the 15 best bank stocks to buy now.

On October 11, Jefferies analyst Ken Usdin raised his price target on KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) to $27 from $25, and kept a Buy rating on the shares of the company.

By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 40 hedge funds out of the 873 tracked by Insider Monkey held stakes in KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) worth roughly $443 million. This is compared to 41 hedge funds in the previous quarter with a total stake value of approximately $565 million.

In its second quarter earnings report for 2021, KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) had an EPS of $0.72, beating estimates by $0.18. The company’s revenue for the quarter came in at $1.77 billion, beating estimates by $40.52 million.

Just like JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) is a good bank stock to invest in.

14. Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 41

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) is a diversified bank holding company that operates through its subsidiaries, namely the Fifth Third Bank in Ohio, providing commercial banking, branch banking and consumer lending services, among other financial services and products. The company ranks fourteenth on our list of the 15 best bank stocks to buy now.

For the second quarter of 2021, Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) reported an EPS of $0.98, crossing market estimates by $0.17. The company also reported revenues amounting to $1.95 billion, surpassing estimates by $7.01 million.

On July 6, Keefe Bruyette analyst David Konrad assumed coverage of Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) with a Market Perform rating and $42 price target on its shares.

By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 41 hedge funds out of the 873 tracked by Insider Monkey held stakes in Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) worth roughly $360 million. This is compared to 38 hedge funds in the previous quarter with a total stake value of approximately $401 million.

Just like JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) is a notable bank stock to buy.

13. U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 41

Ranked thirteenth on our list of the 15 best bank stocks to buy now, U.S Bancorp (NYSE:USB) is a bank holding company based in Minnesota. The company offers a variety of financial services, including lending and depository services, cash management, as well as investment management services.

In the second quarter of 2021, U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) had an EPS of $1.28, beating market estimates by $0.15. The company’s revenue was reported to be $5.76 billion, surpassing the predicted estimates by $136.74 million.

By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 41 hedge funds out of the 873 tracked by Insider Monkey held stakes in U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) worth roughly $8.3 billion. This is compared to 43 hedge funds in the previous quarter with a total stake value of approximately $8.33 billion.

On October 11, Jefferies analyst Ken Usdin raised his price target on U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) to $71 from $66, and kept a Buy rating on the shares.

12. Signature Bank (NASDAQ:SBNY)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 43

Based in New York, Signature Bank (NASDAQ:SBNY) is a full-service commercial bank that serves private business clients. The company, through its subsidiaries, specializes in equipment finance and leasing. Ranked twelfth on our list of the 15 best bank stocks to buy now, Signature Bank (NASDAQ:SBNY) has a market capitalization of $18.13 billion.

On October 7, Wells Fargo analyst Jared Shaw raised his price target on Signature Bank (NASDAQ:SBNY) to $390 from $345, and kept an Overweight rating on the shares of the company.

By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 43 hedge funds out of the 873 tracked by Insider Monkey held stakes in Signature Bank (NASDAQ:SBNY) worth roughly $787 million. This is compared to 40 hedge funds in the previous quarter with a total stake value of approximately $925.8 million.

In the Q2 2021 investor letter of Harding Loevner, the fund mentioned Signature Bank (NASDAQ:SBNY). Here is what the fund had to say:

“First Republic is a large cap company now, but it was a small cap less than ten years ago. Our challenge for the Global Small Companies strategy is to find the next First Republic. Signature Bank, which operates primarily in the large and highly penetrated New York City metro market, is a contender. Many of its clients are small- and medium-sized businesses, with a significant number in commercial real estate and apartment buildings. Rather than 1-800 numbers and phone trees, each Signature client has a single point of contact with a relationship manager and his or her team, who service all of the client’s needs. Signature’s relationship managers have lending authority, and their compensation is linked to their own results. This structure served Signature and its clients well during the pandemic, which was expected to be a disaster for the bank’s commercial real estate portfolio. Its loan deferrals, which peaked at 26% of loans in July 2020, fell to 1.9% by March of this year as the bank worked individually with clients to return them to regular payment status.

Signature’s client relationships also led them to new growth opportunities in cryptocurrency. Three years ago, the bank began offering a digital system to meets its clients need for round-the-clock payments. This eventually led the bank to offer crypto-based payments, services also useful to cryptocurrency exchanges and other players in the digital currency space, which are now using the Signature system and making substantial deposits into the bank.”

11. M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 46

M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB) is a bank holding company based in New York. Operating through its 780 branches in the United States, the company provides commercial banking and investment management, among other services. The company ranks eleventh on our list of the 15 best bank stocks to buy now.

For the second quarter of 2021, the bank holding company reported revenues amounting to more than $1.46 billion.

On October 1, Citi analyst Jill Shea upgraded M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB) to Buy from Neutral, with a price target of $170, up from $156.

By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 46 hedge funds out of the 873 tracked by Insider Monkey held stakes in M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB) worth roughly $539 million. This is compared to 36 hedge funds in the preceding quarter with a total stake value of approximately $671 million.

Much like JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB) is a notable stock to buy.

10. SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 49

SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB) is a commercial banking company based in California that provides commercial and private banking, asset management and private wealth management services. Ranked tenth on our list of the 15 best bank stocks to buy now, SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB) has a market capitalization of $38.59 billion.

On October 7, Wells Fargo analyst Jared Shaw raised his price target on SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB) to $700 from $600, and kept an Equal Weight rating on the shares.

At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 49 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $1 billion in SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB), the same as in the previous quarter with total stakes worth approximately $1.2 billion.

On July 22, SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB) issued its quarterly earnings report for the second quarter of 2021, with an EPS of $9.09, beating estimates by $2.56. The company also reported revenues at $1.50 billion, beating the forecast estimates by $354.57 million.

In the Q2 2021 investor letter of Harding Loevner, the fund mentioned SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB). Here is what the fund said:

“Over the past year, the attractive valuation of high-quality companies in out-of-favor sectors has figured into our increased holdings of Energy and Financials. More recently, while we continue to be overweight the Financial sector, we have shifted the composition away from a group of banks with operations in struggling emerging economies in favor of enlarged holdings of two US banks (one of which is) SVB Financial Group. Both cater to lucrative niche markets and prioritize impeccable service as a means to grow through referrals from their affluent and contented clientele.”

9. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 52

The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK), as a bank holding company, offers financial products and services to consumers in the United States and internationally, through its Investment and Wealth Management, Asset Management, and other segments. The company ranks ninth on our list of the 15 best bank stocks to buy now.

In the second quarter of 2021, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK) reported an EPS of $1.13, crossing consensus estimates by $0.13. The company also reported a revenue of $3.96 billion, beating the estimated revenue by $98.43 million.

By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 52 hedge funds out of the 873 tracked by Insider Monkey held stakes in The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK) worth roughly $4.9 billion. This is compared to 49 hedge funds in the previous quarter with a total stake value of approximately $4.8 billion.

On September 15, Citi analyst Keith Horowitz raised his price target on The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK) to $60 from $56, and kept a Buy rating on the shares of the firm.

8. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 61

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) operates as a financial services company headquartered in New York, and provides investment management, asset management, and securities, among other services. The company ranks eighth on our list of the 15 best bank stocks to buy now.

On July 13, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) released its quarterly earnings report for the second quarter of 2021, with a reported EPS at $15.02, beating estimates by $4.84. The firm also declared revenues of $15.39 billion, surpassing forecast estimates by $2.99 billion.

On October 1, Citi analyst Keith Horowitz raised the price target on The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) to $440 from $410, and kept a Buy rating on the shares.

By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 61 hedge funds out of the 873 tracked by Insider Monkey held stakes in The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) worth roughly $5.18 billion. This is compared to 77 hedge funds in the preceding quarter with a total stake value of approximately $5.05 billion.

Just like JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) is a decent bank stock to buy.

Ariel Investments, an investment management firm, mentioned The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) in its Q2 investor letter. Here is what the fund said:

“Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) returned +16.45%. Goldman has posted a series of excellent quarterly results. Merger and equity offering activity has been robust with trading profits bolstered by strong capital market volumes. Goldman’s asset management business has also performed well. Regulators recently moved to allow most large investment banks to return capital to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. Fundamentally, we think Goldman Sachs is attractively priced at approximately 11 times earnings and a very reasonable multiple of book value.”

7. Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 64

Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) is ranked seventh on our list of 15 best bank stocks to buy now. The Virginia-based company operates as a financial services holding firm specializing in credit cards, auto loans, banking, and savings accounts.

The company released its quarterly earnings report for the second quarter of 2021 on July 22, with earnings per share at $7.71, beating market estimates by $3.17. The company's revenue for the quarter came in at $7.37 billion, surpassing the estimated revenue by $249.31 million.

By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 64 hedge funds out of the 873 tracked by Insider Monkey held stakes in Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) worth roughly $4.05 billion. This is compared to 39 hedge funds in the preceding quarter with a total stake value of approximately $3.13 billion.

On October 5, Piper Sandler analyst Kevin Barker raised his price target on Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) to $188 from $177, and kept an Overweight rating on the shares of the company.

Just like JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) is a good stock to buy.

In its Q1 2021 investor letter, ClearBridge Investments, an asset management firm, highlighted a few stocks and Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) was one of them. Here is what the fund said:

“While reducing in health care and consumer staples, we increased our exposure to high-quality names in economically sensitive areas of the market. In financials, we increased our position in Capital One on the premise that a benign consumer credit environment should be sustainable in light of unprecedented government support.”

6. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 69

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is a multinational investment banking and financial services company based in New York. Ranked sixth on our list of the 15 best bank stocks to buy now, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has a market capitalization of $178.99 billion.

By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 69 hedge funds out of the 873 tracked by Insider Monkey held stakes in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) worth roughly $5.34 billion. This is compared to 79 hedge funds in the previous quarter with a total stake value of approximately $5.28 billion.

In the second quarter of 2021, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) had an EPS of $1.89, beating estimates by $0.23. The company’s revenue was $14.76 billion, beating consensus estimates by $763.58 million.

In its Q2 2021 investor letter ClearBridge Investments mentioned Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). Here is what the fund said:

“The Strategy also benefited from strong showings from financials holdings such as recent addition Morgan Stanley, a leading bank holding company offering a variety of financial services worldwide, and one of the largest broker-dealers, investment banks and wealth managers in the U.S. Morgan Stanley has been a leader in helping direct capital to address global sustainability challenges. Its sustainability efforts include capital markets actions such as issuing green bonds and it was early in its support for sustainability in investing and its concern for the environment. Morgan Stanley reported a great quarter with record revenues and strength across the businesses as it works to integrate and find synergies with recent acquisition E*TRADE. Following stress tests for banks, Morgan Stanley increased its dividend and share repurchase plan more than expected.”

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Disclosure. None. 15 Best Bank Stocks To Buy Now is originally published on Insider Monkey.