Big Bang With Small Bank Stocks
Under siege for most of the past several years, the financial services sector has finally shown legitimate signs of life in 2012.
A change to the corporate structure of REIT would likely send investors scurrying out of an asset class that has been a favored destination in this low interest rate environment. To be sure, there is no guarantee Congress will force REITs into a traditional corporate tax structure. It is merely an issue investors to keep on their radar screens.
Artio Global Investors (NYSE:ART): Asset manager Artio is easily the most controversial name on this list. Maybe it is because the company had $16.7 billion in assets under management at the end of October compared with $17.7 billion at the end of September. Or maybe it is because the stock trades for less than $2. Or maybe investors have not warmed to management changes that took place earlier this year.
Artio started paying its dividend in 2010 and currently yields 4.4%, but the company's payout ratio is just 18%, indicating there is room for dividend growth and that the firm is not being overwhelmed by its dividend. Consider this stock a deep value play because the shares trade for less than 0.8 times book value and less than eight times cash flow.
**The screening methodology used for this included the following parameters: Only stocks that currently reside in the micro-cap universe, yields above 3%, financial services stocks excluding closed-end funds and average daily volume of at least 50,000 shares.
Editor's Note: This content was originally published on Benzinga.com by Gordon Wilcox.
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