Banking & Finance

Big Bank Earnings Could Be Huge This Week: 4 Top Dividend Stocks to Buy

As we have noted often, one of the few sectors where companies applaud higher interest rates is the financials. Interest rates and bank profitability are connected, with banks benefiting from higher rates. When interest rates are higher, banks can make more money by taking advantage of the difference between the interest that banks pay to customers and the interest the bank can earn by investing and writing loans.

The stock market has been on pins and needles recently, as interest rates have surged higher. While a huge increase would be dangerous for some sectors, the reality is that the Federal Reserve probably will not raise interest rates for another year or perhaps longer. Plus, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury trading up to a 1.61% handle, and the 30-year long bond at 2.16%, it is nothing compared to the 5% yields both bonds had in the summer of 2007.

The bottom line for investors is that it is likely the top large-cap financials will post some very solid numbers for the third quarter. So we screened our 24/7 Wall Street research database looking for banks that are rated Buy and could print some solid results later this week. Four look very attractive and can be bought in front of the reports.

Bank of America

The company posted solid second-quarter results and looks poised to do the same for the third quarter. Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) is a ubiquitous presence in the United States, providing various banking and financial products and services for individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses, institutional investors, corporations and governments in the United States and internationally. It operates 5,100 banking centers, 16,300 ATMs, call centers and online and mobile banking platforms.

The bank has expanded into a number of new U.S. markets, with scale across the country positioning it ideally to benefit from accelerating loan growth over the next two years. Moreover, unlike smaller peers, scale allows the bank to increase investment substantially over the next few years without notably jeopardizing returns, driving further market share gains.

Investors receive a 1.89% dividend. Credit Suisse has a $47 price target on Bank of America stock. That is higher than the $44.13 consensus target and Friday’s closing price of $44.34 a share. The bank is expected to report earnings Thursday the 14th.

Citigroup

This top bank stock backed up some recently and is offering an outstanding entry point. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) is a leading global diversified financial service company that provides consumers, corporations, governments a broad range of financial products and services.

Citigroup offers services such as consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services and wealth management. It operates and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions in North America, Latin America, Asia and elsewhere.