A Buy Signal for This Bank

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) and the broader S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) are in the black this morning after yesterday's tumble. The indexes are both up a fraction of a percentage -- five points and one point, respectively.

The micro view
Shares of Dow component JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) are outperforming this morning, up 1.6% and scratching back part of yesterday's nasty 5.6% decline. In a positive development for sentiment, the bank announced in a quarterly filing with the SEC that it has received permission from the Federal Reserve to resume repurchasing its shares. The company can repurchase up to $3 billion in the first quarter of next year. The bank suspended buybacks on May 21 in the wake of the "London whale" trading scandal, which ultimately cost the bank about $6.2 billion.

In his most recent annual letter to shareholders (link opens PDF file), JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon discussed his thinking on share buybacks, concluding: "If you like our businesses, buying back stock at tangible book value is a very good deal. So you can assume that we are a buyer in size around tangible book value." The discussion goes into a bit of detail and is well worth reading if you're a current or potential shareholder. But don't take it from me; Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B  ) CEO and super-investor Warren Buffett said this year, "I think Jamie Dimon writes the best annual letter in corporate America." At the time, Buffett also confided that he owns the shares in his personal account.

After yesterday's rout, JPMorgan shares closed at a 10% premium to tangible book value. At that valuation, and assuming you like the bank's businesses, you're getting more than a square deal. My Foolish colleagues Ilan Moscovitz and Morgan Housel both agree that the shares are cheap in their premium report released this month. If you want to read their comprehensive analysis, including the three areas you must watch, click here to request the report, and you'll also receive updates on the stock over the next 12 months.


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