Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



The Secret to U.S. Bancorp's Success

Had you invested $1,000 in U.S. Bancorp's (NYSE: USB  ) stock in 1983, it would be worth roughly $40,000 today. That equates to a compound annual growth rate of 12.9%, and makes it the third most successful bank stock over that time period -- click here to see the two banks that beat it.

How did it do this? What's the secret to U.S. Bancorp's success?

The answer is much simpler than you might imagine. As I've said before, "If [US Bancorp's success] stands as an example for anything, it's that the business model of a traditional bank still reigns supreme over the universal model of its too-big-to-fail competitors."

The table below presents U.S. Bancorp's return on equity followed by the five most important profitability levers. In order to boost the former, in other words, it must pull on one or more of the latter.

There are two things that should stick out to you. The first is U.S. Bancorp's return on equity. Above all, this is the most important metric for any bank. It thus speaks volumes that the Minnesota-based bank is best in class in this regard.

With an ROE of 14.1% over the last 12 months, it handily outperforms the 9.2% median of its peer group. The only bank that even comes close is Ohio's Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB  ) , which managed to notch a 12.5% ROE over the same time period.

And the second thing that should stick out is U.S. Bancorp's superiority when it comes to expense management -- this, indeed, is the secret to its success. Only 51% of its net revenue before loan losses is eaten up by operating expenses. This is a staggering 14 percentage points better than the median, and is bested only by New York Community Bancshares (NYSE: NYCB  ) , a regional niche lender operating principally in New York City that specializes in financing multifamily housing units. The latter's efficiency ratio came in at 43%.

For investors, the takeaway should be straightforward. In this day and age of universal banks -- that is, combined investment and commercial banks -- the simplest banks continue to produce superior returns.

Finding the next bank stock home run
Have you missed out on the massive gains in bank stocks over the past few years? There's good news: It's not too late. Bargains of a lifetime are still available, but you need to know where to look. The Motley Fool's new report "Finding the Next Bank Stock Home Run" will show you how and where to find these deals. It's completely free -- click here to get started.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2658965, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/28/2016 3:16:06 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,326.10 97.80 0.54%
S&P 500 2,168.68 8.75 0.41%
NASD 5,312.99 7.27 0.14%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/28/2016 3:00 PM
FITB $20.53 Down -0.07 -0.32%
Fifth Third Bancor… CAPS Rating: ****
NYCB $14.42 Down -0.10 -0.65%
New York Community… CAPS Rating: *****
USB $42.69 Up +0.07 +0.15%
US Bancorp CAPS Rating: ****