It turns out that size does matter. When we asked you to vote for the best financial stock of 2007, you chose the bank with the largest branch network in the country: Bank of America
I am not surprised. Back in November, I chose Bank of America as a great blue chip, based on its leading market share in the U.S. and a conservative international strategy.
But enough about me. Let's see why you chose this company over other financial powerhouses, including Capital One
TMFTaurean had this to say: "Consistent growth and a nice dividend that keeps pace with it. Recent inroads into China should pay off nicely over the long haul and really add to the bottom line. Buy this, put it away, reinvest the dividends, and forget about it. Come back in 20-30 years and reap the rewards."
CAPS player scippio had a similar view: "Its 4.3% dividend puts you almost halfway to the average return of the S&P without any capital appreciation. Add to that BAC's history of outperformance and the Fed looking like it will stop raising rates in the near term, and you have a stock ready to continue its stellar performance."
In his article supporting Bank of America, Michael Leibert also mentioned its ability to keep a tight lid on expenses and develop innovative products, two crucial components to succeeding in the competitive financial-services industry.
Of course, not everyone agrees. CAPS all-star BBQPorkMogul believes that CEO Ken Lewis and his team are "value destroyers" and that they aren't able to generate organic growth. Hedge-fund manager Tom Brown often criticizes Bank of America and Lewis on his website. To each his own, Fools say.
Over the past year, Bank of America stock has appreciated 27%, surpassing the S&P 500. That is some feat, considering the ugly interest-rate environment and the massive integration of MBNA. Today, it carries a P/E of less than 12 and has a 4.3% dividend yield.
Well done, Bank of America. You've earned the title. Now you must hang on to it.
Even though the contest is over, you can still make your opinions heard, along with more than 20,000 other investors on Motley Fool CAPS. Simply follow this link to your free registration.