November 18, 2011 at 06:15 AM EST
7 Financial Stocks Mauled By the Mortgage Meltdown
It's quite obvious that the mortgage crisis has been hard on banks. Particularly troubled are the mortgage finance companies and “thrifts” such as AF and FNFG.

The understatement of the century is that the mortgage crisis has been hard on banks. Investors should be painfully familiar with the damage done — from Lehman’s bankruptcy to the downward spiral of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) to a host of other financials. But particularly troubled are mortgage finance companies and “thrifts.” Thrifts specialize in two areas of business: mortgages and savings. Unfortunately, old mortgages are frequently drags on the bottom line and new mortgages are rare. Also, many Americans have much less in savings accounts than they used to — either due to hardship or because those accounts yield next to nothing at today’s rock-bottom rates.

I watch more than 5,000 publicly traded companies with my Portfolio Grader tool, ranking companies by a number of fundamental and quantitative measures. And this week, I’ve got seven financial stocks mauled by the mortgage meltdown.

Here they are, in alphabetical order. Each one of these stocks gets a “D” or “F” according to my research, meaning it is a “strong sell” or “sell.”

Astoria Financial Corp. (NYSE:AF) is a unitary savings and loan association holding company. A 47% loss in 2011 has shareholders questioning their purchase of AF stock.

First Niagara Financial Group (NASDAQ:FNFG) is a provider of retail and commercial banking, along with other financial services. FNFG stock has dropped 37%, year-to-date, compared to gains by the broader markets in the same period.

Hudson City Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:HCBK) operated a bank involved with community- and consumer-oriented retail savings banks offering deposit products, residential real estate mortgage loans and consumer loans. Since the start of 2011, HCBK stock is down 56%.

MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE:MTG) operates in the Unites States and is a provider of private mortgage insurance. MTG stock is down a stunning 72%, year-to-date.

New York Community Bancorp (NYSE:NYB) operates in New York City and produces multifamily mortgage loans primarily for apartment buildings. NYB stock has declined 36%, compared to a gain of 4% by the Dow Jones.

Provident Financial Services Inc. (NYSE:PFS) operates a community- and customer-oriented bank with 81 full-service branch offices. PFS rounds out the list, with a loss of 18%, year-to-date.

Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WFSL) is involved with non-diversified unitary savings and loan holding. Since the beginning of 2011, WFSL has watched its stock value decline 22%.

Get more analysis of these picks and other publicly-traded stocks with Louis Navellier’s Portfolio Grader tool, a 100% free stock-rating tool that measures both quantitative buying pressure and eight fundamental factors.


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