Best Stocks of the Bull Market #7: Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB)
Market Capitalization: $19.1 billion
Total Return Since 3/9/2009: 1,642%
Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) is one of many financial stocks that investors abandoned in droves during the mortgage meltdown.
There was little visibility on which banks were going bankrupt, which ones would be weighed down by losses for years to come and which ones would come out OK. But over the last few years, regional bank Fifth Third has shown stability by repaying its $3.4 billion bailout loan and lifting its dividend from a mere penny per share during the Great Recession to 12 cents quarterly now.
The bank still is well under its highs reached in the early 2000s, as is its dividend payout. But clearly the worst is over — FITB has bounced back handsomely, proving the bears were overly pessimistic in 2009.