Cheap Stocks to Buy Now: Huntington Bancshares (HBAN)
Market Cap: $8.1 billion
One sector of the stock market that has big potential in 2014 is the banking sector. In the last six months, the Financial SPDR (XLF) is up about 8% — roughly twice the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Regional bank stocks are some of the best-performing stocks among the financial sector. Among them is Huntington Bancshares (HBAN), which is up by about 15% in the past six months.
Broadly speaking, smaller banks can be a bit safer than the big players like Bank of America (BAC) or JPMorgan Chase (JPM) because they aren’t exposed to the same risks of massive lawsuits over subprime mortgages, and they don’t operate aggressive trading desks that could cost them a fortune if the bets go bad.
Furthermore, as big bank stocks face the yoke of increased regulation and less growth in the years ahead, the easiest way for them to grow is via acquisitions — meaning smaller players like HBAN are very attractive as a way for major financial stocks to increase their assets and regional footprint.