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Top banks and thrifts by stock returns in January

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Top banks and thrifts by stock returns in January

The SNL U.S. Bank and Thrift Index slid 0.5% in January, compared to a 1.7% gain for the S&P 500. Strong gains following the November election, however, helped keep the index's one-year return at 42.7%, compared to the S&P 500's 20.0% return. The SNL Mid Cap U.S. Bank and Thrift Index fared even better, gaining 48.4% over the last year.

In this analysis, S&P Global Market Intelligence only examines U.S. bank and thrift stocks trading on the NYSE, NYSE MKT or Nasdaq, with a market capitalization above $50 million and an average daily trading volume of more than 5,000 shares for the last three months.

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Knoxville, Tenn.-based SmartFinancial Inc. outpaced every other major exchange-traded bank and thrift in January with a 20.2% return for the month. On Jan. 18, SmartFinancial announced a public stock offering that would allow the company to redeem the U.S. Treasury's $12.1 million preferred stock stake tied to the bank's participation in the Small Business Lending Fund program. On Feb. 1, SmartFinancial revealed that its stock offering raised $33.2 million in net proceeds.

In early December, the company announced a deal to purchase the Cleveland, Tenn., branch office and assets of FSG Bank, a division of Atlanta-based Atlantic Capital Bancshares Inc. SmartFinancial will acquire approximately $33 million in deposits and about $32 million in loans and other assets affiliated with the branch.

Downingtown, Pa.-based DNB Financial Corp. came in second with an 18.8% return for January. Helped by the company's acquisition of Philadelphia-based East River Bank on Oct. 1, 2016, DNB reported strong fourth-quarter 2016 gains. DNB's net income increased to $2.3 million in the fourth quarter compared to $1.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Its net interest margin also surged to 3.63% from 3.14% a year prior.

Only two of the 20 bank and thrift stocks with the highest gains in January had a market cap above $1 billion.

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