As an investor, I always love finding companies that positively shape the way we do things.
More important, I admire businesses that can do so with every intention of not only inflating their own bank accounts, but also genuinely striving to improve their customers' lives.
The building blocks of success
Last month, the folks at AdWeek astutely�described�"How Lego Became the Most Valuable Toy Company in the World."
Of course, one stroll down the toy aisle can tell you that Lego has made the most of its licensing deals with megabrands like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh, and a variety of Marvel and DC Comics properties, to name only a few.
However, Lego can also largely thank its decades-long dominance to its focus on bolstering kids' creativity. In fact, Lego's stated mission is "to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow by engaging children across the world in positive play and hands-on, minds-on creativity."
According to Lego brand relations director Michael McNally:
Top 10 Telecom Stocks To Buy Right Now: Astoria Financial Corp (AF)
Astoria Financial Corporation, incorporated on June, 14, 1993, is the unitary savings and loan association holding company of Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association (Astoria Federal). The Company�� principal business is the operation of its wholly owned subsidiary, Astoria Federal. Astoria Federal�� primary business is attracting retail deposits from the general public and investing those deposits, together with funds generated from operations, principal repayments on loans and securities and borrowings, primarily in one- to four-family mortgage loans, multi-family mortgage loans, commercial real estate loans and mortgage-backed securities. Astoria Federal also invests in consumer and other loans, the United States Government, government agency and government-sponsored enterprise (GSE), securities and other investments.
The Company�� loan portfolio consists primarily of mortgage loans. As of December 31, 2012, 74% of its total loan portfolio was secured by residential properties and 24% was secured by multi-family properties and commercial real estate. The remainder of the loan portfolio consists of a variety of consumer and other loans, including commercial and industrial loans originated in 2012 through its business banking initiatives. As of December 31, 2012, its net loan portfolio totaled $13.08 billion, or 79% of total assets. The Company originates mortgage loans either directly through its banking and loan production offices in New York or indirectly through brokers and its third party loan origination program. It also originates mortgage loans for sale. The Company�� primary lending focus is on the origination and purchase of first mortgage loans secured by one- to four-family properties that serve as the primary residence of the owner.
The Company also originates multi-family and commercial real estate loans. As of December 31, 2012, multi-family mortgage loans totaled $2.41 billion, or 18% of its total loan portfolio,! and commercial real estate loans totaled $773.9 million, or 6% of its total loan portfolio. At December 31, 2012, $264.1 million, or 2%, of the Company�� total loan portfolio consisted of consumer and other loans which were primarily home equity lines of credit. The Company also offers overdraft protection, lines of credit, commercial loans and passbook loans. Consumer and other loans, with the exception of home equity and commercial lines of credit, are offered primarily on a fixed rate, short-term basis.
At December 31, 2012, the Company�� securities portfolio totaled $2.04 billion, or 12%, of total assets. The Company does not use derivatives for trading purposes. Its securities portfolio consists primarily of mortgage-backed securities. At December 31, 2012, its mortgage-backed securities totaled $1.94 billion, or 95%, of total securities, of which $1.92 billion, or 94%, of total securities, were real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMIC) and collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO) securities, substantially all of which had fixed rates. Of the REMIC and CMO securities portfolio, $2.35 billion, or 98.7%, are guaranteed by Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) or Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) as issuer. At December 31, 2012, its securities available-for-sale totaled $336.3 million and its securities held-to-maturity totaled $1.7 billion. At December 31, 2012, it had no investments in repurchase agreements and federal funds sold.
Sources of Funds
The Company�� primary source of funds is the cash flow provided by its investing activities, including principal and interest payments on loans and securities. Its other sources of funds are provided by operating activities and financing activities, including deposits and borrowings. The Company offers a variety of deposit accounts with a range of interest rates and terms. It offers ! passbook ! and statement savings accounts, money market accounts, negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) and demand deposit accounts, liquid certificates of deposit (Liquid CDs), and certificates of deposit, which include all time deposits other than Liquid CDs. Liquid CDs have maturities of three months, require the maintenance of a minimum balance and allow depositors the ability to make periodic deposits to and withdrawals from their account. At December 31, 2012, its deposits totaled $10.44 billion. Of the total deposit balance, $1.28 billion, or 12%, represented individual retirement accounts during the year ended December 31, 2012. It held no brokered deposits at December 31, 2012. Core deposits represented 53.3% of total deposits at December 31, 2011. Reverse repurchase agreements are accounted for as borrowings and are secured by the securities sold under the agreements. At December 31, 2012, borrowings totaled $4.37 billion. It also obtains advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLB-NY).
In addition to Astoria Federal, the Company has two other subsidiaries, AF Insurance Agency, Inc. and Astoria Capital Trust I. AF Insurance Agency, Inc. is a life insurance agency. Through contractual agreements with various third parties, AF Insurance Agency, Inc. makes insurance products available primarily to the customers of Astoria Federal. Astoria Federal�� wholly owned subsidiaries include AF Agency, Inc., Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association Revocable Grantor Trust, Astoria Federal Mortgage Corp. (AF Mortgage), Fidata Service Corp. (Fidata), Marcus I Inc. and Suffco Service Corporation (Suffco). AF Agency, Inc. makes various annuity products available to the customers of Astoria Federal through an unaffiliated third party vendor. AF Mortgage is an operating subsidiary through which Astoria Federal engages in lending activities outside the State of New York through its third party loan origination program. Fidata mortgage loans totaled $5.09 bi! llion at ! December 31, 2012. Suffco serves as document custodian for the loans of Astoria Federal and Fidata and certain loans being serviced for Fannie Mae and other investors.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jonathan Morgan]
Air France-KLM Group (AF), Europe�� second-biggest airline by sales, retreated 2.8 percent. Mediaset SpA climbed 2.8 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG raised its price target on the Italian broadcaster. Serco Group Plc added 2.7 percent after predicting that its revenue growth in the first half will exceed its previous estimates.
- [By Namitha Jagadeesh]
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) and Air France-KLM (AF) Group rose with as a gauge of travel stocks as oil prices fell after Iran�� accord. PSA Peugeot Citroen gained 3.7 percent after people familiar with the matter said its chief executive officer plans to step down next year. Fresenius Medical Care AG surged the most in five years after U.S. regulators scrapped a plan to cut Medicare payments next year.
Best Bank Companies To Invest In Right Now: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANEWF)Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) provides a range of banking and financial products and services to retail, small business, corporate and institutional clients. The Company conducts its operations in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region. It also operates in a range of other countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States. The Company operates on a divisional structure with Australia, International and Institutional Banking (IIB), New Zealand, and Global Wealth and Private Banking. As of September 30, 2012, the Company had 1,337 branches and other points of representation worldwide, excluding automatic teller machines (ATMs). In September 2012, it sold its remaining shareholding in Visa Inc. In May 2013, the Company ceased to be substantial holder in respect of ING Private Equity Access Limited. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By MARKETWATCH]
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Australian stocks gave ground in early Friday trading, with banks broadly lower after overnight losses in the U.S., where investors worried that better-than-expected data would prompt the Federal Reserve to roll back stimulus soon. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) lost 0.4% to 5,178.30, as National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) fell 1.8%, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) lost 0.8%, and Macquarie Group Ltd. (AU:MQG) (MCQEF) retreated 1.3%. Among the resource shares, losses for gold both in New York and in early Asian electronic trade helped send Evolution Mining Ltd. (AU:EVN) (CAHPF) down 1.9% and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (AU:KCN) (KSKGF) off 4.5%, though Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) held the drop to 0.4%. Oil prices managed a modest gain, however, resulting in a 0.2% rise for Oil Search Ltd. (AU:OSH) (OISHF) and Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. (AU:KAR) (KRNGF) , while Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (AU:WPL)
- [By MARKETWATCH]
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Australia stocks rose early Thursday, with miners leading the way higher after a positive production report from Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) , while overall sentiment got a lift from U.S. gains overnight. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) improved by 0.6% to 5,274.30, with shares of Rio Tinto rising 2.2% after reporting record high iron-ore shipments for 2013 and a sold gain for copper output. Rio's peers also advanced, with BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) up 1.7%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) ahead by 3.2%, and Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) adding 2.4%. Among the gold producers, Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) surged 7.2% as J.P. Morgan raised its rating on the shares to overweight from neutral. Banks weren't as lucky, however, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) down 0.3%, while Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBNF) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) lost 0.7% each as Citibank downgraded the trio t
- [By WWW.MARKETWATCH.COM]
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Australia shares nudged lower early Friday, with the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) down 0.2% to erase the previous session's 0.2% gain, dragged by losses for European and U.S. equities on the back of a Portuguese financial crisis. Financials fell (Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) each down 0.3%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) down 0.4%, and Macquarie Group Ltd. (AU:MQG) (MCQEF) down 0.7%), and the top miners fared especially poorly (Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) down 1.2%, Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) down 1.1%, though BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) off just 0.1%). And while Atlas Iron Ltd. (AU:AGO) beat its production guidance, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) missed its production guidance, both saw losses, with Atlas stock off 2.9% and Fortescue trading 1.6% lower. Among the gainers, Scentre Group
Best Bank Companies To Invest In Right Now: ICICI Bank Ltd (IBN)
ICICI Bank Limited (the Bank), incorporated on January 5, 1994, is a banking company. The Bank, together with its subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates, is a diversified financial services group providing a range of banking and financial services, including commercial banking, retail banking, project and corporate finance, working capital finance, insurance, venture capital and private equity, investment banking, broking and treasury products and services. It operates under four segments: retail banking, wholesale banking, treasury and other banking. Retail Banking includes exposures of the Bank, which satisfy the four criteria of orientation, product, granularity and low value of individual exposures for retail exposures. Wholesale Banking includes all advances to trusts, partnership firms, companies and statutory bodies, which are not included under Retail Banking. Treasury includes the entire investment portfolio of the Bank. Other Banking includes hire purchase and leasing operations and other items. As of March 31, 2012, the Bank had 17 subsidiaries. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013, the Company added 348 branches and 1,475 automated teller machines (ATMs) to its network, taking its branch and ATM count to 3,100 and 10,481 respectively at March 31, 2013.
The branch network serves as an integrated channel for deposit mobilization, selected retail asset origination and distribution of third-party products, as well as the focal point for customer service. During fiscal 2011, the Bank continued its focus on increasing the proportion of low-cost retail deposits in its funding base. During fiscal 2011, its retail disbursements increased as it focused on opportunities in residential mortgages, vehicle finance and construction equipment finance. The Company also continued to focus on cross-selling new products and products of its life and general insurance subsidiaries to its existing customers. As of March 31, 2013, its ATMs offer services such a! s opening fixed deposits, payment of credit card and utility bills, payment of insurance premium, mobile re-charges and ultra fast cash.
The Company offers banking solutions to small and medium enterprises across industry segments. The Company supports the growth of the small and medium enterprises sector while adopting a cluster-based financing approach for enterprises with a homogeneous profile in industries, such as infrastructure, engineering, information technology, education, life-sciences and agri-based businesses. The Company also offers supply chain financing solutions to the channel partners of large corporates.
The Bank offers a suite of corporate banking products, including rupee and foreign currency debt, working capital credit, structured financing, loan syndication and commercial banking products and services. The Company also puts in place product specific teams with a view to focus on designing financial solutions for clients spread across structured finance, project finance, loan syndication and markets. The relationship team also works with its Markets Group to assist customers in devising and executing risk management strategies to address foreign currency, interest rate and liquidity risks. Its loan syndication franchise enables the Bank to structure, underwrite and syndicate rupee and foreign currency debt with Indian and offshore investors. The Bank has built robust sector-specific syndication skills across project finance, merger and acquisition (M&A) financing and structured finance to provide optimal financing solutions.
The Company�� international banking business is focused on meeting the foreign currency needs of its Indian corporate clients and partnering them in their global expansion, taking select trade finance exposures linked to imports to India. ICICI Bank has subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Russia and Canada, branches in the U! nited Sta! tes, Singapore, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Dubai International Finance Centre and Qatar Financial Centre and representative offices in the United Arab Emirates, China, South Africa, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The Bank�� wholly owned subsidiary, ICICI Bank UK PLC, has 11 branches in the United Kingdom and a branch each in Belgium and Germany. ICICI Bank Canada has nine branches. ICICI Bank Eurasia Limited Liability Company has one branch.
The Company develops products and service offerings to meet the requirements of the Non Resident Indian (NRI) community. The Bank launched I-Express, an instant cross-border money transfer option for NRIs through its select partners in the Middle East. The I-Express facility offers the remitter an option of visiting any partner outlet for instant credit into the beneficiary account maintained with ICICI Bank in India, at no extra cost. The Company also launched Fixed Rupee on Money2India.com, a facility that enables NRIs to send the exact rupee amount remittance to India since the exchange rate is confirmed at the time of initiating the remittance.
Inclusive and Rural Banking
Inclusive and Rural Banking include offering credit to the rural market through the Bank's branches and dedicated field teams and financial inclusion through business correspondents. The Bank focuses on improving its product and service offerings to meet the requirements of all participants in the rural market, including farmers, traders, commission agents, small processors and other medium agri-corporates. The Bank focuses on building capacity to implement its financial inclusion plan. The Bank also focused on opening accounts for routing benefit payments under various government schemes and has received the mandate for opening accounts of individuals under these schemes in certain states.
The Bank has also identified 25 business correspondents having a network of over 7,500 customer service points, to service these cust! omers. Th! e Bank provides basic financial services to the unbanked and underbanked
population comprising small and marginal farmers, daily wage labourers, beneficiaries of government. Around 47% of the Bank�� branches are in rural and semi-urban areas
The Bank provides provide foreign exchange and derivative products and services to customers through its Markets Group. These products and services include foreign exchange products for hedging currency risk, foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives, such as options and swaps and bullion transactions.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Anuchit Nguyen]
Indian stocks declined, with the benchmark index halting a four-week rally, after central bank Governor Raghuram Rajan�� comment that inflation is still high. ICICI Bank (IBN) dropped to the lowest level since Sept. 5. The S&P BSE Bankex Index retreated 1.8 percent.
Best Bank Companies To Invest In Right Now: Hang Seng Bank Ltd (0011.HK)
Hang Seng Bank Limited and its subsidiaries and associates are engaged in the provision of banking and related financial services. It operates in five segments. The Hong Kong and other business segment includes: Retail Banking and Wealth Management activities, which offer personal banking, consumer lending and wealth management services to individual customers, including current and savings accounts, mortgages and personal loans and others; Corporate and Commercial Banking activities, which include the provision of financial services, payments and cash management and others to corporate and commercial customers; Treasury activities, which are mainly the provision of treasury services in credit, interest rates, foreign exchanges and others, and Other, which mainly refers to the management of shareholders' funds. The Mainland China business segment comprises the business of Hang Seng Bank (China) Limited and the Company's share of profit from Mainland associates.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Steven Russolillo]
MARKET SNAP: At 6:05 a.m. ET, S&P 500 futures up 0.1%. 10-Year Treasury yield lower at 2.20%. Nymex down 92 cents at $84.82. Gold 0.2% higher at $1233. In Europe, FTSE 100 down 0.5%, DAX down 0.7% and CAC 40 down 0.9%. In Asia, Nikkei 225 down 2.4% and Hang Seng (0011.HK) down 0.4%.
- [By Steven Russolillo]
MARKET SNAP: At 6:20 a.m. ET, S&P 500 futures up 0.2%. 10-Year Treasury yield flat at 2.46%. Nymex up 6 cents at $102.45. Gold 0.2% higher at $1310.40. In Europe, FTSE 100 up 0.4%, DAX up 0.7% and CAC 40 up 0.6%. In Asia, Nikkei 225 down 0.1% and Hang Seng (0011.HK) up 0.8%.
Best Bank Companies To Invest In Right Now: Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc (CFR)
Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (Cullen/Frost), incorporated in 1977, is a financial holding company and a bank holding company. The Company offers commercial and consumer banking services, as well as trust and investment management, mutual funds, Section 1031 property exchange services, investment banking, insurance, brokerage, leasing, asset-based lending, treasury management and item processing services. At December 31, 2011, Cullen/Frost had consolidated total assets of $20.3 billion. The Company operates in two segments: Banking and Frost Wealth Advisors. The Company serves a variety of industries including, among others, energy, manufacturing, services, construction, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, military and transportation. On January 1, 2012, the Company acquired Stone Partners, Inc., a Houston-based human resources consulting firm that specializes in compensation, benefits and outsourcing services. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company acquired an insurance agency in the San Antonio market area.
Cullen/Frost�� subsidiaries include The New Galveston Company, Cullen/Frost Capital Trust II (Trust II), The Frost National Bank (Frost Bank), Frost Insurance Agency, Inc., Frost Brokerage Services, Inc. (FBS), Frost Premium Finance Corporation, Frost Investment Advisors, LLC, Frost 1031 Exchange, LLC, Frost Securities, Inc. and Main Plaza Corporation. The Banking operating segment includes both commercial and consumer banking services, Frost Securities, Inc. and Frost Insurance Agency. Commercial banking services are provided to corporations and other business clients and include an array of lending and cash management products. Consumer banking services include direct lending and depository services. Frost Insurance Agency provides insurance brokerage services to individuals and businesses covering corporate and personal property and casualty products, as well as group health and life insurance products. Frost Securities, Inc. provides advisory and private equity s! ervices to middle market companies. The Frost Wealth Advisors operating segment includes fee-based services within private trust, retirement services, and financial management services, including personal wealth management and brokerage services. The parent company�� principal activities include the direct and indirect ownership of the Corporation�� banking and non-banking subsidiaries and the issuance of debt and equity.
The New Galveston Company
The New Galveston Company is a wholly owned second-tier financial holding company and bank holding company. The Company directly owns all of Cullen/Frost�� banking and non-banking subsidiaries with the exception of Cullen/Frost Capital Trust II.
Cullen/Frost Capital Trust II
Trust II is a business trust formed for the purpose of issuing trust preferred securities and lending the proceeds to Cullen/Frost. Trust II is a variable interest entity for which the Company is not the primary beneficiary.
The Frost National Bank
The Frost National Bank (Frost Bank) is primarily engaged in the business of commercial and consumer banking through approximately 115 financial centers across Texas in the Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio regions. At December 31, 2011, Frost Bank had consolidated total assets of $20.3 billion and total deposits of $16.8 billion. Frost Bank provides commercial banking services to corporations and other business clients. Loans are made for a variety of general corporate purposes, including financing for industrial and commercial properties and to a lesser extent, financing for interim construction related to industrial and commercial properties, financing for equipment, inventories and accounts receivable, and acquisition financing, as well as commercial leasing and treasury management services.
Frost Bank provides a range of consumer banking services, including checking accounts, savings progra! ms, autom! ated teller machines, overdraft facilities, installment and real estate loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, drive-in and night deposit services, safe deposit facilities, and brokerage services. Frost Bank provides international banking services to customers residing in or dealing with businesses located in Mexico. These services consist of accepting deposits, making loans, issuing letters of credit, handling foreign collections, transmitting funds, and to a limited extent, dealing in foreign exchange.
Frost Bank acts as correspondent for approximately 316 financial institutions, which are primarily banks in Texas. These banks maintain deposits with Frost Bank, which offers them a range of services, including check clearing, transfer of funds, fixed income security services, and securities custody and clearance services. Frost Bank provides a range of trust, investment, agency and custodial services for individual and corporate clients. These services include the administration of estates and personal trusts, as well as the management of investment accounts for individuals, employee benefit plans and charitable foundations. Frost Bank�� Capital Markets Division offers services, such as sales and trading, new issue underwriting, money market trading, and securities safekeeping and clearance.
Frost Insurance Agency, Inc.
Frost Insurance Agency, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Frost Bank. Frost Insurance Agency, Inc. provides insurance brokerage services to individuals and businesses covering corporate and personal property and casualty insurance products, as well as group health and life insurance products.
Frost Brokerage Services, Inc.
FBS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Frost Bank. FBS provides brokerage services and performs other transactions or operations related to the sale and purchase of securities of all types.
Frost Premium Finance Corporation
Frost Premium Finance Corporation is a who! lly owned! subsidiary of Frost Bank. Frost Premium Finance Corporation makes loans to qualified borrowers for the purpose of financing their purchase of property and casualty insurance.
Frost Investment Advisors, LLC
Frost Investment Advisors, LLC is a registered investment advisor entity and a wholly owned subsidiary of Frost Bank. Frost Investment Advisors, LLC provides investors access to various Frost-managed mutual funds.
Frost 1031 Exchange, LLC
Frost 1031 Exchange, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Frost Bank. Frost 1031 Exchange, LLC assists customers in structuring the exchange of property such that the transactions result in a tax-deferred exchange in compliance with Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Frost Securities, Inc.
Frost Securities, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of The New Galveston Company. Frost Securities, Inc. provides advisory and private equity services to middle market companies in Texas.
Main Plaza Corporation
Main Plaza Corporation is a wholly owned non-banking subsidiary of The New Galveston Company. Main Plaza Corporation occasionally makes loans to qualified borrowers.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Namitha Jagadeesh]
UniCredit SpA and Standard Chartered Plc climbed more than 2 percent each as a gauge of lenders advanced. Randgold Resources Ltd. and Polymetal International Plc jumped more than 8 percent as the price of gold rose. Cie. Financiere Richemont SA (CFR) and Swatch Group AG advanced more than 1 percent as a report showed Swiss watch exports increased last month.
- [By Sofia Horta e Costa]
Sanofi fell 2.6 percent after withdrawing a U.S. application for a diabetes drug. Cie. Financiere Richemont (CFR) SA dropped 2.3 percent as revenue missed analysts��estimates. Vivendi SA advanced 2.7 percent after saying it will begin a formal study to separate its French phone unit from its media businesses. Home Retail Group Plc (HOME) surged 5.4 percent to a two-year high as sales exceeded projections.
Best Bank Companies To Invest In Right Now: Bank Of Montreal (BMO)
Bank of Montreal, together with its subsidiaries, provides a range of retail banking, wealth management, and investment banking products and solutions in North America and internationally. It offers personal banking products and services to consumers and small businesses, including deposit and investment services, mortgages, consumer credit, small business lending, and other banking services; and commercial banking products and services to small business, medium-sized enterprise, and mid-market banking clients comprising lending, deposits, treasury management, and risk management services. The company also offers cards and payments services; investment and wealth advisory services; self-directed investing services; private banking services to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients; investment fund solutions across a range of channels; pension plans; investment management services; and creditor insurance, and life insurance and annuity products and services. In add ition, it provides capital markets products and services, including equity and debt underwriting, corporate lending and project financing, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and recapitalizations, balance sheet management, liquidity management, merchant banking, securitization, foreign exchange, derivatives, debt and equity research, and institutional sales and trading to corporate, institutional, and government clients. As of October 31, 2010, Bank of Montreal operated and maintained approximately 1,230 bank branches in Canada and the United States. The company was founded in 1817 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE: TD ) will release its quarterly report on Thursday, and in general, investors have been pleased with the Canadian bank's prospects over the past several months. But in light of surprisingly negative news from rival Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO ) on Tuesday, Toronto-Dominion Bank will have to demonstrate that it's able to avoid the troubles that hurt its rival's results during the most recent quarter.
- [By Eric Volkman]
Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC ) Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo's (NYSE: WFC ) Securities unit, KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY ) subsidiary KeyBanc Capital Markets, and Bank of Montreal's (NYSE: BMO ) BMO Capital Markets are the joint book-running managers of the issue.