Given that you clicked on this article, it seems safe to assume you either own stock in Zions Bancorp or are considering buying shares in the near future. If so, then you've come to the right place. The table below reveals the nine most critical numbers that investors need to know about Zions stock before deciding whether to buy, sell, or hold it.

But before getting to that, a brief introduction is in order. To paraphrase the bank's website, Zions originated as Keystone Insurance and Investment Company, a Utah Corporation, in April 1955. In April 1960, Keystone, together with several individual investors, acquired a 57.5% interest in Zions First National Bank from the Mormon Church. In 1965, the bank's name was changed to Zions Bancorp -- though, it operated as Zions Utah Bancorporation from 1966 to 1987. Zions subsequently went public in January 1966. At present, the Utah-based bank operates over 480 full-service banking offices in 10 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington


As you can see in the table above, Zions is one of a handful of banks that are struggling to emerge completely from the financial crisis. While its nonperforming loans ratio is 13 basis points better than the industry average, at 1.71%, it's still far higher than it should be. In addition, its efficiency ratio exceeds many of the bank's peers, meaning that it costs Zions comparatively more to generate each dollar of revenue. And as a result, its return on equity is far below both the average and the ideal double-digit level that bank investors prefer to see.

On the other hand, the best that can be said about Zions at this point is that it pays out a generous 38% of its earnings via dividends and trades for a relatively paltry 1.19 times tangible book value -- though the latter is far from a bargain in the normal course of things.

Many investors are scared about investing in big banking stocks after the crash, but the sector has one notable stanout. In a sea of mismanaged and dangerous peers, it rises above as "The Only Big Bank Built to Last." You can uncover the top pick that Warren Buffett loves in The Motley Fool's new report. It's free, so click here to access it now.

The article Zions Bancorp: 9 Critical Numbers originally appeared on Fool.com.

John Maxfield has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

What is Short Selling?

Make a profit when stocks prices fall.

View Course »

Introduction to Value Investing

Are you the next Warren Buffett?

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum