Is it time to buy Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd shares?

The shares of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN) have soared by over 10% in the last 30 days, making it the best performing bank on the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) during the period.

Close behind was fellow regional bank the Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ), and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) which have both returned shareholders almost 9.5% in the last 30 days.

With the shares continuing their upward trend and gaining over 3% today, many investors will no doubt wonder whether these gains can be sustained. Well, the good news is that I believe they can be.

Despite being the best performer during the last 30 days, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is still playing catch up when you look at things on a year-to-date basis. The regional bank is by far the worst performer in the retail bank industry in 2016 with its decline of 18.5%.

Incidentally, it is Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) which is the best performer with a decline of around 3% year-to-date.

The company did disappoint shareholders with its half-year results, but I believe the sell-off was largely overdone. Even after the gains in the last 30 days, its shares are still trading at the joint-lowest estimated forward price-to-earnings ratio of all the Australian banks.

If the company’s application for advanced accreditation from APRA is approved, it would allow it to loan out significantly more on the same level of capital it holds currently. This will certainly be a big boost to the company’s prospects and I would expect the share price to climb as a result.

The outlook which management gave in its half-year results was very positive. Its strong capital, funding, and credit positions have placed the bank well for sustainable growth in the future.

The full-year dividend is another appealing reason to invest in the company. The estimated fully-franked dividend of 67.5 cents provides a yield of 7.1% presently.

Of all the banks on the ASX, I believe Bendigo and Adelaide Bank could be the best performer from this point until the end of 2016. Its share price has been beaten down considerably, and I feel it can climb significantly higher from here.

In my opinion, I believe this makes now an ideal time to look at investing in this growing regional bank.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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