Harvard Winters
Long/short equity, growth at reasonable price, value

Do You Like Acquisitive Banks? First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. May Change Your Mind

First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG) is a $37 billion asset, $2.9 billion market cap bank headquartered in Buffalo, New York. When FNFG went public in April 1998, it did so as a thrift and used a mutual holding company structure. It completed its conversion to a fully-public thrift in January 2003. In March 2010, it became a bank holding company.

As is typical for a thrift converting to fully-public ownership, FNFG's stated book value per share (BV-PS) ballooned, from $4.21 in Q4 2002 to $10.06 in Q1 2003. Tangible book value per share (TBV-PS) increased from $3.02 to $8.55 (these figures are calculated by SNL Financial LC and differ slightly from company-reported figures). At December 31, 2012,...

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