Stephen Simpson, CFA
Long only, growth at reasonable price, value, research analyst

CenterState Bank An Odd Mix Of Performance Potential And Iffy Valuation

Bank stock investing is not for the investor who likes things neat, tidy, and easy. Although the basic operation of banking is simple in theory (borrow at one rate, lend at a higher rate, and what's left over after expenses is profit), the accounting rules muddy the waters considerably.

Even among those banks with relatively simpler operations, community banks that don't engage in extensive trading, leasing, or multi-state operations, you can find curious disconnects between value and operations. Florida's CenterState Banks (NASDAQ: CSFL) seems to be a case in point. While I think this bank offers good leverage to a recovery in Florida and has the potential to outperform with its covered loans, the company's high operating expenses and...

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