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First Niagara Is Worth Considering

First Niagara Financial Group (NASDAQ:FNFG) is a regional bank that operates in Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Conservatively run, the company was able to use the financial crisis to significantly increase its size, growing from $9 billion in assets before the crisis to $37 billion today. It bought 57 branches from PNC (NYSE:PNC) in Western Pennsylvania in April 2009 while its similarly timed Harleysville National deal gave it access to Eastern PA. FNFG also purchased HSBC's Upstate New York branches to cement its foothold in the region. The following map shows the breakdown of First Niagara's branches.

(click to enlarge)

Having expanded its size to become a "super-regional" bank, I believe FNFG is now...

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