Stephen Rosenman
Long/short equity, deep value, special situations

First Defiance Financial: Can This Small-Town Bank Make It In The City?

Midwest regional First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) has shined serving small-town USA in places like Lima, Defiance, and Bowling Green. First Defiance has been getting more than its fair portion of the pie in the hinterlands of the Rust Belt. For instance, the bank's market share of Defiance County dwarfs that of powerhouse KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY), Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ:HBAN), and Fifth Third (NASDAQ:FITB). Needless to say, there aren't any TBTF banks providing financial services to the 3500 people who live in Hicksville, Ohio, leaving that tiny community's $27 million of deposits to First Defiance. The $2 billion asset bank plays in the low population communities of Northwest Ohio, Southeast Michigan, and Fort Wayne, Ind....

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