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

Sterling Strengthens The Business, But Umpqua Not Exactly Cheap

There's likely always going to be a place for local/regional banks that focus on customer service and deep relationships as opposed to cross-selling and cost efficiency. Umpqua Holdings (NASDAQ:UMPQ) is one such bank in the Pacific Northwest, where it has the #4 position in Oregon behind Bank Of America (NYSE:BAC), U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and the #7 position in Washington state.

Umpqua has a lot going for it, including an uncommon retail-oriented branch network and strong growth opportunities in leasing. The acquisition of Sterling not only gives the company more scale in its core operating areas, but also the prospect of synergies and cost leverage and a more balanced...

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