Corus Bankshares: A Little-Known Bank Making Big Strides

Jul.24.07 | About: Corus Bankshares (CORS)

Eddy Elfenbein submits: Ever heard of Corus Bankshares (CORS)?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Corus is a pee-wee-cap bank that specializes in making condo loans in markets where people like to overpay for condos. Without anyone noticing, CORS has become one the top-performing stocks of the last generation.

Over the last 30 years, shares of Corus are up about 45,000%. That’s amazing. Put it this way, Corus has lapped the S&P 500 about 30 times in 30 years and more than doubled Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) (and I bet you heard of that one). Still, few people know about little Corus.

The reason I bring this up isn’t to tout Corus’ long-term record, but to draw your attention to today’s earnings report. For Q2, Corus netted 74 cents a share, which is a big drop off from the 82 cents a share it made last year. The culprit, naturally, was the real estate market in places like Florida. But here’s the interesting part: Wall Street was expecting much worse. The average of the three analysts was for 61 cents a share.

I don’t mean this as any hyper-sophisticated analysis of the real estate market. It’s just interesting to note that even experts are having difficulty seeing the magnitude of the housing mess. Perhaps it’s not as bad as it looks.

Meanwhile, shares of Corus were up about 6.4% Monday.

CORS 1-yr chart: