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  • Ames National Corp.: High-Quality Bank For A Fair Price
    Wed, Dec. 3 ATLO 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Under-followed, Ames National Corp. is a safe and consistent performer in the regional bank space.
    • The bank required zero TARP dollars, and never posted a loss during the financial crisis.
    • Going forward, the bank's low cost structure and increasing asset base sets shares up for double digit returns.
  • Is Now The Time To Buy Southwest Bancorp?
     • Wed, Dec. 3 OKSB Comment!

    Summary

    • Southwest Bancorp has made major strides in cleaning up last year's problematic loans and expensive debt.
    • Unfortunately, shares still look expensive because a lot of this year's reported income has come from non-recurring sources.
    • Even with a low leverage ratio, capacity looks stretched, and management's buyback and dividend programs have this candle burning at both ends.
  • National Bankshares Is In The Buy Zone
     • Wed, Nov. 26 NKSH 6 Comments

    Summary

    • The market gifted investors a very strong regional bank when it recently sold-off shares of National Bankshares.
    • National Bankshares is recession proof and as efficient as they come.
    • Low interest rates have held back earnings this year, but this is a small concern for a bank with such a solid core.
  • International Bancshares Still Has More Room To Run
    Tue, Nov. 25 IBOC Comment!

    Summary

    • Even after moving up 21% in the past year, International Bancshares is a solid buy.
    • The bank is paying-off debt and moving money into assets with higher yields, both of which help increase margins even when rates are at all-time lows.
    • With a lot of liquidity, management continues to slowly buyback shares, just one of the many tools the bank can use to increase earnings.
  • Access National May Start To Cool Off
     • Tue, Nov. 25 ANCX Comment!

    Summary

    • Access National lacks the capacity for a larger loan portfolio, which limits additional upside in the near future.
    • Investors have seen nonrecurring benefits inflate reported earnings, and core earnings are trading for a large premium.
    • The stock looks fully valued and growth is likely going to stall without help from the yield curve.
  • Mercantile Bank's Fall Is Unwarranted
     • Tue, Nov. 25 MBWM Comment!

    Summary

    • After a significant acquisition, shares of Mercantile Bank have fallen for no good reason.
    • One-time charges set-up significant earnings growth in 2015.
    • The current move looks unwarranted, but long-term gains appear to be limited.
  • Is Now The Time To Buy City Holding Company?
     • Sat, Nov. 22 CHCO 2 Comments

    Summary

    • City Holding Company is producing industry high returns from an impressive level of non-interest income.
    • At max capacity, the bank's profitability faces pressure from yield compression.
    • This is a very profitable bank but the current price still limits future upside.
  • Valley National Still Looks Expensive
     • Fri, Nov. 21 VLY Comment!

    Summary

    • Valley National is adding assets when everything looks like margins would improve faster if the opposite were true.
    • The bank's large debt load is weighing down earnings and the allowance account looks light.
    • There are significant headwinds and the bank is still a volatile play after already cutting its dividend payment.
  • Update: Exchange Bank Ups Dividend
    Thu, Nov. 20 EXSR Comment!

    Summary

    • Exchange Bank just announced a $0.05 increase in its quarterly dividend payment.
    • Over the past 4 quarters, the dividend has grown 33%, and there is plenty of room for this to continue.
    • The bank is conservatively increasing its payout but the stock also offers upside. Shares still trade below book value.
  • Update: BNC Bancorp To Acquire Valley Financial Corporation
    Wed, Nov. 19 VYFC 1 Comment

    Summary

    • BNC Bancorp has reached an agreement to acquire Valley Financial Corporation.
    • After the news, Valley shares traded 48% higher, but they are still slightly lower than the $20.50 per share fixed price of the deal.
    • Earnings improvements were a sure thing for Valley after paying off TARP earlier this year, but BNC also has several ways to grow margins throughout 2015.
  • Cortland Bancorp's Rise May Be Running Out Of Gas
       • Tue, Nov. 18 CLDB Comment!

    Summary

    • Cortland Bancorp shares have surged this year after the bank posted significant earnings.
    • The bank's debt portfolio has been depressing earnings for several years despite its solid core.
    • After the recent run, marginal improvements could materialize but it doesn't look like the growth story can continue.
  • Update: Peoples Bancorp Of North Carolina Q3 Earnings
    Sat, Nov. 15 PEBK Comment!

    Summary

    • Peoples Bancorp reported 3Q earnings of $0.43 per diluted share.
    • The bank continues to benefit from its recent TARP payoff, and there are several other ways the bank can continue to improve earnings.
    • Shares look cheap and this year's run looks like it can continue throughout 2015.
  • Update: Valley Financial Corporation Q3 Earnings
    Sat, Nov. 15 VYFC 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Valley Financial reported record earnings for the third quarter of $0.37 per diluted share.
    • The bank continues to benefit from the recent redemption of its TARP Preferred Shares; YTD after-tax savings add up to $0.06 per share.
    • After the preferred pay-off, equity is leveraged for higher returns and shares should continue to move in a similar fashion.
  • Update: FS Bancorp Q3 2014 Earnings
    Fri, Nov. 14 FSBW 1 Comment

    Summary

    • FS Bancorp recently filed its 3rd-quarter earnings report.
    • The bank continues to maintain its high returns with high asset quality and a steady stream of non-interest related income.
    • Considering returns, the bank still looks very undervalued trading below book.
  • Update: Hanmi Financial Corporation Q3 Earnings
    Fri, Nov. 14 HAFC Comment!

    Summary

    • Hanmi Financial Corporation reported third quarter earnings.
    • Earnings were up significantly after the bank's recent merger added more than $1 billion in assets to the book.
    • I still think shares are fully priced because the bank's recent results are supported by non-core gains.
  • There's A Better Way To Profit From First Citizens Banc
    Fri, Nov. 14 FCZA 2 Comments

    Summary

    • First Citizens Banc has a complicated capital structure that yields an alternative way to invest.
    • After significant charges were taken in prior years, the bank's core earnings potential is starting to shine through.
    • In addition to an improving outlook, the bank's future looks bright and a pending acquisition offers significant growth.
  • Update: Community Bank Shares Of Indiana Q3 Earnings
    Fri, Nov. 14 CBIN Comment!

    Summary

    • Community Bank Shares of Indiana reported third quarter earnings.
    • The bank continues to improve on last year's results, and that's even without adjusting for one-time charges.
    • With a large merger on the way, the bank still looks like a solid buy.
  • Farmers National Banc Keeps Walking
       • Tue, Nov. 11 FMNB Comment!

    Summary

    • Farmer National Banc continues to grow earnings through prudent management of costs.
    • Allocating a high percentage of earnings to buybacks means above average growth for the bank's shares.
    • With yields firming up and non-interest income on the rise, earnings appear to have bottomed out.
  • Is It Time To Buy Citizens & Northern?
       • Tue, Nov. 11 CZNC 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Citizens & Northern is an under the radar bank with above average returns.
    • Earnings are being held back by expensive long-term debt, but there is plenty of capacity for growth.
    • This long-term play currently comes with a 5.2% dividend yield.
  • Update: Pinnacle Financial Q3 Earnings
    Mon, Nov. 10 PNFP Comment!

    Summary

    • Pinnacle Financial reported record earnings for the third quarter of 2014.
    • Management continues to build-up the loan portfolio, which is up 11.4% YOY.
    • I'm still jealous of shareholders and looking for discounts; this premium company comes with a premium price tag.
  • Update: Park Sterling Q3 Earnings
    Mon, Nov. 10 PSTB Comment!

    Summary

    • Park Sterling reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.09 (excludes merger-related expenses).
    • Record revenues were driven by acquired assets, but organic growth also added its fair share (21% annualized growth rate from internally generated loans).
    • The bank has the capacity for more growth, but it will need to perform. I'm still neutral on shares after their recent run.
  • Update: Home Loan Financial Q1 Earnings
    Sun, Nov. 9 HLFN Comment!

    Summary

    • Home Loan Financial reported first quarter earnings of $0.52, up 11% YOY.
    • The bank also announced an increase in its regular dividend payment. Even without the annual special dividend, the regular amount is attractive and well covered; current yield is 4.5%.
    • Volume is low and this bank is only a safe bet for those looking to hold over a long period of time; with that said, what's not to like.
  • Shares Of Middleburg Financial Fall As The Bank Gets Better, Does That Make It A Buy?
       • Fri, Nov. 7 MBRG 4 Comments

    Summary

    • Middleburg's earnings profile changed significantly following the sale of the bank's mortgage unit, but the bottom line continues to grow.
    • Nonperforming assets have made major improvements over the course of the year, benefiting both coverage ratios and related expenses.
    • After a year-long fall, shares are starting to look attractive. A better bank is now available for a much cheaper price.
  • Update: Severn Bancorp Q3 Earnings
    Fri, Nov. 7 SVBI Comment!

    Summary

    • Severn Bancorp was able to post third quarter earnings of $0.05 per share.
    • This quarter's earnings break a streak of long-term losses that are rooted in the bank's poor asset quality.
    • I'm still bearish on the bank's outlook, but this quarter's results were a big step in the right direction.
  • Update: Capital Bank Financial Q3 Earnings
    Tue, Nov. 4 CBF Comment!

    Summary

    • Capital Bank Financial reported Q3 earnings.
    • The stock is still sporting an inflated valuation based on earnings.
    • Based on a combination of the growing loan portfolio and the small allowance account, earnings growth looks limited throughout 2015.
  • Update: Cambridge Bancorp Q3 Earnings
    Sat, Nov. 1 CATC 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Cambridge Bancorp reported Q3 earnings.
    • The stock is still a solid buy based on loan quality and its 3.6% dividend yield.
    • Earnings continue to grow along with the loan portfolio that is almost completely absent of nonperforming loans.
  • Has Ameris Bancorp Topped Out?
       • Fri, Oct. 31 ABCB Comment!

    Summary

    • Two closed acquisitions in the past year have boosted both the bank's loan portfolio, and earnings power.
    • Unfortunately, the allowance account hasn't kept up with the growing loan portfolio, or the balance of non-performing assets.
    • Up more than 40% YOY, shares trade at 2.29X tangible book value. Maintenance of the current premium over the next year would be a significant accomplishment, but upside looks limited.
  • Update: Northfield Bancorp Q3 Earnings
    Fri, Oct. 31 NFBK Comment!

    Summary

    • Northfield Bancorp reported Q3 earnings of $0.10.
    • The bank's returns continue to be held back by a lot of excess capital.
    • The financials have seen big moves this year, but it will take a lot more before we see the bank's true earnings power.
  • Update: Alerus Financial Q3 Earnings
    Fri, Oct. 31 ALRS Comment!

    Summary

    • Alerus Financial reported record earnings of $0.44 per share.
    • The bank continues to benefit from a healthy loan portfolio and strong revenues from non-interest related activities.
    • After a long run, shares trade at a premium, but the bank's performance continues to deliver.
  • Update: First Community Bancshares Q3 Earnings
    Fri, Oct. 31 FCBC Comment!

    Summary

    • First Community beat earnings estimates even after the bank came up a little short on revenues.
    • With multiple ways to grow earnings, First Community continues to look attractive. The bank's current 3.4% dividend yield may not be around very long.
    • With a lot of moving parts all moving in the right direction, this regional bank's upside is starting to look higher than originally anticipated.
  • Update: BNCCORP, Inc. Q3 Earnings
    Thu, Oct. 30 BNCC 2 Comments

    Summary

    • BNCCORP reported Q3 EPS of $0.43.
    • The bank’s net income continues to rise, up 46.2% YOY, due to significant growth in interest earning assets.
    • I’m still bullish on shares. And that’s even after they are up 61% since I first initiated coverage in July 2013, which was after they were already up 450% YTD.
  • Update: Horizon Bancorp Q3 Earnings
    Thu, Oct. 30 HBNC Comment!

    Summary

    • Horizon Bancorp reported Q3 EPS of $0.51.
    • Helped out by a much larger loan portfolio, up 36.8% YTD, the bank’s return on assets continues to approach 1% (at 0.96% this quarter).
    • I still see little upside at this time. Earning are growing but the allowance account is looking a little light, and the bank is already trading at a premium.