Margin worry at People's United as buybacks slow

People's United FInancial (PBCT -5.1%) tumbles after posting what at first glance seems to be the same luckluster Q3 results as the rest of the regional banks - sliding mortgage business, slimming net interest margin, and overall, a struggle to find growth.

The bank repurchased 2.1M shares at an average of $14.33 each during the quarter - a sharply slower pace than the year's first six months - with management on the earnings call (transcript) (presentation slides) indicating it remains committed to the buybacks, but noting they don't make as much sense with the stock nearing book value.

There's also margin worry, with a number of analysts on the earnings call pointing to Q3 showing a steep six basis point decline in new loan yield margins even as interest rates rose.

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