Nov. 14, 2014, 10:53 AM
- CEO Gary Crosby purchased 10K shares at $7.76 each on Wednesday, with Managing Director Joseph Saffire also buying 10K shares. Buying 6,514 shares on Tuesday was EVP, Retail Banking Mark Rendulic, with CFO Gregory Norwood buying 10K shares. Finally, board member Carlton Highsmith bought 15K shares on Monday.
- FNFG +4.5%, bringing its gain for the week to nearly 10%.
- Previously: First Niagara on the move after BB&T/Susquehanna deal
Nov. 12, 2014, 10:00 AM
- BB&T's deal to buy Susquehanna Bancshares for what looks to be about 1.7x tangible book value has investors wondering if the boosted M&A activity in general this year is going to make its way into the banking sector.
- There's not a lot of major movement in the smaller regional lenders at the moment, though, with the exception of First Niagara Financial (FNFG +4.9%). Its $38B of assets is easily digestible, and - after a rough year for the stock - its closing price last night of $7.51 is just 1.15x tangible book.
- Previously: BB&T buying Susquehanna Bancshares in $2.5B deal
Oct. 24, 2014, 9:15 AM
Mar. 20, 2014, 10:54 AM
- Much of the financial sector is lit up bright green, continuing to outperform following yesterday's suggestion by the FOMC and Janet Yellen that rate hikes could come sooner than expected. XLF +1.1%, KBE +1.6%, KRE +1.6%.
- At new 52-week or even multi-year highs are JPMorgan (JPM +2.3%), Wells Fargo (WFC +1.7%), Morgan Stanley (MS +1.4%), and Bank of America (BAC +1.6%).
- Regional lenders: U.S. Bancorp (USB +1%), Huntington (HBAN +1.5%), PNC (PNC +1.3%), BB&T (BBT +1.5%), Fifth Third (FITB +1.8%), First Niagara (FNFG +2.1%).
- Leading among the life insurers are Lincoln National (LNC +1.9%), Protective Life (PL +1.6%), Manulife (MFC +1.2%), and Sun Life (SLF +1.1%).
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, KIE, IAT, SEF, IYG, IAK, FXO, PFI, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FNCL, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, KBWI, KBWP, KRS, FINZ
Jan. 27, 2014, 1:20 PM
- RBC Capital says to "buy the dip" on First Niagara (FNFG -2.2%) after its post-earnings implosion on Friday, but not so fast, say another of other sell-siders.
- "Higher operating expenses ... will not be matched by revenue growth," says FBR, removing its Buy rating on the stock. "We consider the 4-5 year time line to achieve FNFG's ROA target of 115 bps-125 bps ROA too long."
- Jefferies too throws in the towel on its Buy rating. "Our Buy thesis rested on estimate stability via cost discipline and a long-term ROA improvement via balance sheet rotation, but both themes are no longer valid given elevated infrastructure investments ($250mm over next three years) and a slower loan growth forecast."
- KBW removes its Buy rating as well and Macquarie downgrades to Sell.
Jan. 24, 2014, 11:32 AM
- It's a financial crisis-type move for First Niagara Financial (FNFG -9.7%) after its Q4 earnings report as the bank guides for 2014 operating EPS of $0.72-$0.75 vs. expectations of $0.79.
- "We've been underperforming," (no longer interim) CEO Gary Crosby tells analysts. "A combination of higher staffing to execute projects and to operate the new product and service platforms, as well as higher technology and depreciation expenses and professional fees," will likely see expenses on the rise this year.
- Previous earnings coverage
Dec. 19, 2013, 3:21 PM
- "Mr. Crosby has done nothing to give us concern that he is not capable of running the bank on a going-forward basis, and we have confidence that he will demonstrate a strong leadership ability in taking the bank to the next level," says KBW's Damon DelMonte in a note to clients following First Niagara's (FNFG -4.4%) hiring of interim CEO Gary Crosby to be permanent CEO.
- DelMonte rates the stock a Buy with $12 price target.
- The stock's in the tank today as investors register disappointment an outsider was unable to be found to lead the bank, says DelMonte. Since Crosby took over in early March, the stock's ahead 22% (including today's decline), not far off the 26% gain in the KBW Regional Banking Index.
Dec. 19, 2013, 10:36 AM| 1 Comment
Nov. 8, 2013, 10:41 AM
- Up sharply as interest rates fly higher (the 10-year is up 15 basis points to 2.75%) are the life insurers - all of whom have had their investment returns more than a little constrained by puny yields. IAK +2.4%
- MetLife (MET +5.9%), Prudential (PRU +4.5%), Lincoln National (LNC +6.8%), Hartford (HIG +3.1%).
- Also set to benefit from a steeper yield curve (if we're to believe their models) are the banks, and they're leading the S&P 500 higher. The TBTFs: Bank of America (BAC +3.3%), JPMorgan (JPM +3.1%), CItigroup (C +3.3%), Wells Fargo (WFC +2.6%). The regionals (KRE +3.4%): Huntington (HBAN +2.6%), Regions (RF +4.2%), PNC (PNC +2.8%), FIfth Third (FITB +3.4%), First Niagara (FNFG +2%), Keycorp (KEY +3.5%), Zions (ZION +4.1%), Comerica (CMA +3.1%).
- The XLF +1.9%.
- FInancial sector ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, KRE, KBE, VFH, IYF, KIE, SEF, IAT, IAI, IYG, IAK, FXO, PFI, KBWB, RKH, QABA, RWW, FINU, RYF, KRU, KBWR, PSCF, KBWP, KBWI, KRS, FINZ, FNCL
Jul. 19, 2013, 10:48 AMMore on First Niagara Financial (FNFG +1.6%) Q2 earnings: Average loans up 8% (annualized) Q/Q, led by 11% gain in commercial loans. Net interest income of $269.4M up 4% Y/Y on flat NIM. Noninterest income flat Y/Y, up 7% sequentially, driven by wealth management and insurance gains. Allowance for loan losses rises to $183.7M from $172M; nonperforming assets to total assets flat at 0.51%. Search for CEO continues. (PR) | Comment!
Apr. 19, 2013, 5:32 PM
Apr. 19, 2013, 3:15 PMFirst Niagara Financial (FNFG +3.2%) gains following its first earnings report of the post-John Koelmel era. Management has gotten the message (transcript) about too many acquisitions. "I want to be very clear that our focus is on leveraging the footprint and franchise that we have built," says interim CEO Gary Crosby, promising laser-vision on organic growth. He gives little detail on the search for a permanent CEO other to say it's well on its way. | Comment!
Mar. 20, 2013, 12:02 PMFirst Niagara FInancial's (FNFG +3.1%) shareholders seem pleased with the abrupt departure of CEO John Koelmel last night. EVP Gary Crosby has been selected as his interim replacement. Koelmel's is contactually obligated to get triple his salary plus a bonus upon departure - $5.45M. He also owns about $10M in stock. (PR) | 2 Comments
Oct. 24, 2011, 10:28 AM
Aug. 1, 2011, 11:11 AMShares of First Niagara Bank (FNFG -4.5%) remain lower even after S&P affirms its BBB rating and stable outlook following the firm's announcement it will acquire 195 branches from HSBC (HBC). Fitch Ratings also weighed in with a BBB rating, citing the company's proven track record of integrating banks. | Comment!
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