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Introspection Is Key: Assessing Past Regional Bank Trades And Their Post-Sale Performance

Mar. 11, 2019 3:10 PM ETCOLB, BUSE, NASB, MTB, RVSB2 Comments
Philip MacKellar profile picture
Philip MacKellar


  • Assessing the post-sale performance of past trades may fine-tune one’s investment process and improve future results.
  • In the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis I purchased a handful of US regional banks.
  • I no longer own any regional banks and periodically look back to assess the post-sale performance of my former holdings.


Assessing the post-sale performance of past trades is one way to fine-tune one’s investment process and potentially improve future results. After 2008, the market was littered with dozens and dozens of beaten up regional banks. As we all know, some banks went bust, but many survived and were acquired or did well on their own. This month marks the 10-year anniversary of the current bull market, and given the significance of the anniversary I decided to look back at how the regional banks I used to own have done since I sold them.

Before I begin, I should mention that while I will be reflecting on my own trading activity, both Benj Gallander and Ben Stadelmann (the President and Vice-President of Contra the Heard Investment Newsletter) were also buying up financials. Some of their former holdings are mentioned below. Others are not as I did not own them, and still other regional banks remain as holdings in the President’s Portfolio here at Contra the Heard.

Regional Banks: Past Trades and Post-Sale Performance:

The trades in my largest personal account by alphabetical order were as follows:

Bank of Commerce Holdings (NASDAQ:BOCH):

  • Bought January 2011 at $4.40, then again at $5.75 and $5.71 in Q1 2015
  • Dividends during holding period were $0.03 per quarter
  • Sold in May 2017 at $11.50
  • Since selling BOCH, it has traded as high as $13.05 and as low as $9.90. The dividend was increased to $0.04 per quarter in July 2018.
  • When I owned this company, I often felt the dividend could be higher. Taking a glance at the payout ratio today I would still feel that way if I continued to own the stock.

First Busey Corporation (NASDAQ:BUSE):

  • Bought October 2012 at $14.34 and again in June 2013 at $13.20 (reverse split adjusted)
  • Dividends

This article was written by

Philip MacKellar profile picture
Philip MacKellar is an analyst, portfolio manager, and investor at Contra the Heard Investment Newsletter. He has been with the company since 2011 and has been investing since 2004. The newsletter’s primary focus is on contrarian and value-oriented investment opportunities traded in the United States and Canada. In addition, Philip sometimes engages in M&A, other special situations, and holds bonds, preferred shares, and convertible securities. Contra the Heard is a Toronto based company and was founded in 1995. Philip also blogs about personal finance topics on his own website called mymoneymoves.ca in his free time. You can also follow Philip at the Globe & Mail, on Twitter @Rallekcam, and catch him on YouTube at Contra the Heard.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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