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Small Bank Stocks Roar On Hanmi

 Hanmi Financial Corp (NASDAQ:HAFC) returned to profitability. Those headlines surged across the screen this morning. The stock jumped, soaring to $1.50, +0.33 (+28.21%). The company reported net income of $5.3 million, or 4 cents a share. This was major for a beaten down small cap financial stock and set other small cap financial firms roaring higher. Shorts in these stocks began to cover and buyers inched in. Hopes that other small cap financial firms will perform as well started growing. With this optimism, so came share price increases.

Other small cap financial firms jumping on the HAFC news were Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR) which is trading at $2.45, +0.25 (+11.36%) and BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BBX), trading at $1.05, +0.14 (+15.38%). Others are inching higher as well. The bottom line is this, investors are looking for good news out of these beaten down small financial companies. The earnings from HAFC shed some positive light on all of them.

One interesting small cap bank stocks to watch in the sector are Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF) which is down from $2.52 on January 12, 2011 to its current level of $1.60. I do not own any at this time.

Gareth Soloway