Latest Insight

Read Selected Highlights From The FIG Research Team

Deposit Costs & Other 2Q17 Trends

There are 310 public banks and thrifts above $500 million in assets who have reported 2Q-2017 results through Friday, July 28th. We examined deposit costs reported in the S&P Global database, loan yields and reported NIM.

Are More Banks Considering BHC Elimination?

A handful of bank holding companies have been merged or liquidated into their bank subsidiaries in recent years to eliminate their holding companies. The FIG Research team thinks several other financial institutions could also find it appealing.

Will Amazon Forge Into Banking?

The surprise deal by Amazon to acquire Whole Foods received widespread coverage in media outlets, including the bank industry. If Amazon wants to compete with the banking industry, it first must improve its loss experience.

FIG Partners Research Ranked No. 1 For Buy Recommendations

FIG Research ranked No. 1 for the best three-year track record for buy recommendations in the community banking sector for the quarter ended March 31, 2017, according to the analysis from Integrity Research Associates.

How Did Banks Behave When The Fed Last Hiked Rates?

When the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates from June 2004 to July 2006, there were distinct behavior patterns at banks. Investors today should understand how banks reacted as a new era of rate hikes have already begun since December 2015.

As IPOs Heat Up, This Texas Bank Wants In

Bank stocks have rallied since last November’s presidential election. Now, a lender created from the rubble of the financial crisis will test investors’ appetite for new bank shares.

Loan Growth Expectations

Loan growth estimates should remain strong through year-end 2017 and 2018. It may become important to be selective on which banks can execute on their loan growth estimates vs. stocks that are simply “riding the wave” with all other public financial institutions.

C&I Loan Growth Slows

The FIG Research team discovered a routine difference between actual growth in both C&I loans and total loans and the Fed’s estimates.

Most Stable Shares O/S

Which banks have consistently held their share count flat over the past decade and are not “overcapitalized” institutions?

Listen Up! Labor Day Can Be “Deal Day”

Since 1990, 187 bank merger transactions were announced during the first eight days of September, covering the Labor Day Weekend. Could 2016 be a repeat of past activity? Rest and relax this weekend, but keep your eye on the news headlines early next week.

Bank Sector Review: Prices Approach June Highs

The public bank sector is within 1% of the early June high price levels as of the 8/19 close which makes it a good time to review pricing trends for major stocks within the industry.

Revenue And Expense Observations In 2Q

It was a solid quarter for 2Q-2016. Loan growth is driving spread and NII increases, which in turn supports the positive operating leverage. Investors should not miss these trends.

Banks, Brexit, and DFAST Too

The Brexit news is a negative for short-term pricing. Along with most equities worldwide, bank stocks are unfortunately not immune to the sell-off. This could create near-term opportunities for patient investors.

Bank M&A Activity Update

Year to date, 2016 bank M&A deal announcements have matched last year’s pace. While deal activity has been stable, pricing and deal size are both down from year ago levels.

For Banks, It Pays To Be An ETF

We reviewed 323 of the largest bank and thrift stocks and divided these based on their current inclusion in an exchange traded fund.

Banks’ Long-Term Scorecard

The FIG Research Team has assembled a 20-year scorecard on stock price changes and cash dividend behavior for any public bank stock.

A Leap Year Bonus?

How does one extra day impact a banks’ calculation of NII during a Leap Year?

Banks Brace For Energy Losses

The drop in oil prices is hitting lenders’ energy loans and the latest figures are ’a grudging admission of the truth’

Banks vs. Crude Oil Prices – Correlation Has Accelerated Since Late 2014

While the correlation between eight key bank stocks in energy active states and WTI crude seems limited over a long-term period since 2004, we see a much more pronounced and positive linkage during the last 11 months since crude oil prices have corrected from $80 to the mid-$30s. This is significant for bank investors.

FIG Partners Acknowledges The Passing Of Fontaine McDaniel

FIG Partners would like to acknowledge the passing of Fontaine McDaniel, our esteemed colleague and founding member. An exceptionally savvy senior investment industry executive, he was part of FIG’s 2003 founding team.

Why Regulatory Size Thresholds Affect All Banks

Chris Marinac, Director of Research, talks with American Banker about how the regulatory red lines of $10 billion and $50 billion affect banks well before they pass them, and add to the pressure to buy or sell.

Which Banks Are Best Set To Make M&A Deals?

Deals by M&T, KeyCorp and BB&T opened the door to big-bank M&A, even if investors balked at the prices. There are a few other regionals that look poised to make a big splash, says Chris Marinac of FIG Partners.

Impressions from FIG Partners’ CEO Forum

We were pleased to host the 11th Annual FIG Partners CEO Forum in Atlanta, GA. There were 96 public Banks and Thrifts and over 105 financial institutions in attendance.

Are Community Bank CEOs Being Paid Much More Than A Decade Ago?

The bottom line of our analysis: Over the past decade, CEO salary increases have trailed the pace of asset growth at nearly three-quarters of our Community Bank sample. Asset growth is a metric that bank boards often use to benchmark increases in compensation.

Do Financial Institutions Dig The Russell 2000 Index?

We found very little difference in the percentage of Banks & Thrifts who were outperforming the SNL Bank & Thrift index. But, we did see a significant difference in trading volumes and especially the percentage of shares outstanding which change hands every week.

Farmers Bank Moves To Ease Stock Transactions With FIG Partners

Farmers asked FIG Partners if it would make a market in the stock. Within days, FIG handled the second biggest volume of shares in Farmers stock in the past five years, doing so with barely a ripple – the price rose 2 cents with 5,400 shares changing hands. In contrast, before FIG stepped in, the stock jumped $2.50, or 7 percent, when just 1,000 shares changed hands in mid-March.

M&A In The Sunshine State: 22 Mergers Between Banks In Florida Since 2014

The recent news that Valley National Bancorp was acquiring CNLBancshares in Orlando, FL for $207 Million or an 11% Core Deposit Premium was the 7th and most expensive Bank M&A deal in 2015 in the state of Florida. In fact, since January 2014, there have been 22 mergers between Banks in the Sunshine State.

DDAs At Community Bank Charters Nationwide

Take a look at our chart on Demand Deposit accounts at all FDIC charters below $10 Billion in Assets as of 3-31-2015. Specifically, this is the percentage of FDIC charters with more than 15% of Total Deposits in DDAs, split by region.

How Will Rising Interest Rates Affect Banks?

We examined the latest 10-Q filings for 120 public banks and thrifts under our coverage to determine their disclosed impact on NII income from an immediate change in short-term interest rates. Our analysis found 79 individual companies for a +200 basis point change and 70 Banks on a +100 basis point change.

1Q-2015 EPS Trends So Far

Through Friday April 24th, there have been 242 public Bank and Thrift stocks which have reported 1Q-2015 EPS. We’ve put together charts that show NIM is declining for more Banks, NII is rising the most for the Banks between $8 to $15 Billion in Assets, Loan Growth is solid and Tangible Book Value rising, but for fewer than in past two quarters.

Bank Stock Scorecard: Who’s Up And Who’s Down

Core Deposit Premium Changes So Far In 2015 The FIG Partners Research team examined the entire public Bank & Thrift stock universe, which includes over 1,000 stocks, 491 of which are above $50 million in market capitalization. We analyzed the banks’ closing prices on March 18, and calculated the Total Return quarter-to-date for the first […]

Connect-The-Dots At The FOMC

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) now issues forward interest rate forecasts for the Federal Funds rate. Below is a picture of the FOMC’s “Dot Map” issued March 18 with the comparison of the same forecast issued back on December 18th 2014. There was a distinct shift downward in the Fed Funds forecast in 2016, […]

Community Banks CRE Rising Fast

CRE Lending Focus: Recent Quarterly Growth In CRE Balances At FDIC Charters The research team at FIG Partners recently examined FDIC call reports for over 6,400 bank charters in the U.S. with a particular eye on total Commercial Real Estate (CRE) loans during the past five quarters. As of December 31, 2014, combined owner-occupied and […]

Why Community Bankers Are Upbeat About 2015

We wrapped up our 6th annual West Coast CEO Forum in San Francisco yesterday and are pleased to report attendance was more than 12% above a year ago. Many of the CEOs in attendance seemed positive regarding the opportunities within Banking and Bank stocks. Of course, challenges do exist, primarily from lower interest rates and […]

Community Bankers and The State Of Small Business Banking

FIG Partners conducted a survey of on Small Business Banking with Community Bank CEOs at institutions below $10 Billion in Assets late in 4Q-2014. We were fortunate to have 57 CEOs respond to our 19-question survey (which included additional written commentary). The participating Bank executives covered all regions of the country from both public and […]

Big Bank Trends To Monitor From Day 1 of Earnings Season

WFC-Wells Fargo shares were down nearly 4% in intraday trading on Tuesday 10/14 (final close was -2.7%) and JPM-JP Morgan Chase also declined slightly on the day. We thought it was interesting to note how profitability and returns were lower on a linked-quarter basis within these large Banks’ 3Q-2014 results. Investors were clearly disappointed on […]

Yes It Is Early, But How Are Banks’ 2Q-2014 EPS Reports So Far?

As of Friday afternoon July 18th, 129 public Banks and Thrifts have reported 2Q-2014 EPS or 15% of the public universe.  The fundamental trends that we see thus far include: NII-Net Interest Income (top line revenue or “spread”) is positive for 78% of the Banks with disclosure here. NIM-Net Interest Margin, the linked-quarter trend is […]

NC Community Bank Completes Capital Raise, Pending TARP/TruPS Pay-Off

BCAR-Bank of the Carolinas Corporation ($428 Million Assets) has completed a $45.8 Million capital raise to increase the company’s regulatory capital ratio to 10% and repurchase Series A preferred stock (i.e., former TARP) as well as trust preferred securities (TruPS).  Click Here for details on the transaction. FIG Partners served as the placement agent on […]

Community Bank Stocks With $50MM to $1 Billion In Market-Cap.: A Review Of Performance, Valuation, & Trading Volume

There are presently 374 community Bank stocks between $50 Million and $1 Billion in market capitalization (excluding this week’s acquisition of VantageSouth Bancshares in NC).  We have taken a fresh look at this segment of the public financial institutions equity market and make these observations: Relative Stock Price Performance Has Been Mixed: a healthy number […]

M&A Deals Closing Faster? Not Yet, But Perhaps A New Trend Emerges

We were impressed by the recent announcement that ABCB-Ameris Bancorp closed a regular-way community bank acquistion in 111 days or less than 4 months.  This sparked a daydream in our minds that bank regulators may slowly be shifting towards slightly faster approval periods on Bank M&A deals.  Is this really true?  Not yet, but the […]

$1 Million+ Homes Are Feeling The Love

In case you missed hearing this week’s May 2014 Existing Home Sales statistics from the National Association of Realtors’, the best sub-sector of home sales has been in the $1 Million+ price category. As the chart below indicates, houses above $1,000,000 have experienced a 4% gain in Sales activity in the past 12 months. This […]

Pictures On YTD Changes In Rates & Yield Curves

Federal Reserve officials were quoted in the national financial press last evening (see article link here) expressing concern about investors’ “complacency” toward interest rates staying low for a long-term period and the lack of volatility across financial markets.  See our FIG Partners “Quote of the Day” in today’s research notes as reinforcement.  The chart below […]

Housing Permits Show A Flattening Trend In Certain Areas

We noticed in this week’s new Housing Permit data for April 2014 that a flattening trend has formed in at least 3 major areas of the U.S. which we illustrate in the charts below.  The Carolinas, Florida, and Midwest each show flat activity.  Also, we see similar behavior in some (but not all) Western cities […]

OCC Cuts the Number of On-Site Bank Examiners – Any Retreat In Regulatory Activity Is A Positive

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has announced that it will soon begin moving out almost 400 regulators that maintain offices at large Banks such asJPM-JPMorgan Chase, C-Citigroup,and BAC-Bank of Americawhile rotating others.  After feeling pressure to re-work their system, the OCC was recommended by an outside review board to institute the changes. The […]

P/E Discount Remains Wide For Micro-Cap & Nano-Cap Bank Stocks

Within our daily FIG Partners Research, we conducted an analysis on long-term P/Es among all publicly-traded Bank & Thrift stocks (approximately 900 financial institutions nationwide) from 2006 through late May 2014. A key observation is the chart here which illustrates the difference between the Average P/E for Micro-Cap Bank Stocks (i.e., $50MM to $250MM in size) […]

REVISITING DEPOSIT PREMIUMS: Examining Total Deposit versus CORE Deposit Premiums From 2006 – 2014

We examined the relationship between Total Deposit & Core Deposit Premiums on public Bank Stocks in the U.S. from 2006-2014. Deposit Premiums dropped sharply in 2008-2009 in conjunction with the downturn in the equity/fixed income markets. The “Delta” or difference between these premiums narrowed between 2009-2011 due primarily to improvements in the funding mix. Expansion […]

FIG Research Highlighted In Barron’s: Investors Bancorp

FIG Partners latest research report on ISBC-Investors Bancorp (“Outperform”) was highlighted in Barron’s recently. See text of the article below. Investors Bancorp • ISBC-Nasdaq Outperform • Price $26.98 on May 6by FIG Partners We reiterate our Outperform rating with a price target of $30.25. The stock begins trading on Thursday, May 8, and we see […]

Our Chart Of The Week: CEO Tenure

“Entrenched management” is a phrase we have been hearing a lot of lately, especially when the discussion turns to the pace of M&A activity. Of course, the age of the executive management team plays a factor, just as it would in any other industry. But, over the past ten years the Bank Sector experienced a […]

Quote of the Day

  “Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.”                -Margaret Mitchell, American Author & Journalist 1900-1949

BBVA Company Acquires “Simple” — A Play On Customer Acquisition Algorithms

BBVA, parent of the large regional bank BBVA Compass, has acquired the financial operations of Simple which includes the online decision capabilities which govern new banking customers.  The details of the transaction, valued at $117 Million, were released yesterday.  The Simple website (www.simple.com) has been something we have monitored in the past year (along with […]

SNL’s 2013 Bank Stock Challenge Results

Each year SNL hosts a Bank Stock Challenge where analysts from the industry are asked to submit three of their favorite stock picks for 2013. They must be listed banks and thrifts of at least $50 Million. The results are based off Year-To-Date Total Return (%).  FIG Partner’s analyst John Rodis won this year’s challenge […]

Bank Sector Total Return Statistics for 2013

Bank Sector Performance Summary 2013 The Banking Sector enjoyed another strong year in 2013, fueled by better fundamentals and multiple expansion, plus an overall bullish market environment in the broad economy. The S&P 500 Index gained 32.4%, including the return from dividends, while the S&P Bank Index (BIX) recorded a slightly better 35.7% total return. […]

Boeing & Banking … A Nice Ring To It!

Boeing, the international aircraft manufacturer is expanding its existing manufacturing facility in Charleston, SC which opened with a $1 Billion price tag a few years ago.  Another $1 Billion investment for a design center and aircraft engine parts assembly broke ground early in November 2013 and should represent another 2,000 high-paying jobs.  Moreover, we recently […]

Intermodal Transportation Traffic On-The-Rise, Strongest Month In History

Similar to our focus on metro area employment statistics issued monthly by the Department of Labor, we track monthly Railroad Traffic statistics provided by the Association of American Railroads (AAR). We consider these data to be one of the best gauges of economic health in the U.S. On Friday 11/8, the AAR’s November report showed […]

Largest Banks Trading Below Price-to-Tangible Book

Every so often, it is healthy to stand back and smell the roses … So, in this vein we showcase two charts in our Weekly Musings report that depict how the largest 325 public bank stocks trade on price-to-tangible book value from 2006 through this past week. We use monthly pricing data and our focus list […]