Friday, October 22, 2010

Bought 200 AX-UN.TO @ 13.41 CAD/Sold 50 PFBI at 6.46/Sold 100 TAXI at $8.42/EBTC FNFG FNLC UNB FFIC VLY EBTC CCNE NHTB GBCI

1. Earnings Regional Bank Stocks-FNFG FNLC UNB FFIC NHTB VLY EBTC (own- Regional Bank Stocks basket strategy):

First Niagara (FNFG) reported Non-GAAP net income of 46.9 million or 23 cents per share and GAAP earnings of 22 cents per diluted share. This was 1 cent better than the consensus estimate. The CEO claimed that "business momentum remains strong". The bank raised its dividend by 7% to 15 cents from 14 cents. As of 9/30, the total risk-based capital ratio was 15.09% and the tier 1 common capital ratio was at 13.42%, both on a consolidated basis. FNFG rose 2.63% yesterday to close at $12.08.

The First Bancorp (FNLC), a small bank with operations in Maine, reported net income for the 3rd quarter of 3.2 million or 29 cents, up 3 cents from the comparable quarter in 2009. The one analyst providing an estimate predicted 27 cents in earnings per share for the 3rd quarter. The Board also declared the quarterly dividend of $.195 per share. For the nine months ending in 9/30, NPLs were 2.36% of total loans; tangible book value was $10.23 per share; the efficiency ratio was at 43.01%; net interest margin was 3.39% (down from 3.65% as of Q/E 9/09); the and the dividend payout ratio was 71.34%. The total risk based capital ratio is over 15%. SEC Filed Press Release This bank still has 25 million in preferred stock issued to the U.S. government on its balance sheet and appears to be in no hurry to pay it back. (see 2nd quarter 10q at pages 12-13). Bought 50 FNLC at 13.6 As mentioned in that last linked post, I view that as a negative. FNLC fell 1.14% yesterday to close at $13.9.

Flushing Financial (FFIC) reported earnings core diluted earnings per share of 31 cents, up 3 cents from the comparable quarter in 2009. The consensus estimate, made by 7 analysts, was for 28 cents, with a high estimate for those 7 at 29 cents. GAAP earnings were reported at 30 cents, down 3 cents from the 2009 3rd quarter. The risk weighted capital ratio was 14.06%, and net interest margin stood at 3.56%. NPAs to total assets ended the quarter at 2.95%. The efficiency ratio was 46%. Bought 50 FFIC at 12.18 Added 50 FFIC at 11.05 FFIC rose 2.53% yesterday to close at $12.99.

Union Bankshares (UNB), a small bank based in Vermont, reported net income per share of 32 cents, unchanged from the year ago period. A quarterly dividend of 25 cents was declared. At that rate, the yield at a total cost of $18 would be around 5.55%. Bought 50 UNB at 18

I decided to take the 30 shares of PCBK out of the regional bank basket, and just keep it in the Lottery Ticket category. I will not pay any attention to it for several years, to cut down on the LB's work load, except to note now that this bank did report earnings. SEC Filed Press Release Maybe things will look better for this bank in a few years.

New Hampshire Thrift (NHTB), a small bank headquartered in NH, reported net income for the third quarter of $2,103,115 or 34 cents per share, up from 27 cents per share in the 2009 3rd quarter. The 1 analyst predicted 33 cents. Bought 100 NHTB at $9.51 NHTB closed at $11.34 yesterday.

Valley National Bancorp (VLY) reported net income of 32.6 million or 20 cents a share. The consensus estimate of 10 analysts was for 20 cents. Net interest margin increased in the quarter to 3.78% from 3.61% in the Q/E 9/2009. As of 9/30, the allowance for loan losses as a percentage of non-accrual loans was 107.75 (comforting). The efficiency ratio was 58.45%, and the total risk based capital ratio was at 12.77%. Total non-accrual loans as a percentage of total loans was 1.12%, as of 9/30/2010. VLY rose 3.4% yesterday to close at $13.06.

Enterprise Bancorp (EBTC) reported net income of 2.7 million for its third quarter or 30 cents per share, up from 28 cents in the 3rd quarter of 2009 . As of 9/30/2010, the net interest margin was 4.44%; the total capital to risk weighted assets ratio was 11.39%; and NPAs to total assets was at 1.36%. Added 50 EBTC at 10.33 Bought 50 EBTC at 11.75

CNB Financial (CCNE) reported earnings of 25 cents per share. The consensus estimate by 3 analysts was for 22 cents. As of 9/30/2010, the net interest margin was 3.7%, down from 4.03 for the Q/E 9/2009; the total risk-based capital ratio was 15.91%; and the Tier 1 risk based capital ratio was 14.66%. Bought 50 CCNE at 11.06
CCNE closed at $13.61 yesterday.

Glacier Bancorp (GBCI) reported net income of 13 cents per share, and declared a quarterly dividend of 13 cents. The quarter included 2 cents of net gain from the sale of investments net of tax. This was 3 cents worse than the consensus estimate made by 10 analysts. NPAs continue to remain elevated at 4.03% of total assets. I would characterize this report as borderline pathetic. GBCI is one of the stocks recommended by Cramer in his book Getting Back to Even. Bought 50 GBCI at 13/Freedom & Responsibility

2. AT & T (own common and bond): Excluding items, AT & T earned 55 cents per share, in line with expectations, up from 54 cents in the 3rd quarter of 2009. SEC Filed Press Release AT & T reported its largest quarterly net gain in wireless subscribers, with 2.6 million net adds, bringing its total to 92.8 million. Wireline revenue fell 12%.

3. Sold 50 PFBI at 6.46 on Thursday (Regional Bank Stocks' basket strategy)(SEE Disclaimer): Given the size of the regional bank basket, and the relative unimportance of each name in the basket to the overall strategy, I did not catch that PFBI had been required to obtain approval from the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond before paying dividends. Press Release 8/19 The bank asked for permission and was refused. And then I discovered yesterday morning that the Richmond Fed had refused to give its consent for the bank to pay the government's preferred dividend. 8-K Filing It is just way too much trouble to figure out the nature and seriousness of the problem, so I sold the 50 shares at $6.46 for a small loss. I have seen many indications that the Richmond Fed is taking a much harder line against small banks than the other Fed divisions.

4. SOLD 100 TAXI at $8.42 on Thursday (see Disclaimer): TAXI is a BDC that cut its dividend shortly after I made a purchase at 8.17 so I elected to sell the position at near break-even on the shares plus some dividends. LB does not forgive and forget.

5. Sold 100 of the CEF IGD at $11.62 in the Roth IRA on Thursday (see Disclaimer): This CEF closed at close to a 2% premium to its net asset value on Wednesday, ING Global Equity Dividend and Premium Opportunity Fund - Overview. After collecting 3 monthly dividends I sold the shares at $11.62 recently bought in the Roth at 10.94. I still own 232.986 shares in a taxable account.

6. Bought 200 AX-UN.TO at 13.41 CAD (see Disclaimer): When the Old Geezer starts wondering throughout the world trying to pick up some yield, then it is time to call the caution police, LB helpfully noted, who would then put the Old Goat in a straight jacket and take him straight to the Old Folks home before he causes too much damage. Recently, the OG has been wondering in Canada, possibly attempting to implement the RB's secret plan to acquire Northern Tennesse, as Canada is known here at HQ. The latest purchase is 200 shares of another Canadian REIT, known as ARTIS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST (AX-UN.TO). The OG, with a big dumb smile on his face, noted that this REIT paid a 8% dividend at the purchase price, before the Canadian withholding tax, and the distributions were made monthly. The OG then put his hand up in a high five gesture, waiting what seemed an eternity for the staff to honor him, though none did. For it was recognized that the OG knows nothing about Canadian real estate, and basically researched this company by looking at the pictures of the REIT's properties at its web site: Artis REIT

The REIT has been paying 9 cents a month in dividends, with the next distribution paid on 11/15 to holders of record on 10/31. This REIT focuses on properties in Western Canada and owns 117 properties. "Leasable area by asset class is approximately 30.9% retail, 33.3% office, and 35.8% industrial. The portfolio is located 14.3% in B.C., 44.7% in Alberta, 6.3% in Saskatchewan, 32.2% in Manitoba, 1.4% in Ontario, and 1.1% in the U.S." The REIT recently raised gross proceeds of 116 million CADs by selling stock units at $13.45: pdf The OG was impressed with the 97.1% occupancy rate at the end of the June quarter. The stock has already had a good run from early July: Chart | AX-UN.TO Interactive Chart

The ticker symbols for Canadian stocks will vary depending on the web site. At Fidelity, the symbol was AX_UN:CA. Again, I am simply trying to earn a decent return on my long CAD position.

I pared a CEF bond position on Thursday which I will discuss in the next post.

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