FR: These Davids Beat the Banking Goliaths

Article: These Davids Beat the Banking Goliaths

Remember how I’ve spent some of this “Fool Revisited” breaking down some regional banks? (Southwest, Midwest, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Pacific in case you missed them). My next article was me further laying the foundation of regional banks being better than the “too big to fail” banks that everyone knows and loves – in this context Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo.

In one attempt to find a niche as a financial writer, I decided that there might be hay to be made among these “lower-tier” banks. Everybody and their mother covered the day-to-day happenings at the big banks (I even did it for a while towards the end of my Foolish tenure), but the regionals seemed to be a relatively untapped market aside from a few of the larger ones or merger/failure news. This article was the first brick that I laid my foundation as a “regional bank expert,” and was a theme that I would come back to in the future when looking for opportunities in the financial sector. Continue reading

FR: Is This the Best Bank in the Southwest?

Article: Is This the Best Bank in the Southwest?

The next six articles in my “Fool Revisited” series (going up today and tomorrow) are going to be pretty similar. Like my last article, they are going to be about smaller, regional banks. In what I thought was going to be a winning formula going forward – I planned to return to similar articles as a writer in the future – I screened banks based on the region they fell under using, my screener of choice back when I was writing for the Fool (it still is pretty cool, though a lot of the things I used it for in the past are no longer free and I don’t have the resources at present to pay for them).

The first of the articles covers banks from the Southwest Region of the United States, which is defined for these purposes as banks based in or with the majority of their operations in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Instead of writing about all 20+ banks in the region, I screened them down to a much more manageable list. First, I eliminated all banks with a market cap below $300 million. Then I used four other factors to get to my final list: only profitable banks (over the prior 12 months), a low P/B (looks like I only featured banks under 2, though lower is better), a positive dividend, and quality net income margin. Continue reading