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 →
The next “regional bank” article in my “Fool Revisited” series is going to cover the Southeast region, which covers all the banks from Florida to Louisiana, as well as Arkansas and Kentucky. All banks were screened based on the region they fell under using FinViz.com, 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). However, two of the banks – Renasant Corp (Nasdaq: RNST) and Simmons First National (Nasdaq: SFNC) – have been moved to the category of “money center” banks, most likely because they changed their business model slightly. I’ll still include them here for posterity.
As with the otherarticles within this mini “series within a series,” instead of writing about all of the 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 (over 2% in this case), and quality net income margin. Continue reading →