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FDIC Data Show Stressed Community Banks

Stocks in this article: BXS BPFH SNV STSA WAL WSBC UCBI ABAQ

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- According to data from the FDIC and from my analysis of the FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile for the fourth quarter of 2012, I conclude that the "Great Credit Crunch" continues among community banks on Main Street, USA.

Among the 7,083 FDIC-insured financial institutions there are 1,113 publicly traded banks, most of which are categorized as community banks. Looking at FDIC data, I find that 73 of these banks are overexposed to construction and development loans (C&D), and 451 are overexposed to commercial real estate loans (CRE). In addition to these signs of continued stress, 47 have 100% of their CRE loan commitments fully funded among the 305 that have at least 80% fully funded.

Based upon this information, 460 bank stocks qualify to be on the ValuEngine List of Problem Banks.

Back on Dec. 11, 2012, I profiled 24 community banks with overexposures to C&D and CRE loans as reported in the Q3 FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile. Today, I update these profiles based upon data in the Q4 FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile.

On Feb. 11, I stated that only five of the community banks that I have been tracking beat their Q4 2012 EPS estimates. Nine missed. This was the first sign that stress among community banks continues.

The Feb. 11 post noted that three of the community banks had been downgraded to hold from buy, leaving us with eight buy rated stocks and 15 hold rated stocks.

Today's list of 24 community banks shows only four buy-rated community banks with five downgrades, one of which went to strong sell from buy.

Observations from the table above:

BancorpSouth (BXS - Get Report) is the only bank among the 24 to reduce exposure to CRE loans to be below 300%.

Boston Private Financial Holdings (BPFH - Get Report), BXS, Synovus Financial (SNV - Get Report), Sterling Financial (STSA - Get Report), and Western Alliance Bancorporation (WAL - Get Report) were downgraded to hold from buy since Dec. 11, 2012 with STSA downgraded to strong sell from buy. There have been no upgrades among these community banks.

The biggest winner over the past twelve months is WAL with a gain of 66.7% and the biggest loser was STSA with a loss of 22.0%.

The twelve month trailing P/E ratios range between 13.1 WesBanco (WSBC - Get Report) and 24.6 United Community Banks (UCBI - Get Report), among the 21 with ratios, so these community banks are not cheap.

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