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10 Bank Acquisition Targets

Company Profile

Shares of Banner Corporation (BANR) of Walla Walla, Wash. closed at $2.09 Wednesday, declining 21% year-to-date.

Income Statement

Banner reported a second-quarter net loss to common shareholders of $6.9 million or 28 cents a share, following a first-quarter net loss of $1.5 million or 16 cents a share. A year earlier, the company reported a net loss to common shareholders of $18.4 million or $1.04 a share.

The year-over-year improvement in earnings reflects a decline in the provision for loan losses to $16 million from $45 million.

Balance Sheet

The company had $4.7 billion in total assets as of June 30, and owes $124 million in TARP money. In March, main subsidiary Banner Bank entered into a memorandum of understanding with state regulators and the FDIC, requiring the bank to improve its asset quality and maintain a tier 1 leverage ratio of at least 10%. The bank was in compliance with the agreement as of June 30, with a tier 1 leverage ratio of 10.77%, after the holding company raised $171 million in common equity through a public offering completed on June 24.

At the holding company level, nonperforming assets comprised 5.99% of total assets as of June 30, declining from 6.39% the previous quarter and 6.22% a year earlier. Banner's net charge-off ratio during the second quarter was 1.76%.

Stock Ratios

The shares were trading for 0.5 times tangible book value as of Wednesday's close.

Analyst Ratings

Six analysts cover the shares, and three recommend buying the shares and three recommend holding the shares.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analyst Matthew Clark has a "Market Perform" or neutral rating on the shares, although his 12-month target for Banner's shares is $2.50, which would be a 19% gain from Wednesday's close, although he also said in a late-July report that nonperforming assets and "other classified assets may still absorb a fair amount of recently raised capital."

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