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10 First Quarter Bank Stock Losers


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bank stocks were mostly flat in the first quarter, with SPDR KBW Regional Banking (KRE), an exchange traded fund that tracks regional bank stocks, gaining just 0.68%. SPDR KBW Bank (KBE), which tracks larger banks like Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC), fell 0.35%.

Among the 10 worst performers, you'll see some banks that are still a ways from profitability, but the list also contains some healthier names that may be less of a gamble. Here is our list, which includes only U.S. bank stocks with an average daily trading volume of at least 50,000 shares.

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10. Park Sterling Corp. (PSTB)

Charlotte-N.C.-based Park Sterling saw its shares fall 21.52% in the first quarter to finish the period at $4.85. A disappointing fourth quarter earnings announcement appeared to be the trigger for the poor shares price performance.

The fourth quarter miss was driven by a 200% rise in non performing assets, according to a Jan. 20 report from Keefe Bruyette & Woods analyst Jefferson Harralson, who noted NPAs now account for 10.5% of Park Sterling's portfolio.

Park Sterling shares caught a bit of a bounce on the last day of the quarter after it announced to $32.4 million acquisition of Greenwood, S.C.-based Community Capital Corp.

Sandler O'Neill analysts argued in a report that the deal was "transformational," and "a positive development for the stock," as it would " get the ball rolling" on the company's M&A strategy and "is in a region that will support organic growth."

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