Following the earnings report, Janney analyst Rick Weiss reiterated his "buy" rating on Sterling Bancorp, estimating that the company's stock had a fair value of $11 a share, and saying that the implied upside and "attractive dividend yield (3.5%) amply rewards investors for this uniquely positioned company." Weiss also said that "Sterling's longer-term appreciation potential is greater than the industry average due to its commercial lending niche and ability to take advantage of higher interest rates with commercial loans that should reprice more rapidly than its interest-bearing liabilities."
The company said that following the TARP repayment it would remain "well capitalized" under regulatory requirements. The tangible common equity ratio - which excludes the TARP money - was 8.30% as of March 31.
John Millman, the president and CEO of main subsidiary Sterling National Bank, said the company had decided to repay TARP "from a position of strength, as Sterling continues to deliver profitable growth while actively engaging in lending activities that support our clients and the overall economy."
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