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10 Community Bank M&A Targets

10. Guaranty Bancorp

Shares of Guaranty Bancorp (GBNK) of Denver, Colo. closed at $1.39 Friday, rising 7% over the previous year.

The company is one of three community bank targets named in January by FBR analyst Brett Scheiner, who cited credit problems, while adding that Guaranty Bancorp's market footprint in Denver could be attractive to buyers.

On May 4, the company announced that Paul Taylor had been appointed president and CEO subject to regulatory approval. Taylor had previously served as Guaranty Bancorp's CFO and chief operating officer.

Guaranty Bancorp had $1.8 billion in total assets as of March 31 and reported a first-quarter net loss to common stockholders of $972 thousand, or 2 cents a share, improving from a loss of $3.2 million, or 6 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2010. The improvement reflected a 50% reduction in the provision for loan losses to $2 million in the first quarter, a $714 thousand in gains on the sale of securities, and a reduction in expenses on repossessed real estate to $763 thousand, from $2.7 million a year earlier.

Nonperforming assets totaled $97.8 million, or 5.33% of total assets, as of March 31, compared to 5.02% a year earlier. The annualized ratio of net charge-offs to average loans was 0.75% for the first quarter, while loan loss reserves covered 4.16% of total loans as of March 31.

According to SNL Financial, Guaranty Bancorp's shares are trading for 0.9 times tangible book value. The company's tangible common equity ratio was a relatively low 4.42% as of March 31, according to SNL, although the company's regulatory total risk-based capital ratio was a strong 15.82%.

Scheiner has a "market perform" or neutral rating on the shares.

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