Shares of WesBanco (WSBC) of Wheeling, W.V., closed at $19.47 Monday, returning 4% over the previous year. Based on a quarterly payout of 15 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 3.08%.
The company had $5.4 billion in total assets as of March 31, with 112 branches in West Virginia, Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.WesBanco reported first-quarter net income of $10.2 million, or 39 cents a share, increasing from $7.9 million, or 30 cents s share, in the first quarter of 2010. The company's provision for credit losses declined to $8 million during the first quarter from $11.5 million a year earlier. Despite a decline in interest revenue, net interest income increased 2% year-over-year to $41.5 million, "due to the management of rates on loans and other earning assets, while significantly improving the funding mix to reduce overall cost of funds for both deposits and other borrowings." The first-quarter net interest margin was 3.63%, increasing from 3.54% a year earlier. The first-quarter ROA was 0.76%. After the first-quarter earnings release, Kenneth James of Sterne Agee reiterated his neutral rating on the shares, although he increased his 2011 earnings estimate for WesBanco by 12 cents to $1.57 a share, and his 2012 estimate by 10 cents to $1.70, calling the company's results "a solid quarter." While James said the shares were "attractively valued relative to peers," he also said that "going forward, upside surprises likely will be more difficult given increased estimates, limited additional [net interest margin] upside and lack of loan growth." The shares trade for 11 times the consensus 2012 earnings estimate of $1.79 a share. One of the eight analysts covering WesBanco rates the shares a buy, while the remaining analysts all have neutral ratings.
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