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TheStreet Open House

10 Bank Stocks in the M&A Crosshairs (Update 2)

4. BancorpSouth

Shares of BancorpSouth (BXS) of Tupelo, Miss., closed at $11.73, dropping 25% from a year earlier.

The company has been mentioned as an attractive M&A target by both Olney and Rodis.

BancorpSouth on Jan. 24 closed a public offering of 10,952,381 common shares at a price of $10.50, raising $109.3 million, before expenses.

The company had $13 billion in total assets as of Dec. 30, and reported net income for 2011 of $37.6 million, or 45 cents a share, increasing from $22.9 million, or 27 cents a share, in 2010. The 2010 results reflected an income tax benefit of $8.7 million, while the company paid $4.5 million in taxes during 2011.

The provision for credit losses declined to $130.1 million in 2011, from $204.0 million in 2010.

The ROA for 2011 was .028%, and the ROA was 3.03%, according to HighlineFI.

The shares are trading right at tangible book value, according to HighlineFI, and for 17 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of 70 cents.

Jefferies analyst Emlen Harmon has a neutral rating on BancorpSouth, saying on Feb. 1 that aside from the improvement in the company's credit quality, "core earnings power heads lower as interchange legislation had a greater than expected impact on fees, expenses reset higher across a number of categories, and loans contracted more than initially forecast" for the fourth quarter.

Interested in more on BancorpSouth? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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