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

3. Seacoast Banking Corp.

Shares of Seacoast Banking Corp. (SBCF - Get Report) of Stuart, Fla., closed at $1.71 Friday, up 3% from a year earlier.

Seacoast was originally mentioned as a takeout target by Brett Scheiner in early 2011, however, the analyst now says that with "material improvement in credit and operating trends and a deferred tax asset that can be recaptured if the company remains profitable , they believe they can create the most value for their shareholders by operating the bank independently."

The company owes $50 million in TARP money.

Seacoast reported 2011 earnings available to common shareholders of $2.9 million, or three cents a share, improving from a loss of $37.0 million, or 48 cents a share, in 2010. The provision for loan losses declined to $2.0 million in 2011, from $31.7 million, a year earlier.

The company estimated that its tangible common equity ratio "was 5.6 percent at year-end 2011 and will increase to an estimated 7.6 percent when the deferred tax asset valuation allowance is released."

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Mac Hodgson has a neutral rating on Seacoast, saying on Jan. 27 that "potential catalysts appear to be developing slowly, and core earnings power will likely remain weak for some time," and that the shares are fairly valued, factoring-in the eventual recapture of the deferred tax assets.

Seacoast trades just below tangible book value, according to HighlineFI. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is six cents.

Interested in more on Seacoast Banking Corp.? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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