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TheStreet Open House

5 Cheap Small Bank Stocks (Update 2)

Stocks in this article: BAC WIBC OFG FISI BANC IBCA

4. Intervest Bancshares

Intervest Bancshares (IBCA) of New York has seen its stock climb 47% year-to-date, closing Thursday at $3.90. The shares declined 10% during 2011.

According to Thomson Reuters, Michael Sarcone of Sandler O'Neill is the only analyst covering Intervest. The shares trade for nine times Sarcone's 2013 EPS estimate of 44 cents. The analyst's 2012 earnings estimate is 47 cents a share.

Intervest trades for just under half its tangible book value.

The company owes $25 million in TARP money.

Intervest reported fourth-quarter net income available to common shareholders of $2.7 million, or 13 cents a share, increasing from $437,000, or two cents a share, during the fourth quarter of 2010. The earnings improvement reflected a decline in the quarterly provision for loan losses to just $40,000 during the fourth quarter, from $2.7 million a year earlier, and a decline in the provision for real estate losses to $1.4 million, from $2.0 million in the year-earlier period.

Another bright spot for the company -- running counter to most of the banking industry in the prolonged low-rate environment last year -- was an improvement in the net interest margin to 2.22% during the fourth-quarter, from 2.06% a year earlier, although this was "largely offset by a planned decrease in the Bank's assets and liabilities as well as decreased lending opportunities due to current economic conditions."

After Intervest reported its fourth-quarter results, Sarcone on Jan. 17 reiterated his "Buy" rating for the shares, with a 12-month price target of $4.00, "based on valuation, with the shares trading at 36% of our one year forward tangible book value forecast, which is a meaningful discount to the peer group."

Sarcone estimates that "the shares will trade at 50% of our forward year tangible book value forecast," and with the shares nearing the analyst's target, we could see a downgrade soon.

The analyst noted that his "EPS estimates do not currently assume TARP repayment," but he also pointed out that "the dividend on IBCA's TARP preferred shares increases to 9% in December of 2013."

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

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