Updated with comments from Investors Bancorp chief operating officer Domenick Cama.
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Investors may be looking at an excellent low-risk opportunity, on the anticipated second-step conversion of Investors Bancorp (ISBC) of Short Hills, N.J., to full stock ownership.
Investors Bancorp is part of a mutual thrift holding company structure, with Investors Bancorp MHC holding 58.7% of the common shares as of Dec. 30.
Shares of Investors Bancorp closed at $15.52 Friday, returning 15% year-to-date, following a 3% return during 2011. Last year's return was quite impressive, if you compare it to a 25% decline for the KBW Bank Index (I:BKX).Sterne Agee analyst Matthew Kelley on Friday reiterated his "Buy" rating for Investors Bancorp, with a $17 price target, saying that the shares "remain undervalued trading at roughly 95% of estimated fully converted tangible book value (TBV)," while "recently converted Northeast peers now trade at roughly 125% of TBV." Kelley added that "with capital approaching 8% and returns on equity approaching 10%, we continue to believe the company will undergo a second step conversion
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