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Bank of America: Countrywide 'Hustle' Winner

The company expects the net interest margin to decline further. During New York Community's earnings conference call, CFO Thomas Cangemi said that "looking at Q2 versus Q3 our guidance was down 12 to 15 [basis points] and thus we came in at the low end our range," and that "my guess is that where we sit today, given where the interest rate environment is and looking at the [loan] pipeline, we are probably going to be on that same level, so probably down 12 to 15 in Q4," excluding loan prepayments.

Cangemi also said he expected the company to "see the bottom of the margin... well within 2013."

While New York Community Bancorp has continued its strong earnings performance, some analysts over the years have repeatedly questioned the attractive quarterly dividend payout of 25 cents, which the company has maintained for 35 consecutive quarters.

Sandler O'Neill analyst Mark Fitzgibbon said that during the third quarter, "the dividend payout ratio [declined] to 78% (currently a 6.9% dividend yield). However, we remain concerned that over time banking regulators will pressure institutions with high payout ratios to right-size their distributions."

Fitzgibbon rates New York Community Bancorp a "Hold," with a 12-month price target of $14.50.

The analyst said "in light of the quarterly results and updated guidance from management, we are raising our 2012 core EPS estimate by a $0.06 to $1.17, but lowering our 2013 EPS estimate by $0.07 to $0.98." Fitzgibbon added that "we continue to believe that shares of NYB are approaching fair value at just over 2x tangible book value versus the peer group median of about 1.5 times TBV," and that "on a forward earnings basis, shares are currently trading at 14.9x our 2013 EPS estimate versus the peer group median of 12.8x."

New York Community Bancorp's shares have now returned 19% year-to-date, following a 30% decline during 2011.

The shares for 1.9 times their reported Sept. 30 tangible book value of $7.22, and for 13 times the consensus 2013 earnings estimate of $1.04 a share, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Based on the quarterly payout of 25 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 7.18%.
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