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For the last several years,
M&T Bank (
MTB) has been a gleaming example of success in the banking business. The firm was one of the few "big" banks to remain profitable throughout the financial crisis, it's been growing its presence (and assets) at a fast pace in the years since. That hasn't spared this bank from shorting -- MTB's short interest ratio weighs in at a hefty 17.73.
Like a lot of other regional banking names, M&T succeeded where a lot of the "too-big-to-fail" banks messed up: It actually focused on staying a retail and commercial bank in the mid-2000s, when its larger peers were more focused on complex transactions. Because M&T bought loans without intending on flipping them right away, it held up higher underwriting standards than the big banks did.
That's not to say that M&T is small. At almost $83 billion in assets, it's one of the larger financial institutions in the country. And while it's not as large as the "big four" banks, it also lacks their black hole balance sheets.
A 2.63% dividend yield puts it on the high end for a pure-play financial firm -- and don't forget, dividends are like kryptonite to short sellers. There's no question that the prolonged low-rate environment we're in right now adds some extra income challenges to MTB, but this bank's financial fortitude gives it a lot of options right now.