This column was originally published on RealMoney on Oct. 24 at 10:29 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for readers.

Buying a competitor that doubles your size is always chancy. And carrying off the acquisition smoothly, well, that's impressive. There's a bank based on Long Island that just accomplished this feat and is now basking in its success. Two of the guru strategies I use are applauding.

Melville, N.Y.-based North Fork Bancorporation ( NFB) is by asset size the 16th-largest bank holding company in America. It operates North Fork Bank, the third-largest bank in the New York metropolitan area, on the basis of deposits.

It has $60 billion in assets and about 360 branches in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Through a subsidiary, GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, it originates single-family and small commercial mortgages.

Between 1994 and 2004 it made about a dozen acquisitions, the biggest fish being GreenPoint Financial of New York, which it bought last year for $6.3 billion. GreenPoint was larger than North Fork on an asset basis, but its stock market value was lower.

We can expect North Fork to make more acquisitions. Right now, though, bank prices are high, and North Fork seems to be biding its time, waiting for the right bank at the right price.

The stock has dropped from the upper $20s to about $24 over the past three months. In the second quarter of this year, ended June 30, its EPS fell 7%, and that helps explain the drop. But this is a company that has a solid position in its market, knows how to make acquisitions, is in a geographic area that is doing well economically and is in a position to rebound from its recent small slump. Plus, the company has just increased its stock buyback program. I think that at their current price, North Fork shares are a good pickup.

Let's look at what my guru strategies say about this growth-minded moneymaker.

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