HOUSTON ( TheStreet) -- Sterling Bancshares ( SBIB) is considering a sale and allowing potential bidders to conduct "extensive due diligence" on-site, according to DealReporter.

Citing two sources, the article said that the strongly capitalized Houston lender -- with the help of its adviser Morgan Stanley -- may reach a deal by the end of the month. It would be difficult for Sterling to release its fourth-quarter results as scheduled on January 26 without a first announcing a sale, the report said, citing sources.

TheStreet listed Sterling Bancshares as a possible target for BB&T ( BBT), after BB&T's CEO Kelly King said on November 5 that his firm was looking to make an acquisition in Texas.

Along with BB&T, the DealReporter listed Comerica ( CMA) of Dallas as another possible bidder for Sterling.

Sterling's shares were flat at $7.25 with heavy volume in late trading, Tuesday.

A call to Sterling Bancshares requesting comment was not returned in time for this article.


-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.