Stock Conversion Opportunity for Bank Investors (Update 1)
Sterne Agee analyst Matthew Kelley says Investors Bancorp's shares trade at a significant discount to where they will be if the thrift holding company completes a second-step conversion to full stock ownership, which he expects to happen this year.
CEO Kevin Cummings said that "excluding the one-time charge for the integration of Brooklyn Federal, net income was $22.7 million or $0.21 per share which reflects a return on tangible equity of 9.80%." Cummings added that the company was continuing its plan "to become a full service commercial bank as commercial loans now account for 42% of our loan portfolio." Investors Bancorp's total loans grew 3% during the first quarter, to $9.0 billion as of March 31, reflecting a "continued focus on generating multi-family and commercial real estate loans, which was partially offset by pay downs and payoffs of loans." Total assets were $11.3 billion as of March 31. Investors Bancorp's chief operating officer Domenick Cama says that the company has been "steadfast in our approach -- when we need the capital we will take the second step," and that "taking the capital in the first step in October 2005 and actually doing something with it was important." Cama says that when he and Cummings joined Investors Bancorp in 2003, the company had about $5.5 billion in total assets, with $4.5 billion invested in securities. "The bank has gone to $11. 2 billion in assets, with over $9 billion in loans, so it is our intention to become a full service commercial bank here in the New Jersey/New York region," he says." With over half of the company's $2 billion in multifamily mortgage loans in Brooklyn, Cama says that Investors Bancorp will keep expanding there. The company opened its 10th New York Branch on Sunday, in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, and Cama says "We have leases for two additional branches, signed, and are going to continue our expansion east."