First Niagara Financial Group Shares of First Niagara Financial Group ( FNFG) of Buffalo, N.Y., closed at $8.58 Friday, returning 1% year-to-date, after falling 35% during 2011. Based on a quarterly payout of eight cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 3.73%.
The shares trade for 1.1 times tangible book value and for eight times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $1.03. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is 89 cents. First Niagara expects to complete its HSBC ( HBC) branch acquisition on May 18, after which the company will double in size, with roughly 200 branches and 1,200 employees. Jefferies analyst Casey Haire's price target for First Niagara is $11.50. Harmon said on Monday that "overall, housing markets across FNFG's footprint in Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Western Massachusetts appear to have stabilized, with New York looking strongest." Harmon added that "as a market share takeaway story, FNFG relies more on gaining traction in its new markets rather than help from a robust economic recovery, and that the bank's "double-digit C&I loan growth is more a function of market share takeaway, than it is economic recovery, which is a trend we expect will continue going forward." Interested in more on First Niagara Financial Group? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.