Shares of Fox Chase Bancorp ( FXCB) of Hatboro, Pa., closed at $15.47 Monday, returning 24% year-to-date, following a 7% return during 2011. The shares trade for 0.9 times tangible book value, and for 32 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of 49 cents. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is 39 cents. For the 12-month period ended June 30, Fox Chase Bancorp's ROA was 0.40%, while its ROE was 2.15%. Fox Chase Bancorp in March 2010 converted from a mutual holding company structure to full stock ownership. With a three-year moratorium on selling the company drawing to a close, Sterne Agee analyst Matthew Breese sees the company as a takeout target, especially because CEO Thomas Petro and chief operating officer Jerry Holbrook "have sold a bank in the past," and because "insider ownership at FXCB is significant at 12.5% of total shares vs. Northeast peers with a median of 7.4%." "In addition," according to Breese, "Fox Chase's management team holds the top 3 insider shareholder positions, each with over $1.0 million worth of stock in the company." The analyst on Sept. 10 raised his price target for Fox Chase by a dollar to $16, to "reflect the potential for a terminal event," saying that if the company were to be sold, "the shares are conservatively worth $18.00 which equates to 150% of required capital and 100% of excess capital given a required capital level of 8.0%" tangible common equity to total assets. Breese said that "Fox Chase will reach its three-year no-sale moratorium in June 2013, at which point all strategic options will become available, including a potential sale." Sterne Agee estimates that Fox Chase will report full-year earnings of 42 cents a share for 2012, followed by EPS of 55 cents in 2013. FXCB data by YCharts
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