7. United Bankshares


United Bankshares ( UBSI) of Charleston W.V., closed at $26.00 Thursday, returning 7% year-to-date, after a 10% decline during 2012. The shares trade for 2.2 times tangible book value and for 14.1 times the consensus 2014 EPS estimate of $1.85. The consensus 2013 EPS estimate is $1.74.

Based on a quarterly payout of $0.31, the shares have a dividend yield of 4.77%.

United Bankshares is rated an A-minus (Excellent) by TheStreet Ratings.

The company had $8.4 billion in total assets as of Dec. 31 and reported 2012 net income of $83.6 million, or $1.64 a share, increasing from $$75.6 million, or $1.61 a share, in 2011. The 2012 ROA was 0.98%, improving slightly from 0.97% the previous year.

United Bankshares on Jan. 30 announced an agreement to acquire Virginia Commerce Bancorp ( VCBI) of Arlington, in an all-stock deal valued at $490.6 million. Virginia Commerce has roughly $2.8 billion in assets, with 28 branches. The merger is expected to be completed in the third quarter.

Guggenheim analyst David Darst has a neutral rating for United Bankshares, and said in a report on Jan. 31 that the price being paid for Virginia Commerce -- a premium of 15% over the target company's closing share price of $12.21 on Jan. 29 and roughly 1.8 times tangible book value -- was "rich," because VCBI was really being sold for 2.2 times tangible book value, after "adjusting for the credit mark."

On the other hand, "UBSI is an experienced acquirer and has historically exceeded accretion targets," Darst wrote, adding that "the transaction is strategically important as it builds UBSI's Virginia and DC franchise and limits opportunities for competition to gain share."

Darst has a neutral rating on United Bankshares, with a price target of $26.00, estimating the company will earn $1.72 a share this year, with EPS rising to $1.80 in 2014.

UBSI Chart UBSI data by YCharts

Interested in more on United Bankshares? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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